Spiritual Wisdom and Discernment

MS 3XD3/5XD5/6XD6

*Please note the change in date and time for this class as of August 11, 2020

Where is God at work in your own life? Where is God at work in the people, church, community, or culture around you? How can you recognize God at work and have the wisdom to discern where he is leading? Every individual, every person in ministry, every Christian professional and academic needs spiritual wisdom and discernment, and the capacity for skillful theological reflection, but these often seem nebulous and out of reach.

This course leads toward awareness of theory, methodology, practice, and the viability of spiritual wisdom and discernment through theological reflection, whether for ministry, for professional or academic work, or for one’s personal life. Spiritual wisdom and discernment are critical to gaining perspective on one’s vocation, especially as those earliest inklings of calling or vocation seem to fade against the realities of lived life and as changing perspectives connected with aging or circumstances seem to undermine that sense of calling. In this course, you will develop awareness and understanding of spiritual wisdom and discernment as discovered in literature, Christian biography, biblical characters or events, professional or institutional study, and personal experience. Students select the specific resources that are most pertinent to their own development, their own ministry or profession, and their own program at MDC. Through pursuing spiritual wisdom and discernment in these various areas, students also develop skills in theological reflection, which is crucial to personal spiritual wholeness, professional effectiveness, and successful leadership. Final papers and projects in this course are shaped to the student’s own personal, ministerial, or professional needs and interests, and can be done at any MDC degree course level.


  • explore contemporary and historical perspectives on spiritual wisdom and discernment.
  • discover ways of engaging in spiritual wisdom and discernment through reflection that are relevant for life, ministry, and vocation.


  • be shaped by the practice of developing skills in theological reflection.
  • be moved by increased awareness of God’s leading in historical lives and situations.
  • be transformed in small ways through attentive interaction with biblical, historical, literary, and current individuals or scenarios.


  • practice theological reflection on wisdom and discernment through weekly posting.
  • increase your capacity for wisdom and discernment through thoughtful reflection.
  • develop your understanding of or approach to spiritual wisdom and discernment in papers or projects, shaped towards your own area of professional, ministerial, or academic need.