IntroductionThis issue of Discernment brings diverse work oriented to a single purpose. The diversity takes the form of differing genres. Benjamin Pickett offers a theological framework rooted in his DMin thesis at Abilene Christian University; he describes a perspective of cruciformity that is useful for spiritual formation by practitioners in a broad array of contexts. Travis Sharpe writes a DMin project thesis synopsis of the work he completed at Lipscomb University; he describes his congregation’s work on intentional spiritual formation along with qualitative and quantitative measurements of the growth that occurred. Brandon Pierce offers a descriptive essay on a ministerial response to a contextual challenge arising while he was in graduate school at ACU; he summarizes the contextual analysis and theological reflection leading to his congregation’s implementation of ascetic practices to create intentional space for relationship and formation in a student ministry setting. Anessa Westbrook presents quantitative data from her DMin work at Fuller Theological Seminary; she delineates differences in the perspectives of undergraduate men and women toward spiritual formation, explains those differences, and outlines practices that address the issues she discovered, with particular attention to the young women involved. The aim of all of these diverse pieces is largely the same: broader participation in contextually appropriate and more intentional spiritually formative practices within a theologically robust structure.
Through the Lens of the Cross: Cruciformity as a Model for Teaching Ministry
Benjamin D. Pickett