Personal Spiritual Formation

Within every program at Northeastern Seminary, you will find opportunities to nurture personal and spiritual formation.

Here, you will recognize that studying about God is not the same as knowing and being known by God. Your Seminary experience will allow you to focus the way you receive and express the life of God in the world – abundant life that is sourced in God the Father and made available by the work of Jesus Christ and the ongoing ministry of the Holy Spirit.

Throughout the centuries, followers of Christ have testified that practices such as reading scripture, praying, communal worship, and serving others are means by which they have come to know and experience the life of God personally. One of the gifts of Northeastern Seminary is the diversity of our community - and we honor that diversity and the diversity of the church across time and cultures and geographies by exploring and practicing a variety of classic Christian spiritual practices from history and the breadth of the Christian Church.

“My path at Northeastern is nothing like what I had planned. It has felt impossible at times, but it has been more rewarding and life changing than I could ever have imagined. I’ve learned to be flexible, to release control and to trust the process.”

Kaitlyn Tebordo-Wood '18 shared these reflections on her formational experience at Northeastern Seminary at the commencement ceremony in May 2018. Watch Kaitlyn's full remarks.

Developing Spiritual Disciplines

Central to all Northeastern Seminary programs is our commitment to formational education. Every course includes activities designed for you to grow.

In relationship to God:

  • A personal awareness of being loved by God
  • A deepening acceptance and love of God
  • A growing confidence in God's active presence in the world and one's own life

In relationship to others:

  • A deepening acceptance and love of others
  • A capacity and propensity for compassion
  • A freedom to receive and give love
  • Concern for and ability to relate openly with other people, especially in reference to one's Christian faith and life

In relationship to the Christian ministry:

  • A sense of conviction of one's call by God to Christian ministry, and a sense of the arena of one's specific form of ministry
  • An ability to hold things loosely and invest oneself passionately

In relationship to oneself:

  • A capacity to allow God the freedom to be God
  • A recognition of how the Bible addresses one's own life and the lives of other persons and groups
  • An ability to be in touch with one's feelings and to identify and express them appropriately
  • Creativity, imagination, humor, and freedom of spirit, as characteristics of one's ministerial style
  • A sense of confidence and courage in taking stands for convictions, in both religious and secular communities, and even in the face of opposition
  • Progress in the development of a disciplined prayer and worship life that provides personal nourishment and ministry with others

This is accomplished through:

Integrated Coursework

In addition to theological information, every degree program at Northeastern integrates coursework specifically designed to nurture attentiveness to the many ways God offers life and restoration in all the dimensions of who we are in Christ. Both online and onsite courses offer a variety of personal spiritual practices that include:

  • Journaling
  • Spiritual friendships
  • Silence, solitude, and personal retreats
  • Prayer
  • Scripture reflection
  • Readings of classic Christian devotional literature

It is our hope and prayer that, throughout the seminary experience at Northeastern, everyone in the community will find themselves more "fully alive" in Christ, and better able to share God's life with the world that God so loves.

Communal Practices

Students are provided with opportunities to participate in communal practices of spiritual formation every semester, such as:

  • Chapels at the beginning of each semester
  • Advent and Lenten reflections created by Northeastern community members
  • Small group meetings integrated into classes that include scripture reflection, prayer, and practices of gratitude

Spiritual Retreat

An annual retreat is held every fall to allow students, alumni, and friends of the Seminary to immerse themselves in a time of worship, prayer, teaching, fellowship, and personal reflection. The next retreat will be held on November 2-3, 2018.

Learn More About the Spiritual Retreat

Become a Spiritual Guide

If you are called to be a facilitator of the spiritual formation of members of a community, consider the course of study designed to equip you for this role.