Trinity Western University

2010 News

To turn the soul

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Plato described the function of the teacher as 'to turn the soul' of students toward the true, the good, and the beautiful. In a similar sense, today Christian Colleges and Universities are tasked with transforming their students’ hearts as well as their minds. On June 24-26, 2010 TWU played host to some big name Universities at the President-Led Symposium on Spiritual Formation sponsored by the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).

The CCCU represents 109 campuses of diverse Christian faith traditions across North America. These institutions are all tasked with transforming their students’ spiritual lives but there is no simple formula to do that or even a standard assessment of that goal. With seven TWU faculty and staff in attendance at the symposium including TWU President, Jonathan Raymond, Ph.D., Associate Provost, Sheldon Loeppky, and Chaplain and Director of Student Ministries, Rob Rhea, the mission is a clear priority for TWU.

Teams from Bethel University (MN), Biola University, Crandall University, Indiana Wesleyan University, LeTourneau University, Regent University, Spring Arbor University, The King's University College, Toccoa Falls College, Trinity International University and Trinity Western University convened for two days of workshops and break-out discussion groups to share what was happening on their home campuses. This information was then brought back to their home team as each school spent valuable time digesting meaning and determining actions for the future.

“I came away from the symposium feeling very affirmed,” remarks Dr. Raymond. “Quite frankly, we are in the forefront – in terms of what we were listening to and what other schools were doing – of developing a strong capacity for bringing students along in spiritual formation and their maturity during their time here.”

A significant outcome of the symposium was the development of a working composite for the essence of spiritual formation and its core definitional elements. In agreement on its meaning, it was determined that “spiritual formation is integral to Christian higher education – it is the biblically guided process in which people are being transformed into the likeness of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit within the faith community in order to love and serve God and others.”

The foundations discussed at the symposium will inform future action on TWU’s campus and the work of the Institute for Spiritual Formation in Higher Education, a TWU initiative led by Chaplain and Director of Student Ministries, Rob Rhea.

  • Last Updated on August 11th, 2010 at 4:53pm
  • Author: Jennifer Watton
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