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CORNÉ BEKKER, D. LITT. ET PHIL HOW STUDENTS ARE FORMED SPIRITUALLY ONLINE.

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Presentation on theme: "CORNÉ BEKKER, D. LITT. ET PHIL HOW STUDENTS ARE FORMED SPIRITUALLY ONLINE."— Presentation transcript:

1 CORNÉ BEKKER, D. LITT. ET PHIL HOW STUDENTS ARE FORMED SPIRITUALLY ONLINE

2 THE QUEST TO BE PRESENT ONLINE “What is important for an incarnational pedagogy, whether teaching in the classroom or online, is the instructor’s own participation in the truth and salvation of God and the ability to communicate and foster that personal faith and insight among students. Online education may foster such communication. The key is the instructor’s personal communication rather than the educational environment…. While physical presence is crucial to certain aspects of an incarnational faith, it does not seem to be an essential factor in an incarnational pedagogy.” (Gresham, 2006; p. 27) Communal Presence Vocational Presence Pedagogical Presence

3 COMMUNAL PRESENCE Since formational praxis follows doctrinal beliefs (Barry, 2004), the establishment of an authentic Biblical spirituality is pivotal in the development of a Biblical praxis of spiritual formation. Authentic Biblical spirituality and praxis of spiritual formation, are always formed in community (Thiessen, 2005) and are distinguished by: (a)the consistent effort to be doctrinally “captive to the Word of God” (Jürisson, 2000, p. 90), (b)the disciplined practice of the Biblical and historical spiritual disciplines of the church (Stortz, 2000), (c)a serious engagement with the renewing and transforming power of the Holy Spirit (Coe, 2000), and (d)the ongoing commitment to serious Biblical scholarship and faith integration in all academic disciplines (Schneiders, 2002).

4 VOCATIONAL PRESENCE Educators who desire to facilitate the authentic spiritual formation of their students should approach their profession as a vocation (Marty, 2001), which is spirituality energized by an ongoing desire for God (Lane, 2000). Palmer (2003) advocates a “pedagogy of the soul” (p.382) that creates “a space that welcomes the soul” (p.382) and forms relational trust (Gordon, 2002) between students and the intended learning outcomes of the institution.

5 PEDAGOGICAL PRESENCE Educators that desire to facilitate spiritual formation in their students must themselves possess an authentic Biblical spirituality (Miller, 2005). Groome (1988) outlines a four-fold description of an authentic Biblical spirituality for educators: (a)educators must have a “passion” for students that “promotes the wholeness of shalom and the fullness of life for all” (p.15), (b)educators must practice psychological, intellectual and ecclesial hospitality where students come “into right relationship” and discover “God’s presence in their lives” (p.16), (c)educators must exhibit a love for the religious and academic traditions of their field, and finally (d)the educator must be fully committed to the reign of God in all spheres.

6 MEASURING SPIRITUAL FORMATION IN ONLINE PROGRAMS The spiritual formation of students in Christian, higher education is characterized by: (a)a desire for ‘wholeness’ (holiness) of life, (b)a personal orientation towards God, (c)an increase in the ability to discern the will of God within the process of study, (d)a desire to be captive to the Word of God, (e)an increase in commitment to serious Biblical scholarship, (f)an increase in active integration of faith in the work of students, (g)becoming more Christ-like in personal and public life, and (h)a clearer perspective of the inner values that provide meaning to life.

7 REFERENCES Barry, W. A. (2004). Spiritual direction and the encounter with God. Mahwah: Paulist Press. Coe, J. (2000). Intentional spiritual formation in the classroom: Making space for the Spirit in the university. Christian Education Journal, 4(2), Gordon, D. T. (2002). Fuel for reform: The importance of trust in changing schools. Available from Org/ffreform080802dtgordon.html Downloaded on May 1, 2009.www.smalschoolworkshop Gresham, J. (2006). The divine pedagogy as a model for online education. Teaching Theology and Religion, vol. 9, no. 1, pp Groome, T. H. (1988). The spirituality of the religious educator. Religious Education, 83(1), Jurisson, C. (2000). Evangelical spirituality: Captive to the Word of God. Word and World, 20(1), Lane, B. C. (2000). Excellence in teaching and a spirituality of desire. Horizons, 27(2), Marty, M. M. (2001). Spirituality at the crossroads. Christian Century, August 15-22, 8-9. Miller, G. I. (2009). Essentials of the Wesleyan tradition, in Kulaga, J. S. & Vincent, J. P. (Eds.). Cornerstones of spiritual vitality: Towards an understanding of Wesleyan spirituality in Christian higher education. Wilmore: Asbury College. Palmer, P. J. (2003). Teaching with heart and soul: Reflections on spirituality in teacher education. Journal of Teacher Education, 54(5), Schneiders, S. M. (2002). Biblical spirituality. Interpretation, April, Stortz, M. E. (2000). Evangelical spirituality: Practicing the marks of the Church. Word and World, 20(1), Thiessen, V. W. (2005). The great work to be born: Spiritual formation for leaders. Direction 34(1),


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