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2 PL101 Formation of Spiritual Disciplines

Course Description

A study spiritual disciplines using a Wesleyan worldview, with emphasis on the development of their prayer life, meditation, fasting, Bible study, service and worship.

Student will develop personal discipleship processes and convictions that lead to more intimacy with the Father. Students must lead a small group through the development of similar practices.

Course Rational

The spiritual life of a minister is key to his or her ministry. This course will help expand students’ ability to use a wide range of methods to grow and help others to also grow in Christian Maturity. This course is a prerequisite to CP101 Church Planting.

Program Outcomes


CN-14 Ability to summarize the sources of theological reflection, its historical development, and its contemporary expressions.


CP-9 Ability to organize, promote, and implement discipleship for all.

CP-13 Ability to interpret and apply Scripture to personal and congregational life.


CH-1 Ability to find, understand and utilize resources for one’s own spiritual growth in prayer, Bible study, and personal devotion with the goal of becoming like Christ.

CH-2 Ability to love God and neighbor with all one’s heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to live out the experience of entire sanctification.

CH-8 Ability to express humility, openness, righteousness, and honesty in all of one’s personal relationships.

Activity Outcomes


ACC-2 Explain and demonstrate how the Christian life of accountability is shown in relational integrity, leadership integrity, toward God, church leaders and in other relationships

ACC-6 Explain Biblical models of stewardship and accountability and how these compare and contrast with local contexts.

Continuing Education

CED-1 Develop the mind of Christ through growing closer to God, studying God’s Word, the needs of the cultural context, and ways to help others grow spiritually.

CED-5 Develop a long-term plan for personal ministry development that would benefit the local church and community.


DIS-1 Identify the qualities of a disciple as Christ taught and determine ways in one’s personal life to apply these qualities.

DIS-3 Model spiritual disciplines to individuals and small groups including: prayer, devotional reading, fasting, solitude, and public worship.

DIS-4 To use the reading of God’s Word to foster one’s spiritual growth for personal devotions.

Discipline Personal and Family

DPF-1 Develop an activity that prioritizes discipling the whole family. The student (if married) will have family devotions, and plan for their family to be involved in ministry activities. The student will develop and demonstrate an effective system for personal spiritual development, holistic personal care and articulate the importance of accountability for these.


FAS-1 Fast and pray for a designated time, in imitation of Christ’s experience in the desert.

FAS-2 Articulate the Biblical basis for fasting what it is (and is not) and why should we fast. Develop a plan to lead the church into healthy fasting understanding and practices.

FAS-3 Explain various types of possible fasts; when and how to fast and the history of fasting in the Church with examples. The student will fast and explain how their life has changed because of fasting.

FAS-4 Develop a plan to lead the church into healthy understanding and practice of fasting.

Personal Spiritual Development (Holiness)

HOL-1 Identify spiritual development practices that speak most to the students in their own spiritual growth. Explain that what the Holy Spirit has shown them will need to change in their own lives to make them more like Christ (PS 139).

HOL-8 Explain the differences between a Wesleyan practice of spiritual development and Calvinistic, Roman Catholic, and Lutheran practices.


PRA-1 Model the prayers of Christ and His relationship to the Father through a strong passion for a life of prayer shown by devoting time to prayer and keeping a prayer journal, including a list of lost people for whom God has made them responsible.

PRA-2 Explain the difference between a Biblical prayer and prayers from other religions, such as Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and folk religions, etc. Explain speaking in tongues from a Nazarene perspective. Explain various life situation prayers, and be able to list various kinds of historical prayers.

PRA-3 Explain why we need to pray and the difference between occasional prayer and unceasing prayer. Explain how to teach their congregation to pray, using OT and NT examples to produce passion in prayer.


SAB-1 Model how Jesus took time to be with the Father by taking a weekly defined time of rest and communion with God.

Content 21%
Competency 31%
Character 41%
Context  7% 

Course Texts

Freeborn, E. Dee, and Morris A. Weigelt. Living the Lord’s Prayer: The Heart of Spiritual Formation. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 2001.

Leclerc, Diane, and Mark Maddix. Spiritual Formation: A Wesleyan Paradigm. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 2011.

Hinson, William H. The Power of Holy Habits: A Discipline for Faithful Discipleship. Nashville: Abingdon, 1991. ISBN: 978-0687332007

Tracy, Wesley, E. Dee Freeborn, Janine Tartaglia-Metcalf, Morris A. Weigelt. The Upward Call: Spiritual Formation and the Holy Life. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 1993.

Practicing Wesleyan-Holiness Spiritual Formation. RIIE Course Module. Kansas City: Clergy Services, 2002.

Course Requirements

  1. The local school’s attendance policy should be placed here.
  2. Bible Reading and Prayer Journal: Students should read through the Bible as designated in the Master Plan for Bible Reading in the Course of Study. For this course, students will read Genesis 40 – Exodus 27 and Matthew 14 – 28. The focus of the Scripture reading and prayer time for this course is on fasting. Students will choose one meal time per week. Instead of cooking and eating during that time, students will spend the time in prayer and fasting (if students are unable to fast food because of medical reasons, please talk to the instructor about other types of fasts). At the end of each week, students will reflect in one paragraph of 200 words in their journal on how God is growing them to be more like Christ.

(Outcomes CP-13, CH-1, CH-2, ACC-2, FAS 1, CED-1, DIS-4)

  1. Biblical Basis Paper: Students will identify Bible passages that speak about spiritual disciplines and activities, list these passages, and give a short statement on each about how this applies in their lives and local context. Identify the spiritual disciplines necessary for developing relationships with not-yet-believers within the students’ context. Students will either write a two-page paper or give a 10-minute class presentation.

(Outcomes CN-14, ACC-6, DIS-1, FAS-2, FAS-3)

  1. Bible Lesson: Students will choose one passage from the “Biblical Basis Paper” above, or another passage related to a theme from this paper, and prepare a tow-three-page Bible study lesson relating to the practices of spiritual development that can be used in a small group setting, Sunday School class, or similar situation. The lesson should contain the following elements (see B101 for more help):
  • Intended audience or ministry context clearly stated and described at the beginning; the lesson should fit the setting (children, youth, adult, new believer, and so forth).
  • Clearly stated lesson objectives, listed; generally, 3-4 objectives are a good number.
  • Supporting research or background material; this may include Bible passages, thoughts on these passages, relevant stories or illustrations.
  • Discussion questions or age-appropriate activity, or other essential curriculum items.

The goal is that someone else could be able to pick up your lesson and teach it.

(Outcomes CP-13, DIS-3, DPF-1, FAS-4, PRA-3)

  1. Teaching: Teach the lesson prepared above in a real-life ministry setting (Sunday school class, small group Bible study, youth group, home group, mission setting, etc.). Course teacher, student’s ministry mentor, or a church leader must be present to offer constructive feedback and complete a short evaluation for the course. If a local ministry setting is not available, the lesson can be demonstrated as a class presentation.

(Outcomes CP-12, CED-1, DIS-15, DIS-3, PRA-1, PRA-4)

  1. Creative Reflection: Students will develop a creative reflection that discusses their spiritual progress across the span of this course, to be shared with the class. This may include drama, skit, multimedia, drawing, music, or short essay. Students should identify in this reflection any distinctive Wesleyan-Holiness interpretation of spiritual growth that lead to personal holiness and Christlikeness.

(Outcomes CP-9, CH-8, CED-5, HOL-1, HOL-8, SAB-1)

Course Evaluation

Class Journal              20%

Biblical Basis Paper    20%

Bible Lesson               20%

Teaching                     20%

Creative Reflection     20%

Grading Policy

A          90-100%

B          80-89%

C         70-79%

D         60-69%

45-59%           (Passable for the certificate level and toward the requirements for being ordained in the Church of the Nazarene)

If a student marks a final grade lower than 45% he or she must take the course again for credit at the diploma level

Course Outline

  1. Introduction to spiritual development
  2. What the Bible says about spiritual growth
  3. High points from Church History
  4. The Key components of spiritual formation
  5. Wesley’s approach to spiritual formation
  6. The Means of Grace: itemize and develop as necessary.
  7. Strategies for Personal Devotions
  8. The Minister’s Family
  9. Discerning the spiritual needs in context
  10. Leading the local church into spiritual growth
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