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Spiritual Formation Degree Program

Promotional-Brochure

 

 

 

 

Reasons to Study Spiritual Formation and Discipleship at Moody Theological Seminary

  • An opportunity to be a part of a school that has been true to God for 120 plus years and that still believes in the inerrancy and final authority of Scripture. This sets this program apart from others that lack this theological heritage.
  • An opportunity to study spiritual formation and discipleship in a curriculum that gives one a survey of every book of the Bible and every area of theology.

The opportunity to study spiritual formation in the context of a school that provides a solid Biblical and Theological foundation is firmly linked to the president’s vision of a biblical mission and a global vision. This biblical foundation makes the specialty classes that are devoted to prayer, the family, spiritual disciplines and spiritual warfare, discipleship, and practical sanctification helpful in equipping workers to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth.

  • An opportunity to let God do life changing transformations in one’s own life as you work out a philosophy and plan to disciple others.

When God’s people proclaim one thing and their lives say the opposite, the enemies of God use this inconsistency as opportunity to blaspheme God’s name and discredit His work (see Romans 2:17-24). For this reason spiritual formation is not just a peculiar interest but something that is foundational to the mission of the church. One cannot take other people beyond where they have traveled themselves in the spiritual realm. To speak of God’s acceptance, authority over sin, motivation of enablement and cleansing need to flow from the experience of the heart. The testimony that one can be freed from the bondage to bitterness and crippling fears needs to be proclaimed from a life experiencing this freedom. A person’s interior life is key to all of ministry according to Jesus (John 7:37-39). As one works on character issues and Christ-likeness ministry comes as a byproduct. When there is a deficit in allowing the hearts of God’s people to be shaped by the heart of God, the mission of the church is greatly affected.

True ministry flows from the inner person (John 7:3–39), and genuine growth involves a strengthening of our spirits (Luke 1:80; Eph. 3:16). This program is designed to allow God to do a work in students that He may freely work through them. It is aimed at equipping students to meet the spiritual needs of others and to shepherd, exhort, and guide God’s people. Training people to be soul physicians involves obeying Paul’s instruction to Timothy to first “pay close attention to yourself and your teaching,” which results not only in one’s own sanctification and becoming a living epistle but also an overflowing to others in fulfilling the Great Commission. It may be a pathway to vocational employment as a minister of discipleship, of small groups, or of other aspects of the educational ministries of the church throughout the world.

  • An opportunity to take classes that are exclusively devoted to the theology and practice of prayer, spirituality and the family, spiritual disciplines and spiritual warfare, theology of soul care and discipleship, and courses in biblical spiritual formation as well as advanced theology of practical sanctification.
  • An opportunity to be a part of an intimate community of people.
    1. Spiritual Formation Labs
    2. Internships
    3. Chapel
    4. Retreats
    5. Unparalleled ministry opportunities in a world-class city
  • A unique heritage.

Over one hundred years ago, D. L. Moody urged the church to return to the training of “soul physicians.” These are men and women who have learned to lean upon the Holy Spirit in both diagnosing the condition of the soul and in aiding others to experience the blessing that can be found in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus’ commission to make disciples of the nations will never go out of date (Matthew 28:18-20). This program provides intentionality to live out this command. In light of the scriptural prediction of a falling away from God in the last days (2 Timothy 3:1ff., 1 Timothy 4:1ff.) there will always be a need to aid God’s people in the pursuit of Godliness. In fact the goal of all instruction is to be love that springs from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a sincere faith (1 Timothy 1:5).

One could argue that the greatest need in the church is the spiritual formation of its members. As the moral foundations crumble in this nation and throughout the world, there is a need to give this concern a very concentrated emphasis. God is ruling and overruling every event in heaven and earth to conform His people into the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). Christ’s death and resurrection has liberated the believer to respond to the Spirit’s promptings to experience the truth of Scripture so that Christ can be formed in the individual Christian as he participates in the Christian community (Galatians 4:19). The process begins at conversion and continues until the individual believer is glorified.

It is this process of spiritual formation that enables this believer to work affectively in their relationships, families, and churches. It is this process that sets them free to use their gifts in the work of the ministry and have a testimony not only to God’s people but also to the unbelieving world. James Wilhoit says that, “Spiritual formation is the task of the church. Period.” (^footnote^ James C. Wilhoit, Spiritual Formation as if the Church Mattered (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008), 15.) It is also the key issue for spiritual leaders and for the church as well. The spiritual formation of its members is the only thing that allows the church to be shaped by the heart of God. When this does not happen, the focus degenerates from producing fruitful Christian workers to simply looking for members.

    1. Flexibility of entrance requirements. One is able to enter into this Masters program with either a university background or a Bible college background.
    2. Flexibility of class scheduling. Classes can be taken online, through one week modulars and semester classes.
  • Levels of training.

There is opportunity to do a graduate certificate in Spiritual Formation and Discipleship, an MA in Spiritual Formation and Discipleship and an MDiv with an emphasis in Spiritual Formation and Discipleship.

  • An excellent faculty

Dr. Thrasher has published nine books in this field which include Living the Life God has Planned—How to Know God’s Will, A Journey to Victorious Praying—Finding Discipline and Delight in your Prayer Life, Believing God for His Best—How to Marry Contentment and Singleness, Putting God Back into the Holidays—How to Encourage your Family and Friends to Believe God, and God As He Wants you to Know Him published by Moody Publishers. He has also written How to be a Soul Physician—Learning how Christ Meets the Deepest Longings of a Soul through Prayer and Experiencing the Pleasure of Believing God: How to live by and Grow in Faith. Two other books he has written are The Attributes of God in Pauline Theology and Principles of Christian Living from Romans 5-8.  He has also written “Jonah” in the Moody Bible Commentary.

Dr. Green has the following professional publications: “Preparing Yourself to Preach,” in The Moody Handbook of Preaching, Moody, 2008. The Use of Classical Spiritual Disciplines in Evangelical Devotional Life. Wipf and Stock, 2008. “Micah,” in the Moody Bible Commentary (pending). “Revelation,” in the Moody Bible Commentary (pending). “The Rape of Dinah in Genesis 34: An Exegetical, Theological, and Pastoral Consideration of Sexual Abuse and Its Impact on the People of God,” presented at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, November 2011.

Dr. Wong Loi Sing has the following professional publications: He has contributed to the Papiamentu translation of the Bible, United Bible Society on Curaçao, Netherlands–Antilles. “Applying the Psalms in the Christian Life,” in Interpreting the Psalms for Teaching & Preaching. Edited by Herbert W. Bateman and Brent Sandy. St. Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 2010, pp. 206–218.

Dr. Pflederer has taught Biblical Spiritual Formation Labs and has done research in the relationship of Jesus’ three conditions of discipleship in Luke 14 and the issues of inclusion and exclusion, wealth and poverty, and suffering and martyrdom to mission in contexts of violence. He is currently conducting research in partnership with an African Instituted Church on mission in local contexts of violence in the informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya.

Mrs. Michele Schwaninger is a former graduate of the MASFD program and is currently mentoring a number of our students. She directs the Discipleship Cohort  and is a key mentor for the women in instructing the Biblical Spiritual Formation Labs.

 

  • In the heart of Chicago, IL.

Benefits:

  1. Access to millions of people in a 30 mile radius (minus Lake M) to be an influence for the Gospel
  2. Hundreds of churches & ministries within reach for PCMs, internships, job placements
  3. Diverse population with distinct micro communities
  4. Job availability for helping pay for school
  5. Transportation hub

Outcomes:

  1. Nearly 300 ministries, agencies and churches’ are infused with Moody student volunteer labor during the school year. 134,000 hours per year are devoted to the city.
  2. Moody is a “go to” place for ministry preparation and resources for the city and it’s churches & ministries.
  3. “Moody quality” students being a witness in the workplace at their pt jobs.

 

  • Ministries of Alumni

You are connected with the Alumni Placement Service that takes advantage of the long ministry history of the school. Below are the current and future ministry of the last few graduating classes in the Spiritual Formation and Discipleship programs.

Class of 2012-2013

Their past, current, and future ministries include working as an administrative assistant to Dr. Erwin Lutzer at the Moody Church; serving as a missionary as an English teacher in China; pastoring a church plant in Chicago; training leaders in Haiti; mentoring undergraduate students and working with an ESL ministry; working with a prison ministry; working with wayward youth at a boys ranch; developing a seminar on manhood to be given to prisoners; leading a small group of young business professionals; and the founding of the Moody Business Connection (the student who had this ministry is going to pursue an MBA at the University of Virginia and will be rooming with a graduate of Gordon-Conwell seminary who also seeks to use their business as ministry and to work with a Christian fellowship at the University of Virginia).

 

One student who has a heart for abused children plans to build upon her spiritual formation degree by studying counseling in Tokyo, Japan. She is also in a serious relationship with an MDIV student from Trinity who plans to join her in Japan.

 

Another student has been involved as a youth pastor for two years in Chicago and after graduation plans to go to Japan as a missionary to teach English. After she has her feet on the ground for a year, she plans to also pursue a degree in art to use in her ministry as she continues her mission work.

 

One of our graduates is now a fulltime pastor in Arizona and is responsible for training leaders for an overseas small group ministry. Under his ministry, the small groups have grown to include over 400 people which is 50% of the congregation. He mentors and trains the leaders on an ongoing basis. He has been instrumental in enabling the groups to become outreach oriented, and each group now adopts a missionary as well as various ministries and services to their neighborhood.

 

One of our graduates plans to teach art in a Christian school as a means to disciple students. She previously was an art teacher but came to Moody to be enhanced in her ability to minister to her students on a spiritual level.

 

One of our graduates is an accomplished musician who taught music in the undergraduate school and discipled undergraduates in her time at Moody. She has also held concerts and lead worship throughout the world.

 

One student is looking to serve either as a discipleship pastor at his church or in a similar capacity at a camp in Colorado.

 

Another student plans to be a career missionary to Muslims, and he and his wife have been invited to be the personal assistants to Greg Livingston in England who is the founder of Frontiers Missions and is responsible for over 1,500 missionaries on the mission field

today.

 

Another student plans to minister as a Navy military chaplain. He is currently meeting with a group of pastors and attends the Officer Christian Fellowship.

 

Another student has served very actively in his church as a Sunday School teacher and also has done significant preaching at his pastoral internship. He is currently working fulltime as a policeman.

 

Another student worked as the discipleship pastor at his church and created a soul care handbook that aided in the training of lay leaders. He has also done extensive work discipling college students, adult small group ministry, and counseling. He has been recently hired as an employee at MBI.

 

We have had two students from Compassion who have spoken all over the United States. One is a very gifted worship leader, and is burdened to continue her ministry as an advocate for those in poverty.

 

Working as a youth pastor, disicpling youth and young men, leading small groups, Bible study leaders, an adult ministry pastor, worship leader, women’s ministry leader, outreach coordinator, evangelism coordinator, prayer ministry, college discipleship ministry, working with the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention, missions work, camp ministry, speaking for youth ministry, hospitality and ministry to refugees, counseling, teaching women, working as an undergraduate admissions counselor, doing missions work in Ukraine and being an executive pastor at a church.

Class of 2013-2014

Future ministry plans include the following:

  • Missionary work in Ukraine.
  • Full-time executive pastor at his church.
  • One who runs a ministry at his church for 20-30 year olds and disciples 20 leaders for this group.
  • A person who is in charge of the soul-care ministry at Harvest. He disciples and trains the councilors and small group leaders.
  • Discipleship coach for the Billy Graham Association. She was asked by her church to go to Ohio to join the staff. However, she has moved to Florida with her husband and is involved in a small group ministry at her church, women’s ministry and a crisis pregnancy center.
  • Works as a youth pastor at his church. Was a past interim director at his church for Awana.
  • Plans to go to Korea and to mobilize many capable retired Christian seniors for ministry.
  • Has been hired as a worship pastor and a young adult pastor for a church in California.
  • One is seeking a pastoral position.
  • One is seeking to be a small group pastor or a church planter.
  • Currently working as a trainer at a sports facility and open to missions.
  • Working at an IVP local collage ministry for international students. Also working with a non-profit working with women to overcome anger, rebellion and depression. She is also burdened for future ministry in Venezuela, working with a ministry that aids young women in the slums.
  • Working as an adjunct professor for the Moody Undergraduate School and Moody Distance Learning.
  • Working in her church as she also embraces the calling of being new wife and a mother.
  • Working as a counselor of women in her church. Her counseling experience has been in working with the following: pre-marital, career and vocational, dealing with ethical issues, dealing with sexual sins, dealing with doctrinal issues, dealing with spiritual life issues, dealing with financial issues, dealing with emotional issues, as well as crisis counseling. Her vision is to be a mentor and trusted counselor, and to teach and write articles on the spiritual life.
  • One graduate wants to use her law degree and her graduate and theological training in order to do collaborative law. Below is a summary of this discipline:

 

 

 

TRADITIONAL LEGAL REMEDIES COLLABORATIVE LAW
View the other party/parties and their legal representatives as adversaries or even enemies.

Matthew 5:22

Perceive other parties as part of a team who desire to work together to resolve the issues, while endeavoring to maintain civility.

Philippians 2:3-4

View legal issues as matters which must either be won or lost.  Win/lose or all or nothing approach to problem solving.  1 Peter 2:1 View problems as opportunities to find innovative solutions.  Ephesians 4:1-6
Often employs gamesmanship in hiding or withholding information necessary to make reasoned decisions.  Deuteronomy 25:15 Parties cooperate to identify and gather the information necessary to make informed and wise decisions.  Romans 15:5
Employ experts to assert one’s position or to discredit the position of the other participant(s).  Attempts to influence the advice or conclusions of the experts. May collaborate with other professionals to provide valuable information and neutral opinions to aid the parties in their mutual decision making process.  Proverbs 11:14
Focus on identifying and capitalizing on every weakness, mistake or shortcoming of the other party, including insensitivity to emotional issues.

1 John 3:15

Parties encouraged to treat each other with dignity and respect and to focus on their respective strengths.  Hebrews 10:24-25
Can have potentially long lasting and far reaching damaging (alienating) impact on future relationships.

Amos 5:7

Parties learn more effective communication strategies to aid them in working on future issues.   Matthew 5:9
Often promotes a “my way or the highway” attitude, with threats of or actual litigation when conditions not met by the other party.

James 4:1-2

Committed to finding mutually acceptable resolutions to issues.  The parties agree they will resolve all of their issues without litigation.  Philippians 2:4
Court mandated timelines which may not meet the needs of the parties. Parties largely control the pace and scheduling of all meetings.
Adversarial litigation, with witnesses (often friends or family members) called to testify in favor of one party or to provide negative testimony against the opponent.  Proverbs 25:18 Realizes the potentially long term damage which can be caused to the parties or their children after negative litigation and seeks to avoid those negative consequences.  Matthew 5:25-26
If parties unable to reach agreement, the judge issues a ruling dictating the future of the parties after hearing the evidence for a few hours or days.  Matthew 5:24-26 The process and decision making are controlled by the parties, who are the most informed about their circumstances, interests and needs.  They can customize solutions to fit their needs.

James 3:17-18

Public – disputes aired out in courtroom.

1 Corinthians 6:1-7

Private – Disputes confidentially resolved in meeting with the parties and designated professionals.  Matthew 18:16
Reasonableness or a desire to be gracious can be viewed as weaknesses to be exploited.

Exodus 8:15

Promotes mercy and forgiveness  Micah 6:8; Colossians 3:13

Copyright 2013 Christian Collaborative Law.  All rights reserved

 

Class of 2014-2015

Future ministry plans include:

  • Using his skills as a photographer to set up a non-profit organization to teach photography to at-risk youth as a means to evangelize and disciple them.
  • Involvement in the spiritual formation program in her church to help each campus site have a spiritual formation group.
  • To work as a social worker to ethnic minorities and ministry to the total person of immigrants from other countries.
  • Continue her work at Moody and using it to help international students. She also plans to serve in her church and continue her education in the counseling program at MTS.
  • Teach at an elementary school, The National Heritage Academy, which has a character based curriculum. She plans to also work in the children’s ministry at her church and desires to teach workshops on spiritual formation.
  • Join the staff of CRU in Canada.
  • Do pastoral ministry with her husband in New England. They are interested in Church revitalization. She also plans to disciple women. Her field instructor who has over 40 years of ministry experience said this about her: “Any ministry will be blessed to have her.”
  • To serve her Korean church and Korean immigrants. She would also like to do family ministry with her husband and her immediate plans are to support him as he finishes his MDiv at MTS.
  • To work at his church as the children’s ministry coordinator and to establish a men’s ministry, small group ministry and ministry to families. He hopes to be hired as a pastor at his church. He is now a volunteer at his church.
  • To develop a women’s ministry in Romania. She desires to mentor and disciple teenage, and young adult women. She wants to help them develop a mindset of true womanhood and a scriptural identity that will aid them in their relationships, lives and careers. She would also like to teach in the future.
  • This graduate desires to serve as a missionary. She has already had past missionary experience.
  • This graduate desires to be a Titus 2 woman and mentor young mothers.
  • This graduate desires to train Korean students in her position at her church and send them out all over the country.
  • This student plans to work in her church and community as well as pursue a counseling degree.
  • This student is not sure of his future plans, but has extensive experience in college ministry, discipleship ministry and church planting.
  • This student desires to work as a youth pastor or associate pastor.
  • This student desires to serve as a pastor and to start a Ukrainian fellowship in Orlando, FL.

This student desires to serve as a missionary to Northwestern students in Chicago through the Southern Baptist Collegiate ministry, He has extensive experience of student ministry in Indonesia.

 

Class of 2015-2016

 

I was encouraged to see students graduating with a passion for discipleship and a desire to be fully engaged in ministry. The following are a few examples of the students’ articulation of their philosophy:

 

My current philosophy and plan for discipleship ministry views discipleship as a continuum rather than a separate compartment of life (Matthew 5:3-12).  It is furthered by every encounter a person has with the living God throughout his or her life, even before salvation (Jeremiah 1:5).  Discipleship is a lifelong journey and goal, a means of sanctification and a path of brokenness (2 Corinthians 4:7-15).  In seeking to be used by God in discipleship ministry, I look for how I might come alongside a person to help reinforce what the Holy Spirit is doing, rather than to be a solution to the person’s need (1 Corinthians 3:7-11).  Discipleship happens within the context of relationships, the closest ones being family (Ephesians 5).  My wife is drawn to women’s ministry and me to men’s ministry, and we share a burden for young couples.  We are currently seeking God together to see how He might want to use us in this regard.

 

Disciple-making is an investment in people through relationships. My philosophy for discipleship is living God’s commission through prayer, example and service. Leaning on the Holy Spirit, I want to share God’s Word, mentor others and multiply the gospel.

 

Ultimately the goal is to make disciples who make disciples who:

  1. know and love God
  2. love one another
  3. share this love with the world.

The basic plan for discipleship for my current and future ministry includes four primary components, all influenced by prayer (God leading). These are sharing the Word, teaching the Word, modeling Christ, and multiplying by equipping disciples to make more disciples.

Share the Word With Others:

Matthew 28:19-20: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

 

Teach the Word: Teaching others what it means to love Jesus. This includes teaching them the basic Bible truths and what it means to be a disciple. Growth in wisdom, faith and knowledge is a lifelong process.

Modeling (mentoring) Christ: Modeling the character of Christ. This component is not just sharing knowledge and skill but sharing life. What does God’s truth look like in day-to-day living?

Philippians 3:17: Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us.

 

Multiplying the Gospel: Intentionally equipping disciples to make other disciples.

2 Timothy 2:2: The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

Here I want to impart knowledge of God, skills and vision to disciples so they can disciple others by sharing, teaching and modeling Christ.

 

I am currently working with the Married Life ministry at Sherwood Oaks Christian Church. The four components mentioned above are included in this mentoring (discipleship) program.

 

 

 

 

There was a strong relational thrust in the utilization of hospitality and family life in their discipleship models. The understanding for the need of prayer and the dependence of the Holy Spirit in this task was also emphasized.

 

The importance of the church and building deep trusting relationships was pronounced in their plans. One student disciple a lady in such poverty that she had to provide the funds to buy her toilet paper as well as do her laundry. The fruit of such relational compassion was seen in the children of the impoverished disciple being lead to the Lord.

 

My current philosophy and plan for discipleship ministry was molded the most during my spiritual formation internship. Since my internship was in South Africa, my perspective of discipleship was greatly broadened. As I attempted to apply what I had learned in my classes, I learned a tough lesson as to which areas I was strong in and which I was weak in. I know I am strong in leading small groups and bible studies. I believe I am gifted in evangelism as I am very comfortable building relationships with strangers and people that are different from myself (age, race, culture, and religious-background). I am comfortable creating and teaching biblical curriculum designed to specific topics that address the needs in the community. I am comfortable communicating God’s Word to people in small groups and even in larger groups in a classroom setting. The area I am weak in is preaching behind the pulpit. This taught me that my personal plan for discipleship begins with relationship and leads in to small group community which eventually turns in to a larger group of believers. I understand discipleship to be the “behind the scenes” of the church. It does not take place as much on Sunday morning but rather during the week and during daily life. As relationships are formed, trust is built and community grows. This occurred during my internship in the most unlikely places such as a nail salon, farming a banana orchard, organizing clothes at a retail store, and simply walking to the grocery store.

I believe people are hungry for God but they do not realize it just yet. Discipleship is helping people to open their blind eyes to God’s presence in their life and to see how God can restore all things. Discipleship brings hope to the broken person. It not only tells the person but shows the person by example how to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. My plan for discipleship is to follow my husband in to ministry as he is applying for positions as a missions pastor, and partner with him in making discipleships of whatever community God brings us to upon graduation. As my husband and I pray for children, we pray that they would be devote disciples of Jesus Christ. If God allows for us to bear children, my children will definitely be the main source of discipleship ministry.

 

 

One student’s Discipleship and Soul Care Project has been included at the end of this objective.

 

 

These philosophies have been put into practice in the following ministries:

  • Crisis pregnancy center
  • Mentoring young women in youth for Christ
  • Being a youth leader
  • Being a leader in a young marriage bible study
  • As a missionary with OM traveling to 22 counties
  • As a youth leader in a japaneese church for three years
  • As a worship leader
  • Prison ministry
  • Being an elder
  • Childrens ministry
  • Working with Way Side Cross ministries
  • New Life Corrections ministry
  • Leading a group of 11 men
  • Deaconess
  • Leader of young professionals
  • Serving on the building committee and pastoral search committee of her church
  • Small group leader
  • Bible study leader
  • Evangelism
  • Short term missions
  • Ministry to seniors
  • Counseling
  • Working with new immigrants
  • Prayer ministry
  • Website writer for their church
  • Urban youth ministry
  • After school programs
  • Writing and acting in short films
  • College ministry
  • Full time ministry assistant at her church to the childrens pastor and missions pastor
  • Writing articles to advance the Voice of the Martyrs ministry
  • Working with refugees
  • Working in orphanages and doing teacher training
  • Designing a reading program for a summer camp with Muslim children with world relief.
  • The MTS discipleship cohort.
  • Small group training as a leader and a new church plant.
  • “Hope” group at his church-small group for intense struggles.
  • Formed live transformation groups at his church.
  • Youth pastor.
  • Deacon and president of “Rivers of New Life Discipleship Ministry.”
  • Market place Chaplin.
  • Writing online devotional materials.
  • Working on a discipleship ministry at a rescue mission.
  • Women’s ministry.
  • Inner city youth ministry.
  • Writing small group bible studies.
  • Teaching and preaching.
  • Camp ministries.
  • Short term missions.
  • Dance ministry.
  • Prayer ministry.
  • Pastoral internship.
  • Food pantry ministry.

 

Future plans include:

 

  • Short term missions as a mentor at Shelterwood
  • Long term internship with World Relief
  • Possible pursuing of a Doctorate and teaching
  • An interest in foster care, adoption, and family discipleship
  • Interviewing with a church in Japan as an Associate and Youth Pastor
  • Way Side Cross and their prison ministry. He is a past probation and parole officer with thirty years experience
  • Forming a bible study fellowship in Shanghai. She plans to use her availability as a single lady to disciple 40 believers and teach them all that she has learned at MTS
  • Pui Tak Community Center as a counselor, bible study leader, and working with new immigrants as she cares and ministers to her elderly parents.
  • Associate Pastor of discipleship and education. He also has a writing gift and a merciful gift bent to those with special needs
  • Because of the change in her husband’s job, she has moved and left her full time ministry assistant job at her church. She has trusted God to lead her to another job to use her gifts of administrating and mercy. During this transition, she has worked with the flood relief victims in South Carolina and also Samaritans Purse.
  • To go back to Utah and work with her parents’ ministry, ministering to children, youth and family. She has worked here for five years prior to coming to Chicago. She has also been accepted with SIM to Tunisia.
  • SIM missionary in Equator working with youth.
  • Aiding her husband in his role as missions pastor.
  • Working with the Asian Indian community-teaching mentoring and leading.
  • Working with a church in its Bologna, Italy- rescuing sex-trafficking victims, mentoring refugees, and other social ministries.
  • Mentoring Singaporean teenagers spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, and their self-worth.
  • Working with her mentor in a counseling center.
  • Managing a bookstore, working with curriculum development and planning an adult class.
  • Working with the married life ministry at Sherwood Oaks Church in Bloomington, Indiana.
  • Going as a SEND missionary to Poland.
  • MTS administrative assistant, working with the MTS discipleship cohort, and disicpling young professional women at her church.
  • Working in his church’s soul care ministry, pursuing possible writing ministry, and using his gifts as an actor.
  • Associate pastor in his church, leading the transitional team as his current pastor is going to the mission field.
  • Youth ministry in England.
  • No plans for vocational ministry, but involvement in his church.
  • Pursuing youth and music ministry.

 

Class of 2016-2017

 

Future plans include:

 

  • Pursuing a ministry job, possibly doing a mobil-church plant to the homeless
  • Overseeing the discipleship program and the outreach programs for the church as a full-time staff member in Maine.
  • Writing commentary type devotional books for Korean believers as a part of a discipleship ministry
  • Applying to SEND International as a missionary in Poland
  • A future missionary to Toga and Ghana
  • A pastor of education and discipleship in a church in Georgia with the goal of developing a culture of discipleship
  • Working with Child Evangelism Fellowship in Portland, Oregon, in their missionary apprenticeship program concentrating on leadership training and helping Spanish-speaking churches.
  • Working in a Chaplain residency and working toward board certification
  • Being accepted as the senior pastor of a church with the vision of discipling the people and reaching out to the community. He also desires a writing ministry of some kind.
  • Small group mentoring of married couples and training of small group leaders
  • Using her consulting background to serve the church in strategic planning and administration.
  • Women’s ministry leader at her church
  • Working with CRU and aiding the Detroit churches in developing discipleship programs for inner city youth
  • Going on staff with CRU and helping women find their fulfilment in Christ
  • Planting a church in Detroit
  • Working as a full time associate pastor in Colorado with an openness to missions
  • Working in discipleship and leadership as an associate military staff with the Navigators
  • Christian Ed director of a homeless shelter.
  • Desires to teach bible and spiritual formation and is open to accepting a church staff position in women’s ministry which she has held in the past
  • Working in business as a mission to support churches and prayer movements
  • Looking for a ministry opportunities where he and his wife can work as a team (both are MTS graduates).
  • Working with SafeFamilies, Foster care, and adoption parents as they serve as the administrator of a vulnerable children’s group and also lead discipleship groups.
  • Serving as a missionary in Spain at a school where she disciples youth and singles and teaches women.
  • Teaches in women’s ministries at her church and works in periodic medical missions
  • Works with high school staff with CRU and family discipleship as well as serving as a community Chaplain
  • Work as a hospice Chaplain and teach clinical pastoral education to other Chaplains
  • Work with refugees and open to going to Turkey with her husband
  • Serving in the local church and planning to apply for military Chaplaincy
  • Associate minister over youth, children’s ministries, and other pastoral functions such as funerals, hospital visits and nursing home ministries. Serves as a member of the Chicago men’s choir which performs concerts all over the world.
  • Desires a teaching ministry in Taiwan
  • Work with a local Christian counseling agency and plans to do further study in clinical psychology.
  • Writing an online course on spiritual formation for MDL. Eventually plans to return to Ethiopia

 

Class of 2017-2018

 

Future plans include:

  • I’ve been doing youth ministry for over 6 years now, and it is my desire to stay here as long as God calls me here. Should he call me somewhere else, I then would like to explore the possibility of missions.

 

  • My present family has just moved into the city of Detroit to fulfill our calling to plant a church in the urban context. We’ve gracefully gotten to a place of knowing our identity in Christ and now we are focused on living out community with diversity amongst our new neighbors and those who will join our new church.

 

  • One of our graduates who is a lawyer and has her own law firm articulated her future ministry plans in the following way:

 

My future ministry plans are to begin in January the Clinical Pastoral Education program at Northwestern Hospital and training to become a chaplain.   I plan to continue doing jail ministry via Naomi’s Daughters and develop relationships with organization who are working with inmates when they are released on advocacy such as the Dignity for Incarcerated Women campaign, which is trying to implement laws regarding women receiving tampons and sanitary napkins in federal prisons at no charge.

 

This same student benefited from contacting a former MASFD graduate who also adjusted her law practice into a collaborative one as outlined in the following chart:

 

TRADITIONAL LEGAL REMEDIES COLLABORATIVE LAW
View the other party/parties and their legal representatives as adversaries or even enemies.

Matthew 5:22

Perceive other parties as part of a team who desire to work together to resolve the issues, while endeavoring to maintain civility.

Philippians 2:3-4

View legal issues as matters which must either be won or lost.  Win/lose or all or nothing approach to problem solving.  1 Peter 2:1 View problems as opportunities to find innovative solutions.  Ephesians 4:1-6
Often employs gamesmanship in hiding or withholding information necessary to make reasoned decisions.  Deuteronomy 25:15 Parties cooperate to identify and gather the information necessary to make informed and wise decisions.  Romans 15:5
Employ experts to assert one’s position or to discredit the position of the other participant(s).  Attempts to influence the advice or conclusions of the experts. May collaborate with other professionals to provide valuable information and neutral opinions to aid the parties in their mutual decision making process.  Proverbs 11:14
Focus on identifying and capitalizing on every weakness, mistake or shortcoming of the other party, including insensitivity to emotional issues.

1 John 3:15

Parties encouraged to treat each other with dignity and respect and to focus on their respective strengths.  Hebrews 10:24-25
Can have potentially long lasting and far reaching damaging (alienating) impact on future relationships.

Amos 5:7

Parties learn more effective communication strategies to aid them in working on future issues.   Matthew 5:9
Often promotes a “my way or the highway” attitude, with threats of or actual litigation when conditions not met by the other party.

James 4:1-2

Committed to finding mutually acceptable resolutions to issues.  The parties agree they will resolve all of their issues without litigation.  Philippians 2:4
Court mandated timelines which may not meet the needs of the parties. Parties largely control the pace and scheduling of all meetings.
Adversarial litigation, with witnesses (often friends or family members) called to testify in favor of one party or to provide negative testimony against the opponent.  Proverbs 25:18 Realizes the potentially long term damage which can be caused to the parties or their children after negative litigation and seeks to avoid those negative consequences.  Matthew 5:25-26
If parties unable to reach agreement, the judge issues a ruling dictating the future of the parties after hearing the evidence for a few hours or days.  Matthew 5:24-26 The process and decision making are controlled by the parties, who are the most informed about their circumstances, interests and needs.  They can customize solutions to fit their needs.

James 3:17-18

Public – disputes aired out in courtroom.

1 Corinthians 6:1-7

Private – Disputes confidentially resolved in meeting with the parties and designated professionals.  Matthew 18:16
Reasonableness or a desire to be gracious can be viewed as weaknesses to be exploited.

Exodus 8:15

Promotes mercy and forgiveness  Micah 6:8; Colossians 3:13

 

  • I most likely will stay in Chicago for at least a year to work with Children’s relief. I will be doing administrative work and disciple people, as well as lead International trips. I will still serve in the current church as Youth director. I am at the same time praying for a paid job after I graduate.

 

  • My future ministries include Biblical Soul Care because I am still in the process of getting all of my endorsements done in order to serve in a full capacity. I am also interested in leading a small group again sometime soon – as well as anything else God has in store!

 

  • Future Plans – it is all in the Lord’s hands! It is becoming increasingly difficult to raise a young family where we currently are, but for now, we are committed to planting our roots in our neighborhood and bear fruit through YouthWorks-Detroit.  I am starting to consider a ministry journey that could lead to teaching undergraduate ministry courses, but the Lord will let us know if that is an open door or not.

 

  • Serve as an MDL online instructor and eventually a missionary to Ethiopia.

 

  • My future plans for ministry include writing, speaking, and counseling to enable Christians in spiritual formation and soul care. I would love to cater specifically to women in India.

 

  • Because my lifelong goal is to participate in what the Lord is doing as I listen to His voice and respond, I anticipate that I will continue in this ministry with Torchbearers for years to come.

 

  • I’m not sure what God’s future ministry holds but I can see how he has progressed me and equipped me for each stage. If at some point I go back to working with children I think I would really enjoy that.

 

This is another student’s articulation of his future plans as he contemplates retiring from his career as a civil engineer:

 

  • Plans for concluding my engineering career over the next three years and phasing into future ministry are described in my response to Question #3. I envision that ministry after my retirement from engineering may include many of the following elements:
  • General assistance at the Village Church of Bartlett, assisting younger staff if pursuing their ministry dreams, while trying to mentor them.
  • One-on-one discipleship.
  • Ministering to seniors at the Victory Centre, Clare Oaks, and the like.
  • Performing hospital visitations.
  • Global missions involvement.
  • Support of Cheri in her counseling ministry.
  • Spending more time as “Uncle Dietmar” with my nephews, niece, great-nephews, and Cheri’s children and grand-children.
  • Lay elder, youth leader, and bible teacher at his church

 

  • Work at Moody in the PCM department and with her husband to develop an accredited bible institute in India

 

  • Youth leader and adult teacher in her church, and future missions work in Taiwan

 

  • Seeking an associate pastor role in congregational care and family

 

  • I have grown up in the church, and my current church involvement is significant in the manner of time. We are very big on “high commitment” communities that do life together, which practically means 3-5 nights a week spent with the same House Church community of people. We invite others into these communities who don’t know Jesus, in hopes that through community they would choose to follow him!

My future ministry plan is to keep going as I am. I am at a bit of a cross-roads. I could pursue a job in ministry with another church for the sake of having a “church job”, which I do desire in the long run, but don’t feel called to in the present. Or, I can remain highly committed to the discipleship, evangelistic ministry that is bearing great fruit and making disciples, but not get paid and have to feed my family by another way. As of this moment, I feel God wants me to do the latter. So, I plan to remain in this House Church ministry, and trust God that he will provide employment and means for me to not let my family starve, while still fulfilling what I feel is his call on my life, and ultimately the Great Commission!

 

  • Teacher and leader at his church, as well as an administrator and online instructor at MDL

 

  • Planning on going into missions after repaying some loans. The focus is to be an administrator and teacher as well as disciple of youth and children.

 

  • Director of speakers and marketing for Compassion International with the goal of setting children free from poverty.

 

  • Continue to serve in leadership at her church, and also aid other churches as a consultant.

 

  • Missions in the Middle East.

 

  • Interested in bible translation and Muslim outreach.

 

  • Work with PGM in an administrative and discipleship role.

 

  • Missions and Muslim outreach.

 

  • Work at his church in Detroit and be a liaison between the church and the public school as a ministry to the community.

 

  • Work with international students at a college and serve as an adjunct professor.

 

 

  • For several years I have had focus building toward a intention to move to North Africa to learn language and culture with the goal of participating in church planting movements there. I am currently evaluating the timing and strategic need of making that move, while learning more about the opportunities and needs for cross-cultural engagement here in Chicago.
  • Recently, as of two months ago, God has brought a new ministry in which he has called us to. It is called the 222 Foundation.  I am helping start this organization from the ground up with a friend of mine.  I am the Executive Director of the foundation and below is a little explanation about it and why did we name it the 222 Foundation.

We are all about equipping the next generation of Christian leaders.

2 Timothy 2:2 (222) -“The things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. ”

 

What we are doing?

The 222 Foundation is a 501(c)3 public charity that was founded to invest in the future Christian ministry leaders of the world in three key areas:

 

  • Personal growth –We mentor student partners as they grow in their roles within their family and ministry.

 

  • Academic growth –We desire to financially partner with students to relieve the debt burden coming out of Seminary. This will allow student partners to focus more on their ministries once Biblical training is completed.

 

  • Spiritual growth – We provide periodic encouragement through the calendar year by assigning mentors and prayer partners to students to encourage their growth in personal spiritual development.

(Bible study, reading and prayer life), evangelism, equipping others and growth in the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)

 

My family fits into this plan as we are all moving back to the U.S. this summer to Barrington, IL for me to work at this job full time.  My wife will possibly help out with this organization from time to time as well.

 

Also, we will continue to mentor alumni from our school in Budapest, who live in the Chicago area.  Alumni are currently attending, MBI, Wheaton, Trinity, Judson, and several other local Jr. Colleges.

 

Another student’s future plan.

 

I believe God has kept doors of ministry closed here and my heart directed toward Africa. I am able to use my spiritual gifts and natural abilities far more broadly and effectively overseas than here. There are certain greater needs in Africa and God has given me a love for the people and culture there. I am hoping to invest the next 10-15 years overseas – open to specific country (though planning on starting in Uganda) as God directs, but hopefully in East or Central Africa. I desire to teach, formally (Bible school) or informally, but also want to work with hurting/broken people to restore to spiritual health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional Information about the Program

 

Program Mission:

The purpose of the M.A. in Spiritual Formation and Discipleship is to prepare men and women to become effective Christian ministers to minister to one’s own spiritual life, one’s family and the Church. True ministry flows from the inner man (John 7:37-39) and genuine growth involves a strengthening of one’s spirit (Luke 1:80; Eph. 3:16). This program is designed to allow God to do a work in each student that He may freely work through that student. It is aimed at equipping student to meet the spiritual needs of others and shepherd, exhort, guide God’s people.

 

 

Linkage of this Program Mission to the Mission of the Graduate School and Moody Bible Institute:

Over one hundred years ago, D.L. Moody urged the Church to return to the training of “soul physicians.”  The MASFD program seeks to enhance the mission of the Moody Bible Institute and the mission of the Seminary by equipping students to meet the spiritual needs of others and shepherd, exhort, and guide God’s people in fulfillment of the Lord’s Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20. Moody’s purpose statement says, “As a higher education and media ministry, Moody exists to equip people with the truth of God’s Word to be maturing followers of Christ who are making disciples around the world.”

 

 

Learning Outcomes for this Program:

Graduates of the MASFD will be able to:

  • Articulate the major doctrines of Systematic Theology, consistent with Biblical Orthodoxy.
  • Articulate a worshipful understanding of the attributes of God.
  • Articulate an acceptance of God’s design for their lives.
  • Develop a plan for the spiritual disciplines.
  • Develop and begin to execute a plan of discipleship and philosophy of ministry.

 

 

Expanded Learning Outcomes for this Program:

Academic:

Graduates of the MASFD will be able to:

  • Articulate the major doctrines of Systematic Theology consistent with Biblical Orthodoxy.
  • Articulate a worshipful understanding of the attributes of God. This will include being able to articulate, understand, and experience a biblical framework for life that the ultimate focus of God’s will for men is to trust, love, and delight in God in all places and at all times. This will also include being able to articulate symptoms of a wrong view of God and the implications of the individual attributes that aid spiritual transformation and guidance for one’s life. People cannot trust, love, and delight in a God and encourage others to do the same if they do not understand and know Him.
  • Effectively employ historical, grammatical, and literal hermeneutics in biblical and theological study and use of digital resources.
  • Effectively articulate a basic knowledge of the English Bible.
  • Understand the spiritual principles of the book of Romans as a foundation for one’s spiritual life.

 

Professional:

Graduates of the MASFD will be able to:

  • Develop and begin to execute a plan of discipleship and philosophy of ministry.
  • Experience and articulate to others the concept of spiritual rest and to be able to articulate a personalized response to the truth of Christ’s sufficiency in experiencing true acceptance, authority, enablement, and cleansing.
  • Able to participate in praying for others and mutually ministering to others in the context of a group.
  • Experience and articulate to others spiritual principles that enable one to sustain a meaningful prayer life.
  • Experience and articulate to others spiritual principles that enable them to find and fulfill God’s will in regard to singleness, marriage, and family.
  • Articulate and begin to appreciate how to process anger and fears in a biblical way and how these relate to one’s roles in marriage.
  • Articulate and experience godly patterns of communication.
  • Articulate the Scriptural place of singleness and how to wait on God for a mate.
  • Articulate and explain the Scriptural responsibilities of the husband and the wife.
  • Articulate the Scriptural responsibility of the parent-child relationship.
  • Develop a plan for the spiritual disciplines. This includes the ability to discern and articulate the wrong motivation and correct goals for spiritual disciplines.
  • Effectively share the Gospel with an unbeliever.
  • Effectively communicate the principles of the book of Romans to the Church.
  • Explain the biblical solutions to fear, trials, and anger.
  • Articulate an understanding of how to discern God’s will.
  • Articulate a biblical view of one’s body.

 

Relational:

Graduates of the MASFD will be able to:

  • Experience and articulate an acceptance of God’s design for their life and be able to articulate a personalized response to the truth of Christ’s sufficiency in experiencing true acceptance, authority, enablement, and cleansing.
  • Develop the character qualities of I Timothy 3 and Titus 1. This includes the ability to experience spiritual freedom and impart practical wisdom in the battles of fear, anger, and guilt.
  • Exhibit an authentic relationship with God and His Word and be a living epistle of Christ’s love to His church and to a dark world.
  • Exhibit the fruit of a disciplined, godly life.
  • Demonstrate a response to the truth about the character of God and riches of grace by presenting the control of your life to Him and daily walking by His Spirit.

 

 

 Spiritual Disciplines and Spiritual Warfare

Description

  • This course is an analysis of the spiritual disciplines and spiritual enemies of the believer. It includes a study on the correct motivation, goals, and practice of the disciplines. This course also includes a study on to live victoriously in their spiritual battles.
  • Professor’s Summary: This course will require the student to interact personally with literature from the fields of spirituality and spiritual warfare. In addition, lectures will provide a foundation for personal growth through the practice of spiritual disciplines and consideration of the sources of conflict in the believer’s life.

 

Objectives

At the conclusion of the course the student will have:

  • An intellectual and practical grasp of the texts used in class (reflection and critique)
  • A working knowledge of the spiritual disciplines (performance and action)
  • A basic awareness of the factors involved in spiritual conflict as described in Scripture and how they relate to his/her present world (judgment and design).

 

 

Theology and Practice of Soul Care and Discipleship

Description

  • This course is an analysis of Christian discipleship and pastoral care in the Bible. It includes a study on the practice of nurturing and discipling believers. (2 hours)

 

Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Reproduce and discuss a Matthean schema of discipleship and an Ephesian schema of Soul Care. (Knowledge and Understanding)
  • Construct a context-sensitive and biblically informed intake instrument for discipleship and soul care. (Judgment and Design)
  • Reflect on their skillfully-practiced Trinitarianally-gestured, bodily presence. (Performance and Identity)
  • Propose and evaluate implementation steps [scalable delivery systems] for their particular contexts. (Judgment and Design)

 

 

Biblical Spiritual Formation

Description

  • This course is an analysis of biblical principles that develop and maintain one’s relationship with God and one’s thoughts about God’s character. It includes a study of responses to these principles such as presentation; walking by the Spirit; dealing with guilt, trials, anger, fear, discerning God’s will; spiritual warfare; and prayer. (2 hours) (I strongly encourage you to take the required Biblical Spiritual Formation Lab I to receive maximum benefit)

 

Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Articulate an understanding and experience the truth that the ultimate focus of God’s will for men is to trust, love, and delight in God in all places and at all times. [Knowledge and Understanding]
  • Describe a proper foundation for the spiritual life based upon a proper knowledge of God and His riches of grace. [Engagement and Motivation]
  • Demonstrate a response to the truth about the character of God and riches of grace by presenting the control of your life to Him and daily walking by His Spirit. [Performance and Action]
  • Explain the biblical solutions to fear, trials, and anger. [Knowledge and Understanding]
  • Discern and articulate the wrong motivations and correct goals for the spiritual disciplines. [Knowledge and Understanding]
  • Articulate an understanding of how to discern God’s will. [Knowledge and Understanding]
  • Articulate the importance, discipline, and dynamics of an effective prayer life. [Knowledge and Understanding]
  • Articulate a biblical view of one’s body. [Knowledge and Understanding]
  • Articulate a personalized response to the truth of Christ’s sufficiency in experiencing true acceptance, authority, enablement, and cleansing. [Knowledge, Understanding, Performance, and Action]

 

 

Advanced Theology Of Practical Sanctification

Description

  • This course is an inductive study of the contribution of key Biblical material that aids the student in his personal sanctification and pursuit of holiness. (2 hours)

 

Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, the student will:

  • Articulate the flow of the argument of Romans 1-8 in a way that reflects an understanding of the key principles of these texts that serve as an adequate foundation for the spiritual life. [Knowledge and Understanding]
  • Reflect an understanding of how Paul’s doctrine of the Attributes of God serves as a foundation for the spiritual life. [Knowledge and Understanding]
  • Articulate the principles of need, acceptance, authority, enablement, faith, and cleansing. [Performance and Action]

 

 

Spirituality and the Family

Description

  • This course is an analysis of the family as a social unit in the purposes of God. It includes a study on singleness, marital roles, and biblical parenting.

 

Objectives

At the conclusion of this course the student will:

  • Articulate and begin to appreciate how to process anger and fears in a biblical way and how these relate to one’s roles in marriage. [Knowledge and Understanding]
  • Articulate and experience godly patterns of communication. [Performance and Action]
  • Articulate the Scriptural place of singleness and how to wait on God for a mate. [Performance and Action]
  • Articulate and explain the Scriptural responsibilities of the husband and the wife. [Performance and Action]
  • Articulate the Scriptural responsibility of the parent-child relationship. [Performance and Action]

 

 

Theology and Practice of Prayer

Description

  • This course is an analysis of the principles and practice of prayer.  It includes the study of how to sustain a meaningful personal prayer life and how to stimulate the prayer life of the church.

 

Objectives

At the conclusion of this course the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an ability to interact with significant Christian literature on the subject of prayer. [Judgment and Design]
  • Utilize the book of Psalms in one’s prayer life. [Knowledge and Understanding, Performance and Action]
  • Understand the key concepts in a way that enhances your personal prayer life and to be able to explain them to others in a way that aids their prayer life. [Knowledge and Understanding, Performance and Action]
  • Understand and pray key scriptural prayers. [Knowledge and Understanding, Performance and Action]

 

 

Biblical Spiritual Formation Lab

Course Description

  • This course is offered in conjunction with Biblical Spiritual Formation. It is designed to aid the student to process their spiritual life under the guidance of the professor. It includes such things as aiding the process of a proper view of God, cultivating Christ-likeness, and the utilization of the spiritual disciplines. Course is offered on a pass/fail basis. (1 hour) Co-requisite or Prerequisite: Biblical Spiritual Formation

 

Course Objectives

At the conclusion of this course, the student will:

  • Process and internalize the truths being learned in Biblical Spiritual Formation under the guidance of the professor and Spirit directed discussions and personal reflections. [Knowledge and Understanding, Performance and Action]
  • Develop a personal plan for the spiritual disciplines. [Performance and Action]
  • Participate in praying for one another and mutually ministering to one another in the context of a group. (You will be part of this class and also required to have an accountability partner in order to complete the assignments) [Performance and Action

 

This is the most exciting program that I have ever had the privilege of which to be a part.