Spiritual Formation Certificate


The Certificate in Spiritual Formation is an introductory yet intensive, integrative program within the Institute for Spiritual Formation at Talbot School of Theology, designed to assist individuals in their personal growth, provide some training in lay ministry of spiritual formation in the local church and give the student opportunity to understand their giftedness in order to determine whether the Lord is calling them to more training and preparation for ministry.

The program is designed entirely around promoting growth in the believer's inner life of faith and prayer with God in the context of a shared community and developed knowledge-base in the Word, spiritual formation and soul care. It focuses specifically on ways to deepen one's knowledge and openness to God and His work as well as understanding of one's self and others in order to grow toward conformity of character and inner life in the image of Christ. In order to accomplish this, the program has a substantial emphasis on understanding the dynamics of the Indwelling Holy Spirit as they interface human personality and relational dynamics. These integrative endeavors are enhanced by the Institute's diverse university-wide faculty that draws particularly upon Rosemead School of Psychology and Talbot School of Theology, bringing a wide range of expertise and experience to bear upon the process of human spiritual growth and soul care.

Certificate course work may later be applied toward a Master of Divinity or Master of Arts degree.

The mission of the Certificate in Spiritual Formation is to introduce believers to the processes involved in knowing themselves honestly and openly before God and one another in Truth, in cultivating intimacy with, growth in and obedience to Christ, in the training in lay ministry of spiritual formation in the local church which, in turn, gives opportunity for students to explore their calling and potential need for more training in ministry.

Program Learning Outcome

Upon completion of the 18-credit Spiritual Formation Certificate, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the basic elements of Spiritual Theology, namely, the nature, process, and practices of spiritual growth (ULO 1).

Each Program Learning Outcome (PLO) listed above references at least one of the University Learning Outcomes (ULO 1, 2, 3), which may be found in the General Information section of this catalog.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must possess a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale).

For special admissions deadlines and requirements involved in the Certificate in Spiritual Formation, contact Graduate Admissions. Due to the unique nature of this program, all applicants will be personally interviewed.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Satisfactorily complete all courses for a total of 18 semester credits as outlined in the curriculum below, including co-curricular requirements.
  2. Obtain a 3.0 GPA with no grade below a "C-" in all courses to be credited toward graduation.
  3. At least 9 credits must be taken at this seminary.
  4. Complete the entire program in no more than five years.

Students are placed on academic probation if their GPA for any semester falls below 3.0 and will remain on probation as long as the single semester or cumulative GPA remains below 3.0.

Probation students are granted one semester in which to bring their academic work up to the required level (3.0) for continuance in the seminary. A student cannot graduate while on probation.

Curriculum Requirements

Required Courses
TTSF 521Introduction to Christian Spirituality and Prayer3
TTSF 524History and Theory of Christian Soul Care and Direction3
TTSF 532Developmental Spirituality and Contemplative Prayer2
TTSF 543Personal Foundations of Spirituality and Retreat3
TTSF 672Personal Retreat and Formation2
TTSF 701Spiritual Formation Seminar2
Select one course from the following:3
Hermeneutics and the Word in Spiritual Formation
Theology I: God, Scripture, Creation
Theology II: Christ, Humanity, Sin, Salvation
Co-Curricular Requirements
Contact the Institute for Spiritual Formation (ISF) for a full description of these requirements. 1
Didactic Therapy (Recommended)
Faculty-Student Retreat
Personal Spiritual Direction (must be taken every term of enrollment)
Total Credits18

Institute for Spiritual Formation (ISF)