Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
At Newberg Friends Church we have developed a Listening Life approach to spiritual formation based on the call of God recorded in Mark 9:7, "This is my Son, whom I love, listen to him." A listening life is a holistic life - one that is open to being in a love relationship with God, creating intentional space and time with Christ, and responding to the nudges of the Spirit in the spontaneity of life. This listening is richer when done together with others and more free if it embraces an experimental attitude that holds things loosely as we seek to live out God's call toward neighborly love at home and around the world.
This dissertation is broken into six sections with the following focus: In section one the ministry problem is named - Newberg Friends Church has lacked a clearly articulated theology and foundational approach to spiritual formation. Section two considers some present-day resources in the arena of spiritual formation with special focus on four divergent groups and the unique contribution each offers. Section three then articulates the five theological foundations embraced at Newberg Friends Church and an overview of a Listening Life approach to spiritual growth. Sections four through six are the practical expression of this approach through a description of the web-based resources being developed, appendices, and the bibliography. The Listening Life approach gives us the framework to organize tools, resources, and practices of the spiritual life for groups and individuals and is housed at www.listeninglife.org. In the future this approach will be experienced, refined, and deepened as the Newberg Friends community grows in the ability to listen to Christ more fully, change in the Spirit, and live out love to those in need.
Fawver, Stephen D., "Listening Life: An Approach to Spiritual Formation at Newberg Friends Church" (2011). Doctor of Ministry. 189.