Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

MaryKate Morse

Second Advisor

Tricia Gates-Brown


Children without a listening and guiding companion miss opportunities to build upon their connection with God and others. Historically, from a western Protestant viewpoint, Christians have struggled to understand or acknowledge, much less encourage, the reciprocal nature of a child’s life with God. Supporting the reciprocal nature of a child’s life with God includes acknowledging their full humanity by embracing childhood as a fully human state and therefore their need for a whole person spiritual formation. The institution of Sunday School, Godly Play, and the Children’s Spirituality Movement have each helped us to understand, acknowledge and encourage a child’s life with God. Practicing spiritual direction with children is the next natural step in our historical progression toward accepting children as full participants in a life with God. Spiritual direction with children requires two ideologies: childhood as fully functioning way of being and whole person engagement as a way of formation. Jesus proclaimed that children are participants in a life with God; therefore children need a listening companion who can help them to recognize and respond to the movement of God in their lives. I propose that adults who are trained specifically in spiritual direction with children will be equipped to companion children, helping them to recognize the movement of God and to respond to that movement creating an ever deepening friendship with God. The Artifact is a training course for children’s spiritual directors.

Included in

Christianity Commons