Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
The goal of this project is to synthesize Benedictine spirituality into the context of Southeastern University (SEU). Chapter one explores the problem of an inadequate model of Christian formation at Southeastern University, a Christian liberal arts school affiliated with the Assemblies of God. A historical model of spiritual formation was sought to provide a contemplative counterbalance to Southeastern’s activist mode of formation. It is the thesis of this work that Southeastern University’s process of spiritual formation can be greatly enhanced by synthesizing the theological insights and spiritual practices from the Rule of St. Benedict.
Chapter two examines Mark 4, the Parable of the Sower, as the theological foundation for this synthesis. This chapter shows that listening is a theme throughout Scripture, a primary teaching of Jesus, and as such, a foundational component for Southeastern’s spiritual formation process. Subsequently, a Theology of Listening is formed from this passage to serve as common ground between Benedict and Southeastern’s denominational roots.
Chapter three provides a brief overview of St. Benedict and his rule. It includes a biographical sketch of Benedict, an outline of his rule and reveals the theme of listening as a foundational component of his rule.
Chapter four positions Lectio Divina as a means of listening for the voice of Christ in Scripture. This practical discipline is offered as a core practice to be included in Southeastern’s spiritual formation process.
Chapter five offers the Benedictine practice of Spiritual Direction as a means of listening for the voice of wisdom. This practice will be synthesized with a current small group program to create a unique form of spiritual mentorship on campus.
Chapter six presents the Benedictine emphasis on the “sanctity of the mundane” as a means for listening for God in everyday life. This will provide a necessary counterbalance to the emphasis on chapels and mission work as the primary vehicles for spiritual formation at Southeastern University.
Chapter seven provides a synthesis of this work, including implications and possible applications for a new model of formation for Southeastern University.
Owen, James C., "The Rule of St. Benedict Contextualized for Southeastern University" (2016). Seminary Doctoral Programs. 230.