Course Summary

A consideration of spirituality


Laid out as a journey, the course explores that inquisitive spirit that causes one to look beyond the physical universe and claim the blessing that spirituality makes available. Beginning with the reasonableness of spirituality, the journey considers the connection of spirituality with the sacred and its actualization. The course is organized in five modules: (1) The Concept of Spirituality, (2) A Sense of the Sacred, (3) Spirituality Actualized, (4) A Spiritual Community, and (5) The Spiritual Life. A Spiritual Inventory is required before beginning the course. 5 semester hours of undergraduate credit.

Objectives

Module 1

• Identify spirituality, parameters, and its essence in terms of faith and reason
• Summarize Paul's description of God in his Acts 17 speech, supported with details to explain his logic and the responses of his listeners

Module 2

• Recognize the emotional response to faith and how one is drawn to the sacred

Module 3

• Recognize how a person reaches a decision to pursue a spiritual relationship with God
• Explain why redemption is a plausible concept

Module 4

• Explain the effects of the spiritual community in the life of the spiritual person.

Module 5

• Evaluate how a spiritual person applies ethical principles to all aspects of his/her life.

Credit. Credit for the course requires a score of 70 percent or greater on each of five multiple choice examinations. Other assignments include discussion forum postings, two writing assignments, an electronic notebook (Word document) containing all reflections, and one 2,500 word essay. All assignments are required, but the final grade will be the average of the exam scores, which are valued at 20% each. A sample exam problem is given below:

From a biblical point of view, to believe that God is a Spirit, and then use an image in worship (A) is acceptable, if the image is considered a "representation" of God and not God himself, (B) helps the worshiper focus on the true God, (C) is inconsistent with biblical teaching.

Resources

A Bible in any translation

The following resources may be read online, if desired:

The Confessions of Saint Augustine
Imitation of Christ

à Kempis, Thomas. Imitation of Christ. Dover Publications, 2003. 160 pages. $2.50. ISBN--978-0486431857

Augustine. The Confessions of Augustine. Dover Publications, 2002. 319 pages. $4. ISBN--978-0486424668

Augustine's Confessions are also available as an audio book. (Access through the syllabus.)