Spiritual Disciplines & the Academic Life
This guide, which may be downloaded below, is focused on spiritual formation and is the first in a series that will explicate the main components of InterVarsity's vision for faculty ministry. Spiritual formation is at the core of our discipleship to Christ. The practice of spiritual disciplines enriches our understanding of God, deepens our obedience, and increases our longing for God. "When we despair of gaining inner transformation through human powers of will and determination, we are open to a wonderful new realization: inner righteousness is a gift from God to be graciously received" (Foster, Richard. Celebration of Discipline.) This gift comes as we intentionally seek God's kingdom and his righteousness.
Many faculty members deeply desire to follow Christ in the academic world. While their daily practices and pressures may differ depending on the types of schools at which they serve, their fundamental spiritual needs are very much the same. The pressures placed upon faculty (either externally or self-imposed) often lead to a daily pace that crowds out time for the practice of spiritual disciplines. Our hope is that this guide will be a resource for taking time apart either daily or for a more extended time on a regular basis.
The guide begins with an essay on the Lordship of Christ over all things. The "Readings for Reflection" provide an opportunity to slow down and ponder a well-expressed thought about following Christ in daily life. The Bible studies take us into the Scriptures to get a greater glimpse of the Lordship of Christ. Consider reading the passages twice, and take time to write down your responses. We have also included a spiritual-discipline practice that focuses on seeking, reflecting, and giving thanks. We close with six prayers for the campus and a hymn. Consider using these disciplines with a colleague, student, or small group.
The good news is that as we respond to God's grace by seeking him through the practice of spiritual disciplines we begin to see him more fully. As this happens, our trust in his Lordship over all things increases, and we are better able to ponder his reign over the realm in which we move daily, the world of ideas.
May this guide beckon you to establish a regular rhythm of seeking and finding God. Please download it for your own use and share it with others.