Spiritual Transformation Inventory
The Spiritual Transformation Inventory is the assessment measure used in conjunction with The Connected Life Workbook (CLW). It is a scientifically validated measure of Christian spirituality developed by Todd W. Hall, Ph.D. for the purpose of helping individuals, schools, churches, and Christian organizations in their spiritual growth process.
About the Spiritual Transformation Inventory (STI)
The overall goal of the CLW and STI is to help you:
- Evaluate your overall spiritual state
- Identify spiritual strengths and growth opportunities
- Identify specific spiritual hindrances and their level of impact
- Reflect on spiritual issues in your life in 31 different areas, grouped into five key domains of connection
- Develop a spiritual growth plan
It is important to keep in mind the underlying perspective of spiritual transformation on which the STI is based, and the purpose of the instrument. The Connected Life model is based on a relational model of spirituality that has numerous facets to it. The overarching concept permeating the STI is that we are transformed through loving relationships with God and others, and for loving relationships with God and others. Within this broad framework, there are multiple destinations or end goals of spiritual maturity, and multiple pathways through which transformation occurs.
It will be helpful to keep several points in mind as you reflect on your spirituality in light of your STI scores.
- First, the entire Connected Life process, including the feedback and soul projects, is designed to open your soul before God. Stated differently, it is designed to bring to light your gut-‐level beliefs and values. This can be an uncomfortable and messy process, much like spiritual growth. There may be aspects of your feedback that bring to the surface painful experiences, or aspects of yourself you do not like. This is not easy, but it is critical to the spiritual transformation process.
- Before you take a look at the results of your inventory, it is important to understand that your spiritual journey can never be fully captured with any one model or number. The intent is not to put you in a spiritual box, but rather to help you discover what the next steps in your spiritual growth might look like. So, the goal in using the STI is not to categorize yourself or others, or to “arrive” at a certain score, but rather to facilitate the next steps in your spiritual growth process.
- There are many ways we can grow spiritually, and spiritual transformation rarely occurs in an ordered, linear manner. Rather, it is often small hard-‐to-‐predict changes that lead to significant shifts in our growth. If you think of our spiritual growth as a spiral, we often revisit the same spiritual issues, but from different angles depending on our current life stage. For example, we all have a need for recognition in our lives and this can show up differently in our relationship with God in early adult years than in midlife or later years. So it is important to interpret your scores within the overall context of your life stage and situation.
- Related to ST not occurring in a linear manner, the point of The Connected Life process is not to necessarily increase your score in a certain area over time. This kind of change typically occurs in a seemingly erratic way that is not predictable, so it is important to understand the meaning underlying your scores. For some people, becoming aware of their brokenness in certain areas may lead to lower scores, but this may well represent growth.
- While there are predictable consequences to the way we engage our spirituality, we cannot predict how God will choose to work in our heart. Reflecting on your results will hopefully help you help you to cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit in your life.
- Your scores have been calculated using data from a relevant group (benchmark) in order to give meaning to the scores. You may feel that some of the feedback (particularly feedback indicating struggles in certain areas) is not accurate, or is overstated. This certainly may be true. Your scores (Z-‐scores) provide a baseline reference point in the context of a group of similar people. No test or score should ever presume to fully “capture” something so complex as your spiritual development. Rather, the scores provide a foothold—a meaningful jumping off point—for reflection and conversation with God. If you find yourself wrestling with feedback, I would encourage you to bring these experiences before God with an open heart. Ask God to reveal anything in your heart he wants you to see and work on. Certainly some aspects of the feedback will feel less relevant and accurate than others. If you find yourself dismissing some or all of the feedback, it will be important to explore and understand the meaning of your responses. In addition, the main purpose is not to compare yourself to others, but rather to reflect on your relative spiritual strengths and growth opportunities. If you find yourself comparing yourself to others or feeling bad about your scores, there are reasons for this and it will be important to explore and understand the meaning of this dynamic as well. This may provide a significant opportunity for grace and healing. The important thing is to reflect on your feedback, and your responses to the feedback, with an open heart before God.
- The individual scales and domains were developed through statistical and psychometric analyses of large data sets over seven years to verify that items on a scale measure a one concept and measure what they intend to measure. Individual scales were further clustered into domains to provide a holistic view of your spiritual development. Associations with numerous related variables were examined, to verify that the scales measure what they are intended to measure, and to better understand the implications of scale scores.
Overview of The Connected Life Model of Spiritual Transformation
The Bible establishes a broad framework for a relational paradigm for spiritual transformation, suggesting that God created us to connect with him and others. Likewise, contemporary research from several scientific fields is converging on a relational view of human development, and fleshing out our biblical understanding of how profoundly relational we are. This scientific convergence is nothing short of a relational revolution in our understanding of human nature. The most fundamental revelation of the relational revolution: God hard wired our brains—and our souls—for relationships. In this section, I briefly outline the relational spirituality model that is comprised of five big ideas. The RS model represents an integration of biblical/theological principles and scientific research on human development drawn from multiple disciplines. It is the center of the Connected Life model because all these principles are at work in the way our connections are lived out in the five domains of connection.
- Big Idea #1: Created to Connect: How God Designed Us to Flourish
- Big Idea #2: The Knowledge Spiral: Two Ways of Knowing
- Big Idea #3: Attachment Filters: How Relationships Shape Our Capacity to Love
- Big Idea #4: Spiritual Tipping Points: How Spiritual Change Works
- Big Idea #5: Structure: How Spiritual Practices Shape Our Capacity to Love