For almost a century at Asbury, our Wesleyan understanding of the Christian faith has provided us with rich discoveries in the vast territory of formation.
Common Paths (How will we get there?)
So how do the three values above move from cumbersome categories to seamless realities, rooted in everyday living? In other words, how might we become more deeply conformed in the image of Christ, as measured by these values rather than being conformed to the values themselves? It will happen in ways beyond enumerating in the class and out, on campus and off, at home and work and in Chapel, Church and beyond. We are identifying several common paths along which we anticipate meaningful growth in Christian formation.
Moving from Rules to Rule: Establishing a Rule of Life
A Rule of Life is an evolving constellation of practices or disciplines engaged with consistency to the end of their becoming a means of grace. The idea of a Rule comes to us from the Monastic era, whose most well known rule came from St. Benedict, whose rule aimed to
“…establish a school for God’s service. In drawing up its regulations, we hope to set down nothing harsh, nothing burdensome. The good of all concerned, however, may prompt us to a little strictness in order to amend faults and to safeguard love. Do not be daunted immediately by fear and run away from the road that leads to salvation. It is bound to be narrow at the outset. But as we progress in the way of life and in faith, we shall run on the path of God’s commandments, our hearts overflowing with the inexpressible delight of love.”
–THE RULE OF ST. BENEDICT. PROLOGUE PP. 45-49
Keep in mind, we have already framed a type of corporate Rule of Life with our seminary ethos statement. As part of your Vocation of Ministry class you will work on developing a Rule of Life. This practice will not only serve you throughout a life of ministry but will equip you to guide others.
Learning to Tell The Story: Writing a Spiritual Autobiography
You will be coached in the process of writing out your life’s journey so far, tracing the key moments and recounting formative relationships in a quest to better understand and interpret the visible and hidden workings of God throughout your life.
Faculty Information Guides
You will meet with your Faculty Formation Guide a minimum of three scheduled times throughout your seminary training. These meetings will consist in structured conversations around how academic (knowledge), vocational (doing/skills), and character (becoming) characteristics are united. These terms are used in a very narrow sense; Asbury readily asserts that formation cannot separate knowing, doing, and becoming, or even types of knowing, types of doing, and types of becoming. For instance, vocational skills, justice and mercy activities, and gaining information about the history of Christian social service are all needed and change the student through an interactive effect.
You Are Here. Here We Go.
Soar we now where Christ has led …
Following our exalted Head…
Made like Him, like Him we rise…
Ours the Cross, the Grave, the Skies.