NNU Spotlight: Spiritual Formation Specialization

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Dave Dial

David Dial, of Cordova, Alaska is a full-time pastor at Cordova Church of the Nazarene, father of two and recent M.A. in Spiritual Formation graduate.

When you pursue your Master of Divinity or Master of Arts degree from Northwest Nazarene University’s School of Theology & Christian Ministries, you’ll have ten graduate degree tracks from which to choose.

One of our most popular specializations is Spiritual Formation. It’s also the first fully online graduate track NNU rolled out more than a decade ago. This area of study offers four semesters focused on what it means to grow closer to God, to others, and to oneself.

People in ministry often choose this emphasis because they want more tools in their spiritual tool belt. It’s especially attractive to those heading into chaplaincy ministries. Laypeople often choose it because they want to enhance their own personal growth or they want to be a greater resource in their churches.

Whether clergy or laity, we hear a constant refrain from our Spiritual Formation graduates: their experience was not only mind-opening, it was heart changing. Expand your thinking about the historic Christian faith in new ways. Develop relationships as part of a learning community of other adult student. And since roughly 10 percent of our online students are outside North America, discover life lessons from new friends who are living, learning and serving all over the world.

As an M.A. student, you’ll focus all 32 semester credit hours on Spiritual Formation—or 32 of the required 74 semester hours for the MDiv. Most traditional seminaries offer just a class or two in spiritual formation and they allow far fewer elective credits that could be used for such a focus.

David Dial, 45, of Cordova, Alaska chose Spiritual Formation for his area of specialization because it’s always been an area of deep personal interest.

“Spiritual growth and maturity is important for the church today and I feel like what I’ve learned can easily be applied,” says David, who recently graduated from NNU with an M.A. in Spiritual Formation after about two years of study.

NNU’s fully online program—with no residential requirements—worked well for David, a father of two and a full-time pastor at Cordova Church of the Nazarene. “I like the format. Classes could be done on my time, in my time. The professors are wonderful and the experience was well worth the time, energy and cost.”

Students like David appreciate NNU’s one-course-at-a-time approach so they do not have to manage several courses and professors simultaneously. Instead, students complete one course at a time with the other members of their learning community. Students stay together from one course to the next, while a different faculty member rotates through every eight weeks.

Wondering if NNU’s Spiritual Formation specialization might be for you? Request more information or contact us. You can also “kick the tires” during our tuition-free online “On-Ramp” orientation, which is available to all admitted students. For more about On-Ramp, check out our blog next week or visit us online at www.nnu.edu/onramp.

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