Foundations of Spiritual Formation I: The Work of the Spirit

In this course, students will identify and explore specific practices that can be applied immediately to their walk of faith.


Spiritual formation is a topic of discussion in many circles. We all long for intimacy with God, but how is spiritual growth and maturity developed? What are the dynamics in which God most often works in the heart of believers to make them like His Son, Jesus Christ? In this seminar, Dr. Richard Averbeck addresses these and other questions in order to lay a biblical foundation for proper Christian thought and behavior. In this course, he identifies and describes specific practices that can be applied immediately to your walk of faith.

This course is designed to help students grow in intimacy with God and to mature in spiritual life and relationships. Averbeck traces the work of the Holy Spirit through the Old and New Testaments and identifies specific spiritual practices that encourage growth in the spiritual life. The course utilizes lectures from SF403 as a basis for the practice of contemplative exercises and online discussion of issues related to the spiritual life.

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  1. Understand the biblical foundations for spiritual formation.
  2. Summarize what the Bible teaches on the work of the Holy Spirit through both Old and New Testaments.
  3. Identify specific spiritual practices that will encourage your intimacy with God.
  4. Analyze your own life in light of biblical teachings on spiritual formation in order to identify areas in which you need to grow.
  5. Recognize the eternal value of spiritual growth for yourself and those you teach.
  6. Apply the truths and principles found in the Old Testament to Christian life and ministry.
  • I learned a lot of things I did not know before now about spiritual formation. I had a number of actions to take. It has been very worthwhile and will encourage my spouse to take a course while I set myself up to start my next course.

    — Adi-Naitey
  • I read the notes (as opposed to listen to the lectures) because I struggle to stay attentive and always need to rewind and go back. I learned a lot about the work and place of the Holy Sprit in spiritual formation and the dimensions of it i.e. the human heart, the church community and the world/prophetic and missional. I loved the way the parallels between Old and New Testaments and the 'outpouring' of the Holy Spirit was explained. The chapter on Lectio Divina was also very useful in addition to the explanation of what this teaching on spiritual formation is not, in relation to the varying views on the topic. Very insightful overall and practical. I am still hungering to understand how to link my story to God's and work it into people's hearts. The lecturer could have done that better with his story.

    — Adi-Naitey
  • This was a great course that provided a sound base for living a life governed by the Holy Spirit. This helped me get back to a place where He leads and I am learning to walk with Him as the LORD instructs me.

    — Rawley
  • Lots of detail and thought-provoking topics were explored. Some were open-ended to the extent that the points made resulted in broad perspectives to be considered as opposed as a single succinct conclusion. No doubt I'll be digesting the materials for a long time.

    — Richard
  • Very good. The course is worth doing a second time

    — Jim
  • I really enjoyed this course about Spirituality. It was very informative and helpful in my understanding of how Spirituality works. I believe the course was written and presented well.

    — Laurie
  • I struggled to follow the lecture without any visuals (video, ppt slides, or the written text being broken into sections with headings, etc.) so there was quite a bit of an information overload for me.

    — Elena
  • This is an important course for self-growth in God. Thank you Dr. Richard for your clear explanation and guidance.

    — Sook ching
  • First of all, I would like to extend my thanks to the course designer. This is a very fruitful and enriching course. Also thank you Dr. Richard Averbeck for your clear explanation and expounding on the text. Attending this course has helped me to understand the work of the Holy Spirit in my walk of Spiritual Formation.

    — Sook ching
  • There is much fruit for thought and reflection.

    — Kim cheng
  • Although the exegesis of scripture was well done, I was disturbed by the emphasis on Roman Catholic Christian mysticism.

    — Russell
  • I am satisfied with the course and its content.

    — Carrie
  • I love how each section goes in to detail on each specific topic. I'm in love with the Bible and I am so hungry for all that I can get in these studies. This is a great set up for learning more in depth of the Bible. Thank you.

    — Nyya
  • I think I became drawn in to this course when the lecturer starting giving practical information. The hesitation was definitely on my part because Spiritual Formation is not something that I am familiar with. I think I either need an addition set of courses, or to simply review this particular course. In terms of practical application of these disciplines, I definitely was inspired. I have since made adjustments in my devotional time in response to this course. Thank you.

    — Pamela
  • Awesome!!!

    — Dennis
  • I enjoyed this study.

    — Vicki
  • Amazing!!

    — Andrew

Course Content

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Lesson One
Lesson Two
Lesson Three
Lesson Four
Lesson Five
Lesson Six
Lesson Seven
Course Wrap-Up
Lesson Content
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Course Details

  • 7 Lessons
  • 22 Activities
  • 1 Assessment
  • 45 Min Average
  • 11 Hrs Minimum
  • Course Award

Course Resources

Audios Transcripts Outlines

Richard E. Averbeck, PhD