What: This seven month certificate program is designed for couples with one or both partners in full-time church ministry. The experience provides immersion in spiritual formation in the context of other couples who desire the same deepening experience. The program includes two weekend residential retreats (Thursday morning through Saturday morning) that provide fellowship, silence, teaching, and other experiences toward a deeper walk with God. Participants are required to form spiritual formation groups to meet with on a monthly basis between residencies.
Who: Ministry couples interested in deepening their relationship with God and one another. Participants are expected to have previous experiences in spiritual practices and one or both partners should be in full-time employment with a church (domestic or abroad).
When: Participants begin in March with reading assignments. Weekend residencies occur in May and November. Readings and meetings with a spiritual formation group will continue throughout the program. Final reflection projects are due at the second residency.
Leaders in the program include:
Jackie L. Halstead
Jackie L. Halstead is the director of ICS and Associate Professor of Spiritual Formation at Lipscomb. She holds certificates from two programs with the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation--Spiritual Guidance and Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats. Jackie has a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy and specializes in working with clergy and their families.
Jimmy Adcox has been the preaching minister at the Southwest Church in Jonesboro, Arkansas, for the past 35 years. He received his D.Min. from Abilene Christian University in 1999 and participated in the ICS Growing Deeper Program in 2006. He is a partner with Hope Network Ministries and serves on the board with Kairos Church Planting.
Randy Harris teaches at Abilene Christian University. He has participated in a 40 day contemplative prayer retreat in the Carmelite tradition and a 15 day experience of the Ignatian exercises. He holds a certificate from the 2-year spiritual direction program at Shalem Institute.
Rhonda Lowry is a senior fellow at ICS. She completed her M.Div. degree and taught at Fuller Theological Seminary and Pepperdine University. Rhonda is a frequent speaker nationwide in programs dedicated to enabling Christians to know Jesus deeply and to serve him in the everyday places of their lives.
ICS will provide an extensive bibliography of readings on spiritual formation in ministry and life in general. Participants will explore questions and share insights from the readings, particularly applied to one’s own spiritual walk as well as the life of the congregation with which they serve.
The residential retreats will offer a community of couples with whom to experience and reflect on the spiritual practices. Residencies offer a theological foundation, experiences in silence, contemplative prayer, spiritual practices and dialogue on the integration of spiritual formation into the ministry context. The participants will meet with a group and have one-on-one attention from one of the staff members during each residency.
Spiritual Practices and Formation Groups
The program emphasizes commitment to regular spiritual practices. Each participant will create a rule of life and participate in a monthly formation group (separate from your spouse). Information on how to create and sustain one in your local community will be discussed during the first residency.
Each individual will be required to write a spiritual autobiography and craft a rule of life over the course of the program. A final project will be chosen from a menu of options given at the first residency. This may be a research paper, but can also be a visual or auditory product.
Application Deadline: Registration is open year round, with application closing for each cohort on February 28th. Note that space is limited, so early application is suggested.
First Residency: May (pre-readings begin in March)
Second Residency: November
At Home Work: Each individual will create a spiritual formation group of three to four participants. You will meet on a monthly basis beginning in June following the first residency. Spouses will be in different groups. Additional readings will be assigned between each residency
Two Solitary Retreat Days: To be taken by the end of the program.
Integrative Project: To be completed by the second residency. This may be a research paper, an art project, a song performed—anything that is a personal expression of the transformation that has occurred throughout the program.
Program Fees (per person)
Tuition covers all meals and lodging for the residencies. It does not cover books or transportation needs. Fees are subject to change. Applications are available for scholarship for those with financial need.
If you have any questions regarding particulars of this program, please do not hesitate to contact Frank Guertin at 615.966.5352 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.