Spirituality in Adult Learning and Faith Formation (AFL 6)Course Level: Advanced

Course Summary

The purpose of this course is to offer the learner a greater understanding of spirituality as it impacts the life of the individual and the community as a whole. Simply put, spirituality is "our effort with grace to become what we have been created by the Lord to be...." (In His Spirit: A Guide to Today's Spirituality, Hauser, p. 5).

This course will explore the definition of spirituality offered above and what is necessary for growing in the spiritual life, namely, how to recognize the Spirit in all things. Key to growing in the Spirit and in the spiritual life is a keen awareness and desire to grow in relationship with God through prayer. In addition to discussing spirituality, this course will offer guidance and provide the learner with the opportunity to grow in prayer and praying through the exploration of a variety of types of prayer, each rooted in our Catholic tradition.

This course is part of a specialized Certificate in Adult Formation Leadership and is meant to be taken as part of a sequence. This course presupposes knowledge in the previous courses. Refer to the certificate page for more information.

Successful completion of this course earns 2.5 CEU's. Click here for more information about CEU's.

General Course Objectives

  • Understand the identity and work of the Holy Spirit in the spiritual lives of adults
  • Know the different schools of spirituality in the Catholic Tradition
  • Understand the characteristics typical of a human relationship with God
  • Know what a Christian understanding of prayer is and is not: its principles, techniques, and goals
  • Understand how a sound prayer life is decisive to a truthful and constructive spiritual life
  • Understand how spiritual development is integral to adult learning and faith formation in the Church

Course Materials

  • Required Book: Richard J. Hauser, S.J. In His Spirit: A Guide to Today's Spirituality Paulist Press, 1982. ISBN: 0809124211; ISBN-13: 978-0809124213

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: Two Models of Spirituality
    • Know the two models of spirituality and how they impact one’s understanding of God
    • Understand the spiritual tradition of the Liturgy of the Hours in the life of the Church
    • Learn some of the many schools of spirituality which are part of our Catholic tradition
    • Understand the decisive role spiritual growth plays in human development in the life of the People of God
  • Week 2: Discerning the Presence of the Holy Spirit
    • Learn who the Holy Spirit is and is not
    • Understand how the Spirit is the source of love and power that emanates from the Father and empowers us to work to serve God and others
    • Learn how to discern the authentic work of the Holy Spirit present in us and in our world
  • Week 3: The Holy Spirit, Personal Prayer and the Christian Spiritual Life
    • Learn the features of prayer and understand its true nature and purpose
    • Understand how through prayer one can develop a relationship and life of communion with God
    • Understand how one can discern the presence and work of the Holy Spirit in every aspect of prayer and the Christian life
  • Week 4: Developing a Personal Prayer Life in the Context of Christian Spirituality
    • Understand the feature of adult prayer as distinguished from when we were children
    • Know the obstacles to growing in relationship with God, or how prayer enables one to know God beyond just possessing knowledge about God
    • Learn techniques that can bring greater clarity in and presence to God in prayer and the assistance the Holy Spirit offers in our prayer life
  • Week 5: Guidelines for Living in the Spirit and One Life in Christ: Prayer and Service
    • Understand how prayer affects one’s view of the world
    • Understand how prayer enables us to discern how one should serve God through serving one’s neighbor
    • Understand why prayer and spirituality is never, for the Christian, a solo effort. It is done with the Church, helps build up the Church, and helps give both the individual believer and the Church a mandate and motivation to serve