Faith and Human DevelopmentCourse Level: Basic

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

General Course Objectives

  • Understand basic tenets of Christian spirituality
  • Understand theories of human development in morality and self-awareness in the developing life cycle with accompanying spiritual development
  • Become familiar with the spiritual and psychological stages of life from childhood to older adulthood.
  • Gain appreciation for and understanding of the connections between psychological and spiritual growth through the life cycle
  • Become familiar with theorists’ models of human development and spiritual growth for self-understanding and relational understanding of others.

Course Materials

  • Required Book: Peter Feldmeier The Developing Christian: Spiritual Growth Through the Life Cycle Paulist Press; Edition Unstated edition (March 1, 2007) ISBN: 0809144387; ISBN-13: 978-0809144389; ASIN: B00G9CDUZ0
  • Required Book: National Directory for Catechesis USCCB Publishing, 2005 ISBN: 1574554433; ISBN-13: 978-1574554434; ASIN: B00I12XBXC

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: Introduction to Spirituality and Human Developmental Theories
    • Appreciation for what Christian Spirituality means
    • Become elementally familiar with various models of Human Development
    • Explore how and where do these two essential components of becoming a whole person meet.
  • Week 2: Spiritual Models of Development
    • Gain appreciation for spiritual developmental models as briefly described by the author for Fowler, Teilhard de Chardin and John of the Cross
    • Consider developmental models for children age 2 to 12
    • Gain understanding of and appreciation for spiritual and religious development of children.
  • Week 3: Launching into the Challenges of Adolescence and Early Adulthood
    • Consider adolescents and their lifecycle concerns and moral issues
    • Familiarize with spiritual development and issues of concern at this stage as well as explore its potential
    • Be introduced to human development issues in the young adult, moral, ego, commitment and identity
    • Familiarize with spiritual and faith development and sustaining influences to support and encourage spiritual growth in this life cycle stage.
  • Week 4: Young adulthood through middle age
    • Gain appreciation for development of ego in young adults
    • Be introduced to character development and intimacy questions for both men and women
    • Look at and understand some of the dynamics for growth marriage affords in the development of young men and women, both human and spiritual
    • Consider the issue of vocation and striving for authentic spirituality
    • Appreciation for journeying in and through middle age and the spiritual opportunities and attraction it offers.
  • Week 5: Human and Spiritual Issues with the Elderly, 65 years and beyond
    • Consider issues of physical and mental diminishment and decline in elderly persons and both the challenges and opportunities for achieving fulfillment in their lives
    • Gain appreciation for their potential in contributing to the faith community and their own paradox in this life stage in journeying toward higher spiritual achievement and life-giving potential amidst their physical decline.
    • Integrate more deeply the significance of spiritual growth in our own life situation.
    • Consider the validity and value of adherence to life stage theories in both human and spiritual development and the parallel trajectories suggested in this book for both.