My Approach to the Vocation of the Theologian in the Field of Adult Spiritual Formation
by Steve Thomason
A Term Paper Presented to Professor Alan Padgett
As a Requirement in Course GR8620 The Vocation of the Theologian | St. Paul, Minnesota | 2012
How does one function as a scholar in the academy while maintaining, and more importantly, integrating a deep Christian conviction into that scholarly work? That is the question to which I will respond in this paper. I will focus my response to the specific task of being a scholar within the field of Adult Spiritual Formation within the emerging missional church. This work will bring me into conversation with the broader academic fields of sociology, psychology, and andragogy. It is a difficult task to speak of spiritual formation in an academic arena that has a natural prejudice against it. Sociologists, psychologists, and andragogists tend to approach human development from an empirical, naturalistic perspective. Spirituality is most often viewed as simply a human construct at best. In this paper I will speak to this difficulty and outline my philosophy of how I can maintain my deep Christian convictions while also maintaining high academic standards within this scholarly pursuit.