Spirituality and Adult Learning

Spiritual-FormationThe research question itself has both explicit and implicit implications for how we should frame this project with regard to how people are formed. It explicitly names the term spiritual formation, thus it will be necessary to discuss and define this term in the context of the research. The question also implicitly refers to adult education in that it asks how an increased awareness and understanding of the social Trinity might impact ideation and praxis of spiritual formation. Therefore, it will be necessary to frame the project within a particular theoretical perspective on adult learning and pedagogical methodologies.[1]

Theories of Adult Learning

Spirituality and Spiritual Formation: Defining Terms

The Structure of Community


Spiritual Formation Bibliography

Adult Learning Theory Bibliography


[1] It is important to note that spiritual formation/spirituality and adult education are not mutually exclusive topics. There is a growing body of literature within the field of adult learning that addresses the inherent connection between spirituality and adult pedagogical methodologies. Elisabeth Tisdell says that spirituality is “personal belief and experience of a divine spirit or higher purpose, about how we construct meaning, and what we individually and communally experience and attend to and honor as the sacred in our lives.’” Sharan B. Merriam, Rosemary S. Caffarella, and Lisa Baumgartner, Learning in Adulthood: A Comprehensive Guide, 3rd ed., The Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2007), 200. See also Elizabeth J. Tisdell, Exploring Spirituality and Culture in Adult and Higher Education, The Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003); Jane Kathryn Vella, Learning to Listen, Learning to Teach: The Power of Dialogue in Educating Adults, Rev. ed., The Jossey-Bass Higher and Adult Education Series (San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2002); Dent C. Davis, “Dialogue of the Soul: The Phenomenon of Intrapersonal Peace and the Adult Experience of Protestant Religious Education,” Religious Education 102, no. 4 (2007); John M. Dirkx, “Images, Transformative Learning the Work of Soul,” Adult Learning 12, no. 3 (2001).

3 thoughts on “Spirituality and Adult Learning”

  1. Christian Spirituality must of course by it’s very nature first and foremost be Christocentric. I will therefore be curious to see how you balance this crucial reality within your stated premise and emphasis upon social trinity.

    I am not so sure that a privileged private life as opposed to adopted public personae is by any means unique to either Western Culture or modern times. It seems almost to represent the predilection of nearly all cultures in all times. But it is certainly true that NT Christianity theology represented a radically departure from this and sparked an anti-cultural movement that puts our modern Christian church to shame

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