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An Empirical Study on Spiritual Formation at Protestant Theological Training Institutions in South Africa 1

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Abstract Spiritual formation is a significant component of the educational work of a theological institution that prepares students for church leadership. Theological institutions have a responsibility to engage students in reflecting on spiritual life, to provide opportunities for students to deepen their spiritual journeys and to develop in students a spiritual maturity that is required of future Christian leaders. This article reports on the findings of a descriptive study carried out with theological students during their training for Christian ministry. The aim of this research project was to conduct a comprehensive investigation into spiritual formation programmes to, firstly, find out whether spiritual formation is intentionally pursued, and secondly, to develop an instrument to measure the spiritual formation emphasis at theological institutions. As theological education in South Africa continues to assess its vision and goals, this exploratory study offers evidence to support the assumption that theological institutions are fulfilling their stated goals of shaping student spirituality.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Practical Theology, University of South Africa P. O. Box 392, UNISA 0003 Republic of South Africa naidom2@unisa.ac.za

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