First United Methodist of Baton Rouge, in partnership with Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, is offering NextStep Academy, a two year program in spiritual formation leadership.
Those looking for the means to invigorate their spiritual practices or who are interested in deepening their understanding of the disciplines are invited to apply for this unique program, which can be completed for 15 continuing education units towards paraprofessional certification in spiritual formation.
The program is spaced over two years and includes six retreats, with the first event slated for Oct. 14-15. The retreats are led by faculty from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and include classes and readings in spiritual disciplines and prayer, the practice of holy listening, developing Bible study for faith formation, practicums in congregational life and Methodist heritage and faith formation. Each retreat will be held from 5-9 p.m. on Friday night and on Saturday from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., with meals provided.
Participants seeking paraprofessional certification in spiritual formation may complete the requirements of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church through this program. The core competencies for spiritual formation are the regular practice of the spiritual disciplines, as well as the ability to teach others those disciplines including Lectio Divina, various forms/types of prayer, confession and examination of consciousness, process of discernment, leadership of worship, fasting and self-emptying and ways of hospitality. Candidates should also understand and engage in the essential link between spiritual formation and congregational life.
For a complete list of retreats, costs, scholarship information and an application, please visit www.firstmethodist.org
or call Cherri Johnson at (225) 383-4777, ext. 249. The deadline for applications is Aug. 1, 2016.
For information about the Paraprofessional Certification, visit http://firstmethodist.org/events/paraprofessional-certification/