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Spiritual Formation of a Child

 

Prerequisite: Read Children Matter: Finding Their Place in the Church, Family and Community by Scottie May et al.

 

Course Description

This course has a three-fold purpose: 1) to study the biblical passages relating to children in regards to spiritual development, disciplines, and participation in the family and faith community; 2) to explore faith development stages; 3) to investigate cultural trends affecting the spiritual development of children, including family systems and media.

 

Course Objectives

  1. …know the physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual developmental stages of children from birth to age twelve in order to understand the foundational role these play in spiritual development;
  2. …understand the implications of both theological and secular theories regarding children’s spiritual development;
  3. …discuss important theological issues relating to children – conversion, baptism, communion – showing an understanding of theological traditions within historic Christianity, and recognizing the significance of such concepts in their own ministry setting;
  4. …discern the essential elements required for the transformational spiritual growth of a child and understand the spiritual disciplines in relation to a child’s development;
  5. …explore the connection between discipleship and discipline in order to foster spiritual development and Christian character in children;
  6. …clearly and understandably present the gospel, ensuring the use of ethical practices;
  7. …grasp the affect cultural influences have on the spiritual formation of a child, and develop a means to assist children to grow spiritually in today’s world.

 

Course Syllabus

Graduate (masters) syllabus fall 2012.

Undergraduate (bachelors) syllabus for fall 2012.

 

Professor

Lucas van Boeschoten has a passion for children, small groups, spiritual formation and the church. His genuine love for each has granted him a variety of ministry and learning experiences.

Lucas holds a Doctor of Ministry in Leadership and Spiritual Formation from ACTS Seminary of Trinity Western University (2008). His dissertation topic was “Intergenerational Small Groups: The Difference Children Make to the Small Group Experience.” He also has a Master of Divinity in Biblical Studies (1975) from Western Evangelical Seminary of George Fox University. In 2009 he received his certification as a Spiritual Director with the FCJ (Faithful Companions of Jesus) Christian Life Centre in Calgary.

In his pastoral work, Lucas has led churches in establishing and expanding children’s discipleship and outreach ministries. He currently serves as ‘Community Pastor’ at Centre Street Church in Calgary, where he works with small groups. This includes working with Intergenerational Small Groups as they develop the spiritual environment that helps believers of all ages thrive and reach out.

For almost 20 years, Lucas served as faculty at Rocky Mountain College in Calgary, AB. His roles included instructing, Dean of Students, and Department Head of the Children and Family Ministries program. During part of this time he served concurrently with Promiseland Ministries at Centre Street Church.

Lucas also served as Director of Christian Education for the Evangelical Church in Canada and then the Evangelical Missionary Church from 1981-1994.

One of the favorite parts of Lucas’ week continues to be large group teaching with 70-80 “bouncing bunnies” and “courageous camels” (3 and 4 year old children) in the Children’s Ministry at his church.

He is married to Pat, and they are the proud progenitors of four children and five grandchildren.