Friends University home of the Apprentice Institute

Alyssa - Graduated in May 2013

Austin, Texas / Psychology and Christian spiritual formation

student“I am working with kids in Los Angeles through the Episcopal Service Corp. I want to help reconcile the marginalized with the mainstream. In Christian spiritual formation, I learned that I am made in the image of God. Everyone around me is also made this way and so deeply loved by Him.”

Blake - Graduated in May 2013

Elbing, Kansas / Political Science and Christian spiritual formation

“I am teaching elementary school with Teach for America in Memphis, TN. I want my students to know that they are priceless and capable of greatness.”

“Through the CSF program, I learned what it means to follow God in His plan to liberate the oppressors and the oppressed.”

Jonathan - Graduated in May 2013

Aiea, Hawaii / Religion and Philosophy, Christian spiritual formation

student-1“I am attending Fuller Theological Seminary in California. I want to help young people as they are transitioning into adulthood and figuring out their lives.”

“CSF taught me the importance of theology because it shapes and guides the actions of Christians everywhere.”

Kelyn - Graduated in May 2013

Wichita, Kansas / Religion and Philosophy, Christian spiritual formation

“I am starting an organization to take people into creation to experience the beauty of God’s world. I want to help people realize what seeking God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength can be like.”

“The CSF program helped me think differently and not see the world so narrowly. It opened my eyes.”


Program Highlights

  • Compliments any Friends University Major.
  • Competitive Scholarship available.
  • Unique Internship Opportunities.
  • World-renowned author James Bryan Smith is the director.
  • Through-provoking and compelling coursework.

What is Christian spiritual formation?

Christian spiritual formation is most simply described as the process in which we are continuously being shaped into the person God created and intends us to be. Jesus invites us to be His disciples. A disciple is someone who learns to take on the entire life of their teacher or master. Christian spiritual formation is about learning to live our entire life as Jesus would if He were living our life. What would life be like if we trusted God the way Jesus does? How would we love our neighbors if we loved like Jesus does? How can we dedicate our life to living in the Kingdom of Heaven and inviting others into this Good and Beautiful Life like Jesus does? Christian spiritual formation asks the difficult questions that leads to the most incredible life we could ever imagine; the life that Jesus revealed to us through His life, death, and resurrection.

Friends University

Why does Christian spiritual formation matter?

If you get to leave a mark on this world, what do you want that mark to look like?

Christian spiritual formation matters because you are a part of God’s incredible story of restoration for this world. God is constantly at work restoring all of this world through His son, back to Himself and we get to be a part of that. So many Christians are primarily concerned with getting into heaven when they die that they miss out on how Jesus is trying to get Heaven into us and through us. As people who are learning to live, think, and love like Jesus, we are constantly compelled to interact with the world as He does. We engage in the most influential conversation this world has ever known with its creator and it transforms our minds and our hearts, and changes the world!


The Christian spiritual formation program at Friends University encourages higher-level thinking grounded in the teachings of Jesus, the history of the Church, and the beauty and goodness of God’s unshakable Kingdom. As an academic and Christ-like community, we dedicate our deepening life in the Kingdom to God’s restorative work in all things: in you, in the church and in all the world.

Our students choose CSF in order to strengthen and deepen their relationship with God, their understanding of the Christian spiritual formation field, and to live their lives whole-heartedly following Jesus. They learn what it means to be a disciple (apprentice) of Jesus, how to create disciples, and through Christ living in us, how the world will be changed forever!

Professionally, Christian spiritual formation graduates have gone on to Teach for America, outdoor leadership, business administration, inner-city social work and many other successful careers.

Course Outlines/ Descriptions

Second Major Course Requirements:

  • REL 222 – Developing a Devotional Life
  • RELM 350 – Introduction to Christian Spiritual Formation
  • REL 251 – History of Christian Spiritual Formation
  • REL 232 – Bible in Christian Spiritual Formation
  • RELM 370 – Living as an Apprentice of Jesus
  • RELM 375 – Renovation of the Heart
  • RELM 494 – Internship 2
  • PHIL 499 – Capstone
  • REL 300 – Survey of the Bible
  • REL 223 – Basic Christian Beliefs
  • PHIL 100 – Introduction to Philosophy
  • PHIL 180 – Introduction to Ethics

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