FAQs

Covenant Group Registration & Incoming Students
  • What is the significance of this course for me as a minister?
    Students often come to seminary ready to take on the world academically, but often, we find they lack basic training in the traditional disciplines of the church. Prayer takes practice. Learning to slow down and deeply listen to the voice of God takes time. Most students are not generally comfortable talking about their faith journeys with groups of strangers. Learning to listen intently to others without seeking to inject is also a skill we all must develop. These are all disciplines that are necessary to prepare you for a lifetime of pastoral ministry.

    Spiritual formation is the “through which” we begin to make living, breathing, incarnational sense of the Church’s history, theology and doctrines. Like mentoring, covenant groups are the intersection and integration that stresses the communal dimensions of our life together.
  • I am an incoming/new student. How can I get into a Covenant Group?
    Please complete the Truett Seminary Covenant Group Placement Questionnaire and register for your covenant group semester and section: COVG 7001 01 (Monday Commuter Students only) or COVG 7001 02 Thursdays at 11:00. Attend both orientations to ensure that you are in a group and you understand the requirements.
  • How will I be put in a group?
    Your Truett Seminary Covenant Group Placement Questionnaire is helpful as we place members in a group. We seek to help each group have some diversity balanced with having some common traits as well.
  • How many credits of Covenant Group do I need to meet the catalog requirement?
    4 for the MTS and MA degree seeking students and 6 for M.Div. students.
  • What are the requirements to receive credit?
    1) Register for the correct semester of Covenant Group [COVG 7001 = 1st semester, COVG 7002 = 2nd semester, and so on]
    2) Attend and participate; you are allowed no more than 3 absences. [attendance will be logged by a mentor or designated attendance taker online- see below] Writing papers and studying are not valid reasons to miss your Covenant Group. . Truett Seminary is committed to seeing that its students are both academically prepared and spiritually equipped to lead and to serve the Church and a world in need. Completing coursework and fully participating in Covenant Group are not competing activities but equally important components of the overall curriculum.
    3) Respectfully reflect upon your semester in the final reflection and successfully submit a final assignment according to the syllabus.
  • What if I don’t fulfill the requirements of covenant group?
    You will need to register for that semester again and take it over. You will need to speak with the spiritual formation office about joining a new group in the appropriate semester.
  • What if I forget to register for covenant group?
    You can still register for covenant group after the cut off day for registering for classes if you have been attending your covenant group. You may be charged a late registration fee. You will want to work with the Academic Advising Office on this. Any student who meets with a covenant group and is not registered for that semester or is registered for the wrong semester risks not getting credit at all for covenant group and having to take that semester over again.
  • What covenant group should I register for?
    Covenant groups build on each other and so you need to complete and receive credit for the previous semester before moving on to the next.
    Covenant Group Registration Options
    COVG 7001
    MONDAY - 12:30 - FOR COMMUTER STUDENTS ONLY
    THURSDAY - 11:00
    COVG 7002
    MONDAY - 12:30 - FOR COMMUTER STUDENTS ONLY
    THURSDAY - 11:00
    COVG 7003, 7004, 7005, 7006
    MONDAY - 12:30 - FOR COMMUTER STUDENTS ONLY THURSDAY - 12:00

Groups
  • Will I be in the same group throughout seminary?
    We do our best to keep groups together. However, sometimes there are reasons that necessitate some shuffling. Most likely you will stay with at least some of your original group members, but be prepared to be flexible and welcoming should we need to add a member to your group.
  • Is independent study an option?
    In the best case scenario you stay with your group for every semester. However, if there are extenuating circumstances such as international travel, mentoring, etc., independent study is possible. As with independent study for other courses, arrangements and approval must be made ahead of time. You must have approval and decide on curriculum with the Assistant Director of Spiritual Formation. Please note that independent studies are not granted until after 4 completed semesters of Covenant Group.
  • What if I need to drop out of Covenant Group for the semester?
    Contact the Assistant Director of Spiritual Formation to discuss your options. We highly advise that you do not skip a semester of covenant group as it will create significant challenges for all of us in the future and you will be out of sequence. We want you to have the best experience possible.
  • Can I take more than one covenant group at a time in order to finish more quickly?
    Covenant group courses can only be taken one at a time. Formation is not something that we can hurry through. It is a slow and deliberate process. Taking more than one covenant group at a time would be counter productive.
  • Can I switch covenant group times because I have to work or have a class?
    No, you should not schedule class or work that conflicts with your covenant group. No Truett classes are scheduled during the covenant group meeting times on campus. There may be some exceptions made for dual-degree students, however, which will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • Our group needs to move times to accommodate one person who cannot meet at our covenant group time. Can we do this?
    No. That one student with the conflict needs to talk to the spiritual formation office. Students should schedule work around classes, and covenant group is considered a class.
  • When do Covenant Groups meet?
    Groups meet on Mondays at 12:30 for students who commute and at 11:00 on Thursdays for 7001 and 7002 and 12:00 on Thursdays for 7003-7006 (Truett faculty meet for Covenant Group on Thursdays as well). Occasionally a 5-6th semester group may need to meet on a Wednesday or Friday and you will need to make those arrangements with the spiritual formation office.
  • Is it ok for our group to meet off-campus?
    No, all covenant groups need to meet on campus for your group meetings. The reason for this is that Covenant Group is a time of spiritual training, just as your other classes on campus are intended for theological training. You can, however, meet off campus for a meal on your own time and this is encouraged.
  • What books do I need to purchase for Covenant Group?
    The required books vary semester to semester. This is discussed at beginning of the semester at Covenant Group orientation and in your syllabus.
  • Who is responsible for leading?
    7001-7004 Covenant Groups are led by an outside mentor/leader who is responsible for leading the group each week. This is often an alumni or an upper level student. 7005-7006 groups rotate leadership or join a special topics group led by a designated leader.

Attendance
  • Who logs attendance?
    Every group will have a mentor or designated attendance taker that will have access to log attendance. However, it is everyone's responsibility to view their own attendance through BearWeb as a way to double check accuracy.
  • How can I view my attendance?
    1) Log in to Bear Web
    2) Click "Student Services & Financial Aid"
    3) Click "Student Records"
    4) Click "View Your Seminary Covenant Group Attendance"
    5) The column on the left will indicate a date for each week of the semester so far. The column on the right will indicate what was marked for you for that day.
  • What is the attendance requirement?
    No more than 3 absences are allowed. Participating and attendance in a group is crucial to the health of the group. And again, writing papers and studying are not valid reasons to miss your covenant group.
  • What if I have an absence I think should be "excused"? If we cancel Covenant Group is that an excused absence?
    It is not an excused absence if you or your leader cancels covenant group. You can schedule another time for your group to "make up" that missed date - try dinner or lunch together sometime! If you have a personal absence you believe is excused [funeral, illness, etc.] please get in touch with our office at Truett_SpiritualForm@baylor.edu as soon as possible. Waiting until the end of the semester to discuss excused absences is not advised.
  • Can I attend a meeting on campus during covenant group time and receive an excused absence?
    When students miss covenant group it makes it difficult to create community and trust. No meetings should be scheduled during covenant group times and if you do miss due to another meeting on campus, it is still considered an absence. You are allowed no more than 3 absences. There are almost no exceptions to this rule.

Other

Spiritual Formation Concentration