A: Covenant Groups are subsets of the Spiritual Formation courses. When you register for your initial Spiritual Formation course, you will be placed in a smaller subset as part of the course: the covenant group. The Spiritual Formation Office uses the Truett Seminary Covenant Group Placement Questionnaire
to inform these decisions. We try to balance affinity with diversity, allowing for common points of connection and ordinary human difference. The covenant group is a microcosm of the body of Christ, a place where we learn from one another how to love our brothers and sisters in Christian fellowship.
Q: Will I be in the same group throughout my seminary experience?
A: That is the ideal. We have found that continuity optimizes the experience for the group. However, this ideal is not always realized. As you can imagine, good reasons could justify a change to a group, or extenuating circumstances could arise, resulting in a shift. Please be flexible, welcoming, and hospitable should a new member join your group. Also, please help us by doing what you can to maintain continuity not only for yourself, but for your colleagues.
Q: Is independent study an option?
A: Independent study is an option in extenuating circumstances such as international travel, mentoring, etc. Arrangements and approval for independent study is coordinated by the Assistant Director of Spiritual Formation.
Q: Can I take more than one Spiritual Formation course at a time in order to finish more quickly? Would that work with my covenant group experience?
A: No. Each semester builds on the previous semester. Spiritual formation is a process that unfolds over time, often slowly. We ask that you plan your course of study with the intent to take each of the Spiritual Formation courses in sequence, alongside and with the peers in your covenant group.
Q: When do covenant groups meet?
A: Groups meet during the appointed hour for class in accordance with the course syllabus.
Q: Is it OK for a covenant group to meet off campus?
A: We ask that covenant groups meet on campus. In the event of an emergency involving one of the members of your group, a representative from the Spiritual Formation Office will seek out and communicate with your group. We designate rooms for covenant group meetings for this purpose—student safety, accountability, and consistency. However, we do encourage groups to meet off campus for a meal outside of the time designated for class instruction to strengthen fellowship and deepen friendships.
Q: What books do I need to purchase for covenant group?
A: The required books for each semester are specified in each course syllabus.
Other Questions Pertaining to Spiritual Formation
Q: I have heard Truett trains people for the ministry of spiritual direction. What is spiritual direction?
A: Spiritual direction is a form of Christian ministry with a long history in the Christian tradition. A Christian spiritual director helps individuals and groups pay attention to God through prayer, holy listening, questions, and loving presence. Spiritual direction may be helpful in discernment, in learning to notice God in daily life, in clarifying areas for potential spiritual growth, and in developing a vocabulary of faith. Spiritual direction is meant to help the directee know God more fully, follow God more faithfully, and increase in confidence in the love of God.
Q: I am interested in finding a spiritual director. Can you help me?
A: Yes. The Spiritual Formation Office maintains a list of spiritual directors in the area.
Q: Can you help me find a professional counselor?
A: Yes, we can. Truett students have access to counseling services for students at no additional cost through Baylor’s Counseling Center. The list of counselors is found on Baylor’s website, or you can stop by the Spiritual Formation Office or the Student Services Office to receive more information. A professional counselor may help you navigate a crisis, offer direction if you are suffering mental illness, pursue a personal growth goal, or provide a space for good self-care. The Spiritual Formation Office can also help you pastorally by giving guidance on whether a professional counselor may best serve you regarding your specific need.
Q: Are there retreats or retreat centers in the area?
A: Yes. When we are aware of retreat opportunities, we pass information along to students on Canvas, Facebook, or by posting information outside the Spiritual Formation Office. We can also provide information about retreat centers in the state of Texas. Contact the Assistant Director of Spiritual Formation for more information.
Spiritual Formation Concentration