Letter from Spiritual Formation

Dear Incoming Truett Student,

We are so happy that you have elected to come to Truett Seminary. We think you will find Truett Seminary a warm and welcoming Christian community in which you will be challenged to grow both academically and spiritually. The spiritual formation program at Truett is based on small group discipleship. These small groups are made up of six to eight students who meet weekly for prayer and spiritual formation. Students stay together within their group for their entire time at seminary. This allows them to build strong bonds of spiritual trust and an environment of encouragement and growth throughout their Truett experience.

Each semester the focus of the group changes so that students are exposed to the challenge of reshaping their lives around their commitment to Jesus Christ in a variety of ways and situations. You, as a first year student, will be exposed to basic spiritual disciplines including prayer, community and the use of silence in the spiritual life.

Your spiritual formation program for each semester will include reading a book, practicing the different spiritual disciplines found within the book and then sharing about that experience with your covenant group. You will also practice these disciplines with your group as you meet each week. You will be given the name of the book at the first covenant group orientation (look for an email with your covenant group orientation dates) so that you may be able to purchase it. Most first and second semester groups have an outside leader or mentor to help the group along. They act as a guide for your meeting times together in which you will read Scripture and pray. You are also encouraged to meet your group occasionally for lunch or other outside fellowship time, to help you further develop community with each other. Most first and second semester covenant groups meet at 9:30am on Thursdays at Truett (except for those groups that are for commuter students or dual-degree students). We suggest allotting five hours a week for spiritual formation. This time will include one hour per week in Chapel, one hour per week in your covenant group, and thirty minutes, five days a week, for covenant group readings and prayer. You must receive credit at the end of each of the six semesters of covenant groups as part of the basic requirements for graduation and the M.Div. degree.

Please make sure you complete this Covenant Group Questionnaire. This will help us in placing you in a group. You will also need to purchase and read Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas (you can also purchase the Kindle edition). We will discuss this book at the New Student Orientation and you will also reflect upon the information learned in the book in your first assignment for covenant group (and again in your final). This book describes nine distinct spiritual temperaments. In one or more of them, you will see yourself and the ways you most naturally express your relationship with God. Please take the short quiz with each chapter to help you identify which temperament most reflects you at this time. We will discuss these during our time in new student orientation. We look forward to getting to know you next semester!

Tiffani Harris
Assistant Director of Spiritual Formation, Truett Seminary