Disciple-making is central to the work of the Church in the world. This is the educational ministry of the Church ~ to help people as they are being formed toward the likeness of Christ. It is for this purpose that the Christian Formation and Ministry Department (CFM) of Wheaton College exists. Our mission is to facilitate the development of academically grounded, spiritually maturing, and practically skilled leaders who minister the Gospel and build up God's people in a constantly changing world. We seek to nurture wisdom and compassion in students who are becoming…
Academically grounded in that they:
- Articulate a biblical, theological, historical, and philosophical perspective of formation and ministry.
- Identify a theoretical framework for ministry context analysis.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the educational, spiritual, and ministry practices by which people mature in Christ.
Spiritually maturing in that they:
- Demonstrate a life of discipleship and spiritual growth as the foundation of effective ministry.
- Identify one's gifts and calling, responding to areas of strength and challenge in preparation for serving the needs of the church and the world.
- Respect every person, valuing the diversity of cultures, ethnicities, and traditions within the church.
Practically skilled in that they:
- Minister and teach effectively, integrating theory and scripture into creative practice with integrity, humility, and grace.
- Serve collaboratively and compassionately, balancing the needs of others with adequate self-care.
- Demonstrate the necessary skills of a ministry practitioner/scholar: critical analysis; oral communication; written communication; program evaluation.
Wheaton Passage is designed to introduce incoming first-year and transfer students to spiritual formation and to ignite the Wheaton College experience for them. Students will experience eight to eighteen days--depending on the chosen track--filled with adventure, challenge, and new friendships. They will also be part of a mentoring relationship with Wheaton College faculty from various academic departments while enjoying the beautiful setting of HoneyRock, Wheaton's Outdoor Center for Leadership Development.
Students choose either the wilderness track (a 12-day wilderness trip), the urban track (7 days living and doing ministry in Chicago), the Northwoods track (3 days at the HoneyRock campus in Northern Wisconsin) or the equestrian track (3 days at the HoneyRock campus but with program focus on equine activities and care). All tracks culminate with 5 days at HoneyRock during which time a faculty member will join each of the established small groups and lead them through a curriculum exploring various aspects of spiritual formation including identity, community, service, and life of the mind.
During the first eight weeks of the fall semester students will gather with their group and professor to reflect on their transition to college. Students will also meet with their faculty member to discuss their vision for the Wheaton College experience. This time is designed to help students transfer their learning into the context of life at Wheaton. Faculty members will help students process through transitional issues that often arise during the first semester. Through this experience, students earn 2 hours of academic credit (CFM 131 Introduction to Spiritual Formation). This course is also the first course of the Leadership Certificate.
Chair, Associate Professor Laura Barwegen
Price-LeBar Professor of Christian Education David Setran
Associate Professor Barrett McRay
Director of Wheaton Evangelism Initiative, Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, and Associate Professor Jerry Root
Director of HoneyRock, Assistant Professor Rob Ribbe
Associate Lecturer of Christian Formation and Ministry, Internship and Practicum Coordinator Dan Haase
Faculty Emeriti Scottie May, Tom Schwanda, James Wilhoit
Christian Formation and Ministry Courses
CFM 111. Foundations of Ministry. (2 Credits)
This course provides a foundation for the work of ministry through an introduction to evangelism and discipleship. Through an overview of the ministry of Jesus, students will learn the basic principles involved in the kingdom work of presenting the Gospel and making disciples in an ever changing world. Course is offered occasionally.
CFM 115. Introduction to Christian Formation and Ministry. (4 Credits)
This course is designed to introduce students to central themes and concepts in Christian Formation and Ministry, including biblical foundations, historical foundations, social science foundations and essential practices of spiritual formation, discipleship, and Christian teaching.
CFM 121. Ministry Skills: Backpacking. (1 Credit)
This course is specially designed to equip students with tools for ministry and the holistic, spiritual formation of others in a variety of contexts. Students will be fully immersed in developing backpacking skills as a means to explore how physical activity within a Christian community and in an outdoor setting can contribute to holistic formation of self and others. Students will experience a formational process in their own life through course readings, community based outdoor experiences, and critical reflection and discussion. They will also consider how to facilitate similar formational experiences for others.
CFM 122. Ministry Skills: Rock Climbing. (1 Credit)
This course is specially designed to equip students with tools for ministry and the holistic, spiritual formation of others in a variety of contexts. Students will be fully immersed in developing rock climbing as a means to explore how physical activity within a Christian community and in an outdoor setting can contribute to holistic formation of self and others. Students will experience a formational process in their own life through course readings, community based outdoor experiences, and critical reflection and discussion. They will also consider how to facilitate similar formational experiences for others.
CFM 123. Ministry Skills: Horsemanship. (1 Credit)
This course is specially desgined to equip students with tools for ministry and the holistic, spiritual formation of others in a variety of contexts. Students will be fully immersed in developing horsemanship as a means to explore how physical activity within a Christian community and in an outdoor setting can contribute to holistic formation of self and others. Students will experience a formational process in their own life through course readings, community based outdoor experiences, and critical reflection and discussion. They will also consider how to faciliate similar formational experiences for others.
CFM 124. Ministry Skills: Cross-country Skiing. (1 Credit)
This course is specially designed to equip students with tools for ministry and the holistic, spiritual formation of others in a variety of contexts. Students will be fully immersed in developing cross-country skiing as a means to explore how physical activity within a Christian community and in an outdoor setting can contribute to holistic formation of self and others. Students will experience a formational process in their own life through course readings, community based outdoor experiences, and critical reflection and discussion. They will also consider how to facilitate similar formational experiences for others.
CFM 125. Ministry Skills: Downhill Skiing. (1 Credit)
This course is specially designed to equip students with tools for ministry and the holistic, spiritual formation of others in a variety of contexts. Students will be fully immersed in developing downhill skiing as a means to explore how physical activity within a Christian community and in an outdoor setting can contribute to holistic formation of self and others. Students will experience a formational process in their own life through course readings, community based outdoor experiences, and critical reflection and discussion. They will also consider how to facilitate similar formational experiences for others.
CFM 131. Introduction to Spiritual Formation. (2 Credits)
Provides for the self-evaluation of personal faith and character and opportunities for expressing a greater commitment to life in Christ. Students choose one of four tracks - wilderness expedition, urban track, equestrian, or camp experience - which is combined with reading assignments, scripture studies, and group discussions. Open to incoming students accepted to the Wheaton Passage Wilderness, Urban, Northwoods or Equestrian programs at HoneyRock held prior to fall semester.
CFM 215. Spiritual Formation in Community. (2 Credits)
Moving beyond an individualistic focus of spiritual formation, this course engages the lived experience of being God's "called out ones". Following the framework of the weekly chapel program at the college along with the student's engagement in the local church, this course explores the experiences and best practices of how the body of Christ is formed within a communal setting. Attention is given to multicultural expressions and the diversity of styles and traditions in worship.
CFM 216. Discipleship Practicum. (1 Credit)
Integrating the theories learned in the classroom with involvement in a campus sponsored ministry, students will participate in a leadership role approved by the CFM Department. The practicum includes a summative assignment in which students consider the links between ministry principles, personal spiritual formation, and practical skills. Practica may be repeated up to a maximum of four times for credit. Graded pass/fail.
CFM 222. Teaching for Transformation. (4 Credits)
This course examines historical educational theory and processes as well as current learning theory in order to create transformational experiences to promotes an individual's spiritual growth. Methods of teaching, the role of the Holy Spirit, basic curriculum design, character of the teacher, and biblical genres are considered.
CFM 223. Human Development and Ministry. (4 Credits)
Explores the application of human development and other social science theory and research to Christian Education. Spiritual development through the lifespan is highlighted, as well as the importance of understanding social context and organizational dynamics for effective ministry.
CFM 224. Christian Spiritual Practices. (2 Credits)
An introduction to Christian Spiritual Formation as the integration of theological understanding, faith, and spiritual practice. This laboratory course in spiritual formation explores the relational, spiritual, and missional practices of the Christian life - Christian formation in community and service to the world (e.g., corporate worship, spiritual friendship, spiritual direction, small group accountability, hospitality, evangelism, compassion, social justice, creation care). Students will study, practice, and theologically reflect on these as biblical, historical, and psychological perspectives are brought to bear on the experience of class members individually and in the context of congregational leadership.
CFM 231. Evangelism. (2 Credits)
Provides an overview of the Gospel, Great Commission, and Great Commandment. Emphasis is given to surveying the tools needed for the task of world evangelism with emphasis on personal preparation for one-to-one evangelism within a variety of contexts.
CFM 232. Spiritual Guidance and Discernment. (2 Credits)
This course is designed as a practicum experience in Christian spiritual guidance and discernment. Out-of-class attention will be given to a protestant interaction with the spiritual exercises of Ignatius Loyola and the experience of meeting with a spiritual guide or listener. In-class lectures will entail seminar format discussion and debriefing of class readings and practices as they pertain to guidance and discernment.
CFM 234. Youth Ministry. (4 Credits)
This course introduces students to the theories and practices of ministry with adolescents, including biblical and theological foundations, developmental and socio-cultural theories and research, historical and contemporary models of youth ministry, and the development of a philosophy of youth ministry. Course is offered occasionally.
CFM 241. Leadership Development. (4 Credits)
This course will develop students' leadership potential for a life of kingdom service. Students will understand and critically assess their personal leadership and develop an integrated philosophy of leadership. This philosophy will be implemented and assessed during the summer as students create formational experiences in an adventurous setting, discipling campers for God's mission back home. This course is offered each summer at HoneyRock as part of the Leadership Certificate.
CFM 251. Ministry Practicum. (0 Credits)
Integrating the theories learned in the classroom with the practices of ministry, students will participate in a specific ministry context approved by the CFM Internship Coordinator and their faculty advisor. The practicum includes a summative assignment in which students consider the links between ministry principles, personal spiritual formation, and practical skills. Graded pass/fail.
CFM 258. Dialogue Education. (4 Credits)
This course promotes Christian growth through educational design and evaluation. Methods of teaching, curriculum development, and the character of the teacher are explored (with particular attention given to Dialogue Education™). Course is offered occasionally.
CFM 259. Topics in Christian Formation and Ministry. (2 or 4 Credits)
Examines ministry concerns, problems, and trends in light of a holistic Christian Education theory.
CFM 331. Teaching the Bible. (2 Credits)
Designed to acquaint students, through both theory and practice, with the principles of effective biblical instruction. Methods of interpretation and literary aspects of the Bible are emphasized.
CFM 333. Student Care in College Ministry. (2 Credits)
An introduction to the basic concepts and skills involved in the student care aspect of residence life ministry at Wheaton, including a brief overview of historic and biblical foundations for caring ministry, categories of student struggle most commonly experienced in college residence life ministry, rudimentary person-to-person helping skills, and small group supervision. This course is limited to residence assistants.
CFM 334. Theological and Historical Foundations. (4 Credits)
Using the principles of biblical hermeneutics, the course explores God’s mission from the Philistines of Abraham and David’s time in the Old Testament, to Jesus’ ministry amongst the marginalized in New Testament Palestine. This process develops an appreciation of theological reflection in Christian community that will affect the student’s ministry vocation. Furthermore, the course explores key persons and movements in the expansion of the Christian church from early monasticism and the Celtic Church, to Moravianism and Methodism. Our missiological reinterpretation of church history will focus on the dynamics of the expansion such as the Spirit’s renewal, structure of mission, role of leadership, and implications for contemporary strategies of mission. This process develops an appreciation of historio-missiological reflection in Christian community that will affect the student’s vocation call. In addition, students will grow in historical knowledge, practice historical reasoning, and develop an awareness of their own historical context as they practice historical reflection with application. Prerequisite: None. Pre or Corequisite: None.
CFM 337. Compassion in Ministry. (2 Credits)
Compassion is central to effective ministry leadership. This course introduces students to the types of human suffering encountered by those in ministry leadership and to rudimentary skills for responding effectively. We will consider biblical, historical and contemporary models for compassion in ministry. Only one of CFM 337 and CFM 339 may be taken for credit. Mainly taught at HoneyRock.
CFM 339. Compassion and Crisis Ministry: Responding to Trauma and Suffering. (4 Credits)
Introduction to the basic concepts and skills involved in ministry responses to trauma and suffering. Course content will include an overview of the historic ministry of soul care, biblical foundations for crisis ministry, major categories of human suffering and trauma across cultures and contexts, and rudimentary compassion and crisis ministry skills. Only one of CFM 337 and CFM 339 may be taken for credit. Mainly taught on campus.
CFM 359. Discipleship. (4 Credits)
This course prepares lay ministers to be disciples of Jesus Christ and to learn various ways of making disciples. The course explores various discipleship models, examines Scripture for discipleship directives, and engages in contemporary experiences of discipleship within the local church. While we probe the knowledge of God and the knowledge of self, the course will help students understand and embrace the calling to be a disciple of Jesus and to help others become disciples of Him. This course is a requirement for the undergraduate major and for the Discipleship Certificate in the Christian Formation & Ministry department.
CFM 401. Ministry with Children. (2 Credits)
Examines the nature and spirituality of children in light of biblical, theological, and developmental perspectives. Analyzes current ministry practices in light of global, cultural, and contextual trends. Also focuses on the faith experiences of children. Curriculum and ministry management will also be discussed. Course is offered occasionally.
CFM 402. The Church as Family. (2 Credits)
Examines ministry to the family in light of the family of God. This includes studying family as a social system, the theology of family, and marriage and family development, in order to prepare students to understand these dynamics within their own families of origin, in the families of those to whom they minister, and the impact of these on their ability to be effective ministers. Course is offered occasionally.
CFM 412. Ministry Practicum. (2 Credits)
This is an experience-based course designed to provide students an opportunity to implement leadership concepts and theories and develop their own leadership qualities through direct experience and team development. Graded: pass/fail
CFM 414. Ministry with Children and Families. (2 Credits)
See CFM 613. Course is offered occasionally.
CFM 416. Spiritual Formation in the College Years. (2 Credits)
Emphasizes the developmental, cultural, and spiritual dynamics of the college years, looking specifically at implications for Christian discipleship. Examines the key components of collegiate formation (spiritual formation, identity development, vocational exploration, relationships and sexuality, mentoring, and church participation) and the processes of Christian formation in each domain. Course is offered occasionally.
CFM 418. Apologetics in a Global Context. (2 Credits)
Examines apologetics as the study and practice of establishing the plausibility of the Christian faith within particular cultures and contexts. Explores various philosophical and cultural frameworks for apologetics and then applies them to modernist, postmodern, multi-ethnic and global contexts and questions. Course is offered occasionally.
CFM 421. Philosophy of Ministry. (4 Credits)
Integrates various academic disciplines into a logical philosophy of ministry by studying major foundational concepts and issues of Christian Formation & Ministry.
CFM 422. Designing for Transformational Learning. (4 Credits)
Utilizing curriculum theory, human development, and philosophy of ministry, students will explore how these theories and practices shape and support an individual's spiritual formation through the development of sound curriculum design and evaluation. Includes preparation of curriculum scope and sequence, development of lesson plans, design of evaluation instruments, and an explanation of how these strategies affect the learning experience. Course is offered occasionally.
CFM 452. Camp Ministry. (2 or 4 Credits)
Provides a study of and involvement in the use of a camping environment for the growth and development of people. Special attention is given to program philosophy and principles for designing, conducting, and evaluating an effective camp ministry for young people. Offered at HoneyRock. Course is offered occasionally.
CFM 457. Christian Proclamation. (2 Credits)
This course is designed to help the student understand an prepare for the unique kinds of verbal communication required of the Christian Educator. It will have components related to communication theory and application of such theory to the ministry context. It will have components related to understanding and discerning many forms of speaking unique to a ministry context particularly situated to the church environment but having applications beyond the local church; these will include: introductions, funerals, weddings, preaching, teaching, conducting meetings, etc. The course will also explore the unique and valuable aspects of narrative, illustration and story as they facilitate the communication endeavor of the Christian Educator. It will also provide limited opportunity for oral presentation and critique. Course is offered occasionally.
CFM 459. Advanced Study in Christian Formation and Ministry. (2 or 4 Credits)
Provides small group study of special areas of interest in Christian Formation and Ministry. Topics will vary from term to term. Prerequisite: junior/senior standing or permission of instructor.
CFM 461. Leadership in Christian Ministry. (2 Credits)
Involves a study of organizational structures and administrative procedures which are useful in Christian Formation and Ministry programs. Emphasis will be given to the management of resources such as time, personnel, and information.
CFM 472. Adventure Challenge Ministry. (4 Credits)
Explores the theory of experiential education and its ministry applications through the medium of engaging adventure challenge experiences. Includes the role of facilitative leadership, group and individual problem solving, and disciplined reflection in promoting Christian maturity in others. Offered at HoneyRock.
CFM 494. Ministry in Culture. (4 Credits)
The Core Curriculum Capstone Experience allows students to pursue deep integration of their major and the concepts they have explored throughout the entire Christ at the Core curriculum. The Capstone Experience also considers how the First Year Seminar, Advanced Integrative Seminar, and coursework in their major prepares them for their vocation after Wheaton. This capstone engages students in ethnographic research while deepening intercultural competency as they prepare to be ministers of the Gospel. It enables students to reflect upon their practical ministry experiences and therefore is taken after or concurrent with the internship in the major. This course, in combination with CFM 496: Internship meets the general education Christ at the Core graduation requirement. Prerequisites: CORE 101, CFM 115, HNGR 114, AIS course; prerequisite or concurrent with CFM 496.
General Education: SHAR
CFM 495. Independent Study. (1 to 4 Credits)
Focuses on field or library research according to individual interests and competencies in Christian Formation and Ministry.
CFM 496. Internship. (0 Credits)
Provides practical experience under supervision in a setting appropriate to the student's major interests. Prerequisites: junior standing and a minimum of 16 hours completed in Christian Formation and Ministry including background courses appropriate to the internship setting. Graded pass/fail.
CFM 497. Internship Seminar. (2 Credits)
Provides student debriefing on their internship experiences from several perspectives while making preparations for post-graduation plans. (CFM 496 is a prerequisite, but with approval from the Internship Coordinator, a concurrent enrollment is allowed.) Graded pass/fail.