Spiritual Formation is foundational to who we are. At ACOM we invest in the development of the whole person. You are more than what you know or can do.
For ACOM, the learning process is not simply intellectual - it is about spiritual transformation. We care about the individual you are becoming and here’s why: we know that healthy, sustainable and effective graduates will be well grounded spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, physically and socially.
We want you to be successful for the long haul and we know that students who have performed the challenging inner work of spiritual formation are more likely to adapt, survive and thrive when things in life go wrong. Personal disasters can be faithforming or faith-destroying. In our experience, what makes the difference is your connection to God, found through deep spiritual formation and spiritual disciplines.
To lead spiritual transformation, leaders must first be transformed themselves. We don’t just run classes on formation; we help each student explore their own personal journey of self-awareness, social development, spiritual understanding and faith surrender.
This process is a transformational journey - going deep to be released for personal mission. To engage in spiritual formation is to commit to the journey of becoming deeply faithful, spiritually minded, self-aware and resilient, connecting our heads, hearts and hands in transforming ourselves and our world.
The Key Elements of Spiritual Formation
Formation groups focus on spiritual formation, character formation and ministry formation. These are groups of ACOM students led by a trained ACOM facilitator known as a Formation Director. At the beginning of each academic year, an SF retreat is held in each state to launch the formation groups. In this retreat a secure and confidential covenant of trust is agreed upon which builds group life and aids in life story sharing together. Students consistently report that the retreat and the ongoing process is a most wonderful experience. The group continues to meet regularly through the year and the formation director nurtures the life of the group. Following the retreat the groups meet for a further 30 hours spread over the year to October. These hours form part of the required hours for SF units and therefore all scheduled meetings are mandatory. For students who are unable to attend the retreat due to distance restrictions there is a remote option available.
Spiritual Mentoring is a vital component in establishing and maintaining health for long term ministry. It is an essential discipline that enhances spiritual maturity, self-care and wisdom making. Each student will select a personal mentor, and the mentor and student will meet regularly to set and achieve specific growth goals. Each student meets with his or her mentor for a minimum of 10 hours throughout the year.
Both the group work and mentoring relationship are undergirded with 10 sessions of online curriculum on formation topics which are completed during the year. A forum is also established which provides broad exposure to all formation students in the country. The curriculum covers themes such as personal life story, self-awareness, and emotional, vocational, relational and spiritual maturity.