“The glory of God is a human being fully alive.”
Goals and Approach
The Institute for Spiritual Formation at Talbot School of Theology and Biola University is a community of faculty and students dedicated to deepening their experience of the New Covenant life in the Spirit on the basis of the finished work of Christ on the Cross. It is a community intent upon the life of prayer, openness to God's will in all things, desiring only what God by the Spirit would provide, and allowing His life to penetrate and fill our very own. Additionally, all faculty, staff and students adhere to the doctrinal statement of Biola University.
The goal of all training at ISF is to form a community that will help students grow in their capacity to:
Know themselves honestly and openly before God and one another in truth.
Cultivate intimacy and obedience to Christ.
Care for souls through the loving power of the Holy Spirit.
All of our programs are fashioned along the lines of an Apprentice Training Model, which aims to facilitate personal growth through various experiences, including:
Experiential-relational soul work employing the spiritual disciplines within courses along with co-curricular activity in personal spiritual direction, various retreats, individual psychotherapy and community experiences.
In-depth theoretical and integrative course work employing theology and the creation disciplines such as philosophy, psychology, the arts and education to aid in understanding the spiritual life and mentoring.
Training and service opportunities in spiritual direction and mentoring, which vary in nature, intensity and duration depending on the program.
Community and connection provided by fostering relationships between students, as well as with mentoring faculty and staff, which provide numerous opportunities to interact within group settings.
Whether your goal is full-time pastoral ministry, spiritual direction, teaching and preaching or simply one-on-one discipleship, ISF has a program to prepare you to understand and live out your calling. The goal is to provide an education that stimulates both mind and heart and trains students in practical ministry.
Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Soul Care
56 units; 2 1/2 to 3 years
Master of Arts with Emphasis in Spiritual Formation
49 units; 2 to 3 years
Master of Divinity with an Emphasis in Spiritual Formation
79 units; 3 1/2 to 4 years
Certificate in Spiritual Formation
26 units; 1 to 2 years