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#26: The Role of Spiritual Disciplines and Directors in Spiritual Formation

My guest today is Dr. Nita Kotiuga, Director of Spiritual Formation at Bakke Graduate University. Nita began to think seriously about being formed in the image of Christ during her college years while involved with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. She then served on InterVarsity staff for six years, sharing with students what she had learned about developing intimacy with Christ. So interested was she in understanding and living in light of biblical truth that she went on to earn graduate degrees in theology and spiritual formation, which have positioned her well for her current role. 

In this podcast we discuss:

  • What is “spiritual formation”?
  • What are “spiritual disciplines”?
  • How these differ from works that earn or merit God’s love or grace
  • Why desperation in her spiritual life drove her to explore spiritual formation
  • What a “spiritual director” is and is not
  • How Scripture came “alive” to her
  • Why Protestants have been wary of spiritual direction 
  • The benefits of having a spiritual director
  • The centrality of Scripture in the Ignatian method of spiritual direction 
  • How skiing helped Stan understand our and God’s roles in spiritual formation
  • How teaching her kids to swim helped Nita understand our and God’s roles in spiritual formation
  • How to enter into the stories of the Bible, and why it is important to do so
  • The importance of journaling  and the best way to do so
  • Watching TV and movies as a way to enter into God’s story
  • Disciplines of abstinance and of engagement
  • The relationship between disciplines and different temptations or seasons in our lives
  • The results of spiritual formation
  • How to be sure a spiritual director is “legit”
  • Spiritual disciplines students should consider beginning with
  • The value of examining your day each night  before going to sleep
  • What to do if practicing spiritual disciplines isn’t “working” for you  

Resources mentioned during our conversation:

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