The "one another" (alleÂ¯loÂ¯n) imperatives found in the New Testament provide a way for Christians to more accurately explain and understand how "the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love" (Eph 4:16). The reciprocal nature and outcome of the interactions between and among members of the body of Christ parallels the way in which developmentalists describe the reciprocal development that occurs when developing persons interact with one another across a variety of social encounters. The article will explore how developmental interactionists describe developmental reciprocity, how the New Testament "one another" imperatives mirror this reciprocity in the body of Christ, and how knowledge of such reciprocal interactions helps us better understand the ingredients necessary to facilitate our own and one another's spiritual development.
This article sets forth a model of student spiritual formation in Christian distance education that integrates the biblical concept of spiritual development that takes place within the spiritual ecology of the church as the body of Christ with Bronfenbrenner's Ecology of Human Development theory. The ecosystems model views spiritual formation as an ecological phenomenon whether the ecosystem exists in physical, spiritual, or cyberspace environments, thereby offering evidence for the possibility of student spiritual formation in Christian distance education settings regardless of physical proximity.
An analysis of eight hundred and two participants in theological education through distance learning, this article explores who enrolls in doctoral programs, their reasons for enrollment, and what these students identify as the advantages of doing theological education through distance-mediated programs.
Part Two of this articles offers discussion of student-documented weaknesses of these same doctoral programs.