Connecting Spiritual Formation and Adult Learning Theory: An Examination of Common Principles

From: Volume 14, Issue 2: Fall 2017, Equipping Church Members for Ministry Pages 247-269


In the realm of Christian education, the topic of adult spiritual formation has been broadly considered from the philosophical, theological, and practical viewpoints in order to aid spiritual formation practitioners in the design and execution of spiritual formation endeavors. Paralleling this body of literature is the vast topic of adult learning theory, examining the various ways adults learn. While the two disciplines seem to have potential commonalities, few works overtly identify them. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate connections between principles of spiritual formation and principles of adult learning theory found in the literature that have not previously been articulated, focusing on missional spiritual formation and the adult learning theories of andragogy and
transformative learning.

Keywords: Spiritual formation, discipleship, missional discipleship, adult learning theory, andragogy, transformative learning theory.



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