What is Christian Formation?
There are many ways to envision the spiritual progression of the Christian, both theologically and developmentally.
Defining Christian formation is not easy. “Christian” designates the faith perspective, and “formation” implies improvement. Thus Christian Formation refers to the spiritual progress of Christians, and ways to encourage that growth process. Yet there are many ways to envision the spiritual life of the Christian, both theologically and developmentally.
Historically, the roots of the Christian formation program are in Christian education, which continues to be the name of Wheaton's undergraduate program. Yet, in addition to education, this area of study also includes the experience of God and a developing relationship with Him, the result of one's cooperation with God's grace. Furthermore, spiritual formation does not exclusively consider the individual, but also includes relationships and worship in the broader faith community (the church), particularly as that community mirrors the relationality of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.