There are many great classes at Nyack College, but there are a few that stand out as the most talked-about and legendary classes among students. This school year I was able to be apart of these highly rumored classes. Of course, I told you earlier about my cross-cultural adjustment class filled with adventure and practical preparation for living cross-culturally. But, this semester I have been taking another famous class at Nyack known as Personal Spiritual Formation.
The class is a requirement for any ministry major, (Intercultural Studies, Youth Ministry, and Pastoral Ministry) and taught by none other than the spiritual parents of Nyack College: Ron and Wanda Walborn. The class is formatted to prepare students for ministry by reconciling their past and basically preparing them to have an emotionally healthy spirituality. This may sound complicated, but having almost completed the class, I can see the need for this class for many students, myself included. In this class I became wholly aware of my brokenness, and came to experience a deeper tenderness with Christ.
This class was hard, but was surely worth it. Each student is placed in a small group with two spiritual directors who are often staff members or come from local churches. The once-a-week class is set up so the first part is spent in a group lecture, and then you split into your smaller groups. These groups require much vulnerability and trust amongst members as we discuss our past and share our struggles. I have been in many Bible studies and church groups before, but never experienced such genuine community as I have through this class. The greatest culmination of all of this is a weekend retreat which the entire class and all the leaders must attend.
This retreat is where many of those crazy stories come in of students experiences, but I can tell you now these are out of context. Having just attended this retreat this past weekend I can only account for the amazing ways in which God met me there and worked in every single person who was there. I was afraid before going, but now know that everything done on this trip was to deepen our relationship with God and allowed us to see what beautiful and true Christian community looks like. I have never felt so much freedom and encouragement as on this short trip. We learned and developed many Christian disciplines, and it was stretching, but all in all a huge blessing. This is truly more than just another class, but a source of freedom for many past and current Nyack students. God has used this class to change lives, and I believe change the world through these students and their ministries.