Christian Spirituality

[version 2023.05]


SW1002 Spiritual Formation

This course explores the dynamics of spiritual maturity and personal growth, both for personal enrichment and to enable others in their journey of faith. Various spiritual practices are introduced in the course, plus a 3-day guided personal retreat. Students are required to pay an additional fee for the retreat.


SW2000 Paths of Prayer

This course is about the practice and theological principles of Christian prayer. Prayer is a communication and communion with God deep in one’s soul. Because one can only learn to pray by praying, this course emphasizes practice and experience. Through the learning and practice of various prayer methods, students are guided to experience this spiritual encounter, deepening their relationship with God and transforming their lives.


SW2018/DK2002 Spirituality and Diakonia

See DK2002.


SW2021 Emotions & Spirituality

From the perspectives of Christian spirituality and psychology, this course explores the relationship between emotions and spiritual growth/direction. The goal is to enable students to discern the messages in emotions, and give constructive responses, leading to a vital spiritual life. Emphasis is given to understanding and dealing with negative emotions, such as anger, fear, shame and guilt.


SW2025 Christian Spiritual Traditions

This course is designed to help the student understand the various traditions and development of Christian spirituality (including Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Protestant churches). Selective reading of spiritual classics is arranged to grasp the unique characters of certain traditions, drawing treasures for the contemporary church.


SW2026 Practice of Spiritual Direction

This course is designed is to equip students to master the essence and skills of spiritual direction, in order to facilitate effectively the divine-human relationship of spiritual seekers. The definition, principles, and different approaches of spiritual direction, particularly its relationship with counseling are also introduced.


SW2027/PT2062 Spirituality Workshop and Silent Retreat

Drawing on insights and practices from Christian traditions and contemporary approaches on spirituality, this course aims to enhance students’ personal growth and transformation. The relationship between spirituality and ministry will be explored as well. This course includes a 4-day guided silent retreat. Students are required to pay an additional fee for the retreat and spiritual direction during the retreat.


SW2028/CP2000 Life Development and Spiritual Growth

See CP2000.


SW2029 Ignatian Spirituality and Discernment

Based on Spiritual Exercises, this course investigates the principles, characteristics and practice of Ignatian spirituality, with special focus on discernment. Experiential learning is emphasized, so that students may better appropriate the learning to benefit both their spiritual lives and ministries in spiritual formation/direction. The course includes a 4 day/3 night guided retreat with spiritual direction. Students are required to pay an additional fee for the retreat.


SW2030 Exploring Eastern Orthodox Spirituality

Students will study the principal characteristics of Eastern Orthodox Spirituality, and explore its wisdom as a resource for the contemporary church.


SW3004/DM3010 Spirituality and Theology of Icons

This course is designed to gain an appreciation of symbolism and art in the Eastern Christian tradition. In order to be able to interpret icons and their theology, the course will critically analyze and reflect upon the theology of icons in historical figures and modern theologians.


SW3005/DM3011 Apophatic Theology and Centering Prayer

Through the spiritual classics of Christian mystics, this course explores the relationship, fundamental meaning and historical development of apophatic/negative theology and contemplative tradition. The learning and practice of centering prayer is a significant component of the course. The purpose is to help students realize that centering prayer is an effective way to deepen the spiritual life of Christians, and to integrate the contemplative tradition into church ministry.


SW3006/DM3012/HT3004 Women Mysticism and Mystics

Mysticism was one of the only medieval fields of religious expression that was open to women and, in fact, a good part of medieval mystics were women. Thus, the course is designed to study medieval female mystics and their roles as spiritual and moral guides. The course will also investigate how religious men and women collaborated together in shaping medieval spirituality.


SW3017/OT3016/NT3020 Bible and Spirituality

This course explores some main themes of the Bible, including the image of God, Christian anthropology, and divine-human relationship, from the perspective of spirituality. How to let the Word of God be a tool for life transformation is a focus. The course also explores how to apply the knowledge into one’s ministry context.


SW3018/DM3014 Theology of Christian Spirituality

This course examines some foundational theological themes, such as the Trinity, Christology, divine grace and human work, the Holy Spirit, or sanctification, and explores their relevance for Christian spirituality. The study will deduce general directives by which students can be guided in their spiritual formation.


SW3019 Spiritual Direction Practicum

Students of the Spiritual Direction Programs are required to complete practicum and supervision. Prerequisites for this course include: the completion of five core courses and permission from the Program Coordinator. Supervision is conducted both in small group and individual formats. Students are required to pay an additional cost for individual supervision.


SW4000 Study Tour: Spirituality of the Eastern Orthodox Church

Spiritual formation is a distinctive characteristic of the Eastern Orthodox Church which adheres very much to the God-centered principle, with emphasis on therapeutic treatment and heart cleansing etc. This tour offers an opportunity for participants to enrich their knowledge and understanding of the tradition of Orthodox Spirituality by personal experience in the Orthodox countries.