An Episcopal Center for Learning & Discipleship

Worship & Formation

Formation

Spiritual formation is integral to the Bexley Seabury curriculum.  This formation occurs in particular courses and in our corporate worship life.

The principal purpose of the worship conducted at Bexley Seabury is to praise and serve the triune God.  In this way we participate in the vocation common to all Christian communities.  The round of worship conducted across both sites and with Trinity Lutheran Seminary is our liturgy: the corporate work of the people of God.  Within the all-encompassing vocation of praise and service, the community at Bexley Seabury has a more specific focus: the academic preparation and spiritual formation of persons involved in ordained and lay ministry within the Episcopal Church and through intentional ecumenical collaboration.  Thus, we worship together as an academic community of faculty, staff, and students.  In doing so, we affirm that the work of praising and serving God is the foundation for our studies and for our corporate life in its entirety.

The particular focus of our community on preparation for ministry brings certain secondary functions of our worship into prominence.  These include the following:

  • In worship, our busy and fragmented lives can stop for a moment so we may recollect what we are about and find our lives, individually and corporately, re-centered in God.
  • In our worship, our vocational commitments can deepen as we cultivate the habits and spiritual dispositions necessary for faithful service.
  • In our worship, we may be enabled by God to bear one another’s burdens and to uphold one another even in our differences as we pray for each other and for the world.
  • In our worship, opportunities can be provided for students to plan, participate in, and grow to appreciate services representing the diverse liturgical traditions that contribute to contemporary Anglicanism.

 

Formation in Chicago:  The Seabury Experience

The love of learning and the desire for God mutually reinforce each other in the life of Bexley Seabury students.  In the Seabury programs at the Chicago site, whether we gather face-to-face in our weekend and intensive classes, or virtually in our on-line interactions, all that we do academically and intellectually is grounded in the spiritual life.  Many if not most of our DMin and Anglican Studies students are already active in lay and ordained ministries.  They bring to their Seabury experience a rich variety of spiritual practices and disciplines, which are in turn deepened and sustained by students’ interaction with each other both in classroom and in chapel. We eat together, pray together, study together, and share each other’s stories.  All our actions are directed at forming a learning and praying community sustainable as much on-line as it is in person.

 

Formation in Columbus: The Bexley Experience

As a residential community, but with many commuting students, the Bexley Hall program is designed to encourage frequent student reflection upon our actions in order to discern the workings of the Spirit in our ministries and common life.  All students are enrolled in Anglican Formation, where each week we examine our lives and take the needed time to reflect and discern.  We do this in many ways, through readings and spiritual practices.  In addition, the entire Bexley Hall community takes two retreats each year where we set aside the busyness of our lives for a day or two to focus on the work of the Spirit in our lives.  All students, by virtue of being matriculated, are members of the Bexley Society. The Society gathers each Wednesday after the community Eucharist to discuss and learn practical aspects of ministry, often from practitioners from the local community.

Through service to the community and in our practices of hospitality—such as the Fall Cookout and the Thursday Common Meal—we  learn the importance of fellowship in the life of the Church.  In addition, each student is required to complete at least one year of Field Education in a parish or other ministry setting.  Most students also complete one unit of Clinical Pastoral Education in the summer after their Junior year at an accredited Chaplaincy site, where issues of pastoral identity and practice are explored and developed.