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 worship we participate in the vocation common to all Christian communities, and carry on the liturgy: the corporate work of the people of God. More particularly, worship at Bexley Seabury contibutes to the academic preparation and spiritual formation of persons involved in ordained and lay ministry within the Episcopal Church. Still further, whether for worship, learning or fellowship, in both Chicago and Columbus the Bexley Seabury community intentionally and routinely gathers with people of other faith and belief communities. We worship as a whole community—students, faculty and staff—to affirm that praising and serving God is the foundation for our studies and for our corporate life.

The particular focus of our community on preparation for ministry brings certain secondary functions of our worship into prominence.

  • Through worship, we step away from our busy and fragmented lives so we may recollect what we are about and find our lives, individually and corporately, re-centered in God.
  • Through worship, we deepen our vocational commitments as we cultivate the habits and spiritual dispositions necessary for faithful service.
  • Through 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.
  • Through 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 love of learning and the desire for God mutually reinforce each other in the life of Bexley Seabury students. At the Chicago site, whether we gather face-to-face in our weekend and intensive classes, or virtually in our online 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 Bexley Seabury experience a rich variety of spiritual practices and disciplines, which are in turn deepened and sustained by students’ interactions with each other both in the classroom and in chapel. We eat together, pray together, study together, and share stories. All our actions are directed at forming a teaching-learning-praying community sustained as much online as it is in person.

 

Formation in Columbus

Bexley Seabury in Colubus is a residential community, but includes many commuting students. Our common life is organized around frequent opportunities to reflect upon our corporate actions in order to discern the workings of the Spirit in our ministries and in our daily interactions. All students are enrolled in Anglican Formation, which provides time each week for us to examine our lives, reflect on where we are moving (or lingering) and discern the implications. In addition, the entire community takes time out for two retreats each year when we set aside the busy-ness of our lives for a day or two to focus on the work of the Spirit. All students 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 in 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.