Spiritual Formation

Sterling strives to develop leaders

We recognize at Sterling College that to be Christian, all of life must be Christ-centered in spirit and content. Studying calculus or teaching literature; typing or answering phones; raising money or cleaning campus buildings; participating in competitive athletics or starting a business; building a Habitat for Humanity house or designing an advertisement--these activities can be just as Christian as studying the Bible or attending a worship service. Our thoughts, our actions, our perspectives regarding the world, and our commitment to service are all parts of a Christian life. Thus the "Christian dimension" at Sterling College is, in essence, its ultimate mission.

Sterling College is deeply concerned about the spiritual growth of each individual student, staff, and faculty member. Many formal and informal opportunities for Bible study, prayer, and fellowship are found on campus, in addition to local church services.

Spiritual Formation Mission Statement for students, staff, and faculty

Jesus Christ calls all people to follow him now, and the mission of Sterling College is to develop creative and thoughtful leaders who understand a maturing Christian faith. Given that purpose, then, spiritual formation at Sterling College is the development of growth as followers of Jesus Christ. To engage ourselves in the process of following Jesus effectively, each of us must ask three questions: first, "Who am I?" second, "What cares and commitments shape and sustain my life?" third, "How do my beliefs inform my behavior?" Answering these questions allows us to begin and grow as disciples of Jesus Christ.

Spiritual formation, an ongoing process of reflection and action, is an engagement of self and society. It is focused on "being" before it is concerned with "doing." As a follower of Jesus Christ, spiritual formation is the overall preparation of mind and heart to be shaped into the image of God, and it also involves the behavior that follows that shaping. To that end, we are committed to a philosophy of education which helps us to discern God ’s calling on our lives. God calls humanity out of a distorted understanding of self and society into one which is being redeemed.

Spiritual formation at Sterling College embraces the brokenness of the human experience. Jesus Christ did not come for those who are not in need of a physician. God ’s intention is to move the human experience from brokenness toward wholeness. Life is not random and meaningless, no matter how broken it appears. Spiritual formation places the truth of the gospel in the midst of tears, tragedy, and hopelessness - the good news is that these do not have the last word.

Sterling College is committed to a model of spiritual formation which is psychologically, theologically and sociologically sound. This commitment is to help students develop a distinctively Christian worldview. Students are encouraged to pursue mentoring relationships with professors or staff members whose lives reflect the Christian worldview they are seeking to develop. Furthermore, students are exhorted to commit to others who have chosen to live their lives with a distinctively Christian worldview. A necessary outgrowth of this model is to reach outside the Christian community with the love and truth of Jesus Christ. Faculty and staff are also encouraged to seek such mentoring relationships and growth opportunities.

Spiritual formation at Sterling College is the process of helping us answer the three core questions: Who am I? What cares and commitments shape and sustain my life? and, How do my beliefs inform my behavior? Critical reflection upon our answers and subsequent actions are significant in order for us to be God ’s presence in the world. This redemptive lifestyle has implications for individuals and for communities. Fundamentally, spiritual formation is about the transformation of self and society.