This Spirituality/Church History course will be taught by Davenant House Director Michael Hughes, and will run from September 27 through December 10. The syllabus can be viewed here.
For all the attention Protestants pay to practical Christian living, we often throw out the baby with the bath water when considering pre-Reformation spiritual practices, disciplines, and monastic movements. Yet many Reformers worked hard to sift the pre-Reformation wheat from the chaff, their ultimate goal being to make the means of growth in Christ, and the communities in which growth was to occur, accessible to all, not just the priestly class.
In the first half of the course, students will examine pre-Reformation spirituality and monasticism through a historic overview and primary sources. They will rediscover and retrieve some of the riches of the piety (lived-out obedience as a relational response to God) and paideia (formative education, discipleship, formation in Christlikeness) that informed the spirituality of the Reformers and their successors. They will identify errors, extremes, and abuses, but the emphasis will be on what can be positively gained. The second half will be an examination of Calvin’s Institutes, considering piety toward God formed through a Christian paideia. We will seek to recover the baby, clean off the dirt, clothe it in appropriate theological attire, and feed it with the Word so it may grow and bear the formative fruits proper to one whose life is “hidden with Christ in God.”
Michael Hughes and his wife Lynette have been Directors of our Davenant House ministry since summer 2019. He holds a B.S. in Biology, Environmental Education, and Museum Methods, an M.A. in Theological Studies, and is currently working on a ThM. He previously spent the nine years serving with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in his home state of Wisconsin, first as a campus staff minister, then a team leader, and finally as an Area Ministry Director and Regional International Student Ministry Champion. Michael and Lynette have been abundantly blessed with 5 children: Elizabeth, Isaiah, Malachi, Adoniah, and Eliakim.