Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 2.19.05 PMMSFL 10th ANNIVERSARY GATHERING RETREAT | Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2016

Sponsored The MSFL staff and faculty are honored that so many have chosen our program to shape their personal spiritual life and academic journey.

We invite you to celebrate our 10th anniversary by joining us for an ALL-COHORT and families retreat at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI. All the MSFL faculty will be involved either co-teaching a session or leading a spiritual practice. Come connect with those who have influenced your spiritual life!

For more information contact us at or call our office at 517.750.6388

To view the brochure, click HERE.

To RSVP for the event, click HERE.


FINAL_MSFL_Lecture Series_Hospitality_digital postcard_0815 (1)“BECOMING OURSELVES: THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR BELOVEDNESS”

Sponsored by the Andrews Chair in Spiritual Formation and the Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Leadership program, Fil Anderson gave two lectures on Thursday, April 14, 2016.

Fil Anderson is executive director of Journey Resources. He’s a frequent conference speaker, spiritual director, and directs retreats and workshops nationally and internationally. He is the author of Running on Empty: Contemplative Spirituality for Overachievers and Breaking the Rules: Trading Performance for Intimacy with God.

Both lectures were held in the Student Life Center’s Ralph Carey Forum on Spring Arbor University’s main campus. You can view them on our YouTube Channel, or click these links: Part 1 at 4:30pm and Part 2 at 7:30pm.



Sponsored by the Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Leadership program, Christena Cleveland gave two lectures on Monday, October 26, 2015. 

Dr. Christena Cleveland is a social psychologist with a hopeful passion for overcoming cultural divisions in groups. Drawing from a vast body of research, she uncovers the underlying processes that affect relationships within and between groups and helps leaders understand how to promote an appreciation for diversity and build effective collaborations with diverse groups.  In 2014, Christianity Today magazine named her one of “33 Under 33” (millennials leading the next generation of Christian faith) and JET magazine identified her as one of 5 “online shepherds to follow.” She is the author of Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart, which earned a 2013 Leadership Journal Book Award.

Both lectures were held in the Student Life Center’s Ralph Carey Forum on Spring Arbor University’s main campus. 

Video Link for Part 1 – Given at 4:30 PM

Video Link for Part 2 – Given at 7:30 PM



Sponsored by the Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Leadership program, keynote speaker Prof. Jeff Baker, J.D. led the first conference on domestic violence and sexual assault through a keynote lecture, interdisciplinary panel discussion and round table conversations.

Jeff Baker is the Pepperdine University School of Law’s Director of Clinical Education and is an Associate Clinical Professor of Law. His scholarship addresses domestic violence and gender justice in families, and he frequently speaks and writes on social justice issues. He is a recipient of Montgomery Advertiser’s Martin Luther King Spirit Honors Award and the Justice for Victims Award.

Monday, October 12th in the Ralph Carey Forum (RCF)

4:30 PM – Keynote: “Power, Dignity & Justice in Student Relationships” with Prof. Jeff Baker

7:30 PM – Interdisciplinary Panel Discussion with Professor Mary Darling, Professor Jen Letherer, Asst. Director of Residence Life Kelly McGraw, Professor Lori McVay, and Assistant VP for Student Development Dan VanderHill

Tuesday, October 13th in the Ralph Carey Forum (RCF)

12:30 PM – Round Table Conversations led by Prof. Jeff Baker & SAU faculty and staff


THEO_Andrews Lecture Series Event Banner_0315“MAKING ORDINARY SAINTS”

Recognizing our Andrews Chair in Spiritual Formation, Nathan Foster gave two lectures on Thursday, April 16, 2015. 

Nathan Foster is an associate professor of theology and social work at Spring Arbor University.  He is director of teaching ministries for Renovaré as well as a licensed clinical social worker, certified addictions counselor, public speaker, bassist for Christy & The Professors, and the author of Wisdom Chaser: Finding My Father at 14,000 Feet and The Making of an Ordinary Saint: My Journey from Frustration to Joy with the Spiritual Disciplines.

The first lecture, “Narratives About God and Ourselves” was at 4:00 PM, with the second lecture, “Practicing the Spiritual Disciplines in Ordinary Life” at 7:00 PM.  Both lectures were held in the Student Life Center’s Ralph Carey Forum.  Each lecture had a panel of Spring Arbor and Jackson community members interacting with Nathan’s comments.   Special thanks to: Jamin Bradley, Prof. Eric Magnusson, Prof. Robert Moore-Jumonville, Prof. Paul Patton, Jeff Tabone, Prof. Deb Varland, John Voelz,  Carrie Williams.


Proof_MSFL_Lecture series PH Web


Sponsored by the Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Leadership program, Phileena Heuertz author and co-founder of Gravity, gave two lectures on Monday, October 27, 2014. 

Phileena Heuertz is an author, spiritual director, yoga instructor, public speaker and retreat guide.  She is passionate about spirituality and making the world a better place.  With a rare gift for communicating the dynamics of the inner life, Phileena gracefully guides others toward interior growth and bringing harmony to their outer life.

The first lecture, “Spirituality for our Time: Solitude, Silence, and Stillness” was at 10:00 AM, with the second lecture, “Spirituality for Our Time: Some Fundamentals of Contemplative Spirituality” at 7:00 PM.  Both lectures were held in the Student Life Center’s Ralph Carey Forum.

To View Phileena’s lectures, click on this link:

“Spirituality For Our Time”, October 27, 2014


Sponsored by the Andrews’ Family and SAU’s Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Leadership program, Dr. Elizabeth Conde-Frazier, gave two lectures on Monday, April 14, 2014. 

Dr. Conde-Frazier is a practical theologian and ordained pastor.  She has been a professor and is now the Academic Dean of Esperanza College of Eastern University.  Dr. Conde-Frazier has authored or co-authored the following books, Latina Evangelica: A Theological Survey from the Margins, Listen to the Children: Conversations with Immigrant Families, A Many Colored Kingdom, and Bible Institutes.  Her writing comes as a result of her conversations with the different communities with whom she interacts, but spirituality is always a central theme.

To view Dr. Conde-Frazier’s Lectures, click on the links:

“Conversion as Encounter/Encontronazo,” April 14, 4:00pm

“Becoming Intercultural: Work Out Your Salvation,” April 14, 7:00p



Sponsored by the SAU’s Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Leadership program, Dr. Richard Beck, gave two lectures on on the interface of Christian theology and psychology, with particular focus on how existential issues affect Christian belief and practice.

Dr. Beck is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychology at Abilene Christian University.  He is best known as a blogger, author and speaker.  His incredibly popular blog, Experimental Theology has received praise from a wide-ranging audience.  It was recognized as a “Top 25 Psychology Blog” in 2013 and was one of Christianity Today’s top religion blogs a few years ago. 

To view Dr. Beck’s Lectures, click on the links: 

“Cultivating the Will to Embrace,” Sept. 26

“The Practice of the Little Way,” Sept. 27


Tuesday, April 23, 2013 in the Ralph Carey Forum

Sponsored by the Andrews Chair in Spiritual Formation & Winget Foundation along with SAU’s Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation and Leadership program.

When comedienne Susan Isaacs finds herself jobless, loveless and living over a garage, she does what any church girl would do. She takes God to counseling. “Clearly, we are not getting along.” Angry Conversations with God: The Solo Show is based on Isaacs’ award winning memoir in which she chronicles her personal and professional struggles, and her combative relationship with corporatized Churchianity. Publisher’s Weekly calls it “funny, biting, earthy and brilliant.” Yet even at its most scandalous, Angry Conversations remains an affirmation of faith divorced from politics and expectations.


Tershy 2012-17 “THE POWER OF PAUSE”

The MSFL program hosted the Fall 2012 Christian Spirituality Lecture Series on September 20 and 21. The series featured Terry Hershey, author of “The Power of Pause,” and took place in White Auditorium on SAU’s main campus.

Hershey is a writer, inspirational speaker and founder of Hershey & Associates, an organization that provides resources on building balanced lives and healthy relationships. He has been featured on on The Hallmark Channel, CNN, PBS, and NPR. Hershey is also a professional landscape designer who savors daily pauses in his personal garden behind his home on Vashon Island, Wash., where he lives with his wife and son. He is the author of 10 books, including The Power of Pause: Becoming More by Doing Less (Loyola Press), Sacred Necessities (Ave Maria), and Soul Gardening: Cultivating the Good Life (Augsburg Fortress).

View more photographs from this event on our MSFL Facebook page.



A Christian-Muslim dialogue  between Dr. Miroslav Volf  (Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale University Divinity School and director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture) and Dr. Saeed Khan (lecturer at Wayne State University and frequent guest on the BBC) was spearheaded by Spring Arbor University on October 17 and 18. Entitled “Faiths and Globalization: Shrinking World – Reseurgent Faiths,” the well-attended event, ably facilitated by Ken Brewer (chair of the theology department of SAU) was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the President’s Office, the Department of Theology, and the MSFL program of SAU.

In his talk, Dr. Volf described the role of globalization today and emphasized the need for people of differing faiths to strive for peace by focusing on the moral ground we hold in common.  While firmly acknowledging the fundamental differences between Christianity and Islam , Dr. Volf affirmed at the same time the dangers of any faith lived with disregard for the Golden Rule.  Dr. Khan responded in agreement, further restating the worldwide need for a faith free from commodification. The conversation between the two was highly informative.

View more photographs from this event on our MSFL Facebook page.


On September 22 & 23, the MSFL program sponsored a two-part lecture series entitled “The Spirituality of Prayer and Memory” presented by Dr. John Goldingay, Professor of Old Testament in the School of Theology at Fuller Seminary.  Nearly 200 people attended the two-day event.  The lectures encouraged those in attendance with strategies for using the Psalms in prayer and challenged listeners with a different perspective on how we can utilize the power of our memory in our relationship with God.

View more photographs from this event on our MSFL Facebook page.