Having a relationship with a spiritual mentor is one of the best ways to progress in the lifelong work of spiritual formation. Spiritual formation is nurtured most profoundly when [graduate students] are “apprenticed” to a spiritual mentor who will partner with God’s Holy Spirit toward spiritual development. (Anderson and Reese. Spiritual Mentoring. 1999, p. 27)
The Apostle Paul wrote Timothy – who he was spiritually mentoring – instructing him to entrust to some faithful men the things that he had taught him, who would then in turn teach others to do the same (2 Timothy 2:2). This model is still essential today for those who wish to grow towards maturity in their Christian lives.
What did Timothy gain from Paul that he should pass on (“entrust”) to some faithful others? (those who would be reliable to do the same). 2 Timothy 3:10-11 provides a sense when Paul wrote, “you know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings . . . .” Timothy saw Paul’s faith integrated within all aspects of his life and how it shaped his vision “of” life and his vision “for” life.
Spiritual mentoring (discipleship) is one person coming alongside another as a companion on the journey of faith to help them answer questions such as “Who is God?”, “Who am I in Christ?”, “To what has God called me as I live out my life (especially now as a graduate student), and “How can I grow, thrive, and mature spiritually?”
Some graduate students involved with GradCru have written about their experience being spiritually mentored:
Spiritual Mentoring is more than just a transfer of information, it is the sharing of lives. The benefits of being mentored have been tremendous, not only have I grown spiritually and even emotionally, but I have seen and experienced firsthand how God shapes the lives of people. (James, Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry)
The academic life (the research and teaching) can be an all consuming affair that can easily become an idol and distraction from God. Faith in Christ and a passion for His Word are what bring balance to a Christian graduate student’s life, and I can’t imagine trying to figure out on my own how to integrate my beliefs with my work. How can I be a Christian graduate student or professor, and not just a graduate student who happens to be a Christian? It is spiritual discipleship and mentorship that have been crucial for me in developing a vision and a plan for a life in academia with Christ as Lord. (Young, Ph.D. in History)
GradCru wants to facilitate these kind of relationships, providing resources, structure, training, and experienced mentors to help you grow spiritually. It’s a very rare opportunity that can have lifelong impact.
Group of 3 (G3)
A “Group of 3” is not a Bible Study Group. A G3 is three graduate students — most often from the same Bible Study Group — who have joined together to discuss their spiritual development and live with a missional mindset among their friends and peers in the university. Each G3 sets up their times to meet according to their own schedules and desires. Most G3 use the GradCru “Firm Foundations” guided conversation materials to focus their discussions.
Chuck Roeper serves as the G3 Coach. Talk with him to get more details and help you get started at: firstname.lastname@example.org.