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Calling, Devotion, and Transformation: Men Embodying Spirituality at a Protestant Seminary

Author(s): Timothy D. Lincoln

Journal: Journal of Men, Masculinities and Spirituality
ISSN 1177-2484

Volume: 5;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 53;
Date: 2011;


Men decide to attend North American seminaries because they sense a call from God and want to discern God’s will, yet they report at the end of seminary that spiritual formation and worship were far less influential for them than the faculty or studying theology. Using qualitative methods, this study examines how men at one Protestant seminary lived their spirituality. Research questions are: How do men in seminary talk about spirituality? How does spirituality fit into the larger life world understood as a system of thought? How do men in seminary embody spirituality? The researcher discovered that call to ministry and school bureaucracy were influential in student life worlds. Participants engaged in spiritual practices such as chapel worship, meditation, group spiritual direction, and speaking in tongues. The embodied spirituality of study participants draws from several Christian traditions and is queer in the sense of allowing a variety of masculine performances.
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