by Major Lesa Davis, Spiritual Life Development Secretary
The first cohort of the Central Territory’s new online spiritual life development course, THRIVE, has formed and is beginning to study, pray and grow together. Following the announcement of the online course in the November issue of Central Connection, interest in the course was high.
Ultimately, 15 officers and soldiers became members of the inaugural cohort. The number of participants is evenly split between seven officers and seven soldiers, with one cadet completing the roster. All have committed to an eight-month intensive course covering various topics in spiritual development, a one-day retreat together for the purpose of crafting a personal Rule for Life, and mutual prayer and encouragement.
Cohort members interact through discussion boards and an online learning system hosted by the College for Officer Training while exploring topics such as classical spiritual disciplines, holiness of heart and mind, sharing faith with friends and neighbors, and soul care.
The goal is for each participant who completes the course to be fully equipped not only to thrive in his or her own spiritual life but be able to lead others to do the same in their local setting.
Each module includes a book to be read together, discussion questions for exploring the topic with others, and a reflection paper in which students can capture their personal insights and apply them to their future growth and development as followers of Jesus. Every cohort member has expressed a
deep desire to be challenged and further formed into the image of Christ through their participation.
“I’m excited to be part of THRIVE and to grow in my relationship with Jesus alongside others who are seeking deeper relationship, too,” said Crystal Lake, Ill., Corps Officer Major Barb Owen in her introduction to the rest of the group.
Other participants echoed her sentiment with their own expressions of excitement and anticipation of deepening their spiritual lives.
“I want to go deeper in my relationship with Jesus along with others who want the same thing,” shared Cathie Ketterer of the Alton, Ill., Corps. Although the cohort was kept intentionally small, they are praying their experiences will make a difference in their corps, communities and the entire territory.