A PAPER SUBMITTED TO DR. WILLIAM DONELSON
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR
THE COURSE CLED 520
FEBRUARY 16, 2012
WHAT IS FAITH DEVELOPMENT?
Throughout history, the term faith has been discussed and discoursed time and time again. Often the question is asked: What is faith? Well the simple uncomplicated answer to that question is faith simply means what you believe. Now, the important aspect of this is that faith does not mean that you believe in God or have Christian faith. Throughout the world religions are characterized as different faiths. However, being the Christian that I am I will attempt to discuss faith development from a Christian’s perspective. Estep utilizes the faith development theory of a theologian named James Fowler. James Fowler characterizes faith development through six stages: Intuitive-predictive, Mythical-literal, Synthetic-conventional, Individuative-reflective, Conjunctive, and Universalizing. All of those stages culminate his theory of faith development in the life of the Christian believer. His model in simplistic terms simply shows the maturation of faith through the spiritual maturation of the believer. That means that the more mature a believer gets then the more mature does ones faith increase and his theory has proven to be very popular across the Christian spectrum of faith believers. However, there are those who dissent with this Fowlerian theory just like any other academic work or theory. The main thing to remember is that faith development is an intricate part of Christian development and ultimately there is not right or wrong theory on faith development.
PERSONAL FAITH DEVELOPEMENT
The reason why I chose faith development is because in my life and in my calling as pastor I must have a strong faith life. I can remember vividly back in 2008 when I had just been ordained a reverend after being a minister...