Spiritual Transformation-Emphasis

Northern Seminary has partnered with The Transforming Center, headquarterd at The Loretto Center in Wheaton, IL, to offer a unique opportunity for individuals lead ministries toward becoming communities of authentic spiritual transformation. 

The Transforming Center desires to see churches and Christian organizations become communities of authentic spiritual transformation– and that begins with transforming leaders. Thus we seek to strengthen the souls of pastors and leaders, equipping them to guide their churches and organizations to become spiritually transforming communities that discern and do the will of God in their settings.

Students interested in pursuing an emphasis as part of this program must participate in a Transforming Community.  The Transforming Center offers such communities the Chicago area and other cities around the country.  In addition to participation in a Transforming Community, students will work alongside Ruth Haley Barton, Adjunct Professor of Spiritual Formation at Northern, to further integrate, implement, and engage the material.  Students reflect theologically through written projects, group interaction, and mentored ministry experiences throughout the program.  Learn more about Partnership Programs at Northern Seminary.  

What are people saying about The Transforming Center?

"The Transforming Community retreats are just what I was looking for—carefully crafted retreats that integrate spiritual disciplines, community, and leadership. If you are a leader who is hungry for God and searching for integration between your spirituality and your leadership, this experience is made-to-order.”
—Barney Ford, Vice President, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

"Thank you for providing such a wonderful ministry to those who serve in the body of Christ in pastoral roles.  You are truly doing things...and saying things...that I hear from no other place in the evangelical community." 
—Mark Werner, Pastor, Meadowbrook Church, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

"My involvement in the Transforming Community has been a humbling and joyful journey.  I have discovered a rhythm of disciplines and regular practices that will sustain my soul for the long-haul of ministry." 
—Gregg DeMey, Teaching Pastor, Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church, Elmhurst, Illinois

View a short video to hear what people are saying about the Transforming Center.

Specialized courses developed for this emphasis will prepare students for ministry leadership that is:

Biblical. [Grounded in Scripture]

Combined with a comprehensive academic degree program that provides a solid foundation in the study of scripture, church history, theology and ethics, specialized courses challenge the student to engage in and reflect on the core issues encountered in an their ministry context from a biblical perspective.

Missional. [Sharing Christ in Context]

Missional ministry is all about working and sharing God in your context in relevant and meaningful ways.  To lead effectively, leaders must be experience genuine spiritual transformation which leads to holistic ministry and discernment.  The Spiritual Transformation Emphasis leads students through a process that creates a firm foundation for prolonged and transformational ministry.

Personal. [Holistic, Relational Ministry]

Individuals pursuing the Spiritual Transformation Emphasis benefit from Northern’s commitment to personal, holistic ministry training. From the availability of professors to engage in discussion and guide students in discerning their call, to the opportunity to connect with ministry practitioners, students experience a community that partners with them in their journey toward effective leadership.

Is this program for me?

The Spiritual Transformation Emphasis is for:

  • Church leaders seeking to establish theological grounding and a working knowledge of spiritual transformation, spiritual community, and spiritual leadership
  • Students passionate about experiencing the spiritual practices in the context of community
  • Individuals seeking to strengthen their effectiveness as a spiritual leader who is able to discern God’s will in your setting

What are the requirements of the Spiritual Transformation Emphasis?

The Spiritual Transformation Emphasis can only be acquired by completing the electives related to The Transforming Center’s Transforming Community process.  Electives can be included as part of any of the following programs

  • Master of Divinity
  • Master of Arts in Christian Ministry
  • Master’s Specialization
  • Diploma of Ministry
  • Diploma Specialization

Examples of Spiritual Transformation elective topics include:

  • A Leader’s Journey into Solitude and Silence
  • Deepening our Intimacy with God
  • Engaging the Scriptures for Spiritual Transformation
  • Honoring the Body as a Spiritual Discipline
  • Transformation through Self-knowledge and Self-examination
  • The Art and Practice of Discernment
  • Arranging our Lives for Spiritual Transformation
  • Spiritual Transformation for the Sake of Others

For more information or to get started:   

 Northern is ready to work with you to make the pursuit of theological education a present reality!

Faculty Profile

Ruth Haley Barton

Dr. Ruth Haley Barton

Transforming Center Contact Information
  • 630-588-8133

News & Events

Announcing Summer Seminary This June!

Strengthen your ministry | Unleash the Spirit June 6 - September ... Read More

SSC Hours During Spring Break

The Student Services Center and Brimson Grow Library will have ... Read More

Living Out Missional Faith: Mattie's Story

Reaching the lost and spreading the good news has been at the center ... Read More