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Christ the Foundation and Center: The Integration of Human and Spiritual Formation

If you wish to attend the symposium, you can register online by clicking here. Alternatively, you can view the .pdf registration form by clicking here.


Symposium on the integration of human and spiritual formation, co-sponsored by the Institute for Priestly Formation and Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary, Denver


February 19-21, 2015


Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary, Denver, Colorado


Bishops, rectors, formators, spiritual directors, seminary psychologists, vocation directors, and any other associated with priestly formation


Speaker presentations, panel responses, small group conversation, prayerful reflection, liturgy and personal quiet prayer


For the past two years, IPF staff members have facilitated a consultation process involving a group of seminary formators to discuss the topic of the integration of human and spiritual formation. The symposium will share the fruits of this consultation with a wider community of seminary personnel, while also inviting colleagues into this important dialogue. Therefore, the symposium aims (1) To show the interrelationship of human and spiritual formation while respecting the appropriate limits of each forum; (2) to demonstrate how growth in communion with Christ can be fostered, spoken of and integrated within human formation; and (3) to offer a model of how such growth can be evaluated in the external forum (cf. PPF 280b).


The symposium’s theme originates in the Program of Priestly Formation (PPF) #74 where the text introduces the subject of Human Formation: “The foundation and center of all human formation is Jesus Christ, the word made flesh. In his fully developed humanity, he was truly free and with complete freedom gave himself totally for the salvation of the world. Pastores dabo vobis, no.5, expresses the Christological foundation of human formation: ‘The Letter to the Hebrews clearly affirms the “human character” of God’s minister: he comes from the human community and is at its service, imitating Jesus Christ “who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb 4:15).’”
Although the PPF clearly points to Christ as the foundation and center of Human formation, there seems to be a tendency in actual practice to separate human formation and spiritual formation. Perhaps this is partially due to the tendency to link human formation to the external forum and spiritual formation to the internal forum. Nonetheless, the PPF itself attempts to go against this tendency by (1) speaking of the need to evaluate spiritual growth in the external forum (cf. PPF 280B; also PPF 82) and (2) speaking of the role of spiritual direction in human formation (cf. PPF 80, p. 34 and PPF 129).


Click here to view the full schedule as a .pdf.


Planned speakers include: Archbishop Samuel Aquila, Bishop Andrew Cozzens, Dr. Edward Hogan