Community Formation Practices

The Office of Spiritual Formation is committed to the idea that community experiences play a significant role in the Christian formation of our students.

 Worship – Students are invited, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10-10:50 in the morning, to gather together in Grace Chapel for an intentional experience of community worship. This experience that invites the community to listen and respond to the work of God in our midst through the communal worship practices of reading Scripture, prayer, musical expression, listening to inspiring messages from a diverse group of speakers, and response. Periodically, additional chapel experiences (e.g., special speakers, musical events/concerts, concerts of prayer, etc.) are scheduled on alternate mornings and evenings.

 Small Groups – Students are invited, on Thursdays from 10-10:50 in the morning, to participate with peers in a Barnabas (B) Group. Our B-Groups are facilitated by some of our dedicated faculty, staff, and a few student leaders each week. Groups provide a context where close, campus friendships are forged, where spiritual growth is nurtured, and where God’s grace is experienced as we become the hands and feet of God for each other on this formational journey. Students are given the opportunity to choose a B-Group and facilitator at the beginning of the fall semester. If a student chooses to participate, a commitment to the group for a minimum of one full semester is both encouraged and expected.

Mentoring – Students are invited to participate in a Mentoring relationship for the express purpose of Christian formation with a staff/faculty member on campus. Applications for Mentoring relationships must be received and approved by the OSF within the first 30 days of the semester.

Fellowships – Students are invited to join and participate in a weekly fellowship group. The Student Mission Fellowship (SMF) gathers on Wednesday nights in WM 104 and the Hmong Student Association (HSA) gathers on Thursday evenings, mostly in WM 104, and occasionally in other venues.

Spiritual Formation Credits (SFCs) – Because of our commitment to Christian formation at TFC and the formative power of these community experiences, students are expected each semester to earn a specified number of spiritual formation credits.

  • Full-time students (12 hours or more) who live on campus must earn 30 SFCs each semester.
  • Full-time students (12 hours or more) who commute to campus from beyond a 15-mile radius must earn 30 SFCs each semester.
  • Part-time students (7 to 11 hours) must earn 15 SFCs each semester.
  • Students taking 6 hours or less are encouraged, but not required to earn SFCs.
  • Students are responsible for scanning student ID cards or signing in (e.g., scanners are activated at 9:45 and deactivated at 10:10 for worship experiences) to earn a SFC for participation in chapels, B-Group meetings, and fellowship gatherings. Attempts to cheat the system by scanning cards and leaving the SFC experience before its conclusion will result in the removal of the SFC for that experience.
  • Students can earn up to 5 SFCs each semester for participating in an approved mentoring relationship.
  • Students can earn up to 5 SFCs each semester for watching worship experience videos on Youtube and submitting a one-page (double-spaced) reflection on the experience. The worship experience must be for the current semester.
  • Students who fail to earn the requisite number of SFCs by the end of the semester are subject to a $20 fine for each credit under the required amount (e.g., 25/30 credits – 5 X $20 = $100). Chapel fines are assessed at the conclusion of each semester and must be paid in full to resume classes the following semester.
  • Students who experience persistent problems related to scanning id cards should stop by the Office of Spiritual Formation to assess if the id card is in good working order or defective and in need of replacement. Students are encouraged to visit the OSF or to contact spiritualformation@tfc.edu or cstratton@tfc.edu with any request, question, or concern. Students can obtain information and assistance with tracking SFCs in my.tfc.edu or by consulting with an Ambassador of Grace (AoG) on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 to 9:45 am in the OSF.
  • For a full description of policies and procedures for how to earn SFCs, click on the Spiritual Formation FAQ

Although they do not qualify for SFCs, students are encouraged to maintain an ongoing practice of personal disciplines that nurture Christian formation (e.g., solitude, prayer, the study of Scripture, mission/evangelism, etc.). Students are encouraged to take advantage of sacred spaces set aside for personal and corporate times of prayer, reflection, and encouragement in residence halls, the beautiful outdoors, and the TFC Prayer Room. Furthermore, Christian formation requires participation in a local faith community. It is the expectation at TFC that all faculty, staff, and students attend, participate, and contribute to the life of a local Christian congregation of their choosing.