Program

What We Do

We cultivate a vision of spiritual formation that integrates 5 values into your life to nourish your soul and prepare you to bear witness to God’s presence in the world.

Course Descriptions

Contemplative Rhythms

Implement and develop the formative practices of silent prayer, sabbath keeping, and the slow reading of scripture in order to develop a way of life that is slow, vibrant and transformative.

Interior Examination

Learn to pay attention to your “interior world” and explore the way you’ve been formed by your family of origin. Gain a greater understanding of the influences (e.g. patterns of behavior, traumas, conscious and subconscious scripts) that impact who you are today and grow into a spiritually and emotionally mature adult with the capacity to love well.

Course Descriptions

Contemplative Rhythms

Implement and develop the formative practices of silent prayer, sabbath keeping, and the slow reading of scripture necessary to develop a way of life that is slow, vibrant and transformative.

Interior Examination

Learn to pay attention to your “interior world” and explore the way you’ve been formed by your family of origin. Gain a greater understanding of the influences (e.g. patterns of behavior, traumas, conscious and subconscious scripts, anxiety) that impact who you are today. We will explore the skill of growing in differentiation and managing your anxiety as you grow into a spiritually and emotionally mature adult with the capacity to love well.

Racial Justice & Reconciliation

Begin to redefine your understanding of community with a macro perspective of how the gospel creates a new reconciled family. We will look at the 7 layers of racial reconciliation, identifying the ways we can strive to be the new humanity Jesus speaks about in Ephesians 2. You will learn about the habits and practices that can help you lead a life and ministry marked by the barrier-breaking power of the gospel and gain skills to help engage in the important work of racial justice within, but not defined by, this cultural moment.

Sexual Wholeness

Learn a biblical framework for greater integration between your spirituality and your sexuality. Examine the impact of your own sexual formation as it relates to your family of origin. Wrestle with the ongoing theological and cultural shifts as it relates to human sexuality and what it means to be a thoughtful, loving presence for others. 

Missional Presence

Understand the critical importance of mission in scripture which joins together our being and our doing. Discover how your presence, posture and pervasiveness of mission is foundational to following Jesus. Develop practices (hospitality, activating our justice gene, commissioning in our work, announcing the gospel) so that you can live as kingdom-witnesses in the world and become a presence of healing and hope for others.

Racial Reconciliation

You will be presented with a macro perspective of how the gospel creates a new reconciled family. We will look at the 7 layers of racial reconciliation, identifying the ways we can strive to be the new humanity Jesus speaks about in Ephesians 2. We will explore the skill of self-differentiation as a way of the future in being people marked by reconciling and just love. You will learn about the habits and practices that can help you lead a life and ministry marked by anti-racist love.

Sexual Wholeness

Learn a biblical framework for greater integration between your spirituality and your sexuality. Examine the impact of your own sexual formation as it relates to your family of origin. Develop sexual wholeness practices (e.g. naming your history of sexual formation messages, sobriety (honesty), and social bonding) that will move you towards healing, wholeness and freedom while becoming a healing presence for others.

Missional Presence

Understand the critical importance of mission in scripture that joins together our being and our doing. Discover how our presence, posture and pervasiveness of mission is foundational to following Jesus. You will develop practices (hospitality, activating our justice gene, commissioning in our work, announcing the gospel) to live as kingdom-witnesses in the world and become a presence of healing and hope for others.

PROGRAM overview

Program Details

Course Format

Teaching sessions will be offered both in person (at New Life Fellowship in Elmhurst, NY) AND online in hybrid synchronous format. Mentor sessions will be offered online only. The program is made up of a variety of interactive sessions, mentoring groups, self-reflective pre- and post-session journal assignments, readings, discussions, the development of a Personal Formation Plan (PFP) and a 2-night in person retreat at the end of the program in April 2023.

 

Schedule & Location

From September to May we will meet twice per month on Thursday evenings (once for the monthly teaching session – hybrid in person and online, 6pm-9pm ET and once for your mentoring group – online only, 7pm-9pm ET). Full Cohort 2 Schedule 2022-2023

 

Journal Assignments

Each session has assigned readings and pre- and post- session assignments ranging in length from 500-700 words each. The discipline of these writing assignments helps in your self discovery and will create internal clarity as you wrestle with the material and articulate the depth of character formation that is being revealed to you through the readings, sessions and God’s Holy Spirit. 

 

Retreat*

There will be a two-night retreat at a location in Long Island, NY (35 miles from LaGuardia/JFK Airports, New Life Elmhurst and 25 miles from New Life East). This retreat will only be offered in person. It will offer you space to listen and respond, individually and together, to what God is doing through your School of Formation journey.
*Pending Covid-19 restrictions.

 

Teaching Team

The curriculum is led by a diverse group of Teachers. Rich Villodas, lead pastor at New Life Fellowship, will be your primary teacher and guide in your journey. You will also have several interactive teaching sessions with experienced church leaders, authors and instructors from around the world.

Mentoring Groups

You will be part of a small mentoring group and will be encouraged to cultivate a relationship with your mentor and members of your group as you explore the course material’s impact on your life. Mentoring groups provide a time for reflection, listening and shared learning, which creates the opportunity for deep and lasting formation. Because of the depth of sharing and vulnerability that you will be invited into, participants are expected to respect others’ stories by committed participation and confidentiality.  

 

Personal Formation Plan (PFP)

At the end of the course you will have developed a Personal Formation Plan (PFP) which encompasses two areas of personal and leadership development. First you will identify a specific area of personal growth within the 5 values that you feel God is leading you to engage in more deeply. And secondly you will develop a plan for addressing a practical need within your ministry, profession, or community incorporating key elements of the 5 formation values. The PFP is a final project that will serve you in practically taking your most significant and profound learnings beyond your School of Formation journey. 

 

Celebration & Commissioning Ceremony

At the completion of the program, we will celebrate the work God has done through the School of Formation in and through your life. We will also commission you as you step into your area of calling.

 

Investment

The program cost, which includes some materials, mentoring groups, teachers and the two-day retreat is $1,500*. A deposit of $500 is due once you have been accepted and the final balance is due by the Orientation in August. New Life members receive a discount (contact us for more details).

*Does not include the cost of books and travel costs to and from the retreat location.
PROGRAM overview

Program Details

Course Format

Teaching sessions will be offered both in person (at New Life Fellowship in Elmhurst, NY) AND online in hybrid synchronous format. Mentor sessions will be offered online only. The program is made up of a variety of interactive sessions, mentoring groups, self-reflective pre- and post-session journal assignments, readings, discussions, the development of a Personal Formation Plan (PFP) and a 2-night in person retreat at the end of the program in April 2023.

 

Schedule & Location

From September to May we will meet twice per month on Thursday evenings (once for the monthly teaching session – hybrid in person AND online, 6pm-9pm ET and once for your mentoring group – online only, 7pm-9pm ET). Full Cohort 2 Schedule 2022-2023

 

Journal Assignments

Each session has assigned readings and pre- and post- session assignments ranging in length from 500-700 words each. The discipline of these writing assignments helps in your self discovery and will create internal clarity as you wrestle with the material and articulate the depth of character formation that is being revealed to you through the readings, sessions and God’s Holy Spirit. 

 

Retreat*

There will be a two-night retreat at a location in Long Island, NY (35 miles from LaGuardia/JFK Airports, New Life Elmhurst and 25 miles from New Life East). This retreat will only be offered in person. It will offer you space to listen and respond, individually and together, to what God is doing through your School of Formation journey.
*Pending Covid-19 restrictions.

Teaching Team

The curriculum is led by a diverse group of Teachers. Rich Villodas, lead pastor at New Life Fellowship church, will be your primary teacher and guide in your journey. You will also have several interactive teaching sessions with experienced church leaders, authors and instructors from around the world.

 

Mentoring Groups

You will be part of a small mentoring group and will be encouraged to cultivate a relationship with your mentor and members of your group as you explore the course material’s impact on your life. Mentoring groups provide a time for reflection, listening and shared learning, which creates the opportunity for deep and lasting formation. Because of the depth of sharing and vulnerability that you will be invited into, participants are expected to respect others’ stories by committed participation and confidentiality.  

 

Personal Formation Plan (PFP)

At the end of the program you will have developed a Personal Formation Plan (PFP) which encompasses two areas of personal and leadership development. First you will identify a specific area of personal growth within the 5 values that you feel God is leading you to engage in more deeply. And secondly you will develop a plan for addressing a practical need within your ministry, profession, or community incorporating key elements of the 5 formation values. The PFP is a final project that will serve you in practically taking your most significant and profound learnings beyond your School of Formation journey. 

 

Celebration and Commissioning Ceremony

At the completion of the program, we will celebrate the work God has done through the School of Formation in and through your life. We will also commission you as you step into your area of calling.

 

Investment

Program cost including materials, mentoring groups, teachers and the two-day retreat is $1,500*. A deposit of $500 is due once you have been accepted and the final balance is due by the Orientation in August. New Life members receive a discount (contact us for more details).

*Does not include the cost of books and travel costs to and from the retreat location.

What are the program expectations?

FAQ

Common Questions

  • You desire a healthy, integrated theological and formational value system
  • You are oriented towards personal spiritual growth in a community setting
  • You have the courage to be honest and vulnerable, and in a confidential mentoring group relationship
  • You can prioritize the time required and be disciplined to engage in the fullness of this type of life change
  • You are actively engaged in a local church
  • You prioritize and desire to integrate the 5 formation values into the way you live your life

The School of Formation is for anyone who wants to grow deeper in these 5 formation values and apply them to their life, ministry and/or vocation. You will journey alongside a diverse group of people (pastors, lay leaders, teachers, counselors, etc.) All who desire to ingrain these values into their life and work.  Both New Life Fellowship members and non-members are welcome to apply.

The program is geared towards helping you understand and ingrain these values in your own life first. There will be a natural progression to leading others when you live them out yourself first. We believe you cannot lead others through what you have not wrestled through yourself.

On average you should expect to give 10-12 hours a month to the program through a mixture of teaching sessions (3 hrs monthly), mentor sessions (2 hrs monthly), assigned reading and pre/post session assignments (5-7 hrs monthly). The 2 night retreat will be held in Long Island, NY over the course of a 2-night weekend from April 28-30, 2023.

All the teaching sessions will be offered live both in person and virtually via zoom. The mentor sessions will be offered virtually via zoom only. The 2 day retreat will be in person only. It is entirely possible for you to do the whole program online except for the required 2-night retreat in person in NY. Full schedule linked here.

Once you have submitted your completed application, a spiritual life reference, and an intro video by the June 30, 2022 application deadline, we will communicate to you the final acceptance decision and next steps.

We offer a discount to New Life Fellowship (NLF) members. (If you’re a NLF member, once you complete the application, let us know and we will be in touch about scholarship details). If you are not a NLF member, we suggest you contact your home church or organization’s leadership and ask about scholarships they may be able to offer you.

Begin your journey of
deep life and leadership formation!