Spiritual Formation and Relational Neuroscience

elm-pg-billboard-form Blue-NEUROSCIENCE-01
Feature Teaser

Focused on nurturing a secure attachment with God as a means for integrating relational neuroscience and spiritual formation, this cohort will prepare students to minister to a culture that is both suffering within a mental health crisis while also having deep spiritual longings for connection. 

The first year will focus on attachment theory and theological anthropology. 

The second year will combine the spiritual pathways of the ancient tradition of spiritual formation and the neural pathways opened up by relational neuroscience. 

The third year will move into mission by focusing on the connections between theology, therapeutic culture, and trauma, centered on creating communities of care and transformation.

Smart Teaser

Dr. Geoff Holsclaw is the founder and director of Grassroots Christianity, which seeks to grow faith for everyday people. He is the co-host of the Embodied Faith podcast, which is exploring neuroscience-informed spiritual formation. 

Dr. Holsclaw is the author of Transcending Subjects: Augustine, Hegel, and Theology, co-author of Prodigal Christianity: 10 Signposts into the Missional Frontier (with David Fitch), and co-author Does God Really Like Me? Discovering the God Who Wants to Be With Us (with Cyd Holsclaw). He is an affiliate professor of theology at Northern Seminary and has over 20 years of pastoral experience, currently pastoring in Grand Rapids, MI. 

Image of a woman smiling as she looks into the camara.

Cyd Holsclaw is an author, spiritual director, and pastor. She is a trauma-informed, Jesus- centered, integrative coach focused on embodied practices and building a secure attachment to God. 

She co-hosts the Embodied Faith podcast and is the co-author of Does God Really Like Me? Discovering the God Who Wants to Be With You (with Dr. Geoff Holsclaw). 

Applications are open now through March 1, 2024. 

The Doctor of Ministry application includes:

  • Three recommendation forms
  • One letter of ecclesial endorsement
  • Two personal statements
  • One academic writing sample
  • Official Transcripts from previous educational institutions

Final admissions decisions will be made by April 2024, and all applicants will receive written and email notifications. 

If you have questions about your application, contact our admissions team at admissions@westernsem.edu.

This cohort launches with the first seminar at Western Theological Seminary on August 12 - 16, 2024.

Seminar two will be January 13-17, 2025, with four yet-to-be-scheduled seminars taking place in August and January for the duration of the program. 

Pastor Mike Gorr
Artboard 1
What was helpful early on was the sense of community and family that this cohort was to one another...That sense of being loved right where you were, especially as I was wrestling with all sorts of feelings that I didn’t measure up as a church planter and pastor.
Artboard 2
- Pastor Mike Gorr

Class of 2021