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Curriculum & Structure

“We want a school that challenges people intellectually, but also spiritually and relationally.”
– Greg Boyd, WH Senior Pastor

Three Phases

The school consists of three 11-week phases plus a 1-week Justice Journey trip (34 weeks total). Teachings consist of live and online video lectures taught by Greg Boyd, Paul Eddy, and Kevin Callaghan from the Woodland Hills teaching team, as well as by other Woodland Hills ministry partners and Aspen SOMA faculty. The focus of each of the three phases is as follows:

Phase 1: Biblical Narrative and Worldview Formation

Topics include: Understanding the metanarrative of the Bible from a covenant and kingdom viewpoint, understanding the loving character and purposes of God as seen in Jesus, understanding the mission of God’s people, basic discipleship, the church as a missional discipleship community, covenant relationships, peacemaking and reconciliation, spiritual warfare, upside-down kingdom values, and Kingdom justice and compassion.

Phase 2: Personal and Relational Formation

Topics include: Christian spiritual formation and spiritual disciplines, inner healing, emotional maturity, secure identity, spiritual deliverance, Christian character formation, principles of Christian community, one-anothering and mutual ministry, and spiritual discernment.

Phase 3: Biblical, Theological, and Ministry Formation

Topics include: Bible survey, Bible interpretation, basic theology and ecclesiology, church history, ministry in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, principles and practical skills in spiritual mentoring, pastoral counseling, prayer ministry, justice advocacy, evangelism and discipleship.

 

“People will get deep, rich theology, but also the practical side of discipleship and spiritual formation.”
– Paul Eddy, WH Teaching Pastor

Program requirements

Students will be involved in a rigorous schedule of learning, gathering, serving, and ministering that is designed to impact and reshape all dimensions of life –

  1. HEAD: Mind-formation – knowledge, wisdom, disciplined thinking
  2. HEART: Emotional-formation – character, values, intimacy with God
  3. HANDS: Relational-formation – love for God, ourselves, others and creation
  4. FEET: Habit-formation – kingdom lifestyle, spiritual discipline practices, ministry and missional skills

Students’ required weekly commitment will be 50-60 hours.

The program will include:

Daily classroom experience

Monday-Fridays from 9am-1pm: learning, discussion, mutual-ministry, prayer and praise, and lunch. (20 hours/week)

Individual coursework

Required reading, Bible study, video-lectures and written reflections. (estimated 20 hours/week average)

Urban-Immersion Internship

Students will be involved in urban ministry as individuals and as a team. Examples of possible ministry include tutoring/homework help for urban children, food shelf ministry, inner city children’s ministry, serving inner city churches or ministry programs, conversational prayer/evangelism in public spaces, developing relationships cross-culturally, etc. (4-6 hours/week)

Church-based ministry

Students will be able to volunteer with the Woodland Hills children’s ministry, youth ministry, hospitality ministry or Refuge ministry on a weekly basis. (2-3 hours/week)

1:1 Mentoring

Students will be paired up with a same-gender mentor for support, encouragement, prayer and discipleship. (every other week 1.5 hours)

Student cohorts

Groups of 3-5 peers will meet monthly for support, prayer, and mutual help with any program needs. (once a month 2 hours)

House church participation

Students will be assigned to one of Woodland’s house church communities and will attend a weekly house church gathering for mutual ministry, praise, teaching, prayer and fellowship. (weekly, 3 hours)

APEST Guilds

Students will take a spiritual gifts assessment and will be matched with others sharing the same gift in order to develop and activate this gifting. The five-fold/APEST assessment tests for gifts as apostle/church planting, prophet/justice ministry, evangelist/outreach ministry, shepherd/mercy and healing ministry, and teacher/theological ministry. (once a month 2 hours)

“Justice Journey” trip

Students will be involved in a justice immersion experience where they will be exposed to, informed, and challenged in regards to some current form of social or systemic injustice or exploitation. (weekend or week-long)

SOMA Schedule

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"I really can't emphasize enough how much of a blessing WH has been to my wife and me. WH is the one place I feel comfortable to ask the “forbidden questions” and not feel like a heretic. God has used y'all to truly bless our lives."

– Jonathan