Woodland’s School of Everyday Mission (SEM) is a three year online discipleship school that focuses on equipping and shaping the hearts of Jesus-followers to serve others.
While many of us think about school as a place of information, SEM emphasizes formation—moving what we learn from our heads to our hearts.
Heart-formation is this year’s focus, as students learn more about things like cataphatic prayer, renewing the mind, inner healing and spiritual disciplines.
We asked three of this year’s new students to share what SEM has meant to them.
Caroline: I assumed the SEM course was not for me as I have no desire to go to seminary, but enrolling in SEM was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I’m from the UK and, with the time difference, I am joining Tuesday classes around midnight, but I genuinely love the classes and don’t want to miss a thing. I feel honored to be part of such an authentic, vulnerable, safe, supportive group. The classes and activities have enabled me to understand both myself and my Heavenly Father better, removing blocks in my relationship I was not aware existed. I’ve been able to correct core false beliefs that were holding me back, and I already have a closer, more joyful walk with God, which is an amazing result after only one term.
Wynn: During the pandemic, like many people, I felt isolated in my faith journey. SEM has offered me a chance to connect with other followers of Jesus at a variety of stages in our faith-development and has provided the structure for me to explore new ideas and practices. Through a combination of lecture, discussion, reading and practical exercises SEM has yielded experiences with God I can feel and carry. This is especially true as we have explored and practiced cataphatic prayer. Additionally, this program has afforded a chance to check in with myself and others as we journey to become the kind of apostles we hope God would have us be.
Megan: God in his gentle yet ferocious way has invaded my heart this past SEM semester and shown me so many parts of myself: parts that were in hiding because they were still deeply wounded and fragile, parts that were no longer needed and the not-so-nice parts. This invasion has been a deep cleaning, so that the true heart that God placed inside me could be revealed. As I prepare to step into whatever God has next for me I will need a pure, healthy, and strong heart to do all that God will call me to do. So, this semester, I’ve learned to keep sitting with Jesus even when it’s been hard, messy, scary, overwhelming, or uncomfortable!
We’re so encouraged by Caroline, Wynn, Megan, and everyone else who is taking part in SEM this year. It’s inspiring to see people embrace teaching and apply it to their lives and hearts!
Are you interested in taking a journey of both head and heart formation? SEM is accepting applications for Fall 2023. You can find more here.