Formative moments: Faith at an early age

February 8, 2011
© Peter Booth

The term theological education brings to mind formal study in seminary classrooms or other institutions. But people's deepest convictions about God and their deepest stirrings of faith are often formed at an early age. They may spend their later years in the classroom, in ministry or in other careers exploring and deepening—or struggling with—convictions that were inspired early in life. Here are seven reflections on formative experiences:

Amos Yong, who teaches theology at Regent University School of Divinity in Virginia Beach

Michael Jinkins, president of Louisville Theological Seminary

Don C. Richter, a Presbyterian minister and associate director of the Louisville Institute.

Kathleen Norris, who recently wrote Acedia & Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer's Life

Richard H. Bliese, president of Luther Seminary

James P. Wind, president of the Alban Institute

Thomas Lynch, who recently wrote Apparition & Late Fictions and Walking Papers


What about converts?

I don't see a single person on this list who was raised outside the faith that he or she now professes. Their formative moments might be interesting, don't you think?


I enjoyed reading these, but would also have enjoyed hearing from more women, instead of only one out of seven.

living their faith

Thank you. These are beautiful stories. How others live their faith has such a profound effect on us. Where are the women? They might not be writing, but they are present in living their faith!

gender imbalance

Having finished reading the article on gender imbalance in magazine stories published, I popped over to check out the CC cover story. What a sad irony.