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Formative moments: Faith at an early age

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