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“Gradually, very gradually, we saw the great mountain sides and glaciers… until far higher in the sky than imagination had dared suggest the white summit of Everest appeared.” – George Mallory, 1924 Everest Climbing Leader. Discipleship and faith-formation are not unlike Mallory’s quest to climb the world’s tallest mountain. In this course we’ll use what Mallory learned about summitting Everest as a parable that can help us embrace how Jesus trained his first students, and how we can do the same with the people we serve. The lack of Christlikeness in contemporary Christianity stems from our inability to imagine the impossible heights to which Jesus calls us―becoming the kind of person who can love God and neighbor with everything within us. Drawing upon the teachings and example of Jesus and insights from the lives of some of history’s greatest spiritual climbers, we’ll map out eight “expedition camps” through which Jesus guides every person seeking to become a disciple.

Dr. Gary David Stratton

Dr. Gary David Stratton (BA, Wheaton College; MA, PhD, Talbot School of Theology) is a leading expert in the spiritual formation of both young people and adults. A Senior Fellow for the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), Gary cofounded the Future of Hope Youth Theology Institute and the award-winning website TwoHandedWarriors.com. Gary and his wife, Dr. Sue Stratton, have served as church planters, youth pastors, campus ministers, administrators, and professors at 12 schools in the United States and China. Gary is currently Professor of Spiritual Formation and Cultural Leadership and Dean of School of Arts and Sciences at Johnson University.