Faulkner University

Character

The development of one's character is important to one's success. Character is often defined as "what you do when no one is looking."

Character focuses on the development of dispositions nurtured by spiritual development through intentional curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular processes. In the Spiritual Formation Program (SFP), Character focuses on the development of spiritual formation dispositions through intentional curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular processes. Three distinct yet intertwined Christian dispositions have been identified for the SFP. These are the disposition to dialogue, the disposition to care and the disposition to calling. These dispositions represent a key determinant of an individual's "heart full of grace" and the Institution's climate. The expression of these dispositions is evidence of the inward Christian character traits such as love, integrity, truthfulness, trustworthiness, humility, caring, compassion (mercy), justice, and faithfulness (responsibility). The dispositions are also the bridge in the SFP between Intellect and Service.

The writings of the Apostle Paul allude to this bridge in the following passages:

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal." (I Cor. 13:1)

"We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me." (Col 1:28-29)

The inference of I Corinthians 13:1 is that if a person possesses the knowledge-Intellect-to speak, but does not have the disposition to care-Character-then their actions mean nothing. The inference of Colossians 1:28-29 is that the dispositions to dialogue and care are part of the Christian calling and service of faith to others. In addition, the English Standard Version's translation of the Colossians passage uses the phrase "present everyone mature in Christ" in verse 28. This particular translation conveys the underlying inference that in addition to personal spiritual formation, Christians are called to nurture the spiritual formation of others. The SFP promotes the development of these dispositions through intentional processes.

 

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