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Spiritual Development. William G. Huitt. Valdosta State University. Last Revised: June 2003. Definition. Inherent property of the human being. Meaningfulness of our lives and our relationships to. ourselves. to others. to nature.

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Spiritual Development

William G. Huitt

Valdosta State University

Last Revised: June 2003


  • Inherent property of the human being

  • Meaningfulness of our lives and our relationships to

  • ourselves

  • to others

  • to nature

  • to a higher power (or to the unknowns of the universe)

Source of spirituality
Source of Spirituality

  • Naturalism


  • Pantheism

Universe is expression of God

  • Theism

Non-material soul created by God

Benefits of spirituality
Benefits of Spirituality

  • Improved physical health, including blood pressure

  • Healthier lifestyles and less risky behavior

  • Improved coping ability

  • Less depression

  • Faster healing

  • Lower levels of bereavement after the death of a loved one

  • A decrease in fear of death

  • Higher school achievement

Liability for lack of spirituality
Liability for Lack of Spirituality

  • Overeating

  • Risky behavior

  • Low self-esteem

  • Poor health

Spirituality related questions
Spirituality-Related Questions

  • Who are we as human beings? Where did we come from?

  • Where did the universe come from? What are its origins?

  • Are we in control of our lives or is our destination a result of fate?

  • Is there a God (in whatever way we define or know a Supreme Being)?

  • What is our relationship to God or the Creator, if there is one?

  • Is there a continuity of life after this life? If so, what is it like?

  • How can we increase meaning in our lives, in general, and my life, in particular?

Relating to self
Relating To Self

  • Signature Strengths: http://www.authentichappiness.org/

  • Index to Learning Style: http://www.ncsu.edu/felder-public/ILSdir/ilsweb.html

  • Jung Typology Personality Test: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp

  • Classical Intelligence Test (2nd Rev.): http://www.queendom.com/tests/iq/classical_iq_r2_access.html

  • Emotional Intelligence Assessment: http://etesting.modwest.com/tests.php?test=2

  • Becoming A Brilliant Star http://chiron.valdosta.edu/whuitt/brilstar/BrilStaract.pdf

Pathways to the soul
Pathways To The Soul

  • Creative Drive

  • Need for Initiation

  • Urge of Transcendence

  • Hunger for Joy and Delight

  • Yearning for Deep Connection

  • Longing for Silence and Solitude

  • Search for Meaning and Purpose

Stages of faith
Stages of Faith

0. Undifferentiated Faith

I. Intuitive-Projective Faith

II. Mythic-Literal

III. Synthetic-Conventional

IV. Individuative-Reflective

V. Conjunctive

VI. Universalizing Faith


  • Create conducive environment -- Save, secure, supportive

  • Maintain neutrality between secular and religious and among religions

  • Any activity that allows students to gain meaningful insights regarding self, others, nature, God or universal unknowns

  • Provide variety of activities using Kessler’s “Pathways” as a guideline