Spiritual Formation team develop “roots”


The campus Spiritual Formation team has come together to organize and lead “Roots Bible Study.” This semester’s theme is “Who are the Biblical prophets and why do they matter?” This six-week program includes seven small groups, held either on campus or at the group leader’s home.

Roots Bible Study program is an opportunity for Malone students to dig deeper into the Bible and to discuss advanced topics of relevance. (Photo from Malone’s website of Spiritual Formation)

“Roots” used to be directed by students, but now leaders include resident advisers as well as volunteers and campus faculty. In order to meet students where they are on their spiritual walks, “Roots” studies basic concepts of Scripture and requires no prior Biblical knowledge. For students that want to dig deeper, more advanced topics of discussion are offered as well.

Jessica Holland, a volunteer campus minister at Malone, developed the study material for this semester. Holland’s reason for choice in curriculum was to give students the tools to understand the prophets of the Old Testament in retrospect of her own studies.

“Biblical knowledge [among college students] is something that is lacking.” Holland said.

Linda Leon, Director of Spiritual Formation, also emphasizes that the subjects discussed are things that the “Roots” team feels students need to hear. They envision these groups as building a sense of community among students and also between students and faculty.

“Roots” started two years ago, said University Chaplain Pastor Randy Heckert, who also helped determine the study curriculum. Heckert said the main reason for starting “Roots” was to help Malone students become more Biblically literate and to connect the faculty and students in a spiritual way.

Leon tells a little of what started this program. She wanted “students to understand the big picture and the metanarrative of Scripture…and see the invitation to change and live in the way God might want them to.”

The “Roots” leaders said they are very proud of this group and consider it to be a very successful program. Heckert said the challenge they face is trying to figure out what things are distracting students that might keep them from participating.

He, as well as Leon and Holland, have a common goal in helping students gain more knowledge of the Bible, with special emphasis on the Old Testament. They consider it a very important part of the education at Malone and are doing their best to stress this to students. They are appreciative of the participation thus far, and feedback from students is always welcome, Leon said.

Sign-ups are currently closed, but for any questions or feedback on the “Roots” program, students may contact Linda Leon at (330) 471-8442 or by email at

Jaynie Cooper is a staff writer for The Aviso AVW

Categories: News

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