Spiritual Formation

First and foremost, Christian formation is at the core of Christian higher education. Teaching students to live out their faith on a day-to-day basis is central to the mission of JBU and is the heart of the gospel. The goal is to encourage growth in Christ-likeness through the practice of spiritual disciplines and help us understand what difference Christ is making in our lives. The Spiritual Formation subscales are:

  • Spiritual Maturity : Measures awareness of Christ’s presence, role of the Holy Spirit, God’s forgiveness, relationship with Christ, and evidence of Christ in one’s life.
  • Spiritual Practices : Measures closeness of relationship with Christ, and spiritual disciplines like prayer, Bible reading, church involvement, and sharing one’s faith with non-believers.

Emotional & Relational Competencies

A unique part of the SRA is measuring competencies that reflect emotional and relational awareness and management. Most of us were raised with the assumption that IQ is the best measure and predictor of human potential. Over the past 20 years, however, researchers have found that this isn’t necessarily the case—that in actuality, a person’s emotional intelligence quotient (EQ) might be a greater predictor of success.

Emotional intelligence describes a person’s ability to understand his or her own emotions and the emotions of others and to act appropriately based on this understanding. Given the nature, purpose and size limitations of the SRA we do not seek to assess or incorporate all of the concepts and constructs of EQ into our assessment but rather those that a group of leaders involved in Christian higher education have agreed are some of the key areas that can be developed and assessed over a four-year educational experience. The emotional and relational subscales of the SRA are as follows:

Emotional Competencies


  • Emotional Self-Awareness: Overall, this measures how individuals recognize their own emotions and the effects of their feelings. Individuals with good emotional self-awareness are able to identify what they are feeling, understand why they feel what they do, and acknowledge the importance of those emotions.
  • Accurate Self-Assessment: Overall, this measures individuals’ ability to understand their own inner resources and abilities. Individuals who can accurately assess themselves are aware of their own strengths and limitations, typically exhibit a sense of humor about themselves, are open to constructive criticism and feedback, and have a sound sense of their capabilities.
  • Self-Confidence and Self-Worth : Overall, this measures individuals’ ability to recognize their own value and worth, and have positive attitudes towards themselves. Individuals with self-confidence and healthy self-worth are aware of their own good qualities, expect that they will be able to do things as well as others, and are satisfied with their past accomplishments as they seek out new challenges.


  • Emotional Responsibility: Overall, this measures individuals’ healthy (or unhealthy) management of their own emotions. Individuals with good self-management skills are able to keep disruptive emotions and impulses under control, and to channel them into useful ways. They are able to stay calm and clear-headed under highly stressful or crisis situations.
  • Emotional Self-Management: Overall, this measures individuals assuming emotional responsibility for themselves. Individuals who demonstrate healthy personal responsibility take ownership of how they feel, are intentional about managing their feelings, and are thoughtful about how they express their emotions.
  • Anger Management: Overall, this measures individuals’ ability to manage their anger in healthy ways. Individuals with good anger-management skills are able to experience disappointment or discouragement while keeping their frustration from erupting in emotionally uncontrolled outbursts.

Relational Competencies

Relational Awareness:

  • Empathy: Overall, this measures understanding and engaging with other people’s emotions. Individuals with healthy empathy are able to be aware of, to understand, and to appreciate the feelings of others. They are able to connect their own experience to other people’s lives, without being overwhelmed by what the other person is experiencing or feeling.
  • Listening: Overall, this measures the ability to truly hear what another is saying. Individuals with strong listening skills encourage others to talk, focus on the other person’s message rather than their own response, give the speaker their full attention, and ask clarifying questions to increase understanding.

Relational Management:

  • Forgiveness: Overall, this measures the capacity to forgive others. Individuals with a healthy ability to forgive are able to do so, even when the other person doesn’t ask for it or doesn’t feel guilty. They choose to forgive rather than deal with ongoing resentfulness and bitterness.
  • Communication: Overall, this measures how well individuals talks with others. Individuals with healthy communication skills are able to speak up for their own needs or wants, are comfortable conversing with others, and feel confident that they are speaking in ways that others can understand.
  • Conflict Engagement: Overall, this measures healthy participation in conflicts or disagreements. Individuals with healthy conflict engagement skills are able to speak for themselves in positive and assertive ways, and seek to engage with others when there are disagreements instead of avoiding an argument. They share what they are feeling rather than remaining silent. Low scores in this area suggest a pattern of conflict avoidance and withdrawal.
  • Conflict Management: Overall, this measures habits that decrease or de-escalate conflict or disagreements. Individuals with healthy conflict management skills are able to disagree while avoiding defensiveness or vengefulness. They are able to accept criticism without fighting back. It’s about being able to disagree without becoming disagreeable. Low scores in this area suggest a pattern of conflict escalation.