From early Jewish-Christian texts such as the Didache, which present well-defined catechetical programs, to contemporary authors such as Dallas Willard, who offer in-depth insights into the transformations of one's heart and soul, systematic texts on spiritual formation in the Western Christian tradition abound. These texts can offer ministers, researchers, and laypersons much clarity and guidance for their craft. However, the spiritual formation systems that we use are also always contextually influenced; such contextual factors may make them difficult to adapt to one's local work. Rather than turning to only a single text or community, then, it can be helpful for practitioners and theorists to look to a broader set of systematic presentations of spiritual formation. By turning to a group of specific individuals and communities in each era of Western Christian history, this book will help those working in this field to better understand how personal spiritual formation has been conceptualized and embodied. Such an exploration will help us not only to compile a more complete history of spiritual formation at the level of the individual but also to glean a better understanding of personal transformation so that we might engage this craft in more informed and systematic ways. ""Eric Kyle has the mind of an engineer, the heart of a pastor, and the spiritual stamina of an underground cartographer charting the precise coordinates that pave the path to light. The field of spiritual formation has never seen such systematic attention to the methods by which programs are discerned, crafted, and assessed. . . . This book will serve both the practitioner who yearns for a flow chart to guide the way through the caverns of spiritual program development and the scholar who longs for the map that outlines what's hidden in the dark."" --Frank Rogers, Claremont School of Theology ""Eric Kyle's exploration gives us lenses to understand precisely how Christian spiritual traditions transform lives--even our own lives. In fact, he is establishing a fresh and much-needed systematic approach within the new field of spiritual formation studies--one that points toward possibilities for understanding the structure and flow of transformation in any wisdom tradition."" --Andrew Dreitcer, Claremont School of Theology Eric Kyle is Assistant Professor of Theology and Director of the Service-Learning Program at the College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Nebraska. His research focuses on the systematic study and practice of spiritual formation.