Duke University
Christian Virtues for Spiritual Growth
Duke University

Christian Virtues for Spiritual Growth


Gain insight into a topic and learn the fundamentals

Stanley Hauerwas

Instructor: Stanley Hauerwas

Beginner level

Recommended experience

5 hours to complete
3 weeks at 1 hour a week
Flexible schedule
Learn at your own pace

What you'll learn

  • Apply the distinctiveness and narrative shape of Christian convictions and the process by which character is formed to your own life.

  • Explain the role virtues play in Christian discipleship. 

Details to know

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Recently updated!

January 2024


5 quizzes

Taught in English

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There are 4 modules in this course

Welcome to the first session of this course, in which we explore the importance of kindness to a life of Christian virtue. We will dive into the importance of baptism in Christianity, and how it is a catalyst for a life of virtue. Next, we will explore the concept of virtue as a habit. We will discuss the meaning of virtue, its difference from mere moral behavior, and why it is constituted by habits. We will also examine how the cultivation of habits shape our character.

What's included

5 videos10 readings2 quizzes2 discussion prompts

This week you will learn how the virtue of hope—learning to rest in God’s providence when the future is not clear—allows one to live in the present moment without succumbing to suffering and despair. We will study Romans 5, in which St. Paul details how and why Christian hope draws its inspiration from the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We will discuss how Christian hope helps us build our character with eyes toward eternity, and we will examine the virtues in action through the lives and writings of Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray and Bishop Desmond Tutu. Finally, we will discover how hope is a virtue that is lived out in our personal and political contexts.

What's included

7 videos4 readings1 quiz1 discussion prompt

This week, you will learn how the virtue of humility leads to the self-knowledge necessary to understand ourselves as relational beings. Hauerwas traces the history of humility, and explains why it is seemingly a paradox. He emphasizes that humility is the key to a scriptural understanding of the world. You will read excerpts of homilies from Archbishop Óscar Romero that illuminate the connection between humility and the church’s faithful witness to the Gospel. Finally, you will apply what you have learned in a formation exercise that dares you to see humor as a practice of humility.

What's included

5 videos6 readings1 quiz1 discussion prompt

This week, you will learn the virtue of generosity. Hauerwas explains that generosity is a selfless posture that is practiced in relationships. Although people think of generosity as the virtue of giving, Hauerwas explained that the Christian concept of generosity is best understood through receptivity. In pursuing a relationship with God, human beings come to know that their very existence is a gift that in turn encourages us to receive gifts with humility and joy. In this lesson, you will see how generosity overlaps with other virtues you have learned about in this course. And at the end of this week, you will apply these lessons on generosity by giving a blessing to someone.

What's included

6 videos5 readings1 quiz1 discussion prompt


Stanley Hauerwas
Duke University
1 Course554 learners

Offered by

Duke University

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