Janet O. Hagberg and Robert A. Guelich,
The Critical Journey
Stages in the Life of Faith,
Second Edition


List Price: $33.95
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 268
ISBN(10):  1-879215-49-7
ISBN(13): 978-1-879215-49-8
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The Critical Journey, at its core, is a description of the spiritual journey: our response to our faith in God with the resulting changes that follow.

In this book, authors Janet O. Hagberg and Robert A. Guelich address the following issues:

  • the struggle to find meaning and wholeness
  • the crisis of values and identity at mid-life
  • the quest for self-actualization
  • the healing of early religious experiences
  • questions about the spiritual journey

Their goal is to help us understand where we are on our individual faith journeys and also appreciate where others are in theirs.

The Critical Journey does not reveal exactly how or when we need to move along in our personal pilgrimages, nor does it offer formulas for spiritual growth. Rather, it describes six phases of the spiritual journey and illustrates how people act and think while in these stages.

This is an excellent guide for those who are wrestling with their faith and wondering how others have resolved their "dark nights of the soul." Here is an answer for those who have wondered why everyone doesn't respond in the same manner to the message of the Gospel.


Spirituality may be the most misunderstood and misused term of our time. The word evokes a mixed reaction of all sorts of memories, ideas, dreads, and joys. Most people relate in some way to the term. For those in the church, some take the term for granted, some rigidly define it, and others seldom give it a thought. In broader circles, spirituality has come to mean an urge or power within us that drives us toward meaning for our lives. We are astounded by the number of people in secular settings who are drawn enthusiastically to the concept. Most of the people we have talked to in education, corporate, and nonprofit settings make it clear that for them 'spirituality' is not to be equated with religion. They are emphatic in not wanting to be identified with the Church or organized religion.

Table of Contents:

  • Preface
  • 1995 Preface
  • Preface to the Second Edition
  • Introduction
  • The Critical Journey
  • Sharing Our Faith Journeys
  • Stage 1: The Recognition of God
  • Stage 2: The Life of Discipleship
  • Stage 3: The Productive Life
  • Stage 4: The Journey Inward
  • The Wall
  • Stage 5: The Journey Outward
  • Stage 6: The Life of Love
  • Stages of Faith and Spiritual Formation
  • The Ministry, the Church, and Stages of Faith and Power
  • Stages of Power and Stewardship
  • Reflections on the Wall
  • Questions and Answers RegardingThe Critical Journey
  • Postscript
  • 2004 Postscript

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