The Enneagram for Spiritual Formation

How Knowing Ourselves Can Make Us More Like Jesus

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Author AJ Sherrill still remembers the moment when his life was forever changed by a word he didn't even understand at the time: Enneagram. A personality theory that includes nine different "types," the Enneagram has become a popular tool for self-awareness and improvement.

But in this book, Sherrill goes deeper, exploring with Christians how the Enneagram can be a pathway to profound spiritual transformation. Sherrill reveals the Enneagram as a tool to unlock new ways of viewing identity, personality, discipleship, spiritual practices, evangelism, and the Bible.

Using this fresh approach, Sherrill shows how our true identity is that of a beloved child of God. Recognizing that, we can move confidently into the world expressing this identity through our unique personality.

Through Sherrill's detailed spiritual exploration of each type, readers will emerge viewing the Enneagram as a precious gift to following Jesus more closely. Foreword by Chuck DeGroat.

Foreword by Chuck DeGroat
1. Identity
Rooted in Belovedness
2. Personality
How We Cope in a Harsh World
3. Discipleship
Spiritual Practices for Each Enneatype
4. Scripture
Finding Your Type in the Biblical Narrative
5. Evangelism
A Powerful Story of Beauty and Brokenness
6. Character
Creating a Rule of Life for Wholeness
Appendix: Additional Enneagram Insights


"As the Enneagram has moved from the margins to the mainstream, it's been both used and abused. Many of us know just enough to be dangerous! AJ's recent work is hands down the best resource I know of for the Enneagram and spiritual formation. If the Enneagram is a map for the spiritual journey for different personality types, AJ is a wise, joyful guide for the road. No one should read this book who does not want to change; and anyone who has a deep ache for transformation in the way of Jesus should read this book."

John Mark Comer, pastor of teaching and vision at Bridgetown Church; author of The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry

"AJ Sherrill beautifully rescues the Enneagram from the twin mistakes of either elevating it to the be-all, end-all of self-knowledge or reducing it to a parlor game. Through The Enneagram for Spiritual Formation, AJ helps us see the Enneagram as a powerful tool in the work of following Christ and being formed into his likeness. Pulling from Scripture, church history, culture, and wisdom from every corner, AJ brings fierce intelligence and profoundly helpful language to this entire conversation. And more than mere ideas, he offers a set of concrete practices for each type to help us flesh out the invitation in our lives, relationships, bodies, and whole selves."

Aaron Niequist, liturgist; author of The Eternal Current

"AJ Sherrill has done it! Finally, a way to resource the Enneagram for meaningful discipleship. Through sound wisdom and regular invitations to reflection and practice, AJ calls readers to examine the fullness of who God created them to be and go deeper in life with Christ. Working alongside AJ, I've seen how he lives out these invitations in real time: in his church leadership, his personal relationships, and his own spiritual formation. He knows a valuable truth and has graciously shared it with all of us: No matter our God-given uniqueness, greater transformation and deeper life in Christ are possible. For that reason, this book is a must-read, must-share, must-live."

Ashlee Eiland, formation and preaching pastor, Mars Hill Bible Church; author of Human(Kind)

"So much of what we learn from the Enneagram about ourselves and the people we love stops at simple self-awareness, which can easily become another exercise in self-centered navel-gazing. Thankfully, AJ Sherrill deepens and expands our endeavors, revealing how we can use the wisdom of the Enneagram to draw us closer to the heart of God. Having AJ equip our pastors and staff with the lessons and tools found here in The Enneagram for Spiritual Formation developed us in immediate and powerful ways. It will do the same for you."

Sean Palmer, pastor and speaking coach; author of Forty Days on Being a Three (Enneagram Daily Reflections) and Unarmed Empire: In Search of Beloved Community

"The popularity of the Enneagram has spawned both critics and fanatics in the church. AJ Sherrill artfully connects the Enneagram typology with Scripture, theology, and Christian discipleship. This essential resource will help readers appreciate how personality shapes their faith journey."

Mark Scandrette, adjunct professor, Fuller Theological Seminary; author of Practicing the Way of Jesus

"I am deeply grateful for AJ's thoughtful leadership and commitment to forming people in the way of Jesus. He brings the full strength of his thinking around discipleship and spiritual formation to bear on the Enneagram, moving it from a mere construct to discipleship resource. I recommend this book as a helpful and practical tool in this discussion."

Jon Tyson, lead pastor of Church of the City New York; author of Beautiful Resistance

"There are a number of books on the Enneagram, many of which never really go deep enough to address spiritual formation. I am thankful to finally have one that moves beyond superficiality and calls Christians to personal transformation. This book is a well of wisdom that shows us how knowing ourselves can in fact make us more like Jesus. I highly recommend it to all who are looking for a Christ-centered introduction to the Enneagram that will help deepen their faith."

Winfield Bevins, author of Ever Ancient, Ever New

The Author

  1. AJ Sherrill
    © Adam Bird

    AJ Sherrill

    AJ Sherrill (DMin, Fuller Theological Seminary) has more than twenty years of experience as a pastor, including as lead pastor at Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is now lead pastor at St. Peter's Church in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina....

    Continue reading about AJ Sherrill


"An inherently fascinating, thoughtful, and thought-provoking read, The Enneagram for Spiritual Formation: How Knowing Ourselves Can Make Us More Like Jesus offers a potentially life changing approach toward spiritual growth and is commended to the attention of all members of the Christian community regardless of denominational affiliations. . . . Highly recommended for church, seminary, community, and college/university library Christian Personal Self-Help & Growth collections."

Wisconsin Bookwatch