The Six Stages of Faith
Questioning? Wrestling with doubts? Feeling confused? The following chart may put things into perspective. It is a very helpful resource from Martin Scott outlining the stages of faith and doubt suggested by people like Reverend James Fowler and other researchers. Fowler is an author and Methodist Minister, and was Professor of Theology and Human Development at Emory University. He was also director of the Centre for Research on Faith and Moral Development and the Centre for Ethics until retiring in 2005.
He has written several books exploring the area of faith development. One book Stages of Faith: The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning (HarperOne 1981) outlines six distinct stages that we can go through with regards to our faith and belief systems. Fowler conducted his own research and used the research of others concerning cognitive and moral development.
Through my own transition from one stage to another I have found it really reassuring to remember that doubting, questioning and rethinking are a natural and necessary part of growing and maturing in faith, and don't have to mean the end of it.