Christian education of adults

Talking to Victims of Trauma Through the Lens of Atonement Theology

Author
Ron Wymer D.Min.
Abstract
Metaphors concerning atonement theology that are misunderstood, poorly defined, and clumsily communicated often lead to a mischaracterization of God to those who have experienced trauma or abuse. Theological scholars, local church leaders, and pulpit preachers have discussed and debated the correct way to describe Christ’s work of atonement. However, little concern has been shown when communicating atonement theology toward those who have been injured by trauma and abuse. This study aims to provide a platform for the abused to share their stories concerning their spiritual formation through the lens of their experience both with trauma and theological teaching by church leaders. The use of terms trauma and abuse are defined by the participants in the study albeit as broad or narrow as the participant determines by their own definition.

To test this hypothesis, a survey was distributed to the entire congregation of a medium-sized Mid-Western Evangelical congregation concerning their grasp of atonement theological terms as well as their perceived characterization of the God of their understanding, connectedness with others in the congregation, and grasp of theological terms relating to atonement theology. Following a four-week teaching series, a second similar survey was conducted to gauge movement in the areas of study. Additionally, all survey respondents were given the opportunity to privately schedule individual interviews with the researcher to share their insights and experiences with trauma and the church teaching on atonement theology. Church survey responses were scored by numerical averages.

The results showed a significant increase in knowledge of atonement theology and small increases in correcting characterization of God and connectedness with fellow believers in the congregation. The interviews reported a lack of meaningful interaction with most of the subjects instead it was reported creating their own view of God’s care, comfort, and leading through the traumatic experiences.

Educación teológica Pentecostal y su impacto en la iglesia local, en el contexto de la Iglesia de Dios de la Profecía en Chile

Author
Sergio Cedeño González
Abstract
This thesis analyzes the impact of Pentecostal theological education in the local church and the community, in terms of the fulfillment of the church's mission. This work focuses on the context of the educational programs of theological formation of the Church of God of Prophecy in Chile. The purpose was to verify how the local churches have been impacted by the Pentecostal theological formation programs and to find out if the pastors and members who participate in these programs have developed in terms of their spiritual life, preparation to serve and commitment to the local church and its mission. And at the same time to evaluate if the curriculum responds to the needs of the local church and the context where they develop the mission.

In order to achieve this purpose, I used documents and reports related to this topic, and interviews with actors involved in these formation processes. Secondly, I used the survey methodology, directed to about 60 students (30 pastors and 30 members), which allowed us to have a representative sample of the population to be studied.

I came to the conclusion that the majority of the students surveyed have experienced progress in their spiritual development and commitment to the local church where they serve, however a smaller percentage, but no less important, understands that important changes are needed in the approach of the curriculum.

Sound the trumpet : an adventure in shared ministry

Author
Kevin Harney
Abstract
My understanding of shared ministry, at the beginning of my studies, was shaped by New Testament teaching on ministry. As a matter of fact, the Pauline Epistles were the primary source of my thinking. Beyond this, it is safe to say that three sections of Scripture formed the core of my ecclesiology in relationship to Shared Ministry (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-15 and Ephesians 4). Each of these passages teaches the importance of spiritual gifts among the body of believers.

This limited perspective led me to read the entire bible and look for any passages which dealt with shared ministry (of any kind). The second learning unit in my program pushed me beyond the New Testament "gift-centered" approach and helped me develop a broader understanding of ministry and God's people.

Preaching from teaching : an adult Sunday School workbook and methodology

Author
James D Lester
Abstract
"Preaching from Teaching" sets forth a design for the production of a series of sermons. It is an encouragement to pastors to include geographical, historical, and archaeological material, theological themes, and contemporary issues, in the planning for their adult teaching to enhance their preaching.

The first part of the project is the creation of a student workbook as an illustration of an adult teaching curriculum. Genesis 11:30-25:10 serves as the model for the workbook entitled "Rejoicing In New Beginnings." Chapter one "Traveling with God" is a review of appropriate geographical conditions, the historical background, and life settings of Abraham and Sarah. Chapter two, "Friends with God, "is a study of the theological themes from the passages. Chapter three, "Living Everyday with God, "is an examination of the contemporary faith and life issues which can be identified from the Abraham and Sarah narrative. Each chapter is designed to be one twelve week quarter of Sunday School lessons. The workbook serves as resource material of the class, but it also is designed to prompt the students to reflect on the data which has been presented.

The second part of the project is a methodology explaining how a series of sermons can be produced using the classroom experience and material. The section, "In the Study," is a description of the process of selecting passages, planning the curriculum, and preparing the workbook. The unit, "In the Classroom," offers some thoughts about the presentation of the workbook, but primarily emphasizes the need for the pastor to dialogue with the class and then retrieve the essence of those issues for direction in sermon preparation. The third of this group, "From the Pulpit," sets forth the practice of making sermons from the workbook and the classroom interactions.

"What would Clement do?" : recovering the catechumenate for faith formation today

Author
Steven D Pierce
Abstract
This project seeks to answer the question, “What would Clement do?” concerning faith formation in churches today. Its aim is to help the spiritually curious, newcomers, and regular church attenders develop a more informed understanding of the Christian faith, particularly through the lens of the Reformed Church in America (RCA). My research for this paper began at Marble Collegiate Church (RCA) in Manhattan—a large, urban church context. In the summer of 2011, I began my ministry as a solo pastor at The Community Reformed Church (CRC) at Manhasset, NY, a small, suburban congregation just outside of New York City. The Explorer’s Handbook and formative process that comprise my doctoral work both emerge from and serve both types of settings. Its appeal is wide; its scope is broad.

Equipping the Korean-American Families for Family Worship at Orange Canaan Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, CA

Author
WOO LEE LEE D.Ed.Min.
Abstract
In the 120 years of Korean immigration to the United States, there has been a history of much hardship and loneliness associated with settling down in a strange land and living life as an immigrant. For many immigrants adjusting to life in the United States, in which their children have had to adjust to life in a whole new culture, it is often the case that they have not been able to pay much attention to their children's lives. Now, these parents face the problem of communicating to and discipling children that have grown up in a completely different language and culture—having been assimilated to the culture and having been educated in the United States growing up with a completely different set of values from their parents' generation. As such, problems and conflicts within Korean immigrant families in the United States continue to grow. For Christians, the problems they face often find their children leaving their homes and leaving their churches. Unfortunately, this is the reality of the Korean church in the United States.

Building up a practical education program for the aged Christians : designing and carrying out senior worldview training retreat

Author
Do Hyung Kim
Abstract
"The purpose of this project was to equip aged Christians with a Christian Worldview in order to overcome diverse issues that exist in their senescent life. The author proceeded the project as follows. The groundwork of the preparation of an educational program for the aged Christians and the methods of this paper were described in Introduction. In chapter 1, the author explained roughly the concept and history of Christians worldview. In chapter 2, the author explored the definition of 'aging' from social, biological, and psychological aspects while describing the existing issues of senescent life. The author tried to seek the potential meanings of 'aging' from a Christian perspective based on the Bible. Paul Stevens' understating of aging, Erikson's theory of development stage, John Westerhoff's theory of education, and Christian worldview rooted in Reformed theology were theoretical grounds used for the educational program of the aged Christians. Specially, four factors of Christians worldview - creation, fall, redemption, and consummation - became the main stages of the suggested educational program, 'Senior Worldview Training Retreat.' In Chapter 3, the author described the content and flow of the 'Senor Worldview Training Retreat' and through chapters 4 and 5, the evaluation of the project and conclusion were explained." -- Leaf [2].

Measuring the Effectiveness of Equipping Families Using a Sermon-Based Curriculum at Fellowship Bible Church in Jacksonville, Texas

Author
Graham Hale D.Min.
Abstract
The aim of this project was to measure the effectiveness of using a sermon-based curriculum to combat biblical illiteracy and equip family shepherds for the work of home ministry. The two focus groups for this project at Fellowship Bible Church of Jacksonville, Texas, were the Sermon-Only Group and the Sermon and Sermon-Based Home-Discipleship Group. The Sermon-Only Group listened to four sermons through the book of Zephaniah (selected because of its length, unfamiliarity, and gospel themes). The Sermon and Sermon-Based Home-Discipleship Group listened to the sermons and also participated in a four-week, twenty-lesson study on Zephaniah in the home. The two groups were tested on their retention and application of what was taught from the book.

The thesis of this project was that parents and children in the Sermon and Sermon-Based Home-Discipleship Group would retain more of the Word of God and more faithfully apply the Word when compared to the Sermon-Only Group.

Chapter 1 addresses the problem of biblical illiteracy while also introducing the thesis. Chapter 2 makes an argument in favor of home discipleship both biblically and historically. Chapter 3 makes an argument biblically and practically for sermon-based instruction, introducing and explaining the effectiveness of using sermon-based curriculum in the home. Chapter 4 explains the preparation for and execution of the ministry project at FBC of Jacksonville. Chapter 5 includes a report on the findings from the project. In this chapter, the project director evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the project and what he would do differently in hindsight.

MIND THE GAP: THE DELTA BETWEEN SUNDAY FORMATION AND WEEKDAY WORK FOR LAY BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS IN THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

Author
Anthony P Clark
Abstract
"This thesis-project examines the gap between the Sunday formation and the weekday experience for lay business professionals in The Episcopal Church (TEC) and argues that lay business professionals are not adequately equipped by the church for the ethical challenges they face in the workplace. The thesis-project proposes a biblical theology of a royal priesthood as the best way to understand the formative community of the people of God. The moral theology section of
the thesis-project argues that this royal priesthood is best shaped and formed in the virtue ethics tradition for most effective engagement with ethical issues in the workplace. In addition, lay business professionals offer their insights on the effectiveness and the improvement of formation in the church through field research that includes qualitative interviews and surveys. Finally, the
thesis-project discusses the implications for congregational ministry based on the biblical theology of a royal priesthood, moral theology focused on virtue ethics, and field work observations. "

Even To Our Graying Years: Faithfulness and Renewal In An Aging Church

Author
Jeffrey Colarossi D.Min.
Abstract
My Project in Ministry has begun a conversation that will, with God’s help, work toward the renewal of an aging congregation, Westwood First Presbyterian Church, offering a pastoral care plan to calm members’ anxiety and fear over the challenges threatening the church, and an action plan necessary for the church to be able to live faithfully, into a hopeful future, trusting in God. Engaging Biblical texts, Reformed Polity, the Spirituality of Aging, and key theologies––Practical, Vocation, Discipleship and Life-Long Learning––the project offers the church a clear vision for the future and a tangible plan to organize, energize and engage the congregation. The implementation of the project, involving the Worship and Christian Education ministries of the church, as well as the qualitative social research methodologies of self-report questionnaires and guided interviews, enabled the project to clearly communicate that vision and plan, and convey the sense of validation needed to establish participants trust, so crucial to the success of the project. The enthusiastic response, participation and support of the church throughout the process––particularly its leadership––offers a sense of confidence that the conversation will continue well into the future.
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