Christian education

A critical analysis of the need to establish, develop, and maintain libraries for parish churches

Author
Andrew Missiras
Abstract
The problem to be explored in this project report is the sequential aspects of establishing, developing and maintaining parish libraries as a means of creating effective networks of communication between the constituent members of a parish church. To understand the nature of the sequential aspects of establishing, developing and maintaining parish libraries, it is necessary to clarify the presuppositions which underlie the statement of the problem and its solution. The term ‘library’, as will be described in Chapter II, is understood to have a conceptual meaning that transcends any definition. ‘Library’ as a concept refers to the function of a learning resource center in a parish church. To call a church library a ‘learning’ center is predicated on the concept that the library is a place where learning happens rather than one in which learning materials are stored. Its function, then, is to advance the cause of learning by providing materials (documents, books, filmstrips, etc.) and services (answering ready reference questions, circulation of materials, etc.) to parish constituents. The emphasis here implies that the bringing of knowledge or information to the parishioner is important, not the collecting or processing of knowledge or information. The character of the parish library changes from collecting library materials to fostering learning so that the parishioner learns how to acquire information. If a parish library is understood to be a ‘learning resource’ center, the focus is on the parishioner and how he can best use the collection of books, magazines, etc. to facilitate his learning process. This is why it is important to clarify the use of the terms used in this project report.

I wonder : scientific exploration and experimentation as a practice of Christian faith

Author
Ruth E. Shaver
Abstract
“I Wonder…Gaining Wisdom and Growing Faith Through Scientific Exploration” is an intergenerational science curriculum designed to be used in congregations. The goal of this curriculum and the theoretical work underpinning it is to counter the perception that people of faith cannot also be people who possess a scientific understanding of creation from quarks to the farthest galaxies and everything in between. Deepening faith in God and growing scientific understanding of the world around us both begin with the statement, “I wonder…” With this phrase as the common ground between faith and science, Lady Wisdom (Sophia) serves as the guide for hands-on experiments as learners develop an understanding of scientific methods including observation, creating and testing hypotheses, and analyzing results. One original photograph of a fossilized dinosaur footprint is included in the curriculum with the express permission of the photographer, William D. Richards, who took it specifically to be used for this purpose. An analysis of the author’s contextual experience with the curriculum and similar programs, as well as the author’s personal understanding of what mature faith requires as a result of this work, follows the curriculum. There are two appendices: “Faith, Science and Technology Sunday Liturgy” for Sunday, February 7, 2016, produced by the author for “Worship Ways,” a supplemental service of Local Church Ministries of the United Church of Christ; and the author’s sermon for The United Church of Schellsburg United Church of Christ for the same Sunday, “Improbable But Not Impossible.”

Evaluación de la eficiencia de los programas de educación y crecimiento Cristiano en la Iglesia de Dios de la Profecía en el Perú

Author
Rafael Alvino Vargas
Abstract
The Church of God of Prophecy is a Pentecostal organization, and it’s believes are based on biblical principles. The COGOP in Peru started in 1953 in the San Cosme community, La Victoria, Peru. It has been 67 years since its beginning, however, educating and growing the church required some important changes to experience some progressive growth. In 2001 the church had around 14,000 members in Peru and realized that growth was not something that happened spontaneously but should be based on a structured formation to prepare pastors, leaders and members in general. Since 2003, and as part of a strategic plan, the COGOP implemented an operative plan to encourage sustained growth; with goals and contextual emphasis, and to respond to our specific needs to reach our immediate, intermediate, and long terms goals. In this thesis we used the RVR 1960 Bible

Good news offered anew

Author
Peter Van Elderen
Abstract
This project is designed to articulate a theory of communication for preaching and teaching which will take into account the formidable changes in communication which have occurred in the last thirty years. This is an exploration of the preaching and teaching event especially as it applies to passing on the doctrines of the church using the Heidelberg Catechism. Particular study is directed toward contemporary thought in business, homiletics, and education as they impact content and style of communication in preaching and teaching in the church.

This project demonstrates that technological changes in a post industrial society do not deter the Gospel from being preached and taught in reasoned passionate testimony apprehendable to all who will listen. This project also reveals that the Bible is not without resource for changes in style of communication, but rather continues to offer a message applicable and critical for both life and death in contemporary society.

Preaching with the Heidelberg Catechism today

Author
Arie W Blok
Abstract
This project is designed to give an overview of catechetical preaching today.

Chapter One looks at the present state of catechetical preaching and the various attitudes toward catechetical preaching. The practice of catechetical preaching is now in decline, both in quality and quantity.

Chapter Two deals with the problems of catechetical preaching. It is often repetitious from year to year and therefore boring. Preachers sometimes brings theological presuppositions to their preaching that are different from the views expressed by the Heidelberg Catechism.

Chapter Three gives us reasons why catechetical preaching can still be useful and relevant. The Heidelberg Catechism provides us with a useful framework of thought and confession. Its emphasis on the promises of God can be a very effective antidote to legalism and cold orthodoxy.

Chapter Four studies and critiques the approaches to catechetical preaching of Peter Y. DeJong, the Dutch Pietists, Heinrich Ott, Eugene Heideman, Shinji Masuda, and Paul Calvin Zylstra.

Chapter Five explores ways in which the Heidelberg Catechism can be preached with Scripture texts so that catechetical preaching will be, at the same time, valid and faithful exegesis of the chosen text and useful exposition of the Heidelberg Catechism.

A method is discussed by which a non-traditional congregation can be introduced to catechetical preaching and the Catechism presented as a reminder of what the Bible teaches.

Teacher care : a basic handbook for church educators

Author
William R Boersma
Abstract
Educational leaders have many responsibilities, but what distinguishes those who read this handbook is their desire to care for the congregation's teachers , helping them to grow
and develop their teaching potent i al . This they do by supporting, recruiting, training , and supervising teachers.

There are two paths which the readers could choose to follow through this handbook. They could systematically start at the beginning and proceed to end . Or they could randomly select chapters based on immediate interest and need. Fol l owing this random path, readers may or may not end up reading the entire handbook.

Either approach to reading this handbook is acceptable because of the handbook structure . Each chapter is independent . Even though they are coordinated, each chapter can stand alone. The framework of each chapter is similar. It moves from a general understanding of the topic (Perspectives) to specific suggestions for implementing the topic (Guiding Principles) to three examples of how it might be used in different churches { Models). This is then followed by two concluding sections, Resources and Annotated Bibliography.

"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.

Hispanic Pentecostal ministry in greater Grand Rapids : balancing calling and training toward a sustainable and healthy ministry

Author
Julian Guzman
Abstract


Leadership styles, worship, and liturgy of the Hispanic Pentecostal congregations are shaped by their rich, diverse cultural background. While they offer a welcoming and familiar community to migrating families, there seems to be a disconnect with the context in which they are serving. Pastors and leaders of these immigrant congregations face real challenges: from limitations with the English language to lack of true access to resources and opportunities, from disconnection with local government officials and other agencies to the necessary skill sets to properly engage and impact their communities. It has been my observation throughout the years involved with Hispanic Pentecostal congregations in Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan, the tremendous amount of work devoted to reaching out and ministering to those migrating to our communities from over twenty Spanish speaking countries of the American continent.

If these pastors of the fastest-growing religious tradition and the fastest-growing minority group in Western Michigan are making such an impact for the kingdom, I imagine the greater work they’d be able to do when they become better equipped and trained on unfamiliar yet significant educational programs.

I have interviewed 10 Hispanic Pentecostal pastors that participated in a two-year certificate program and discovered how this training enhanced their ministries, prepared them to serve their communities better, and experienced the power of collaborative efforts. Their confidence level raised and positioned them to embrace other opportunities and seek continued education.

I have concluded that when barriers are removed and true access is available, Hispanic Pentecostal pastors will embrace education because they understand the power of knowledge and training. Also, institutions should rethink curriculums, methodologies, and hospitality to better adapt to these pastors’ needs and to make it possible for them to stay engaged. Both academic institutions and Hispanic Pentecostal leaders ought to move more toward each other.

Using Springshare LibWizard as an Information Literacy Module to Improve the Research Skills of Students at Mississippi College

Author
Robert Lee Burgess D.Ed.Min.
Abstract
This project will measure the effectiveness of using LibWizard tutorials to teach library instruction over in-person instruction sessions. Chapter two will focus on the biblical rationale of the importance for students at Christian schools to become effective researchers so that they may live out their Christian calling to better the world. Chapter three will focus on the need of students to learn how to do research, the effectiveness of in-person instruction sessions, and benefits of online instructional tutorials. Chapter four will focus on the creation of the tutorials. Chapter five will present the evaluation of student learning from library instruction.

HELPING CHURCH MEMBERS UNDERSTAND AND BIBLICALLY RESPOND TO DEPRESSION

Author
Akintoye Jeremiah Akintunde Rev. D.Ed.Min.
Abstract
HELPING CHURCH MEMBERS UNDERSTAND AND BIBLICALLY RESPOND TO DEPRESSION
People often disregard the fact that the spiritual state of mind is greatly affected by what is happening in the physical. At times, depression results from exhaustion, anxiety, worry, and many bottled-up issues in people’s lives. People are depressed because they are unfulfilled in their careers, marital life, education, and plans. Unconfessed sin and wickedness of hearts can be the root cause of some depressive moods. When daily challenges become overwhelming and frustrating, people are spiritually drained and discouraged. What is needed for any individual struggling with a depressive mood is the Word of God through biblical counseling. Biblical counselors offer a compassionate heart and practical help through the biblical principles applied to the counselee’s life and situation.
Christians (church members) are not immune from depression because it is real and can be overcome and conquered through reliance on the Holy Spirit and appropriate biblical principles. Biblical counselors should always keep in mind a holistic perspective of human nature. God created human beings holistically – body, spirit, and soul. When one part suffers, every other part suffers with it. Psychology, philosophy, and psychoanalysis (or psychotherapy) are human theories and philosophies that can only last for a short time. The Word of God (Scripture) is authentic, inspired, inerrant, sufficient, and authoritative for counseling tasks and is superior to anything the world’s wisdom offers. The Scripture has the power to change life and turn around situations.
Regardless of the latest scientific discovery, research, and methodology, medical professionals still believe, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), that ‘mental disorders’ including depression fall into such “diagnostic criteria” with a collection of symptoms known as syndromes. A syndrome is simply a collection of symptoms that a person is experiencing.
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