Cross-cultural studies

The Legacy of Hope - Moving Beyond Boundaries

Author
Temaki Carr
Abstract
The Legacy of Hope stares into the future, a future that seems riddled with change and transition, and ponders how best to serve a transforming community. Mt. Hope Baptist Church is a historically African American church nestled in a moderately rural Virginia community, which is in the midst of an enormous population, socioeconomic, and demographic transition. How will this community transition impact Mt. Hope? The purpose of the research was to determine what effect, if any, a relational meeting campaign and two multicultural, multiracial Christian education classes would have on incorporating multicultural, nonblack attendees into the life of Mt. Hope Baptist Church. The research determined that the threshold to incorporate multicultural, nonblack attendees into the life of Mt. Hope Baptist church has been traversed. The formal and informal relational meeting campaign with key leaders and nonblack worship attendees as well as two Christian education classes influenced the five measurement protocols towards a propensity of acceptance to multicultural ministry.

An Examination of Stonebriar Community Church’s Mission Project in Chhattisgarh,
India, 2003-2014, and the Lessons That Were Learned That Can Benefit a Western
Evangelical Church or Mission Agency Engaged in Cross-Cultural Mission Work

Author
Thomas J Hayes D.Min.
Abstract
e
The first missionary effort by Americans to engage in cross-cultural Christian
mission was by Adoniram and Ann Judson. They set sail from Salem, Massachusetts, on2
February 19, 1812.1 Since that day, a steady stream of missionaries and mission work has
departed from the American Church. There have been periods of incredible growth as
well as periods of marginal interest. However, from the twentieth century and extending
into the twenty-first century was a period of time in which the American Church led the
global efforts of cross-cultural mission work. During that more than one hundred years,
the American Church sent more cross-cultural workers into more nations than any other
country in the world. The American Church leadership of the global mission effort was
not simply relegated to the number of cross-cultural workers sent: the American Church
also financed more mission efforts than any other country, formed more diverse types of
mission agencies, and created whole new styles of ministries during this unprecedented
time period of mission growth

Developing Better Interreligious Dialogue and Collaboration with Korean Muslims: An Exploration in Focolare Spirituality

Author
Mi Sook Han D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis-project focuses on fostering interreligious dialogue between the Korean Conference of Religions for Peace (KCRP), the most active interreligious dialogue organization in Korea, and Korean Muslim leaders who asked KCRP’s leadership to include Korean Islam as a member. This issue is still pending. The project seeks to develop interreligious dialogue between these two groups through an exploration in Focolare Spirituality, a spirituality of unity. Focolare Spirituality aims to promote universal fraternity and to achieve a more united world in which people respect and value diversity.
The project deals with four dialogues: dialogue with religious leaders who are related to this issue, Catholic Church’s teachings on interreligious dialogue, dialogue between religion and culture in Korean context, and dialogue with the Focolare spirituality in order to achieve the goal of mutual understanding and collaboration with Korean Muslims. This project concludes by offering a method from a spiritual perspective for a fruitful interfaith dialogue.

"DOCTRINE DIVIDES, SERVICE UNITES": EFFECTIVE THEOLOGICAL METHODS OF INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE FOR ACHIEVING PEACEFUL CO-EXISTENCE IN MYANMAR CONTEXT

Author
Ar Naing D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis examines a practical application for effective interreligious dialogue in Myanmar. The country exists deeply rooted in religious tension and ethnic conflict. In these unstable times, some of the religious leaders and politicians are barriers to democratic transition and peaceful coexistence. In response, this thesis explores a prophetic witness of social justice in the light of the Praxis Model, a theological method of Professor Stephen B. Bevans. First, the conditions of social-religious-political injustices are examined to explain what led the country into chaos, corruption, and civil war. Then, this thesis proposes using effective, practical methods for moral and social transformation. Rather than promoting interreligious dialogue focused on doctrines that have divided people, this thesis recommends uniting people through involvement in social service activities that create common understanding and mutuality. A just and peaceful society can be created through the cooperation of Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, and Hindu religious groups by cultivating the practice of prophetic interreligious dialogue.

From Reading To Preaching: Training First-Generation Korean-American Catholic Lay Ministers as Preachers through Online Sessions

Author
DONG UK KANG M.Div.
Abstract
The Catholic Church had a conflicting stance towards lay preaching in the past. However, lay preaching is feasible nowadays outside of Mass since the Code of Canon Law does not prevent the laity from preaching, and the Baptismal grace leads all the baptized to witness their faith. However, the laypeople still hesitated to practice the ministry. The researcher wondered if the lack of preaching education caused hesitation and decided to train laypeople to be preachers.
Six lay ministers and a layperson from a Korean Catholic church in Boston participated in the six-week online sessions. The researcher made fifteen instructional videos on focus and function statements and delivery of the sermons. Watching them, each participant submitted two drafts of their sermons and two preaching videos, and had two or three individual review sessions with the researcher, depending on his/her needs. The researcher measured each participant’s progress using the grading table of St. Meinrad seminary. The changes between the two grades from the first and the second preachings showed that the participants improved their preaching skills over the course of the training. The researcher found that preaching ministry was a teachable subject for the laity through online training.
To triangulate and assess the research outcome both qualitatively and quantitatively, the researcher also provided each participant with pre-training and post-training Likert-scale questionnaires and interviewed each participate using Watson’s five categories. In general, the participants appreciated the direction, convenience, and productiveness of the online teaching program. However, some participants pointed out cultural factors that would make the Korean and Korean-American congregation feel uncomfortable with the ministry. The researcher learned that he needs to study further and to strategize carefully in order to ease the cultural barrier when training future participants.

Project Title: Perspectives of Global Leaders on the Future of Multiethnic Collaboration: An Exploration

Author
Philip J. Smith D.Min.
Abstract
This Doctor of Ministry Project explored new opportunities for interorganizational collaboration within a specific network of ministry partners around the globe. It focused on multiethnic teams and organizations that have been birthed, in part, out of the ministry of Leadership Resources International (LRI), a pastoral training organization headquartered in Illinois.

The purpose of this project was to carefully gather and clearly understand perspectives from multiethnic leaders of these various teams and organizations around the world in order help LRI wisely navigate interorganizational collaboration.

In preparation for the field work, the author researched biblical, theological, historical, missiological and theoretical perspectives involved with worldwide, evangelical, multiethnic, interorganizational collaboration.

The methodology of the project followed the Appreciative Inquiry approach to qualitative, action research in order to carefully facilitate gathering wisdom from these leaders. Extended, semi-structured interviews were conducted with twenty leaders on eight leadership teams from eight separate countries. The transcribed recordings of the interviews were coded and analyzed. Findings and proposals were formulated for LRI leadership and recommendations presented for a wider audience.

The project found that damaging attitudes that accompany power-differentials pose the greatest challenge to effective interorganizational collaboration for this network. It also found that multifaceted wisdom and humility would have the greatest potential for combating that challenge and should permeate all interorganizational initiatives. For LRI, in particular, along with recommended means of cultivating wisdom and humility, the researcher recommended the formation of a carefully designed global entity as the best means of facilitating wise interorganizational collaboration amidst the wide-ranging challenges of power-differentials around the world.

OPEN WOUND, OPEN TABLE: A THEOLOGICAL EXPLORATION OF HOLY COMMUNION AS PRACTICED BY THE BORDER CHURCH/LA IGLESIA FRONTERIZA

Author
Seth David Clark D.Min.
Abstract
This study explores the Border Church, which worships across the San Diego-Tijuana border fence at Friendship Park, and how its weekly bi-national, bilingual, nonsectarian communion service, intersects with the lived realities of its borderlands congregants. Through participant-witness ethnography of my congregation and five semi-structured, open-ended interviews, I examine how God is experienced in Christian practices, especially communion, at the border wall. I conclude that borderlands experiences are not monolithic, which counters false groupings of and “othering” tropes about migrants, deportees, and activists. I also theologize about unity amid division and how to make the bread of the table even more open.

Kan In Don Nah (All Are Welcome Here): A Framework for Developing Intercultural Worship Practice at First Chin Baptist Church of New Bern, North Carolina

Author
Janice Daynette Snead D.Min.
Abstract
The process of intercultural ministry across human boundaries is modeled throughout the ministry of Jesus Christ. Regardless of culture, the scriptures actively engage understanding of God’s Word for all the people and His love to reach each one. This project sought to encourage a biblical understanding of intercultural discipleship by guiding the worshiping community of First Chin Baptist Church through a four-week ministry project to welcome and worship with non-Chin guests. Through a series of study on John 21:1-17, the community discovered a new biblical and theological foundation for understanding and guiding non-Chin guests before, during, and after worship to develop a framework for intercultural worship practices at First Chin Baptist Church.

CONTRASTING CONTRACTUAL AND COVENANT MARRIAGE IDEAS IN THE LIVES OF BELIEVERS FROM A MUSLIM BACKGROUND

Author
Nakhati Jon D.Ed.Min.
Abstract
Islamic marriage is a contract, and biblical marriage is a covenant. These two principles intersect and form a point of reestablishment in the marriages of believers from a Muslim background (BMBs).

Islamic contractual marriage ideas remain in marital relationships of BMBs. The intent of this study is to explore and understand the influence of Islamic contractual marriage on believers who now embrace the ideas of Christian covenant marriage.

The qualitative research will explore the believers’ understanding of their Islamic contractual marriage and their beliefs concerning biblical covenant marriage. BMBs retain a contractual view of marriage because they have not applied the ideas of covenant marriage, thereby affecting negatively their spousal relationships. Additionally, the use of certain cultural and religious terms reinforces their understanding of their marital relationship, often reflecting either a contractual or covenant perspective.

For BMBs and missionaries there is a deficiency of available literature that compares and explains the differences between the Islamic and biblical views of marriage. This study hopes to be a foundational resource to highlight areas which possibly are retained in these marriages.

Creating a Narrative Empathy Among Southern Baptist Leaders: Shaping a New Perception of Islam, the Prophet Muhammad and Jihad

Author
Charles Wesley Powell Dr. D.Min.
Abstract
The Southern Baptist denomination is the largest Protestant religious group in the United States. Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 there has been an increase of negative rhetoric among Southern Baptists towards Muslims. This thesis-project asks to what extent a lack of narrative empathy towards Muslims can be altered in the life of the Southern Baptist leader thus enabling the leader, consequently the denomination, to better understand and communicate the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as embodiments of spiritual discipline and peaceful living. The theoretical framework and in-depth qualitative interviews provide invaluable insights into the dynamics and use of anti-Islamic rhetoric among Southern Baptists. Concrete strategies of action are proposed, such as strategic personal encounters between Southern Baptists and Muslims which when combined with a better understanding of Islam can help uncover the Southern Baptist denominations preconceived prejudices and misunderstandings of Islam that so often hinder constructive dialogue. This project has crucial practical implications that has not yet received scholarly attention.

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