Discipleship

Developing a biblical discipleship course that transforms seminary students to fulfill the Great Commission

Author
Mark M Cancel D.Min.
Abstract
The focus of this study is the development and evaluation of a Biblical Discipleship Course at a seminary designed equip students to make disciples in obedience to the Great Commission. In developing the Biblical Discipleship Course, the theological framework and doctrinal implications of the Great Commission Matthew 28:18–20 were identified and discussed. This course was designed to be objective based, transformative and motivational driven with several schools of thought on this subject were used in its development. The assertions of two hypotheses of this study were satisfied and upheld, by collected research and analysis. A Seminary Level Biblical Discipleship Course can transform students into makers of disciples in fulfillment of the Great Commission. Change in spiritual attitudes and commitment affects making disciples.

Towards a Reformed Evangelical Program of Spiritual Formation at Ryle Seminary, Ottawa

Author
Shaun Minett Turner D.Min.
Abstract
In this research portfolio the author seeks to articulate a form of reformed-evangelical spiritual formation and apply it to ministry formation training in both military and civilian ministry training contexts. The author sees spiritual formation as stripping off the old self and putting on the new self by looking to Jesus. Research is presented which shows that this formation often leads to greater resilience in ministry and life, as well as an increased awareness of, and dependence on, God’s sovereign grace, leading to a deeper sense of discerning God’s voice every day. The author used three parts: a personal spiritual autobiography, a model of spiritual formation in the reformed-evangelical tradition, and a field research project using appreciative inquiry to develop an integrated spiritual formation program at a reformed-evangelical seminary in Ottawa, Canada. The author was successful in using an appreciative approach to engage the students of the Seminary to design a program that was accepted by an expert panel of school administration, denominational leadership, and student leadership. This research portfolio provides both a practical model of spiritual formation in the reformed-evangelical tradition and a means of tailoring this model, through appreciative inquiry, to specific contexts.

HOW CAMPUS MINISTRY INFLUENCES AND FACILITATES SPIRITUAL GROWTH IN THE LIVES OF PRINCETON UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

Author
Jonathan Nielson D.Min.
Abstract
For this major project, the study participants were Princeton University undergraduate
students who were actively involved in the ministry of Princeton Faith and Action, which is
staffed and resourced by Christian Union. Students were observed, studied, and interviewed at
the beginning (fall) and conclusion (spring) of their freshmen years at Princeton, with the goal of
determining to what extent this campus ministry was contributing to their spiritual growth. The
research and study focused on five main metrics to measure the growth in spiritual maturity of
these students: Bible and theology knowledge, spiritual disciplines, personal holiness and
godliness, evangelism and gospel witness, and understanding of and involvement in local
churches. Conclusions were drawn about the strengths and weaknesses of this campus ministry
at Princeton University and its effectiveness in helping undergraduate students grow in spiritual
maturity.

DISCIPLESHIP OF MUSLIM BACKGROUND BELIEVERS IN THE CONTEXT OF PERSECUTION: A STUDY IN NORTH AFRICA

Author
Phillip Smith D.Min.
Abstract
This Doctor of Ministry project was designed to explore the practical implications that can help disciplers of Muslim Background Believers (MBBs) in their mission to care for and, through the power of the Holy Spirit, develop the life and conduct of the new disciples from that background. It begins with the theological foundation of discipleship within the context of persecution and moves on to an examination of the existing literature on the topic.

This researcher conducted qualitative interviews with eighteen MBBs in a city in North Africa and another twelve experienced disciplers who worked in that field. The purpose of this project is to investigate the themes found in the journeys of discipleship and to discover the specific factors that influence MBB disciples to mature in Christ.

Based on a robust understanding and the findings of this research, a proposal for "Adaptive Discipleship Principles in the Context of Persecution" is put forth for workers to enhance the process of training and discipling MBBs, who might suffer for their faith, to know Him and to make Him known.

The research concludes that fear is a key challenging barrier. Those who crossed that barrier have identified themselves with the early church disciples (Acts 4:31). Another important factor that needs the attention of the disciplers is that this kind of work will take patience, perseverance, and much time. This work will be done on a low profile and it will continue to be unnoticeable.

IDENTIFICATION OF FACTORS RELEVANT FOR THE CREATION OF A DISCIPLESHIP CERTIFICATE PROGRAM IN LATIN AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN

Author
Timothy Dahlin D.Min.
Abstract
This project had as its purpose to identify issues that evangelical leaders in Latin America raise regarding discipleship and ministerial formation in their contexts and, second, to identify effective ways in which these issues might be addressed through a program created by ProMETA, a training institution with which the researcher works. The researcher had taught an online course focusing on biblical models of discipleship. The students, who represented five Latin American countries, expressed dissatisfaction with the current practice of discipleship in evangelical churches in the region. This motivated the researcher to carry out this project. Following a review of relevant literature which highlighted contextual, theological and educational concerns, the researcher conducted a qualitative inductive investigation. He interviewed eleven leaders representing Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Argentina in a sequence of three interviews. Those interviewed included pastors, individuals dedicated to youth and discipleship ministries, a seminary professor, and a representative of a ministry devoted to training leaders in the Majority World. They expressed serious concerns about the current practice of discipleship as being limited in scope, overly cognitive in its nature, and giving insufficient attention to the assimilation of the life and teaching of Jesus. Participants also noted that current church practice was not responding adequately to rapid changes in the region. The group affirmed the value of a program at a level other than masters to address these needs. They recommended a curriculum focused on providing an adequate vision of discipleship, character development, and tools to implement discipleship in the local setting. The group interviewed provided many suggestions for the promotion and implementation of such a program. They also affirmed the importance of local leadership and the involvement of the local church for the success of such a program.

How Selected Members from Life Church in La Vernia Pray After Considering Jonathan Edwards on Divine Glory

Author
John Frawley D.Min.
Abstract
How Selected Members from Life Church in La Vernia Pray After Considering Jonathan Edwards on Divine Glory

The subject of “the glory of God” feels hopelessly abstract to many Christians. Though the Bible has much to say about the glory of God, many cannot see how it is relevant to everyday living. This project attempted to correct this error of thinking among eleven volunteered participants from Life Church of La Vernia, TX (EFCA). This group evaluated both Scripture and selected writings from Jonathan Edwards on God’s glory. A practical assessment was measured by ongoing evaluation of participants’ prayer life throughout the project as it related to delighting in God.

MENTORING EMERGING LEADERS IN THE MEN’S MINISTRY OF AN EVANGELICAL FREE CHURCH

Author
Jack DeVere Olsen D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this project is to make existing leaders equipping leaders of emerging leaders in the men’s ministry of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Casper, Wyoming. The first goal toward fulfilling that purpose is to be transformed from a trained servant or service-providing clergyman to an equipping leader or a training pastor. The second goal is to create and implement a plan for developing leaders. The third goal is to introduce and encourage leadership development by mentoring in our men’s ministry.

The first goal was approached through writing a revised job description, and keeping a diary of time spent in leadership development. The second goal involved developing a leadership development curriculum focusing on leadership concepts, character and competency. Nehemiah was chosen for study as the Biblical example of a godly leader. Leading a small group was selected as the ministry for developing competency. Mentoring was the method for implementing the curriculum. Three mentors each selected one mentoree to train and develop. The third goal involved developing a series of teaching lessons on leadership development through mentoring. These lessons were presented at our monthly men’s breakfasts.

The proposed mentoring process revealed that the equipping leaders need precise instructions and accountability for carrying out the mentoring of the emerging leaders. One of the greatest challenges in mentoring is getting men together and establishing the mentoring relationships.

THE INTEGRATION OF A DISCIPLESHIP TRAINING PROGRAM IN BIBLE COLLEGE CURRICULA TO PROMOTE DISCIPLESHIP IN THE INDIAN CHURCHES

Author
Titus Eapen D.Min.
Abstract
The principal purpose of this project is to observe if discipleship training at the Bible school level will impact the lives of the participants for increased involvement in discipleship activities at the ministry level in the context of churches in India. This project anticipates that proper discipleship training for future pastors and church planters in Bible schools will significantly influence discipleship activity in the church. This study seeks to understand the nature of Biblical discipleship and develop a workbook coursepack to teach final year Bible college students.

In order to understand the effectiveness of the discipleship course during the final year of Bible college studies on discipleship activities in the initial year of church ministry, a one-week intensive discipleship course was taught to a total of forty-five final year students from two different Bible colleges. A pre-test evaluation was conducted prior to the discipleship course, and post-test evaluation was conducted six months after graduation.

This study brought into focus several truths. Comparison of the pre-test and post-test responses revealed that a discipleship course during the final year of Bible College education would positively influence students in discipleship activities in ministry level. Confidence level in getting involved in discipleship activities also exponentially increased because of the training. Overall understanding and awareness of the topic also greatly increased. Therefore, theological institutions need to make it a priority to ensure that their graduates are properly equipped and trained in the field of discipleship prior to graduation.

RESPONDING TO OUR HEMORRHAGING FAITH IN CANADA BY EXPLORING A FAMILY-INTEGRATED CHURCH MODEL AS A SOLUTION IN THE GREATER TORONTO AREA

Author
Michael Thiessen D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to respond to the identified crisis in disciple-making by exploring the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a Family-Integrated-Church ministry model.
To accomplish this SWOT analysis, there were four steps to this research project: A literature review, Biblical research on the family, twelve semi-structured interviews with FEB pastors, and an elders’ review of our FIC model at Grace Baptist Church in Alliston, Ontario. By doing this research project, I hoped to understand this ministry model better and sought to focus our local church disciple-making practices.

The information gleaned from this research project confirmed for me some of what I already knew anecdotally; there is a crisis in children’s and young adult ministry of which the family is a key part of both the problem and solution. The next generation needs to be able to follow their parents, who are worshipping, praying, and serving before them, in order to be made into passionate disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Marriage Discipleship Through a Small Group Bible Study

Author
Brian Peterson D.Min.
Abstract
Marriage Discipleship Through a Small Group Bible Study.
Marriage Discipleship is a vital area of need in local churches. This project investigates the most important biblical truths on marriage as well as the common difficulties that need to be addressed in the discipleship of married couples. This project records the development of an eight-week small group Bible study designed to assist marriage couples in navigating marriage. The research includes a detailed analysis of the biblical data as well as a glimpse at the author's research of his own congregation. The project provides a practical way of discipling marriage couples within a local church context.
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