All for the best : theatre as a community building and disciple making ministry through process over performance

Kyle Durbin
While the majority of emphasis given to theatre ministry is based on its capacity to deliver faithful entertainment, theatre ministry is more effective as a means of disciplemaking through the production process. Based, in part, on thorough analysis of the establishment of a new theatre ministry, Frostburg Theatre Company, at Frostburg UMC, and specifically through a production of “Godspell,” the author seeks to prove that theatre ministry is most effective in focusing on the production process rather than the final presentation as evangelism or entertainment.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]


Phillip Smith D.Min.
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.


Fayez Ayoub D.Min.
This project considered using short term missions to try to engage unreached people groups in large U.S. cities. The presence of UPGs in the U.S. creates an opportunity for a “bridge” to make it easier for both the U.S. church to engage the UPGs and vice versa. I engaged with a partner who is working with a population of Afghans in a large U.S city, by implementing two STM trips with our church. To evaluate the project, I used a qualitative approach by using personal observations, semi-structured post-trip interviews with the partner, and a focus group with the trip participants.

Equipping selected parents at Jubilee Baptist Church, Daphne, Alabama, with child evangelism skills

John C Saxon D.Min.
The purpose of this project was to equip selected parents at Jubilee Baptist Church, Daphne, Alabama, with child evangelism skills. the project director selected the equipping model as his template. The project is composed of three components: (1) the research in the field of child evangelism to determine essential skills, (2) the development of a curriculum to equip selected parents at Jubilee Baptist Church with child evangelism skills, and (3) the conducting of a workshop to equip selected parents at Jubilee Baptist Church with child evangelism skills. The project resulted in a selected group of parents demonstrating evidence of child evangelism skills.

[Student submitted an abstract that was shorter than 100 words]

Changing Church Culture among Church Leaders by Moving from Meetings to Mission

Andrew J Kumpel D.Min.
This study researched the effect of replacing church committee meetings with missional teaching and experiences of evangelism for church leaders on perceived current and preferred organizational culture. A three-moth moratorium of all official church meetings allowed the researcher to conduct five training sessions on evangelism. The researcher collected quantitative data from both control group participants and experimental group participants using a pretest and posttest model using the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument. Findings revealed some changes in perception of both current and preferred organizational culture among research participants. Change in organizations is pervasive because of the degree and rapidity of change in the external environment.

The Faith Pyramid Evangelism Strategy: A Tool for Integrating Apologetics into Evangelism Training for Middle School and High School Students

Samuel Lee Dallas III D.Min.
This research demonstrates that apologetics material integrated into evangelism training increases the personal confidence of middle and high school students in sharing their faith. The anonymous surveys of thirty teenagers involved in the research showed an overall 33 percent increase in confidence (on a self-scoring ten-point scale) after participating in such training. Additionally, an overall 49 percent increase resulted in their perceived abilities to answer challenging questions during evangelistic discussions.
Such measurements were also validated in practical application. Graded quizzes on apologetics-related questions taken by the students both before and after the training revealed an overall 98 percent increase in scores. Finally, the students showed an overall 91 percent increase in sharing their faith in the two months following the training compared to the two months prior. These numbers reveal not only improvement in self-perception, but objective measures make the case for the success of this ministry project.
Chapter 1 introduces the ministry need and thesis of the dissertation in response to the need. Additionally, a layout of the researcher’s Faith Pyramid Evangelism Strategy is introduced.
Chapter 2 provides a biblical and theological justification for integrating apologetics into evangelism training and provides a historical justification for such an approach.
Chapter 3 examines the specific goals of this research as it relates to the subjective measures of teenage evangelists, the knowledge the researcher has sought to teach the students, and the desirable goal for an increase in evangelism as a result of such training.
Chapter 4 reviews the specific training of the thirty middle and high school students completed in the weekend seminar. The lessons were arranged into five workshops, followed by a survey given to the students two months following the training.
Chapter 5 provides a conclusion via an in-depth evaluation of the ministry project, as well as suggestions for future plans in implementing such training.

A Discovery of Cooperative Missional Outreach in the Greater Cleveland Area

Yvonne Carter
A Discovery of Cooperative Missional Outreach in the Greater Cleveland Area:
The purpose of this project was to discover the extent to which Christian leaders in the Cleveland Baptist Association are aligned around the need for cooperative missional outreach. The discovery process utilized survey questions designed to give input to the nine project goals. The survey results revealed a significant degree of alignment.
The most prominent finding was in response to Goal #7, which was to discover how CBA church leaders understand missional outreach in relation to Christian discipleship. Survey responses indicate that there is alignment among the respondents in their understanding of missional outreach as a function of Christian discipleship.

Mmanwu Ritual In Igboland: Lessons and Implications for Inculturation and Christian-Muslim Dialogue in Nigeria.

Peter Elochukwu Muojekwu Rev. Fr. D.Min.
Although “inculturation” is a relatively new term in the long history of Christian theology, it’s roots are found in the mission of Jesus Christ himself. Despite the many important complexities and nuances of sophisticated theologies of inculturation, what it refers to is simply an ideal for how the Gospel of Jesus Christ transforms the human family. It refers to a mode of evangelization by which specific cultures avails themselves to the Church, and the Church to specific cultures, for a mutually enriching dialogue in which nothing that is truly good and holy is at lost. Unfortunately, the history of Christianity is littered with the tragic results of various processes of confrontation and domination (particularly of the colonial sort) masquerading as evangelization, but actually profoundly at odds with the inculturative model of Christ. Far from providing for a holistic and authentically “holy” union of universal Gospel and local culture, these processes have created what, in many instances, have been unnecessary rifts and even hostilities between what is perceived as “Gospel” and what is perceived as “culture.”
This thesis project is aimed at exploring the phenomenon of Mmanwu, an indigenous Igbo religious institution which has for centuries been at the center of what might be referred to as one of the many examples of both the misadventures of inculturation gone wrong in Nigeria and the pregnant possibilities of inculturation done properly. Because questions about inculturation with respect to Mmanwu are inherently interreligious, the thesis will conclude by attempting to apply some of the lessons from the questions around Mmanwu and inculturation to yet another important locus of inculturation in Nigeria: Christian-Muslim dialogue

Developing an Evangelistic Strategy for West Laurel Baptist Church, Laurel, Mississippi

Brandon Andrew Powell
The purpose of this project was to lead the long-range planning committee of West Laurel Baptist Church, Laurel, Mississippi, to develop an evangelistic strategy fot the church. As pastor, the project studied the demographics from the targeted area of the city of Laurel, Mississippi, and a select portion of Jones County, Mississippi. He explored strategy development and evangelism. The long-range planning committee developed the evangelistic strategy through a series of development sessions. The project director used the Strategy Development Model for the development of this project.
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