Image of God

Helping People to Experience Spiritual Healing of Painful Life Experiences

Author
Brian Smilde D.Min.
Abstract
This Doctor of Ministry Major Project was intended to assess the extent to which people experience spiritual healing of past wounds through a series of small group gatherings focused on teaching and experiencing the spiritual healing of Jesus Christ.

The project began with identifying the biblical and theological foundation for Jesus healing people from their wounds—not only physical but also emotional or spiritual. Then examining what people in other disciplines—such as social science, counseling, and business—also think, believe and teach about healing or restoration from past wounds.

The intervention involved a small group of six participants experiencing a series of eight small group gatherings. They filled out a Pre-Group and Post-Group Questionnaire. After five small group gatherings of teaching, experiencing and praying, there were two Focus Groups which allowed the participants to share feedback about what they learned, experienced and thought.

The data from the two Questionnaires and the Focus Groups was analyzed in order to assess the effectiveness of these small group gatherings to lead participants toward the spiritual healing of Jesus Christ. The result of this analysis was that participants were helped to identify past wounds or traumas, they felt safe to share honestly and vulnerably with the other group participants, they felt that others responded with grace and empathy, and they reflectively and personally applied the teaching in ways that allowed them to experience Jesus release them from past pain.

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.

"We are all patrons": how artists receive patronage in support of their work for the common good

Author
Erik Bonkovsky
Abstract
Many artists feel alone and under-supported to the detriment of both themselves and their communities. The purpose of this study was to explore how artists receive support for their work through patronage. This study focused on three areas of Christian theological heritage: common grace, imago Dei, and patronage. The study followed a qualitative research design relying on semi­ structured interviews of artists working for the common good. The study identified three potential areas of support: material support, relational support, and intellectual support. By recognizing and leveraging its resources, the church could provide patronage in support of artists working for the common good.

Cultivate Compassion through Affective Perspective Taking

Author
Weihua He D.Min.
Abstract
The hope of the researcher in the project was to help people cultivate compassion through affective perspective taking preconditioned by the practice of imaginative meditation on gospel accounts, the practice of the Jesus Prayer, and the practice of cognitive disputation technique. This research depended on the strategies for data analysis advised by grounded theory. The project did effectuate interpersonal and intrapersonal empathy. The problem studies was whether or not a program of affective perspective taking preconditioned by imaginative meditation, mindfulness practice, and cognitive disputation technique would effectuate the cultivation of compassion in the life of a group of dating or married Christians.

Feed My Sheep Creating an LGBTQ Community Center In Montgomery County, Maryland

Author
Denise Dombkowski Hopkins
Abstract
Members of the faith community, along with others, came together to create a community center for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning) people in Montgomery County, MD. Based on the belief that all human beings are created in the Image of God, and therefore must be given a full measure of love and dignity, the MoCo Pride Center is a way of reaching out to a community long marginalized by many churches. The intersection of faith and community building is one of the main themes that runs through this project. It also challenges the practice of sending people elsewhere, outside of Montgomery County, for needed services rather than addressing those needs within the county. This project paper traces the creation of the Center from the recognition of its need to the final launch event of an incorporated, recognized 501(c)(3) organization.

Building up the church through healing and restoration focusing on Koinonia, Diakonia and psychological studies

Author
Seong Kook Lee
Abstract
In this paper, the author proceeds the project with the question of a healthy Church community. In chapter 1, he approaches the biblical understanding of the image of God. In chapter 2, he studies the recovery of the Church community through Koinonia, and Diakonia. In addition, he tries to change the inferiority complex that the church communities and individuals face into a sense of superiority by dealing with individual psychology of Adler. In the project, he appropriately applies and practices Koinonia, Diakonia, and individual psychology and the conclusion describes analysis of the project.

The impact of imago Dei on thinking about portrait photography

Author
Neil Craigan
Abstract
The problem this project addressed was the relationship between the imago Dei and the work of portrait photographers. The research examined the connection between being an image bearer and an image creator of the image bearer; this included developing a philosophy of the portrait and the value attached to it. The field research utilized interviews with professional photographers to understand their approach to photography. The project concluded that the imago Dei should be the primary driver in any discussion of humanity. The themes of humanity, reality, relationship and morality were seen as central to the work of the photographers.

Christian Spiritual Formation as the restoration of the imago Dei

Author
Richard Shawn Grassel
Abstract
This thesis argues that the telos of Christian Spiritual Formation is the restoration of the imago Dei in humankind. In the Biblical Theology chapter, I analyze six key biblical texts (Gen 1:26-27; Exod 20:4; Isa 40:18; Psa 115:3-4; Heb 1:3; Col 1:15) that deal with the concept of "image." I then relate them to my understanding of the imago Dei and its relationship to the disciplines of Christian Spiritual Formation, especially as a means of outlining the Creation, Fall, Reconciliation and Restoration of Humankind through Christ. The Systematic Theology chapter highlights the Substantialist or Ontological interpretation of the imago Dei and argues the importance of how "right being" precedes "right doing." The Field Research chapter explores two "right doing" motifs often found in youth ministry: 1. "Saved from Hell" versus "Saved to Christ," and 2. "Sin Management" versus "Becoming like Christ." the Conclusion emphasizes that our authentic, systematic renewal in Christ (being) necessarily impacts the nature and degree of right (doing) behavior.

OMG, y'all! An exploration of what it means to live our lives on a mission from God

Author
Lauren R Stanley
Abstract
The author defines "mission" as the reason for which God created us, and declares that living in love and community is the mission of our lives. After an academic overview of mission theology, the author describes a program for middle-school students at an Episcopal summer camp, in which she explored the doctrine of imago Dei and used the Baptismal Covenant as "God's Positioning System." The program, OMG, Y'all!, incorporated popular music and a week-long game to help campers explore what it means to live their lives on a mission from God. The research includes missiology, educational theory, and business leadership.

The transformation of the DNA of Christians in a local church: a case study of the Kaohsiung church

Author
Chang Shih Hu
Abstract
The great commission of Jesus is to go and make disciples of all nations. The life of a disciple of Christ therefore should have the DNA of the Master. As DNA is the basic building block of a life, so should we who are made in the images and likeness of God. That is, we should have the DNA of God. What is God's DNA? Having God's DNA is to have God's qualities, values and way of life. A disciple's life is not just about knowledge and training of the mind. It should be evident in one's family, workplace, church and personal life. Such a life can then be truly influential to people.
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