Canada

A Contextualized Approach to Leadership Training in Jesus City Mission, Cameroon

Author
Jerome Ebua Awah D.Min.
Abstract
The goal of this project was to understand the approaches that should be present in a contextualized curriculum for leadership development at the Jesus City Mission (JCM), Cameroon. The need for an indigenous approach to leadership training contextualized to the Cameroonian African context, in contrast to the current adopted Western model was identified. This project developed a model for leadership training to prepare ministers for service in the rapidly growing JCM church. To reach this understanding, a participatory action research process incorporating qualitative data-collecting instruments was employed, interviewing and surveying of Ministerial Academic (MINACA) students and JCM stakeholders. A focus group of 8 participants was constituted, 10 MINACA former students and 25 current students were interviewed. Sixty questionnaires were administered to participants. We discovered that trainers must not only be qualified but must be conversant with the sociocultural realities of where training is taking place. Leadership training must be hands on. This information provided a foundation for the future development of various training processes in JCM and other Christian denominations facing similar challenges.

Does God Call Laypeople to Preach in their Local Church? An Exploration of Calling and Introduction to Preaching for Laypeople in the Local Church

Author
Curtis Allan Zoerb D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this research portfolio was to identify if God was calling lay people to preach in their local church and begin to equip them for that calling.
Sitting in the pews were people whom God called and gifted to serve the church in many different ministries; some were called to share his word through preaching. Through this field project, these individuals were identified, equipped, and presented with opportunities to preach God’s word in their own setting. The two foci of calling and preaching were essential to answer the research question. Members of Massey Place Community Church interested in learning to preach were invited to participate in the study. Seven people responded. A six-week introductory course was conducted to teach about calling and how to prepare and preach a biblically-based sermon. We found that people were being called to preach, and four of the seven actively engaged as lay preachers. The question at the heart of this research project, “could lay people preach effectively in the Sunday morning service?”, was answered in the affirmative; there were laypeople that God called into the role of occasionally speaking from the pulpit. Further to that, this significantly benefited the life and growth of the church and positively impacted the individuals who preached.

Development of an Innovative Model of Congregational Engagement in Hospitality with Newcomers to Canada

Author
Solange Agnès Belluz D.Min.
Abstract
The main purpose of this portfolio was to develop a cross-cultural congregational engagement framework that would facilitate greater participation of congregants in hospitality with newcomers and refugees at The Peoples Church in Toronto. A central principle that emerged was the need to shift our ministry perspective from doing things to people to doing things with people. The framework developed as a result of this research included eight key principle and four key components: Learn, Engage, Assess and Participate (LEAP).

Hospitality is about welcoming others and making them feel at home. As someone who came to Canada over 30 years ago as an international student, I am sensitive to the needs of newcomers and refugees and the role that congregants could play in creating welcoming and inclusive spaces for them. I am also a firm believer that leadership is influence and that, through cross-cultural transformational leadership, we could create an environment where congregants would be motivated to welcome well.

This research demonstrated that there is value in meeting the physical needs of newcomers and refugees. However, effective engagement with the migrants and displaced needs to go beyond food, housing, and education. The research highlighted the need to create spaces where they belong; where they could be anchored to; where they can recover the feeling of belonging that has been lost in migration.

Journeying Home: A Study of Christian Spiritual Formation Through the Interface of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and Lectio Divina

Author
Robert John Stiles D.Min.
Abstract
This study grew out of my life experience. After decades of longing to belong, God led me first to the halls of 12 Step programs, then to Seminary where I discovered, spiritual formation, Lectio Divina and spiritual direction. In contemplating a model of spiritual formation, the interface of these two experiences came to life in the linkage of the final three steps of A. A. which I characterize as Confess (Step 10), Abide (Step 11), and Give (Step 12).
The research observed the spiritual maturation of lay people at various stages of their journey of becoming more like Christ. The project was designed to build a community of trust within a small group who met for seven weeks to practice Lectio Divina. I used the narrative inquiry research method with favorable results. Some participants self-identified both as having a deeper sense of the presence of God and experiencing a change in their approach to daily life while others either experienced movement in one of the dimensions or no movement at all. My conclusion is that, for some, the practice of Lectio Divina can effectuate deeper spiritual formation.

Cultural Constructs in the Korean Diaspora Church Context and the Leadership Challenges They Present to 1.5 and 2nd Generation Korean Women

Author
Lisa Hanmi Pak D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this research study was to determine how the cultural constructs of the Korean diaspora church have presented particular leadership challenges to a group of 1.5 and 2nd generation Korean women and resulted in detrimental experiences. This study is important because it revealed just how limiting and hurtful systems of leadership can be when they are not designed to give opportunities to both women and men. This research study focused on the experiences of Korean Canadian women and created a space for the group to openly talk about their experiences through narrative research, appreciative inquiry, and action research. Findings pointed to cultural factors such as patriarchy, which served to reinforce male-centered spiritual authority, and collectivism, which undercut the women’s self-confidence in speaking up and asking questions and cultivated a dynamic where enough women were more comfortable in upholding the patriarchic status quo. It was clear that the Korean diaspora church must be more intentional in creating leadership opportunities for young Korean women and reconsider the cultural patriarchy that is embedded in the communal dynamic. The research findings were also not limited to the Korean diaspora church context; rather, an examination of how cultural constructs and systems shape perceptions of leadership, understanding of ministry, and of the individual leader is a principle that is transferable to other settings.

THE ROLE OF PREACHING
IN THE CATECHESIS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD:
AN INVESTIGATION INTO USING BEST PRACTICES OF PREACHING
FOR THE FORMATION OF ADULTS
IN THE CATECHESIS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD CONTEXT

Author
Deborah Ruth Zeni MD D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis research work on best practices of preaching arose out of the researcher’s passion for providing catechists with the means of nurturing a ‘falling-in-love’ with God experience for young children through proclaiming gospel as encounter.
Based on evidence that catechists lack formation in best practices of preaching, the researcher designed and implemented an educational initiative in a multi-site, multi-participant intensive formation program. The researcher used a homiletic grounded in the Paschal Mystery, which located God’s gratuitous and gracious actions on humanity’s behalf as the focus of preaching—giving gospel-power—to any form of preaching carried out during the study.
Within a unique form of pastoral ministry called the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS), employing a qualitative methodology, a constructivist epistemology, and a field-based action research design, the researcher effectively utilized various educational approaches to develop and assess participant competence in preaching using a comprehensive assessment program, and iteratively improving their learning and teaching preaching praxis using program evaluation tools.
The research shows that the curriculum successfully demonstrated that the comprehensive preaching model, which integrated five best practices of preaching for proclaiming the Word with children into the study’s conceptual framework, worked to develop the competence of catechists as preachers of the Good News. Additionally, the research showed that the intervention enabled and empowered the participants to find their preaching voice to speak of God acting mercifully, giving everything, loving unconditionally in the here and now as they experienced God doing in the scriptures.
As such, five best practices of preaching can be used as an effective framework for formation of catechists and educators for teaching preaching as encounter with children and sharing in a happening of grace through the proclamation of the Word.

Christ-Centered Leadership: The Formation of Millennials

Author
Sean Wood D.Min.
Abstract
The problem this project addressed is the perceived lack of Christocentric leadership development among millennials of Canadian churches with over one thousand people in attendance. In response to this problem the researcher explored Christ-centered leadership formation and discipleship in the New Testament and early church. The literature reviewed related to the uniqueness of millennials as it connects to leadership development. The researcher interviewed two Senior Pastors who are considered highly influential with the millennial cohort. These two leaders have both led effective church congregations in Canada during their respective twenty-plus year tenure serving the same churches. Millennial leaders who are actively serving in roles of influence within these two churches also participated in this project. Fourteen were personally interviewed from the thirty-seven who completed an online survey. Three millennial cohort specialists were also interviewed. One is a respected Canadian sociologist, one is a counselor, author, corporate coach and Canadian media personality, and the third leads Canada’s premier sports camp and retreat center. Canada is an increasingly secularized country in which emerging generations are struggling to be rooted in Christ and effective in discipling and serving those within their sphere of influence. Through the analysis of the results of this project, and leaning on the research discovered, the researcher developed and presents seven principles in Christ-centered leadership for millennials living in Canada.

The Ministry Benefits and Personal Growth that Came from Using Participatory Action Research to Develop a Workshop for Cree Mentors

Author
Benjamin Kenneth Peltz D.Min.
Abstract
This Doctor of Ministry (DMin) Research Portfolio details the author’s development as a leader throughout the program via his Leadership Narrative, Ministry Context Analysis, Project Report, and Philosophy of Leadership. His research project consisted of using Participatory Action Research (PAR) methods to develop a mentoring workshop for Cree adults. Using PAR methods caused him to revisit his assumptions and alter the way he designed and ran the workshop, which increased participants’ confidence in ways that he did not originally anticipate. This experience, alongside other elements of the DMin program and developments in his leadership responsibilities, led him to identify his calling as leading intergenerational and intercultural reconciliation using communal discernment processes. Alongside demonstrating how spiritual experiences, faithful mentors, Christian community, and formal education can enable an individual to overcome a difficult upbringing and become a capable Christian leader, this portfolio offers insights into the value of using PAR and similar processes for improving ministry endeavours in an indigenous context.

Witness to the Presence of God Moments in the Action and Voice of Children

Author
Jane Janine Pekar D.Min.
Abstract

This portfolio begins with a reflection of my personal journey in spiritual formation. In response to the contemporary shift in society’s affirmation of the rights an voice of children as world citizens and my experiences as a teacher, parent and ordained minister, I created a model of ministry for families with young children combining components of Young Child & Worship and Messy Church. Using Action Research, I introduced principles of the Reggio-Inspired Approach to enhance the children’s personalization of the experience. The observations of the children’s creative responses and intuitive initiatives were recorded and shared in four Documentations.

The Knowledge of God and the Knowledge of Self: Exploring Spiritual Formation via Discernment and the MBTI

Author
Christopher Andrew Walker D.Min.
Abstract
In this Research Portfolio, the author explores spiritual formation through growing in the knowledge of God and in the knowledge of self. The specific avenue for exploring growing in the knowledge of God is discernment, and the specific avenue for exploring growing in the knowledge of self is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®. The Spiritual Autobiography tells the story of the author’s personal journey of spiritual formation through the various revelations about God and self that the Lord has brought to his life. The Model of Spiritual Formation theorizes that growing in the knowledge of self can help us to hear from and know God better through discernment, thus aiding in our spiritual formation. The Research Project tested one aspect of the Model with a small group of congregants from Meadow Brook Church in Leamington, ON, and demonstrated an effective process of discernment for the participants. The conclusion of this Research Portfolio is that growing in the knowledge of self can help us to grow in the knowledge of God, which will aid us in our spiritual formation.
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