Bible--Deuteronomy

FOOD, FAITH, AND FILM: Cultivating a spirituality of Hospitality in a Presbyterian Congregation.

Author
Robert Elliot Martin D.Min.
Abstract
Welcoming strangers into a home and offering them food, shelter, and protection were historically key components in the practice of hospitality. Many consider the church to be a home. How do we extend welcome and hospitality to those in our context? In this paper, I link the power of storytelling in film to developing a theology of hospitality. To share meals with strangers is one of the most powerful and practical things we can do to help the church shape a more just and hospitable spirituality. Through film, the study of scripture, prayer practices, and table discussions, can we link our present and future faith practices to a theology of hospitality? A final analysis will allow us to begin clarifying what effective and transformative practices of hospitality in the name of Christ looks like.

Embodied Spiritual Practices for Brown and Black Bodies Exploring Sabbath Rest

Author
April Rae Gutierrez
Abstract
“Embodied Spiritual Practices for Brown and Black Bodies Exploring Sabbath Rest” addresses spiritual formation, discussing an approach to Sabbath Rest for healing and restoration that is countercultural on personal and societal levels. Through a retreat, participants engaged in embodied spiritual practices that promote rest as a tool for spiritual formation and transformation that is rooted in decolonizing theology and spiritual practices. Working in collaboration with The Board of Young Peoples Ministry and the Hispanic /Latino Ministry of the Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church, the retreat model was reviewed by the committees for use in the work of spiritual formation for Black and Latinx Young Adults. The implementation of this project and retreat shows that culturally relevant spiritual practices that honor Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) stories and spiritual practices may deepen the encounter with God and relationships with participants within the retreat setting.

Welcoming People With Serious Mental Illness Into the Body of Christ

Author
Robert Alan Renix D.Min.
Abstract
This project’s purpose was to enhance clergy and the church’s ability to welcome people with serious mental illness into the body of Christ. My contexts were Saint Elizabeths Hospital and Inner Light Ministries UCC. I developed a seminar to teach Inner Light clergy about mental illness through a seminar. I explored how to merge their clerical skills as resources for welcoming people with serious mental illness into the church. A project goal was also to increase their confident competence in assisting people with serious mental illness.

Clergy are, most often, the first people sought out, by the churched and not so churched, for support and guidance when mental illness inserts itself into their lives. Clergy are called upon to help make meaning of the uncertainties surrounding mental illness disorders. Because others look to clergy for understanding, clergy have to become aware and confident with applying their skills to care for people with serious mental illness. Clergy do not need to attain a clinical level of confidence; instead, they must achieve the confident competence in their gifts as pastors, priest, chaplains, pastoral counselors, and leaders of faith.

What we can do as clergy and the church is reexamine our skills. We have been trained to care for parishioners through biblical interpretation, bible study, and the sacraments. Clergy and the church value hospitality and meals. Observing who is not at Christ’s table and inviting them back home to God’s community will ensure the feast includes people living with serious mental illness.

The Art of Seamless Pastoral Transition: A Guide For Church Leaders

Author
Lee D. Kricher D.Min.
Abstract
A standard practice during pastoral transitions is the appointment of an Interim Pastor, who serves for months or years between permanent (“settled”) pastors. A viable alternative is Seamless Pastoral Transition, an option that is becoming more and more common across traditions. With the goal of preserving congregational continuity and momentum, Seamless Pastoral Transition eliminates the gap in time between the service of the Outgoing Pastor and Incoming Pastor. This paper presents several Seamless Pastoral Transition case studies, about half of which are from mainline denominations, and covers three virtues to embrace and six pitfalls to avoid for church leaders in transition.

TRAINING SMALL GROUP LEADERS TO LEAD THE EMERGING ADULTS OF TRINITY CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE

Author
John Michael Barefield D.Min.
Abstract
This Doctor on Ministry project created a training program to train small group leaders to lead the emerging adults for Trinity Church of the Nazarene in Charlotte, North Carolina. This project shared the concerns of the church in losing emerging adults after they graduate from high school. The project explored the concerns of the emerging adult generation. The literature research included the writings of Chap Clark, Kara E. Powell, David Kinnaman, Corey Seemiller, Meghan Grace, Pew Research, and others.

This qualitative research project focused on how to train leaders to lead a small group of emerging adults. This project was conducted in three phases. The first phase presented in a six-part sermon series to the congregation. The second phase interviewed emerging adult participants. The third phase trained small group leaders to lead emerging adults.

This project helped the congregation, and small group leaders, to have a better understanding of emerging adults. The small group leaders gained confidence in leading emerging adults. The pastor learned to be sensitive to the needs, interests, and values of the emerging adults in his congregation.

Perfect Love Casts out Fear: Exploring the Effectiveness of a Person-Centered Disability Awareness Seminar in a Congregational Setting

Author
Joshua H Jones D.Min.
Abstract
People with disabilities and their families frequently experience barriers toward inclusion and belonging in multiple spheres of life. These barriers are also present in Christian congregations. However, many congregations express a godly desire to love people with disabilities and their families without these obstacles.

The Old and New Testaments provide examples of how God’s people sought to love people with disabilities in their midst creatively and intentionally in response to God’s gracious actions, invitation, and command. Recent research in disability studies routinely highlight the necessity of being attentive to the uniqueness of each person with disabilities and his or her family. Recent work in the realm of sanctification also encourages Christians to practice active righteousness and vocation with an emphasis upon loving specific neighbors.

In light of current research, this project attempted to better understand the effects of a person-centered disability awareness seminar about the pastor’s own child in a single congregation using a mixed methods approach. A pretest posttest design was used in the quantitative phase of the research utilizing the Multidimensional Attitudes Scale Toward Persons with Disabilities (MAS) to measure attitudes (N = 42). A focus group was used in the qualitative phase of research (N = 7). Results suggest a person-centered disability awareness seminar can be an effective way to improve attitudes and relational engagement in a congregational setting.

The Role of the Family-Equipping Model in Church Planting and Replanting Training for the Calvary Family of Churches in Englewood, CO

Author
Franklin Samuel Trimble D.Ed.Min.
Abstract
This project focuses on the combined efforts of the family ministry movement and the replanting movement in equipping current and future planters and replanters in family ministry. In the project, the reader will be given biblical, theological, historical, and ecclesiological examples of what a healthy family ministry can look like. This project is meant to encourage and equip future and current ministers, especially those with few resources, as they seek to develop a healthy family ministry culture in their contexts. Churches can see healthy family ministry established in their midst regardless of the number of resources at their disposal.
Throughout the project, the reader is given biblical instruction regarding the primacy of parental discipleship in relation to the biblical instruction of children. This primacy is made even more specific when the project addresses the role of the husband and father in the home-discipleship process. The project then looks to Hebrews 3 & 10 to address the need for all ages of the church to meet regularly. Once the biblical and theological groundwork has been laid, the project then moves into a section in which the history of modern youth ministry is examined in contrast with the historical precedent of family worship. Ecclesiological matters are then discussed in detail such as the importance of intentionally limiting church calendars and the need for a plurality of elders that can lead a congregation in meaningful membership which then leads to accountable shepherding.

Equipping the Korean-American Families for Family Worship at Orange Canaan Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, CA

Author
WOO LEE LEE D.Ed.Min.
Abstract
In the 120 years of Korean immigration to the United States, there has been a history of much hardship and loneliness associated with settling down in a strange land and living life as an immigrant. For many immigrants adjusting to life in the United States, in which their children have had to adjust to life in a whole new culture, it is often the case that they have not been able to pay much attention to their children's lives. Now, these parents face the problem of communicating to and discipling children that have grown up in a completely different language and culture—having been assimilated to the culture and having been educated in the United States growing up with a completely different set of values from their parents' generation. As such, problems and conflicts within Korean immigrant families in the United States continue to grow. For Christians, the problems they face often find their children leaving their homes and leaving their churches. Unfortunately, this is the reality of the Korean church in the United States.

DEVELOPING AND EVALUATING A BIBLICAL PARENTING RESOURCE IN MEDIA MINISTRY

Author
Steven Koster D.Min.
Abstract
Media ministry publishes gospel content on paper, on the air, and online, but few robust feedback systems are in place to measure the spiritual impact of gospel broadcasts. This study articulated a theoretical foundation of a biblical theology and review of pastoral practices on children and parenting, published a resource on biblical parenting for distribution through the Internet, and then asked the audience for feedback.

The resource was rooted in a study of how the Bible regards both children and the task of parenting. The study also explored models of faith formation, pastoral parenting best practices, and a review of the religious landscape of contemporary youth. A 93-page electronic booklet (PDF) called “A Handbook of Biblical Parenting” was developed and shared with over a thousand people online, who were then invited via email to complete an online questionnaire.

The response rate was less than 2%, yet the audience was demographically in line with the expected audience. Most respondents were actively parenting young children, expressed an improvement in their parenting confidence, and found the resource practical, using its ideas several times. Most considered faith important to their parenting and found the resource to be encouraging, biblical, and educational. Most consumed the PDF deeply, even though most used a handheld mobile device. A repeated use of this prototype process would require a greater response rate to be consistently useful. Formatting for a small screen would be wise. The questions would require adaptation for other topics. Alternatively, a shorter version of the questionnaire could focus the inquiry more directly on gathering actionable information.

CHALLENGES RELATED TO THE TRANSMISSION OF FAITH TO THE SECOND GENERATION IN A SMALL SUBURBAN CANTONESE CHINESE CHURCH

Author
Teresa Gianakakos D.Min.
Abstract
This Doctor of Ministry project explored potential issues related to the transmission of faith to the second generation in a small suburban Cantonese Chinese church. It was initiated when the first generation at the church began to age, and the second generation who grew up in the church became disconnected and some even left the faith entirely.

Three qualitative research methodologies were employed to investigate the possible factors of second-generation exodus. Ethnographic observation, in-depth interview, and survey questionnaire were implemented. The first two methodologies extended to both the first and second generations at the church to explore their faith status, past experiences and perception of influences by Chinese and Western culture. The third methodology surveyed Chinese churches outside of this church to compare and contrast resulting data.

The methodologies were effective in eliciting data useful in recommending some possible considerations of ministries at the church. To produce these recommendations was also a goal of this project. The key conclusion was the first generation must be firmly established as a disciple of Jesus Christ, and live a transformed, holy life. Such transformation will not only touch the second generation, but also impact the surrounding community.
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