Bible--John

The Baptized Community: Community Formation as Seen through Anglican Baptismal Ecclesiology
and the Liturgical Practice of Morning Prayer

Author
Kyle Norman D.Min.
Abstract
Beginning with The Book of Common Prayer, the first version of which was published in 1549, Anglicans have mediated their spirituality through participation in a common spiritual life. This is to say, formation toward Christlikeness is not to be understood as an individualized process whereby the individual grows in Christlikeness in an isolated and privatized manner. Rather, formation toward Christlikeness is a Spirit-led process that primarily occurs within the community of faith. The baptismal community is the very context of Christlike formation. This portfolio looks at communal formation through three, integrated components. Firstly, communal formation, along with its various components and nuances, will be described through an appeal to the Anglican baptismal liturgy. Secondly, scenes from the author’s own autobiography will serve to illustrate how communal formation may be practically experienced. Lastly, the author’s own research into the practice of Morning Prayer will highlight the importance of shared liturgy within communal formation. The portfolio argues that one is not formed individually, rather one is called to participate in the formation of the community. This is seen as occurring through immersion in shared liturgy, embodied action, and evangelistic mission.

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.

Equipping the congregation of East Belmont Baptist Church in Belmont, N.C. for outreach through the development and implementation of an active prayer ministry.

Author
Jeffrey Dean Taylor D.Min.
Abstract
In a local congregation, joining the spiritual practice of prayer with the ministry of outreach provides the church with an effective ministry tool to connect the congregation to its community and beyond. The East Belmont Baptist Church searches for effective ways to carry out the mission of making Christ known to others by equipping themselves through study and sermons to use prayer as a ministry in the community. Through the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, congregational members meet people where they are and minister to them through intercessory prayer. This allowed the congregation to minister to others through outreach and prayer.

The Abide Project's Effect on Experiencing God's Presence in Daily LIfe

Author
Dean Wertz D.Min.
Abstract
The thesis seeks to answer: How will a three-month all-church focus on abiding in Jesus affect the participants' experience of God's presence in their daily lives? The Abide Project was facilitated in the fall of 2018 for children, youth and adults at Hope Community Church (Denver, CO0; included sermons, small groups and daily reminders; and was measured by mixed-methods. The quantitative assessment (compared pre and post-training scores from the Daily Spiritual Experience Scale by Dr. Lynn Underwood) and the qualitative assessment (8 phenomenological interviews) concluded that the project increased the participants' experience of God's presence in their daily lives. An invitation to abide from John 15:1-11 would increase the participant' attentiveness and experience God.

Apostolic Women Religious in the United States and Their Legacy

Author
Janice J Brown O.P. D.Min.
Abstract
The legacy of Jesus has manifested itself among different populations, within different cultures, and during different times. This thesis-project looks at this manifestation as it unfolds as the legacy of apostolic women religious in the United States. The legacy of each participating congregation was described as a mission or more specifically as the mission of Jesus. It has also been the experience of these women religious that legacy is most tangible in the relationships and trust they built with their students, coworkers, and community members with whom they worked and partnered.
The legacy of apostolic women religious is a witness to the gospel message that took root as Christianity two thousand years ago. The thesis-project begins by exploring the legacy of Jesus, as well as the historical context that furthers God’s mission through the lives of three historical women – Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, and Angela Merici. The research then flows into the brief history of the Ursuline Sisters in the United States. Reviewing the pre and post-Vatican II eras and their influence on religious life helps lay a foundation upon which apostolic women today have been formed.
The primary data was gathered through focus group discussions involving seven congregations consisting of thirty-five apostolic women religious. Their comments are summarized first by congregation in order to maintain the richness within each discussion, then by main themes, and concluded with a reflection on the legacy of these women as it finds meaning through the Gospel of John.
Legacy has many definitions, but what surfaced most prominently was legacy as ministry, and the ministries are what define the women. Legacy efforts included developing relationships, education, healing, inclusivity, and service. All of these works could be imagined as the ongoing narrative of the Gospels, epitomized in the Beloved Disciple.

That They May Have Life: The Congregation's Opportunity to Strengthen Resiliency and Foster Wholeness Amid Trauma in the Lives of Volunteer First Responders

Author
Jason Cashing D.Min.
Abstract
With every emergency, first responders are exposed to a degree of traumatic stress. This Secondary Traumatic Stress can sap the life and purpose from first responders, and the accumulation of unaddressed STS can lead to burnout, unhealthy coping mechanisms, and even suicide. The congregation, though practices of Sabbath and Lament, can offer pathways to help mitigate STS and strengthen resilience. Looking at the invitation to Abundant Life in John 10, the Church’s calling and the world’s need intersect, providing a framework and a language to help first responders and congregations alike realize the fullness of Life offered to all.

Reading a book of the Bible as a spiritual discipline to stimulate spiritual growth at Christ Community Church

Author
John Alan Lloyd
Abstract
Pastors are gripped by the great need to see their congregations become more like Christ. The goal of seeing this transformation take place is daunting. One way to see lives transformed is to interact daily with the Word of God. The culture we live in greatly diminishes the influence of God's Word. This project will seek to introduce the daily reading of Gospel of John as a spiritual discipline to stimulate spiritual growth into lives of a focus group, new to this practice. The goal is to establish Bible reading as a spiritual habit and to see the participants continue reading another book of the Bible.

A parent's guide to connecting pre-adolescent children to life in Christ using the "I am" sayings of John's gospel

Author
Ted L Elmore
Abstract
This dissertation is 'A parent's guide to connecting pre-adolescent children to life in Christ using the "I am" sayings of John's gospel.' The author argues that the "I am" sayings and their pericopes in the gospel of John provide parents a theological and pedagogical foundation from which they may shape the Christological development of their pre-adolescent children. Research indicated a ministry need for such a resource. Scripture was surveyed for additional insight into parental pedagogy, the child, and the "image of God." The application of research in in the publication of a book for use by parents and others.

Preaching the seven signs of John: a liberating parish experience

Author
Dennis R Sewar
Abstract
The thesis statement for this dissertation is: "By employing an adapted hermeneutic of Latin American liberation theologies, one can construct new homiletic approaches to the Seven Signs of the Gospel of John." Following an overview of the entire Fourth gospel, an analysis of the seven signs is offered. Next comes a study of liberation theology, with adaptations made for the Western world. These modified principles are applied to the Seven Signs. The dissertation concludes with a practical application of this work presented as a parish retreat that could be offered weekly during the Easter season.

"I call you my friends...": a pastor's study of the Gospel of John

Author
Patricia S Knutson
Abstract
Convinced that study of the Gospel of John had potential to revitalize pastors in their ministries, the author designed and led a case study. In addition to the author, eighteen pastors participated in four small groups. Individually, we prepared by reading the Gospel using lectio divina. Our question was: "Can I/we create a guided study of the Gospel of John which will enable clergy and committed lay persons to claim a loving friendship with Jesus and engagement in the Christian story which will renew their ministries in times of change and conflict?" We concluded that our study did enable us to claim our identity as Friend of Jesus and Child of God.
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