Bible--New Testament

The Heavens Proclaim the Glory of God: Science as a Way of Seeking God

Richard Paul Grendahl D.Min.
This study presented modern scientific theories along with Christian theological concepts to lead young people to a deeper understanding of their Christian faith. The project consists of four lessons covering The Big Bang Theory and Creation, Evolution and the Image of God, Centering Prayer, and World-Class Scientists who are devout Christians. The participants were surveyed before the lessons began; after the lessons were completed, as well as a month later to determine the effectiveness of the lessons. An evaluation of the project with recommendations for future use is included. A PowerPoint presentation for this project is included in the Appendix.

The Psychological Impacts of Abortion in Women and a Ministry Model to Develop Restorative Care in the Church Through Biblical Counseling

Jenifer Christine Wakefield D.Ed.Min.
January 22, 1973, opened the door for legally obtaining abortion upon demand. This legal decision allowed women from all levels of society to have abortions. The psychological impacts of abortion touch the local church as four out of ten women who have chosen abortion attend a church. Planned Parenthood [PP], the world’s largest abortion provider—reports 43 percent of all women will experience abortion at least once by forty-five years of age.
The American Psychological Association [APA] denies the existence of psychological distress after abortion. The reader will soon discover the contradictory nature of the 2008 APA report and the stance of the Task Force on Mental Health and Abortion [TFMHA] whether or not abortion causes a negative psychological impact. Through specific research, the project will show that women who choose abortion and experience adverse effects need to be able to turn to the local church, and the local church needs to have trained leaders in restorative care ministries to help post-abortive women. This project will reveal the links between abortion and negative psychological impacts and possible long-term physical and emotional issues. Finally, this project will suggest a ministry training model for leaders in the church through biblical counseling.
Chapter 1 shows the history of abortion and its impacts on women. Chapter 2 contrasts how the world and evangelical church care for post-abortive women. Chapter 3 reveals the results of an anonymous survey of ministry leaders and why a need exists for biblical counseling in the church. Chapter 4 explains why discipleship and biblical counseling are needed for women. Finally, chapter 5 presents a training model on how to help post-abortive women in the church through biblical counseling.

An Examination of Lee Rutland Scarborough's Influence on the Southern Baptist Convention From 1918-1925

Ronald D Rucker D.Min.
This dissertation examines the life and works of Lee Rutland Scarborough to determine his influence on the Southern Baptist Convention from 1918-1925.

Chapter 1 introduces the study and includes a thesis statement and an examination of the biographical factors, which influenced Scarborough’s life. This chapter includes Scarborough’s family background, call to ministry, education, pastoral experience, summary, and timeline.

Chapter 2 examines Scarborough’s influence as general director of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Seventy-Five Million Campaign, which was a program intended to raise 75 million dollars over a five-year period from 1919-1924, to help finance Baptist efforts in missions, education, and other benevolent work. This chapter presents his influence in development and implementation of a strategy to execute the campaign.

Chapter 3 examines Scarborough’s influence as a committee member of the Future Program Commission, which recommended adopting the Southern Baptist Convention’s Cooperative Program [CP] in 1925. This chapter presents his influence related to the theological convictions he maintained in the area of cooperation.

Chapter 4 examines Scarborough’s influence as a member of the Baptist Faith & Message committee, which framed the first Southern Baptist convention-wide confession, entitled the Baptist Faith & Message in 1925. Prior to the 1925 confession, they used the New Hampshire Confession of Faith (1833) and the Abstract of Principles (1858).

Chapter 5 provides a conclusion for the entire dissertation and centers on one of the most important concepts espoused by Scarborough during his lifetime. The concept of cooperation was redefined by Scarborough in a way for Southern Baptists that still marks a distinguishing feature of the denomination today. This chapter solidifies the thesis of the dissertation by an examination of how Scarborough utilized his influence to engineer a new direction for Southern Baptist through his efforts on the Seventy-Five Million Campaign, formation of the Cooperative Program and the Baptist Faith & Message.

Developing a Pastor-Led Model Using a Text-Driven Invitation for the Effective Equipping of Decision Counselors at Living Water Church in Gladewater, Texas

Teddy Wayne Sorrells Jr D.Min.
This project seeks to train decision counselors at Living Water Church in Gladewater, TX to counsel church attenders who have responded to a text-driven invitation issued at the end of a sermon. Chapter 1 presents the history and ministry context of Living Water Church and the goals of this project. Chapter 2 provides the biblical precepts that call for a response to every sermon preached and the necessary need to recruit and equip others to help during this time of response. Chapter 3 explains why and how text-driven sermons call for a response and presents a model for text-driven preachers to equip decisions counselors. Chapter 4 presents the project and its methodology. Chapter 5 will evaluate the results of the project through a complete analysis of the specific goals completed. This project will develop a pastor-led model using a text-driven invitation for the effective equipping of decision counselors.


Zachary Andrew Tunnell D.Min.
This project argues that a correlation exists between healthy practices within the local church and the faithful preaching of biblically-sound doctrine. Evidence of this correlation is shown by focusing on the faithful interpretation and application of the Trustworthy Sayings of the Pastoral Epistles as modeled by the preaching of Herschel Hobbs.
Beginning with a consideration of God’s plan for preaching to be of first importance within the practices of a local church, this project establishes the importance of biblically-sound doctrine for church health and revitalization. Chapter 2 begins the project’s examination of the Trustworthy Sayings, with each chapter offering an analysis of a related sermon preached by Herschel Hobbs during his pastorate at First Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The Trustworthy Sayings do not appear in the same order as they are in the Pastoral Epistles, but rather are placed so that one saying builds upon the next. First Timothy 1:15 (Chapter 2) addresses soteriological views in Southern Baptist history. First Timothy 4:8-10 (Chapter 3) considers the role of doctrinal preaching in discipling church members who will be devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Chapter 4 considers Titus 3:4-8 and how believers who are devoted to God will also be devoted to good works which honor God. Second Timothy 2:11-13 (Chapter 5) speaks of God’s faithfulness and the hope which His faithfulness provides for the local church. First Timothy 3:1 (Chapter 6) addresses the character of the called and considers the qualifications of a senior pastor.
The project concludes (Chapter 7) with a charge to the pulpit and the local church which, if implemented, will help protect the local church from suffering from doctrinal drift. Three recommendations for steering straight are provided.


Tim Graham D.Min.
This project seeks an understanding of issues related to African Traditional Religion (ATR) that bear upon the churches of the pastors attending a biannual conference on preparing exegetical sermons and to develop a theological statement to be used to discourage ATR from further infiltrating the local churches represented at the conference. The pastors, mostly from South Africa, participated in a Delphi research process that promoted individual input about each person’s encounter with ATR issues in the first round. This input was reviewed and prioritized by the participants in the second two rounds identifying the five most significant challenges of ATR to their local churches. The study concluded with a roundtable discussion intending to address the influence of ATR and whether a theological statement would be helpful in that endeavor. Because the environment being addressed was a pastors’ conference on exegesis, the goal was to influence the preaching of these pastors in a way that would address the influence of ATR. This final project goal found a low level of support and met with some resistance.

Encouragement for the small church: Equipping rectors for fruitfulness in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney

Stephen Anderson D.Min.
Of itself, church smallness is neither an anomaly, a mistake, nor a virtue. In God’s providence and design, small is normal, and may in fact bring significant strengths. However, no prior research has investigated the distinctive dynamics and challenges faced by rectors of smaller parishes in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, and despite extensive training pathways there is very little leadership development that focuses specifically upon the small church. This mixed-methods research project integrates theological and sociological insights and discoveries in order to equip and encourage these servants of Christ to persevere in fruitful ministry over the long term.

This dissertation presents a complete biblical theology of fruitfulness. Coupling this to the “Robinson-Knox” ecclesiology imbibed by nearly all Sydney Anglican rectors, a “purpose-of-churching” scale is derived to help stimulate theologically consistent models of ministry. At the heart of this project, the Nominal Group Technique is used to generate a list of the Top 7 challenges encountered by a pool of experienced small-church rectors. In light of this robust list along with critical insights from the secondary literature, four follow-up interviews are conducted on location.

This pilot research project includes major findings in three key areas. The full, biblical definition of ministry fruitfulness protects and encourages the small-church pastor, especially when tied to the proper purposes of churching. A perceptive analysis of typical small-church culture arising from the secondary literature equips the rector to lead in ways indigenous to actual church size. At the heart, the Top 7 list of small-church challenges renders a “thick” diagnosis widely applicable by such rectors to their ministry settings. As this project concludes, a fresh, rigorous, semi-linear coaching framework for emerging and established rectors serving in small Anglican parishes is proposed for initial implementation.


Philip Schenck D.Min.
There are high expectations that a church plant grow by seeing people come to faith in Christ. Such seems to be the expectation placed upon every church plant, as evidenced in literature and conferences and denominational leaders. Experience has not born out what the church anticipated in terms of multiple and regular conversion growth. Academic research, interviews, surveys and focus groups were utilized to understand evangelism and outreach as a whole and as it pertains to the local church that was the focus of this project. Attempt has been made to determine and suggest a response or series of responses that might aid the church in its evangelistic effectiveness. Church members indicated a desire to see the church grow by conversion, but raised concerns about individual preparedness, the need for training, and overcoming fear. Community members raised questions and shared expectations of local churches and church leadership. An overall need for pastoral leadership in the area of evangelism was highlighted. The strategic plan for evangelism and outreach seeks to address the areas of concern and focus that came to light as a result of the research and study, the surveys and interviews undertaken, and conversations with members of church leadership. Is has sought to address needs represented and stated by church and community, leaves opportunity for further study and innovation and invites the involvement of every ministry team and every individual in the church.

Hollering Theology: Exploring liberation theology in Central Appalachia and its power to transform students at the University of Pikeville

Robert Dale Musick D.Min.
Central Appalachia is a complex and beautiful region that has been historically mislabeled, misrepresented, and shamed as the land of hillbillies. Suffering in this region is deep and broad as poverty, addiction, and disparities are statistically evident. Although the region is filled with churches, missionary endeavors, and government programs, places like Eastern Kentucky continue to struggle. As the Church seeks to address these diseases of despair, it is imperative for Christian universities to address this suffering through critical pedagogy and a contextualized theology. By the development of an Appalachian liberation theology known as hollering theology, this research project took this new theology and imbedded it in two different college classes at the University of Pikeville. Through this project, it was discovered that the fundamental source of oppression in Central Appalachia is the damning stereotype of the hillbilly. This stereotype has been internalized and is now killing Appalachian Americans. In this study, hollering theology will be offered as a way to challenge the stereotype, give a new vision for God’s work in the region, and make known a hillbilly Christ, which seeks to empower students at UPIKE to engage themselves and their community in a critical and engaged way.

Recovering From and Rejoicing in Fundamentalism: Insights From Former Fundamentalists and the Pastors Who Shepherd Them

Eric Alan Vander Ploeg D.Min.
Christian fundamentalism played a key role in protecting the gospel from liberal decay in
American history. Its leaders built a high wall of separation around the fundamentals of the faith
to protect them from the innovations of modernism. The wall kept cultural threats out, but it also
kept a particular era of Christian culture in. While America later experienced the most rapid
cultural upheavals in its history, fundamentalism remained largely unchanged within its walls,
and the cultural chasm grew wider and wider. Some of the children of fundamentalism have now
left these walls and are in search of something new.

This project seeks to help these “travelers” on their journey. Twenty focus groups with
self-identified “recovering fundamentalists” identified several patterns of personal pain along
with lessons learned that could benefit others. Nine interviews with experienced pastors yielded
best practices in shepherding travelers as they enter evangelical churches. These results were
collated to produce four key findings:

1. Living with the disapproval and disappointment of fundamentalist parents after
2. Learning how to trust authority (of leaders and of the Bible) after being told to “just
trust” and not ask questions.
3. Moving from a model of sanctification that is guilt-based to one that is grace-based.
4. Learning how to rejoice in the fundamentalism of one’s youth and to see God’s
kindness and glory amidst the errors of its proponents.
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