Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary


This project sets to implement a relational Serving Model at Gather in San Antonio, Texas, to motivate people to reach out to those within their relational circles towards the goal of being a positive influence on them by both living and sharing the Gospel. Chapter one presents the ministry context and the goals of this project. Chapter two provides an exegesis of four passages of Scripture (Matthew 5:13-16; Acts 17:26,27; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; Ephesians 2:1-10) to show God’s plan for humanity to walk in a relationship with him. The chapter also explains that God empowers believers by his grace to serve him and calls believers to be a witness for him in both word and action. Chapter three identifies four of the most formal evangelism methods and explains how relational ways of reaching out are a seamless transition from evangelism to discipleship. Chapter four describes the project itself, describing the details of the preparation and implementation of the project. Chapter five evaluates the purpose and goals of the project. This chapter also addresses the strengths and weaknesses of the project. Ultimately, this project seeks to motivate people at Gather, to reach out to others in their social circles towards the goal of being a positive influence on them by both living and sharing the Gospel.

The Development of a Training Program to Equip Preschool Teachers to Teach from a Biblical Worldview

This dissertation designs an extensive training program for FCBC preschool teachers to help develop their teaching skills and their own biblical worldview so that they can influence students with biblical truth and provide godly education to the Christian community.
Chapter 1 introduces the problem and reason for training preschool teachers with a biblical worldview.
Chapter 2 describes biblical concepts and keywords which relate to biblical worldview training as well as theological issues that are important because they support a biblical worldview.
Chapter 3 offers an eight-week biblical worldview training course with lesson handouts for Christian preschool use.
Chapter 4 provides a summary of the conclusions drawn from the biblical worldview training project for preschool teachers, as well as suggestions for further research and use.

The Importance of Constructing a Bible-Based Ministry for Single Mothers Through the Local Church

Single moms’ ministries are essential for contemporary churches, due to the increase in single moms. Strong and Courageous is a ministry developed for implementation through the local church to encourage, equip, and empower single mothers. This ministry project focuses on the importance of and need for a Bible-based single moms’ ministry within the local church. It provides research to back up the need for a single moms’ ministry, as well as a ministry model for churches to utilize. Last, the ministry project provides instructions about how to start a single moms’ ministry within local congregations. Research for this project has produced alarming, eye-opening information crucial to the development of this ministry.
Chapter 1 covers the need for a single moms’ ministry within the local church by offering statistics as to the increase of single mothers within the United States and the percentage of those who are unchurched.
Chapter 2 covers the introduction and explanation of Strong and Courageous Ministry, explaining its purpose and what it offers. Chapter 2 unfolds the Strong and Courageous Ministry model as well as its outreaches. Last, it presents an example of one of the outreach models, a seven-week Bible study curriculum.
Chapter 3 documents the implementation as well as the assessment of the single moms’ ministry that was executed through First Baptist Dallas during the Fall of 2019. Chapter 3 provides step-by-step instructions for beginning a single moms’ ministry within a local church setting.
This research has proven the need and importance for a Bible-based single moms’ ministry within the local church setting. The project has provided not only evidence of the need, but also a model of how best to meet the need and to implement the ministry within the local church. Last, chapter 3 introduces additional outreach information from the Strong and Courageous Ministry, including an online presence to provide additional equipping and encouragement for single mothers and for church leaders who desire to implement a single moms’ ministry in their own churches.
Brenda O’Shea Lowery, D.Ed.Min.
Advisor: Deron Biles, Ph.D.
The Jack D. Terry School of Educational Ministries
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2021

Determining the Impact of Covenant-Group Discipleship on Current Church Dropout Rates of Students Graduating from High School

Over the past two decades, there have been many studies conducted on the large number of teenagers leaving the local church after high school. Youth ministry leaders must re-evaluate their approach and disciple-making strategy in their local church if they want to create lifelong followers of Jesus.
In a recent study on church dropouts, Lifeway Research showed 66% of students stopped attending church after graduation. To further explore the findings from the 2017 Lifeway study, this ministry project examines the impact of intense biblical teaching and mentoring relationships within the context of covenant-group discipleship and its overall influence on church attendance of 116 high school seniors after graduation. The project director believed that students would demonstrate a minimum of a 15% decrease in the church dropout rate when compared to nationwide high school graduates who did not participate in an intentional covenant-group discipleship group.
Chapter 1 introduces the framework and need for this ministry project. The first chapter communicates the research methodology, purpose, and goals as well.
Chapter 2 of the ministry project presents biblical and theological support for disciple-making in the context of covenant-group discipleship. This ministry project purposed to demonstrate that covenant-group discipleship is firmly grounded in God’s Word and therefore a viable solution to create lifelong disciples of Christ in youth ministry.
In Chapter 3 of this project, the project director examines the current state of youth ministry, an overview of the Gen Z generation, and multiple studies indicating what may impact the current dropout rate of students from the local church. Finally, the project director explores the discipleship models of historical and contemporary figures.
Chapter 4 explores the findings from this ministry project in detail. The findings from this ministry project overwhelmingly support the project director’s initial proposition of church retention after graduation.
Chapter 5 evaluates the many elements and facets of the ministry project. The ministry project’s purpose, its corresponding goals, as well as its strengths and weaknesses are assessed. Lastly, both theological and personal reflections that were discovered as a result of the completion of this ministry project are considered and presented.

The Pastor and His Children: Using Text-Driven Preaching to Demonstrate the Qualifications of an Overseer

This project argues that preaching text-driven sermons on the biblical qualifications of an overseer with reference to his children can clarify and enhance congregational understanding of the importance of upholding them. Dealing with the sensitive topic regarding a pastor and his children through the method of expository preaching allows one to depend upon the authority of God’s Word while drawing attention to the necessity of upholding this neglected pastoral qualification.
After addressing the biblical and theological foundations for this topic (chapter 2) and reviewing its related literature (chapter 3), the importance of text-driven preaching is discussed by focusing on the biblical authority, examples throughout history, and benefits of this approach to preaching (chapter 4).
Chapter 5 reveals the exegesis of the passages pertinent to this topic from 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. Chapter 6 provides six principles one should implement when constructing text-driven sermons and how the application of these principles formed three sermons from the relevant texts for this project. Chapter 7 details the conclusions drawn after preaching these respective sermons to a test group of ministers. The final two chapters (chapters 8-9) discuss how the thesis of this project can be implemented moving forward so that God’s people will adopt text-driven preaching and uphold God’s standard for an overseer.

Developing a Strategy for Connecting Hearts in Korean American Families of First Korean Presbyterian Church of San Antonio in Preparation for Discipling Children in the Home

The examination of academic resources, personal experiences with Korean American churches, and interviews from Korean immigrant parents and their children indicate that parents today, including Korean American parents, need family discipleship. A significant number of the next generation are leaving the church and their faith every year. Many Korean parents do not understand why their children drift away from the church and faith. They do not know the biblical responsibility of parents to disciple children in the home. While they never practice family discipleship, they still believe that their children will be exceptions and will not leave the church and their faith.
Many immigrant Korean Americans came to America to pursue their American Dream. Secular life goals lead parents and children to busy lifestyles. The parents and children suffer from linguistic, cultural, and generational barriers at home as these three significant obstacles become greater and bigger every day. These barriers make Korean immigrant parents believe it is impossible to teach children the Word of God at home.
This project motivated and equipped Korean immigrant parents to disciple their children at home by involving those parents in six weeks of Bible study materials on family discipleship and biblical parenting. This study also motivated and equipped the parents to break down linguistic, cultural, and generational walls between parents and children so parents could build heart connections with their children. Parents who experienced the six-week study showed changed attitudes concerning the power of family discipleship through heart connections and becoming the primary faith influencers of their children at home.

Incarnational Preaching: The Three-Perspective Model of Timothy Keller

This project will demonstrate how Timothy Keller applies the three-perspective model (biblical, situational, and personal) to deliver his sermons, thereby providing effective expository preaching and quality pastoral ministry. Keller’s methodology for preaching is Christ-centered, text-centered, compassionate, exegetically sound, and pastoral. He applies some elements of text-driven preaching. This project chooses twenty of Keller’s sermons from the Old and New Testaments in three different genres (Story, Poetry, and Epistles) to examine his preaching model. This project’s primary goal is to enhance pastoral ministry’s effectiveness through preaching, particularly in moments of crisis and tragedy.

John M. Frame’s Perspectives on the Word of God and Vern S. Poythress’s Symphonic Theology shape Keller’s three-perspective model for preaching. Both of them argue that applying multiple exegesis perspectives helps deliver absolute truth and relevant application in the different contexts of the audience. Keller’s preaching methodology can be named “incarnational preaching” because Christ’s incarnation and ministries are evident in all these three perspectives.

The result shows that Keller applies almost equal emphasis to both biblical and situational perspectives in his sermons. Sometimes he applies more emphasis to the situational perspective than to the biblical perspective so that the modern audience could comprehend and apply biblical truth to their lives. Additionally, Keller’s personal view takes less than 14 percent of his sermons. It shows that his personal experience and preferences do not dominate his sermons. Keller is willing to share his weakness and get involved with the audience. He shows his compassion for the suffering and expresses his passion for the Gospel. Keller is like a friend of the bridegroom to show that Christ is the center of the entire wedding because “he (Christ) must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:29-30).

Keller demonstrates how to balance, integrate, and unite biblical, situational, and personal perspectives in his preaching. By observing Keller’s sermons, preachers could find that utilizing Keller’s three-perspective model helps explain the text and capture the whole picture. Preachers could learn from his methodology and examine their sermons for these three perspectives to enhance pastoral ministries.

“Equipping Christians with Critical Thinking Skills for the Purpose of Refuting Logical Fallacies Raised to Challenge the Biblical Worldview”

The purpose of this project is to equip Christians with critical thinking skills for the purpose of refuting logical fallacies raised to challenge the biblical worldview and to do so in a manner that may create an opportunity for sharing the gospel. The method selected to complete this project was to present a seven-week training course that introduced the students to the biblical mandate for critical thinking, the church’s need for critical thinking, twelve logical fallacies that have been used to challenge the biblical worldview, and how to respond to those fallacies with “gentleness and reverence.” The effectiveness of the training in meeting the project goals would be measured by comparing the results of a pre-test to a post-test and plotting those results on a Likert graph.

Developing a Curriculum for Effective Discipleship of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

Developing a Curriculum for Effective Discipleship of Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities

The objective for this research project is the development, application, and assessment of an eight-week discipleship curriculum for individuals with intellectual disabilities in the Sunday school classroom. The purpose of this eight-week curriculum is to teach the students to walk with God on a daily basis allowing the Holy Spirit to transform them into the likeness of Christ through a lifelong process.

Chapter 1 introduces the problem and the ministry setting. The research question, purpose statement and thesis will also be discussed.

Chapter 2 looks at the theological foundation for the discipleship of individuals with cognitive disabilities. It discusses the image of God in Old and New Testament references. It also reviews the four views of the image of God: substantive, functional, relational and Christological. This chapter will also review related literature and the ministry application of this project.

Chapter 3 discusses the significance of the study as well as the limitations and delimitations. This chapter will also discuss key definitions and the population being researched by including an ethnographic study of the disability community and demographical information of participants within each group home. The final section will discuss the project plan and the curriculum. The section discussing the curriculum will cover goals and objectives, the lessons, the time frame and the pre-assessment and post-assessment surveys.

Chapter 4 discusses the development and the implementation of the curriculum. This chapter will also discuss evaluation of the project by evaluating the data from the pre-assessment and post-assessment surveys.

Chapter 5 includes a thorough evaluation of the research data and a theological reflection. This chapter also discusses the implications for future use and goal assessment.

Establishing a Pastor-Led, Member-Fulfilled Disciple-Making Ministry at Mayhill Baptist Church in Mayhill, New Mexico

This project seeks to equip the members of Mayhill Baptist Church in Mayhill, New Mexico, a rural church revitalization effort in the Sacramento Mountains, to share their faith utilizing the Path for P.E.A.C.E. disciple-making model. Chapter 1 presents the history and ministry context of Mayhill Baptist Church and the goals of this project. Chapter 2 provides exegesis of several passages of Scripture (Eph 4:11-12; Matt 28:16-20; various passages in the Gospels, Romans, and Acts; Heb 3:12-14) to show that God commands pastors to equip the saints and every saint to make disciples. Chapter 3 posits the position that for ministry effectiveness to occur, the load of evangelism is not carried only by the pastor, but by every member of the church. Chapter 4 describes the project itself, including the timing and teaching methodology along the way. Chapter 5 evaluates the success of the project based on the completion of specified goals. Ultimately, this project seeks to equip all believers with the tools necessary to share their faith.
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