Columbia Theological Seminary

SATISFYING EUCHARIST FOR SPIRITUAL HUNGER: FROM JULIAN OF NORWICH AND TERESA OF AVILA TO UNITED METHODIST CLERGYWOMEN IN PARISH MINISTRY

Abstract
This project presents a retreat program for the clergywomen of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. It reviews the conditions of and reasons for these clergywomen’s spiritual crisis in today’s church and society. As a history project, it provides close readings of two women mystics: Showings by Julian of Norwich and Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila. These writers’ teachings emerged from their ministries to people who suffered during plagues, wars, colonialism, and unstable leadership. The retreat incorporates theological insights and spiritual practices from these texts as major resources to empower today’s clergywomen’s spirituality and restore their wholeness and health.

Place Forming Pastor

Abstract
This project proposes that the capacity for pastors to develop pastoral imagination depends on the conversation between vocation and place, such that pastors who engage in contextually-reflective ministry through their preaching and pastoral work necessarily deepen their pastoral and vocational self-understanding in the process. Basic qualitative research consisting of semi-structured interviews of three pastors serving various contexts provides data and demonstrates that the development of pastoral imagination is context- specific as pastors incorporate congregational stories into their own vocational discernment and pastoral spirituality.

JAMES FOWLER’S FAITH DEVELOPMENT THEORY: IMPLICATIONS FOR SHAPING FAITH FORMATION OF MILLENNIALS

Author
Owen Lorenzo Wilson D.Min.
Abstract
The main purpose of this research was to explore the role of faith development of Millennials in their decision making in three selected churches in Portmore, Jamaica. It integrates valuable data from related literature reviewed in relation to Millennials and their characteristics, theories on human and faith development, and the stages of faith formation. The research also identifies the contributing factors to the phenomenon of faith. Additionally, the research shares the responses and opinions of Millennials on their faith journey and how faith acts as a social good in decision-making. The findings reveal that while Millennials are logically connected individuals, faith is a value-based tool in their decision-making efforts.

A Pastoral Approach to Preaching Difficult Texts

Author
Brian James Lays D.Min.
Abstract
This project proposes that preaching difficult texts with pastoral sensitivity can produce edifying sermons, proving useful certain texts of the Bible which have been excluded from the lectionary and thereby written off as irrelevant or even harmful to the Church. Six challenging biblical texts, from Genesis, Exodus, Psalms, Isaiah, Matthew, and Acts, none of which appear in the Revised Common Lectionary, are presented to a focus group for study and feedback. Utilizing data from the focus group, a sermon will be prepared from each text, and the focus group will evaluate whether or not each sermon proved the challenging biblical text useful.

OPEN WOUND, OPEN TABLE: A THEOLOGICAL EXPLORATION OF HOLY COMMUNION AS PRACTICED BY THE BORDER CHURCH/LA IGLESIA FRONTERIZA

Author
Seth David Clark D.Min.
Abstract
This study explores the Border Church, which worships across the San Diego-Tijuana border fence at Friendship Park, and how its weekly bi-national, bilingual, nonsectarian communion service, intersects with the lived realities of its borderlands congregants. Through participant-witness ethnography of my congregation and five semi-structured, open-ended interviews, I examine how God is experienced in Christian practices, especially communion, at the border wall. I conclude that borderlands experiences are not monolithic, which counters false groupings of and “othering” tropes about migrants, deportees, and activists. I also theologize about unity amid division and how to make the bread of the table even more open.

CAROL, KEVORKIAN, AND CHRISTINA YANG:
MORAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH BIOETHICAL CASE STUDIES IN

Author
Derek Wilson D.Ed.Min.
Abstract
The thesis of this project argues that ethical education for too long has been a matter of principled approach built upon justice while neglecting moral development research of females through the works of Carol Gilligan. Bioethical education is best done in a balance of justice and relationships channeling both the works of Gilligan and Lawrence Kohlberg. By engaging with the people most affected by bioethics, those who are disabled, students are able to build empathy through case studies and thus make better informed ethical decisions. This project centers around a curriculum written for high school students studying bioethics. It lays out a groundwork for a theological basis for Christian education in bioethics as well as provides curriculum for the course.

"Lessons of Hospitality in the Parables of Jesus: Inspiring a Congregation to Transform Its Ways of Loving and Serving Neighbors"

Author
Joan Warren Gandy D.Min.
Abstract
This project proposes that lessons of hospitality in the parables of Jesus can inspire a congregation to transform its ways of loving and serving neighbors. The congregation took part in an eight-week study with multiple opportunities to engage the parables each week. Research methods included ethnographic practices of listening, observing, and reading historical documents; written surveys to gauge how participants viewed congregational hospitality and service to neighbors before and after the study; and practical theological methods such as reflection/action and the four tasks of practical theological interpretation. The research discloses the power of parables to stir hearts for neighborhood mission.

The Pulse of a Community: Incarnation at the Intersections

Author
Lisa D Heilig
Abstract
This project focused on the response of one congregation to the shooting at the Pulse nightclub with spiritual support for its community and how its engaging in an intentional process of becoming more missional prepared it to respond so effectively. Through qualitative research, the practices, perspective, and leadership of this congregation in that process were identified in a way that can provide a missional road map for other congregations and leaders in a similar process, thereby preparing them to respond to emerging needs in their own communities.

Witness of grace, a liturgy of hope dialogue in weekly worship as sacred encounter

Author
Jessica Patchett
Abstract
This project proposes that the practice of dialogue in response to scripture and sermon in weekly worship offers a vital liturgical and evangelical experience, offering participants a sense of connection with the church community and hope for their lives and the world. It includes narrative accounts of the practice, describes how it works, proposes theories for why it functions as a source of hope, and outlines dimensions of the practice that are more mundane, unpredictable, or unintended. The research shows that the practice offers a critical contribution to the contemporary reformation of the church.

Celebrating Communion Why Youth Aren't Hungering to Come to the Lord's Table

Author
Cheryl A Carson
Abstract
This project proposes that many church-attending Christian youth find the sacrament of the Lord's Supper irrelevant and lifeless. The reasons for this disconnect are investigated and imaginative liturgical strategies are sought to help youth passionately engage in communion. Basic qualitative, narrative analysis, and quantitative research were utilized. Data was collected through personal interviews and focus group interviews. The results show that youth generally find communion routine and done so frequently as to be commonplace. However, the findings also reveal that these adolescents are indeed hungering to participate in communion with and experience the presence of the risen Lord.
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