Perkins School of Theology

An Assessment of the Mission Ministries of Arlington Heights United Methodist Church, Fort Worth, Texas

Author
Mary K Spradlin
Abstract
This project proposes to help one congregation move from a one-way model of missional giving toward a model of mission ministries that emphasizes relationship-building, empowerment and community development. Congregation members attended a community development conference, participated in small group book studies, and engaged with a blog focused on an empowerment model of mission ministries. These activities prompted small but significant changes to existing ministries. Additionally, members of the congregation are motivated to pursue further evaluation of existing ministries and creation of new ministries that encourage relationship-building and follow an empowerment model rather than a handout model.

An Assessment of the Mission Ministries of Arlington Heights United Methodist Church, Fort Worth, Texas

Author
Mary K Spradlin
Abstract
This project proposes to help one congregation move from a one-way model of missional giving toward a model of mission ministries that emphasizes relationship-building, empowerment and community development. Congregation members attended a community development conference, participated in small group book studies, and engaged with a blog focused on an empowerment model of mission ministries. These activities prompted small but significant changes to existing ministries. Additionally, members of the congregation are motivated to pursue further evaluation of existing ministries and creation of new ministries that encourage relationship-building and follow an empowerment model rather than a handout model.

Working on Work: A Pentecostal preaching approach to address the challenges of a working life for the Hispanic parishioners of Iglesia de Dios Filadelfia in Grand Prairie, TX

Author
Elias H Lopez
Abstract
Work consumes the lives of the parishioners of Iglesia de Dios Filadelfia in Grand Prairie, TX. Their time, attention and health is given for the sake of work relegating everything else to secondary role in their lives. This study examines reframing the significance of work to incite the parishioners to evaluate the effects of sacrificing their home life and faith walk for the sake of work. This project develops, implements and evaluates a Pentecostal preaching that incites the listeners to a deeper engagement of their faith and stimulates them to discover new ways of making decisions in their work life.

Strengthening the connection: using liberation theology to affirm the call and inform the ministry of pastors serving the local church

Author
LaWanda Ann Hitt
Abstract
This project argues for teaching Liberation Theology, as a logical heir of Wesleyan Theology, to Local Pastors & Ministry Candidates in the UMC, in order to improve their preaching, teaching and evangelism, and to strengthen their response to the stressors of ministry. Surveys were taken regarding the prevalence of problems encountered by Pastors in the Central Texas Conference in the areas of Theology, Leadership, Authority and/or "Other."

Developing and implementing a lay-led catechetical process for congregational transformation during the great reversal

Author
Steven B Morgan
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to develop, implement, and evaluate a lay-led catechetical process at Williams Memorial United Methodist Church of Texarkana. Utilizing "Key United Methodist Beliefs" by Abraham and Watson, laity were theologically empowered and effective in helping non-members and non-baptized adults profess their faith and find a home in the church. A series of interviews corroborated by quantitative data revealed that equipping laity to lead the membership class helped them create deeper relationships of belonging than were possible within a pastor-led membership class.

Yahweh's feasts and harvests, and Hebraic customs a module for missional evangelism and discipleship

Author
Beverly C Duréus
Abstract
This project sought to advance the revitalization process of the local church by connecting Yahweh's seven feasts with specific practices of Christian discipleship. The practicum was conducted over six weeks with two groups of Christians, including one from a Messianic Jewish congregation. The results showed an increased understanding of the meaning of Christian discipleship and a greater interest in evangelism.

Cultivating the habits that promote oneness at the Glenwood Church of Christ

Author
Benjamin C Siburt
Abstract
The practicum provides a process for equipping church leaders to manage conflicts well. A group of 15 assembled for a ten-week class that met for an hour each week to study scripture, conflict theory, and to create a member covenant for the Glenwood Church of Christ establishing the expectation of behavior during times of disagreement. This practicum equipped the members well in scripture, theory, and practice for handling congregational conflict well. The class increased awareness of students' personal response to conflict, and it revealed the need to proactively train and equip leaders and laity in practices that maintain oneness.

The Ludican mission: using intrinsic gameplay rewards with coordinated role-playing events to heal relationships between Christians and ludicans

Author
Ryan A Rush
Abstract
Relationships between Christians and gamers (or Ludicans) can be improved as a prelude to relational evangelism through the use of role-playing games whose internal progress depend on cooperative philanthropy of all players. The author gathered several role-playing gamers, both Christian and not, and gauged their perceptions of topics related to both church and gaming before and after participating in such a role-playing campaign. The collected data show that perceptions improved among players virtually across the board.

Ars moriendi in praxis: the effects of a comprehensive hospital bereavement care program on grieving patients and families

Author
Marci J Pounders
Abstract
This project seeks to develop a comprehensive bereavement care pilot program at Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas. The practicum was conducted from October 21, 2010, to October 21, 2011. Pre-test surveys showed the hospital does well in caring for grieving families at the time of death. However, a desire for more initiatives in the pre- and post-bereavement phase was indicated. This project has identified initiatives that ban be helpful to hospitals desiring to create bereavement programs for grieving families and staff.

Developing a process whereby a declining congregation can discern its options for its future

Author
Jo Frahm Watkins
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to assist the members of a congregation develop a process for discerning the options available for their congregational future. It examines the elements of intuition, memory, imagination, and the commitment, as necessary components of spiritual discernment. Four active laity were recruited from the congregation in Milbank, South Dakota, to serve a Project Task Force (PTF). This group collaborated with the pastor, studied discernment, developed the instrument and process used for this project, and evaluated their process. The study opened the possibility of a more positive conversation concerning the future of this and similar congregations.
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