Christian education

Confirmation, Community, and Commitment: Evaluating Church Attendance at the Episcopal Church of St. Mary, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Author
James W. Hunter D.Min.
Abstract
his work studies the phenomenon of individuals dropping out of active church membership after confirmation. The positive approach adopted to examine this issue is through Appreciative Inquiry. Rather than trying to "fix" a problem, this paper studies what is good in the current confirmation preparation program, discovering how those good elements can be improved, and the importance of community in retaining members. The problem is analyzed through Holy Scripture, the Great Tradition of Christianity, and the experiences of eleven parishioners who have matriculated through the confirmation process and remained active in the life of the Episcopal Church of St. Mary, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Developing Parental Leadership through Biblical Love as Expressed in Presence, Communication, and Discipline in the Homes at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church, Shelby, North Carolina

Author
M. Lamont Littlejohn Jr.
Abstract
A Christian education curriculum was established at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Shelby, North Carolina, to develop parental leadership centered on biblical love. The goal was to train parents to model biblical love in their homes. Relying upon scripture affirming parental leadership in the home, parents were enlisted and participated in a six-week study. Surveys measured experience, involvement, practice, and understanding of biblical knowledge. There was no significant statistical difference between the control group and focus group quantitatively; however, the focus group was also assessed qualitatively by means of theological reflection, presence, communication, and discipline application activities. Final reviews indicated that biblical love is a crucial component in developing parental leadership when understood and practiced. Participants in both groups recommend this curriculum be expanded and integrated as a part of the Christian education ministry of Mt. Calvary Baptist Church.

BENEFITS OF MULTI-ETHNIC DIVERSITY FROM A MAJORITY CULTURE PERSPECTIVE AT A CHRISTIAN HIGH SCHOOL IN VOUCHER PROGRAM: A STUDY OF WISCONSIN LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL IN MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN

Author
Kenneth Fisher D.Min.
Abstract
Entering the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program (MPCP), a voucher program, enabled Wisconsin Lutheran High School (WLHS) to become a multi-ethnic Christian high school, fulfilling the Great Commission's call to "make disciples of all nations" (Matt. 28:19) while offering its students the many benefits of ethnic diversity. In order to assist in the recruitment of a balanced multi-ethnic student body, this project explores the positive benefits from the majority culture perspective of Caucasian parents whose students attended WLHS in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The project's biblical exploration centers on the Great Commission's call for ethnic inclusion, as well as the biblical issues related to maintaining a healthy, multi-ethnic diversity in a high school. The review of contemporary literature explores the problem of school segregation; the demonstrable benefits of multi-ethnic schools for white students; the role parental perceptions play in school selection; and the special way a multi-ethnic Christian school can deal with racism and segregation as spiritual problems.

Key findings of the project included: white parents are more likely to listen to other white parents than objective data; diversity is more often a reason to reject a school than a factor in selecting a school; parents' positive perceptions of safety and academic rigor are vital; and parents' understanding of diversity's benefits grow as they reflect more deeply upon them.

Glimpses of Heaven among Friends: The Utilization of Film to Draw Interest in Small Group Studies at the First Baptist Church of Albemarle

Author
Roger William Thomas
Abstract
A small group study about heaven in scripture and contemporary film was developed in order to create interests in small groups. Believing small groups, discussions of the after life, and the power of storytelling are affirmed throughout scripture, individuals were recruited and led through the study. Surveys measured opinions on heaven and small groups among the entire congregation and the small group participants. Following the study, the participants were surveyed one final time on both subjects. Ultimately the study did not always change minds with concern to the afterlife, but the overall opinions of small group experiences seemed to be broadened.

A Phenomenology of Authentic Leadership

Author
Joshua James Tilley D.Min.
Abstract
Objective: To grasp the characteristics and essence of authentic leadership as seen and experienced through the lives of those who have served under and/or over those they perceive and identify as “authentic” or “high quality” leaders.

Method: A literary review and a biblical review were conducted to establish the current scholarship related to authentic leadership. A new phenomenological study was conducted in October of 2018. 12 individuals were interviewed either in person, by phone, or via a video chat.
Results: The result was a literary study, a biblical review, and a new phenomenological study of authentic leadership.

Conclusions: Through the phenomenology and subsequent qualitative research, the researcher came to the conclusion that authentic leadership is provided, felt, and acted upon in different ways by different people in different cultures, but the one universal essence of authentic leadership is the paradox of “relief” and “peace” preceded by a sense of “anxiety” and “pressure,” which is provoked within the follower by the leader. Trust is built through the process.
A model of existential peace is offered to demonstrate this meaning, but no model for creating an authentic leadership is presented as a phenomenology does not provide the groundwork needed to establish such a theory. All cultures represent leadership in different ways, so further research would need to be conducted to create such a model.

Awana Together: Empowering Parents as Spiritual Mentors for Their Children

Author
Sara-Jane Heacox Sosa D.Min.
Abstract
The post-Christian culture in the United States presents a significant challenge to the spiritual growth of adults and children. At Plymouth Covenant Church, ministry leaders recognized that young parents often lacked a biblical foundation. Many did not feel competent to lead their children spiritually. These parents needed a vibrant personal faith as well as good role models. As a result, ministry leaders designed a more effective way to empower parents as spiritual mentors for their children. They created a new ministry that would provide personal faith development for parents, a supportive faith community, family-focused programming, and solid biblical teaching. This new ministry was a family version of Awana that they called Awana Together.

The problem that this project addressed was the need for a family ministry model at Plymouth Covenant Church that fostered a partnership between the church and families that empowered parents as spiritual mentors for their children. It used an intrinsic case study approach to evaluate Plymouth Covenant’s unique ministry, Awana Together, to determine if it provided a pathway for a better partnership between the home and the church in empowering parents as spiritual mentors. The research included evaluations of biblical passages and current scholarship, surveys of past and present Awana Together participants, focus group discussions with ministry leaders, and in-depth questionnaire responses from three different families. The research revealed that Awana Together was successfully designed to meet the goal of empowering parents as spiritual mentors for their children.

A Study of the Exegetical Conversational Bible Study for Spiritual Growth and Formation in Korean Immigration Church Small Groups

Author
Hyunkee Bae
Abstract
The purposes for this dissertation are to investigate the small group for the efficient Bible study to impact on spiritual growth and formation and to suggest a practical and efficient teaching method for organizing and operating small group Bible studies that can help the churches implement effective Bible studies. To accomplish these two goals, the exegetical conversational Bible study, which is a small group and interactive Bible study, was conducted at two Korean immigrant churches in the United States. Two surveys and group interviews and individuals were implemented. As a result, this project concludes that the exegetical conversational Bible study positively influenced the spiritual growth and formation of the participants in the small group.

Equipping selected teachers of the Georgia Baptist Convention Hispanic churches in best Bible teaching practices for children

Author
Lucinda S Lyons
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to equip selected teachers of the Georgia Baptist Convention Hispanic churches in best Bible teaching practices for children. First the project director researched the field to determine best practices for teaching theology to children, and then developed a curriculum. The project director presented the curriculum in an all-day training session. The training session included: (1) teaching methodologies based on Deuteronomy, (2) questions carefully worded to help children discover the Bible message, and (3) a model for discovering biblical truth, developed to help both the teacher and the students identify the doctrinal elements in the bible passage being studied and for creative, practical ways to apply the doctrine in daily life. An expert in biblical and theological studies reviewed the research and an annotated bibliography on which the curriculum was designed, and a curriculum expert approved the lesson plans. Rev. Tim Millwood, as field mentor, discussed the project prior to the implementation, attended the project implementation, and provided feedback on the project and its impact. The stages of the project development, results, evaluation, and reflection complete the project report.

Equipping Selected Leaders of First Baptist Church, Pitkin, Louisiana, in Biblical Discipleship Skills

Abstract
The purpose of this project was to equip selected leaders of First Baptist Church, Pitkin, Louisiana, in biblical discipleship skills. The project director examined research on discipleship, disciple-making, and workshop development. The project director utilized this research to develop teaching plans for the six-essential disciple-making skills workshop. The selected leaders of First Baptist Church, Pitkin, Louisiana were equipped with the skills from the research in a workshop consisting of five-hour-and-thirty-minute sessions from Saturday, June 3, 2017, and continuing each week through July 1, 2017.

Developing a Disciple-Making Strategy for Hope chapel, Jonesboro, Louisiana

Author
Marlon W Black
Abstract
The purpose of this project is to develop a disciple-making strategy for Hope Chapel in Jonesboro, Louisiana. The project director will gather information from a demographic study of the towns of Jonesboro-Hodge. Interviews with local officials will also be conducted in defining the ministry context of Hope Chapel. The director will interview leaders from several churches comparable to Hope Chapel to identify effective disciple-making practices. The project director will work with a project team of six individuals from Hope Chapel to develop a disciple-making strategy. The project team will assist the project director in exploring the demographics and data in and around Jonesboro-Hodge, in identifying disciple-making models of churches with similar characteristics as Hope Chapel, and developing a disciple-making strategy for Hope Chapel. The strategy will be presented to the Board of Directors of Hope Chapel, along with a selected group of church members for approval.
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