Church work with students

Growth toward faith maturity through a collegiate chapel program

Matthew Floding
This project is designed to provide college chaplains with illustrative models and helpful discussion exploring eight core dimensions of mature faith in order to encourage planning a chapel program which will facilitate growth toward faith maturity. It benefits directly from Lilly-funded research conducted by the Search Institute of Minneapolis and published as Effective Christian Education: A National Study of Protestant Congregations. The research for this project was conducted while actively performing the ministry of chaplain at Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa.

This project strongly suggests that intentionally planning to address these eight dimensions of mature faith in a collegiate chapel worship program, together with supplemental experiences, can encourage growth toward faith maturity. While measurable results isolating the impact of the chapel program are probably not possible, in an Appendix, findings of research conducted on Northwestern's campus using a Search Institute instrument are presented which tend to confirm the importance of being cognizant of a picture of mature faith when planning a chapel program.

Generation X meets Saint Dominic

Mary L Donnelly
This project is designed to provide a structure for ministry to young adults, in particular members of Generation X. The research consisted of reading, distributing questionnaires to both college students and to campus ministers and then compiling and analyzing the information and interfacing the information with Dominican spirituality and Dominican life.

The purpose of researching the founding of the Order was to discover if there were any similarities between early thirteenth century middle Spain and late twentieth century United States culture in order to use the gifts of Dominican spirituality as an avenue to ministry with young adults. The research bore out that there are similarities in the spiritual climate of early 13th century middle Spain and that of late 20th century United States. The framework of Dominican spirituality does indeed offer the Church an avenue to address, to reach, and to feed the spiritual hungers of the generation known as Generation X thus providing nourishment for the soul.

A School- and Community-Based Strategy for Chronic Absenteeism at W. S. Neal Elementary School in East Brewton, Alabama

Eric T Andrews
The purpose of this project was to develop a school- and community-based strategy to reduce chronic absenteeism among kindergarten and first-grade students at W. S. Neal Elementary School. The project director analyzed internal and external demographic data. The faculty and staff members were surveyed on the school culture. The kindergarten and first-grade students’ parents were surveyed on the school safety, culture, and climate to determine the potential barriers for chronic absenteeism in kindergarten and first-grade students. The project director also explored existing strategic models to determine best practices on chronic absenteeism for kindergarten and first-grade students. The project director developed a school and community-based strategy to address chronic absenteeism in kindergarten and first-grade students and presented the strategy to an existing Attendance Management Team (AMT) and the school-based Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) for approval.

A Doutrina da Trindade Orientando o Desenvolvimento Espiritual de Jovens em uma Sociedade Secularizada

Arthur Vinicius Gottlieb Lupion D.Min.
Esta dissertação propõe-se a criar e avaliar um programa curto de ensino da doutrina da Trindade, na busca de uma orientação ao desenvolvimento espiritual de um jovem cristão em uma sociedade secularizada. Com o intuito de compreender os aspectos contextuais, será avaliada a cultura do jovem atual e os impactos da alta conexão, de mudanças constantes e da fragmentação da verdade, que conduzem cada vez mais a uma vida de independência dos outros. Na busca para que a mais bela e perfeita comunidade não fique de lado, mas seja uma balizadora para reorientar o jovem pós-moderno.

Pretende-se apresentar os principais pontos a serem trabalhados no ensino da teologia da Trindade para estes jovens e como as relações intratrinitarianas podem orientar a sua vida em comunidade, já que a Trindade é uma comunidade que de eternidade a eternidade vive em perfeita unidade. Também foram trabalhados argumentos para capacitar o jovem a distinguir as falsas concepções da pós-modernidade que estão incutidas no nosso tempo, mas que são opostas à pessoa de Deus.

Em seguida, uma análise sobre metodologias contemporâneas para a educação teológica e aspectos da secularização atual. Posteriormente, foram avaliadas questões-chaves na orientação do desenvolvimento espiritual pela doutrina da Trindade, como a vida em comunidade e o desenvolvimento sexual.

A pesquisa foi aplicada no Uruguai, país mais secularizado do ocidente, por meio da missão TeachBeyond em parceria com igrejas locais do país, e a verificação da validade das variantes foi realizada por meio da metodologia de grupos focais.

A processional of hope : developing cross-sector collaborations between local churches and public schools as an act of social justice

Chad B. Anglemyer
"The author researched public school and local church collaborations as a means of vitalizing and improving community life. The author conducted [on site] investigations, [which included] interviews with school administrators and clergy involved in collaboration. [The author used] scholarly resources [related to] Christian spirituality [and] community organizing . . . [Additionally, the author relied upon] biblical studies focused on Ezra-Nehemiah and the return of the exiles to Jerusalem during the Persian Period. Research shows that post-exilic Jerusalem was an imperfect community as are the present-day communities hosting church and public-school collaborations. Nonetheless, churches grow and behavioral and academic climates of schools improve when in healthy collaboration." -- Leaf [2].

Developing a Student Ministry-Merger Strategy for New Campuses of Family Church, West Palm Beach, Florida

Tyler Core
The purpose of this project is to develop a student ministry merger strategy for new campuses of Family Church, West Palm Beach, Florida. The vision of Family Church is to bring the gospel to every family in every neighborhood in South Florida. The pursuit of this vision involves merging with existing churches for the advancement of the gospel. The project director's vision is to develop a strategy that enables Family Church to merge student ministries of new campuses successfully.

The project director will carry this out in four steps. Step one is to explore the external demographics of Southeast Florida in order to identify an area profile. Step two is to explore existing multisite merger models to understand best practices for merging student ministries. Step three is to develop a student ministry merger strategy for new campuses of Family Church. The final step is to present the strategy to the Family Church Executive Team for evaluation.

Witness to the Presence of God Moments in the Action and Voice of Children

Jane Janine Pekar D.Min.

This portfolio begins with a reflection of my personal journey in spiritual formation. In response to the contemporary shift in society’s affirmation of the rights an voice of children as world citizens and my experiences as a teacher, parent and ordained minister, I created a model of ministry for families with young children combining components of Young Child & Worship and Messy Church. Using Action Research, I introduced principles of the Reggio-Inspired Approach to enhance the children’s personalization of the experience. The observations of the children’s creative responses and intuitive initiatives were recorded and shared in four Documentations.


Ryan Peterson D.Min.
Concordia University, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, has always had a strong commitment to a Christ-centered ministry. But with a changing student body and an awareness of the changing needs of the millennial generation, it is clear that deliberate and intentional planning for ministry is needed. This major project has sought to consider the historical issues surrounding campus ministry, as well as the theological and biblical issues that undergird the ministry, in order to develop a strategic plan for campus ministry to undergraduate students.

This project focused on achieving four primary goals. The first goal was seeking to understand the values, ideals, influences, and preferences of the millennial generation. The second goal was to identify the five to seven greatest spiritual challenges facing the students at Concordia University--Ann Arbor. The third goal was to analyze and synthesize the findings from the identified challenges and SWOT analysis. Finally, the fourth goal was to describe the strategic plan for campus ministry at Concordia University--Ann Arbor.

The field research focused on three specific areas: writing a campus culture narrative based on three student focus groups, completing a SWOT analysis of current campus ministry programming by students, faculty, and staff, and then identifying the specific spiritual challenges facing our current students through a Delphi survey. Finally, a strategic plan with strategies, objectives, and tactics was completed and presented to the president of the university for his approval. The effectiveness of the field research components was evaluated, and each of the four goals of the major project have been achieved.


Kelvin Roberts D.Min.
There are currently gaps that exist in how the church provides support and spiritual formation for autistic children and those with other similar developmental delays. The purpose of this project is to examine the gaps that exist in the church's support of children with special needs, and the impact that the church can have by serving and supporting this population.

Traditional theological views on autism and similar conditions as well the universal church views on these conditions were examined. One objective of this project was to determine the effect these views have on the church's ability to serve and support these families, as well as to determine the amount of education necessary to provide the congregation, staff, and church leadership.

Interviews were conducted with three different families of children with special needs who have made unsuccessful attempts to attend church services. Interviews of one social service organization and two churches already addressing these issues were also conducted.

A Delphi survey with five special education experts who are also Christians was administered to glean strategies from the public-school system in teaching these children and supporting their families. Finally, compiling this information, a training course was developed in conjunction with a special education field leader that is designed to train church staff on how to work with and support special needs children and their families. The development of this training module is the key finding of this project.

The Faith Pyramid Evangelism Strategy: A Tool for Integrating Apologetics into Evangelism Training for Middle School and High School Students

Samuel Lee Dallas III D.Min.
This research demonstrates that apologetics material integrated into evangelism training increases the personal confidence of middle and high school students in sharing their faith. The anonymous surveys of thirty teenagers involved in the research showed an overall 33 percent increase in confidence (on a self-scoring ten-point scale) after participating in such training. Additionally, an overall 49 percent increase resulted in their perceived abilities to answer challenging questions during evangelistic discussions.
Such measurements were also validated in practical application. Graded quizzes on apologetics-related questions taken by the students both before and after the training revealed an overall 98 percent increase in scores. Finally, the students showed an overall 91 percent increase in sharing their faith in the two months following the training compared to the two months prior. These numbers reveal not only improvement in self-perception, but objective measures make the case for the success of this ministry project.
Chapter 1 introduces the ministry need and thesis of the dissertation in response to the need. Additionally, a layout of the researcher’s Faith Pyramid Evangelism Strategy is introduced.
Chapter 2 provides a biblical and theological justification for integrating apologetics into evangelism training and provides a historical justification for such an approach.
Chapter 3 examines the specific goals of this research as it relates to the subjective measures of teenage evangelists, the knowledge the researcher has sought to teach the students, and the desirable goal for an increase in evangelism as a result of such training.
Chapter 4 reviews the specific training of the thirty middle and high school students completed in the weekend seminar. The lessons were arranged into five workshops, followed by a survey given to the students two months following the training.
Chapter 5 provides a conclusion via an in-depth evaluation of the ministry project, as well as suggestions for future plans in implementing such training.
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