Clergy--Religious life

Life Abundant: THE ROLE OF SPIRITUAL PRACTICES IN THE LIFE OF A CANADIAN SALVATION ARMY MOTHER IN MINISTRY

Author
Corinne Lesley Cameron D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis explores how Canadian Salvation Army mothers in ministry who follow a rhythm of life experience an abiding relationship with Jesus that deepens a sense of abundance in life and ministry. The thesis begins with exploring the social contexts of The Salvation Army, North American clergy, and working mothers. The thesis progresses to delve into John 15:1-17 and the historical examples of Susanna Wesley and Catherine Booth. The research methodology includes two Lenten-abiding groups and thirteen interviews. This research affirms how rhythms of life tend to the soil of the soul, enabling an abiding relationship with Jesus to grow and flourish.

Connectional spirituality : small church pastors and the future of the church

Author
Kathy Harvey Nelson
Abstract
This project will explore the significance of the spiritual lives of small church pastors. It is my goal to examine their spiritual lives by looking at the way they influence their congregations to live as followers of Christ. In addition, it is my contention that by engaging a deep practice of spiritual discipline a pastor's call is clarified and guided by the Holy Spirit into ways that produce a type of living that I am calling "connectional spirituality." To do this the project utilizes a review of relevant literature and past trends of thought, interviews with fifteen small church pastors serving the Susquehanna Conference of The United Methodist Church and my personal experience as a small church pastor and spiritual director of small church pastors. This study finds that pastors who engage regularly in spiritual practices find themselves leading their congregation to act as a type of mission outpost in their community. Through the interviews, I discovered that the more engaged a pastor was with spiritual practices; the more likely they were to lead in ways that lifted up those in the community surrounding the church as the ones God calls them to serve. This seems to be one very significant way in which small churches can be revitalized and become passionate, vital communities of Christ. Through this, I was led to explore the importance of being a missional church and the ways that this type of connectional spirituality grows from both spiritual practice and being formed in the image of Christ, leading pastors and churches to embody connectedness in their community.

"Come away by yourself and rest awhile" : retreat as a model of self-care for United Methodist clergy

Author
Nicholas Michael Bufano
Abstract
This project seeks to demonstrate the critical need for improved self-care for clergy. Using biblical texts, as well as current books, literature in journals, and first-hand experiences, the project presents examples of clergy whose self-care process is in crises, as well as models of clergy who engage in proper self-care. I then propose the spiritual discipline of retreat as a pathway to improving, and in fact revitalizing areas of deficit for clergy. The retreat is built upon my initial research, and other research about creating and leading effective retreats. It is also designed using specific responses to a survey given to twenty-five United Methodist clergy in the Baltimore-Washington Conference of the United Methodist Church. In that survey, clergy identified their previous retreat experiences, and also their desired elements in a retreat they might want to attend. The end result of this project is the demonstrated need for improved self-care, and a four day retreat designed to offer healing and a beginning step for those clergy who desire to improve their self-care.

From contemplation to compassion, from compassion to contemplation : epistles of a fellow traveler on the spiritual journey in post-Vatican II ministry

Author
Michael A Danner
Abstract
This project-thesis proposes that contemplation and compassion are essential qualities of the ministry and of the life of priests. The era of change in which we live demands a ministry based upon these essential qualities. These elements may well be nurtured by the ministry of a spiritual director. In fact, the responsibility of finding words to express the compassion of God is seen as an essential service to be rendered to priests by spiritual directors. Such service can be provided by the director and received by the directee only in the context of the process of contemplation. Part of the process of this project was the search for an effective method of thoughtfulness and careful, interested dialogue, that is, contemplation. Such in roads into the natures of God and humankind help find words for the right questions and find expression in the compassion modeled by Jesus. Taking the lead of St. Paul, the format of the epistle was chosen. This work consists of twelve letters with directions and questions for creative and resourceful study, application, and additional reading.

Speaking the unspeakable : the launch of a church

Author
Richard Russell Patterson
Abstract


Launching a new church has been an expedition fraught with spiritual and psychological baggage; it' s not simply an act of compiling the right worship director and children' s ministries leader. An adequate understanding or at least appreciation of these spiritual and psychological issues is necessary to prevent damaging results for the pastor, congregation, and the world to which it intends to minister. However, with a proper appreciation of these issues, there exists the real possibility for developing a community of grace, hope, and healing in a world crying out for such a thing.

The issues presenting themselves include the role of narcissism in the development of the pastor and the congregation in our context. Particular attention should be given to the powerful weight this psychological phenomenon has on an institution such as the church in our culture. These issues go so far as to skew our right understanding of fundamental aspects of the church such as discipleship and evangelism.

Lastly, this issue of narcissism, left unrestrained and misunderstood, will ultimately affect that spiritual entity having authority over the church which comes to life at the intersection of a church and its Creator -- the angel of the congregation. Discerning God' s message to that angel has brought a sense of healing and empowerment to our community and a new sense of commitment to our collective call.

Mask in hand : one pastor's journey toward wholeness

Author
Scott Lokers
Abstract
This work is born out of self-preservation-both personal and professional. After a number of years of doing ministry, I found myself thinking that there has to be a better way, a healthier way to do this. It felt, at different times, like a matter of survival. And this combination between the personal and the professional is profound. I began to wonder why what was happening at church was affecting me so much personally. I believe it has to do with the nature of ministry. We are often dealing with ultimate issues-matters of life and death. And not just physical life and death, but spiritual, and eternal. In order to survive, then, I found myself asking some big questions of myself and of God. Why is this so difficult? Why am I struggling so much? Why do I keep getting stuck in the same place? What do I need to learn about myself and about God?

Humility : a retreat of ritual and pathways

Author
Brett J Vander Berg
Abstract
This project contains an action research impact study that developed a retreat for first-call, rural, Midwestern, male pastors in their first five years of ministry. The retreat intended for these pastors to have a meaningful experience of humility during three primary retreat components: 1) a ritual where personal titles, roles, successes, accomplishments, ordinations, and worldly gains were removed; 2) large-group sessions with activities designed to develop self-awareness; and 3) small-group sessions based on “Circle of Trust Touchstones.” Contributing to the field of practical theology, this project includes intensive qualitative research regarding the impact of the three components on retreat participants. The project also includes an articulation of the ways in which the action research affected the spiritual formation of the researcher.

Recovering a Biblical Form of Spiritual Formation in Contemporary Pentecostal Churches

Author
Ernest Ronald Krantz D.Min.
Abstract
The project addressed the problem of an inadequate theology of spiritual formation within the discipleship doctrine of a specific expression of North American Pentecostalism. The problem manifests most acutely at the local church level where ministry leaders are struggling with divorce, mental illness, moral relativism, and poverty. Pentecostalism is failing to measure up to its potential where the human experience intersects with religious life.This project took a multilateral approach to the problem. The first approach used a theological method to survey the biblical description of spiritual formation and the existential need for it with special emphasis on The Book of Acts and the Apostle Peter.The second approach involved a literature review and content analysis. Review and analysis considered contemporary and historic theology along with behavioral science literature related to the nature of the embodied soul, human development, and the effects of religious experience on human development. The primary data was developed through a qualitative case study.Data developed through the multilateral approaches was coalesced to develop recommendations related to improving spiritual formation outcomes that facilitate God’s idea of human flourishing and good community in a local Pentecostal church.Three primary findings were discovered and discussed. Finding 1 related to a lack of commitment to formal education and clergy professionalization. Finding 2 related to critical biblical-theological knowledge gaps experienced by the case study participants. Finding 3 related to the consequences of a lack of diverse and specialized ministries at the local church level.

Identificación de las Estrategias Para Acompañar a la Familia Pastoral Que Ha Sido Herida Emocional y Espiritualmente por Miembros de Sus Congregaciones

Author
Alejandro Roque D.Min.
Abstract
Se han hecho estudios acerca de pastores heridos que eventualmente abandonaron el ministerio. Sin embargo, poco se ha trabajado en la investigación acerca de la familia pastoral herida emocional y espiritualmente por miembros de sus congregaciones y de las estrategias de acompañamiento pastoral que les restaure exitosamente como familia y al ministerio.

El enfoque de este proyecto ha sido investigar y encontrar las estrategias de acompañamiento a la familia pastoral que ha sido herida y afectada de manera negativa. Las heridas emocionales y espirituales provocaron que algunos pastores y sus familias abandonaran el ministerio, la iglesia y en algunos casos hasta la separación o divorcio. La narrativa del proyecto habla acerca del impacto de las adversidades causantes de las heridas y del resultado en la vida de la familia de los pastores entrevistados.

En este proyecto se entrevistó a ocho pastores. Las familias de estos pastores fueron impactadas negativamente por los problemas ocasionados por miembros de sus congregaciones lo que les causó heridas emocionales y espirituales. Debido a los problemas en sus congregaciones, los pastores enfrentan múltiples presiones y exigencies de parte de sus iglesias, y las heridas emocionales y espirituales que esto les causa no han sido tratadas debidamente. La familia pastoral herida no ha recibido, por parte de sus denominaciones, el apoyo espiritual y emocional que les conduzca hacia la restauración. Por esta razón, se ha encontrado la necesidad de este proyecto: el encontrar estrategias de acompañamiento para traer sanidad a la familia pastoral.

Este trabajo de investigación incluye las estrategias de acompañamiento que ayudarán de una manera efectiva a que los pastores sean restaurados emocional y espiritualmente.

Pro Deo Et Patria : lessons from Daniel for navigating the God-country paradox as an army chaplain

Author
John E. Scott
Abstract
"Pro Deo Et Patria, For God and Country, is the Army Chaplain Corps motto. Is it possible to serve both when the chaplain believes these entities' values are in conflict? This project was about the God-Country Paradox, the apparent self-contradictory concept of serving God and country as a Christian Army Chaplain. The author conducted a biblical case study of Daniel 1-6, and a phenomenological questionnaire of conservative Christian chaplains to learn about this challenge and to contribute to addressing it. The author then used that knowledge to craft the God-Country Paradox workshop, which he presented to active duty battalion chaplains as a mentoring session. The author determined that identity is a critical factor in serving God and country and that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah are excellent biblical archetypes of how to serve God and country loyally." -- Leaf [2].
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