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Healing, Spiritual

Establishing a Restorative Justice Hub in the Heartland: Transforming Systems of Racial Injustice in south Bend, Indiana

peter a stone D.Min.
Action research with the express goal of building different futures for South Bend youth and their families. Taking the best learnings from Chicago, Illinois Restorative Justice Hubs of which in 2023 there are 7 direct providing hubs in various underserved neighborhoods supported in collaboration by 5 partner hubs providing research, training and co-ordination.
The practical application of safe spaces, hospitality, mentoring, and vocational training in some hubs are accompanied with limited theological support while the majority are ethics-based and non-religious in their identity or mission. This specific document reflects moral values instrumental to sciences of Self Healing Methodology and focus on ACE, Adverse Childhood Experiences.
The faith journey applies to the building of relationships and shared values.
Influencing this work, the author is a practicing Roman Catholic, son of a non-practicing Jewish immigrant and second generation Italian mother.
Meta-method for this work is "Practical Theology An Introduction" by Richard R. Osmer (2008).

A Narrative Case-Study of ACEs: Trauma-Informed Ministry for New Bethel Missionary Baptist Church and Pontiac, Michigan

Keyon S. Payton
This study addresses the severe consequences of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) and the need for the Church to provide early interventions that will curve destructive patterns of behavior that aid healing from these traumas. The roots of the problem lie in the cultural, theological, and practical inability to reach behaviorally challenged children and youth who have been traumatized by ACEs. The results lead up to the core question of this research: how could priestly listening and theology by heart method (empathy- and love-centric) serve as a method for ministry to repair, renew, and restore healthy relationships that can provide healing.

Comfort & Connection: The Healing Narrative of the Psalms

Charissa Clark Howe D.Min.
This dissertation explores trauma informed spirituality in a correctional setting and aims to provide guidance for using creative writing as a way to interact with the Psalms and provide a healing tool for traumatized individuals in the carceral system. Through researching and developing a curriculum for use in correctional settings and through reflection on scripture, theological works, and the conversations and creative writing developed during the project, this study examines the church’s role in trauma healing. The findings of this study suggest that churches interested in robust engagement with traumatized populations are served well by exploring their own theology of parenthood, resilience, forgiveness, and most importantly, resurrection. Overall, this dissertation provides insights into the spiritual health and recovery of traumatized women in jail.


Diane E Knauf D.Min.
The 175-member Presbyterian congregation I serve has been deeply affected by the pandemic, the changing role of church in culture, and individual and communal losses. This project sought to equip them to begin to identify and name before God their own suffering, and that of others. My research was conducted in the context of a Lenten bible study, a prayer walk, interviews and a survey. Participants also created their own laments. These activities provided a snapshot of participants’ beliefs about lament and encouraged them to engage in their community, especially on behalf of situations in which there is injustice or inequity.

Finding Home in the Wilderness

Andrew Thomas Bossardet D.Min.
Finding Home in the Wilderness is an exploration of the intersection of pastoral care, Christian spirituality, Biblical studies, Reformed theology, and trauma theory. This work contains a survey of trauma studies in the United States and its influence on theology, particularly Reformed theology. It also surveys several passages in the Gospel of Mark through a trauma-aware lens. John Calvin’s legacy is reconsidered through his own potentially traumatic circumstances. The project contains independent research on the impact of trauma-informed spiritual practices on the pastoral care capacities of nine pastoral leaders over the course of approximately six months. This project was successfully defended in February 2022.

In their own words : stories of healing and practices for the church

Jason T. Link
The purpose of this project was twofold: 1) to research how the church community can be a place of healing in people's lives, and 2) to suggest practices that when enacted would help a church to be a place of healing. Church life was differentiated into three levels: Pastorally, Relationally, and Congregationally. A group of people were interviewed who had received some type of healing and their lives and were asked to share how the church community helped in the healing process. Based off of the information gathered in the interviews, practices were suggested for the church at each of the three levels of church life.

Addressing the wounds of racism through the lens of moral injury : a qualitative study drawing on Black liberation and Womanist theology

Gene M. Gordon
Although Black Liberation and Womanist Theologies have unlocked a profound conversation on praxis for oppressed people, they have not included, in large measure, the guidance to be gained from an intersection with Moral Injury Theory. An argument is presented, the purpose of which is to show how Black Liberation Theology enhances Moral Injury Theory and how Moral Injury Theory provides tools for addressing the effects of racism. In so doing, the concept of moral injury strengthens Black Liberation Theology by expanding its resolve to serve within communities affected by racism and indeed with all humanity. In addition, the theology of liberation may provide support for the spiritual attempt to encourage sufferers of moral injury through transcendent concepts such as forgiveness, reconciliation, and perhaps even atonement. This project also provides pastors, chaplains, and others with the kind of understandings and motivations that will assist them in meeting the needs of parishoners who may be struggling with the despair of the hidden wounds of racism that display the symptoms of moral injury.

Increasing Awareness of Forgiveness and Biblical Reconciliation
at Connection Point Church, Kansas City, Missouri

Gary Brian Stone D.Min.
This project seeks to guide members of Connection Point Church in Kansas City, Missouri, to live in the healing and freedom of the gospel to extend love and forgiveness to those who have sinned against them. Chapter 1 presents the history and ministry context of Connection Point Church and the goal of this project. Chapter 2 provides an exegesis of three primary passages of Scripture (2 Cor 5:18-21; Eph 4:31–5:2; Matt 18:21-35) to show that every Christian can experience the healing and freedom offered in the gospel and be empowered to extend kindness and forgiveness toward the person who sinned against them. Chapter 3 explores the history of interpersonal forgiveness and demonstrates the unique gospel-centered approach of this project. Chapter 4 describes the project itself, recounting the content and preaching methodology of the specific sermon series and take-home work. Chapter 5 evaluates the project's efficacy based on the completion of the specified goals. Ultimately, this project seeks to equip Christians with a deeper understanding and experience with the gospel so they can heal from the hurt of sins against them, find freedom from an offense, extend kindness and forgiveness toward the person who has hurt them and display the gospel and the glory of God to those around them.


Alan David Ryan D.Ed.Min.
Unfortunately, the world we live in is full of sin, rejection and pain leading all
of us to be frequently hurt. These hurts motivate even Christians to develop unhealthy
methods of repairing ourselves, independent of God. These unhealthy methods, which do not resolve the hurt, leave us living in a state of quiet despair and below a state of
flourishing. Furthermore, almost all of us base our sense of identity on temporary things,
including past hurts, which leave us vulnerable to anxiety. Currently, the culture in the
United States has moved (and continues to do so) away from basic Christianity,
particularly in family life where core beliefs are formed.
The author is developing a Christian education program where students learn the key biblical principles of maturing in Christ,being married, and raising a family. The program has three parts: individual discipleship,marriage, and parenting. This research evaluated the effectiveness of the individual discipleship portion of this Christian education program and its contribution to the spiritual development among participants at selected area churches.
This study utilized a mixed-method approach. Participants in the program participated in a survey (pre- and post-class). Selected individuals were part of focus groups. I anticipated that by participating in the program students would grow in their spiritual development through examining their life story, would have an improved understanding of their identity in Christ, and would exhibit a positive change in their expected sense of peace. As students examined their life story in light of God’s Holy Word, they would most assuredly find places where false identities had been errantly believed as truth. It was expected that when students confronted these misbeliefs and embraced God’s truth about their identity, they would experience a greater sense of peace. This new state would enable the individual to flourish more fully.

Salud mental y cuidado pastoral

Rupert Neblett
The present research project of bibliographic modality and field research has its fundamental purpose to evaluate the importance of mental health care in pastors, ministers, leaders, and laity who have levels of responsibilities in human resources administration in the different denominations of Christian families.

With the understanding that "without mental health, it is not possible to have good spiritual health". This research has been motivated by the level of stress and its consequences of emotional situations that the COVID-19 pandemic has promoted.

As a result, an educational conference was held on Saturday, March 20, 2021, under the theme: "Leaders in Christ, Anxiety, Post-traumatic Stress, and Depression". This Conference was held in one of the church facilities where 38 pastors participated. It was found in the post-conference evaluations that 50% of the participating pastors and ministers presented a high level of stress.

An action plan is proposed that entails improving mental health of the Pastors, to immediately address the inadequate conditions that harm all those ministers and leaders who are in charge of human resources authority responsibilities in the churches by carrying out workshops that lead to developing the guidelines to put into practice strategies that lead to mental health.
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