Healing, Spiritual


In Gyu Chang
This project is to remind both medicine and Christianity of the urgent need for the reunification of the separated spirituality and medicine in the era of the fourth industrial revolution. This recommendation is based on both scientific research and biblical teachings. Many studies have shown that the majority of patients are suffering from spiritual distress, and this distress is not being properly addressed by medicine or Christianity. According to the scientific studies and the teachings of the Bible, a holistic biopsychosocial spiritual (BPSS) strategy is necessary to best treat patients. There are two approaches to develop a BPSS strategy: (1) short term, which would involve training of all clinicians in addressing spiritual distress, and (2) long term, which would develop pastoral clinicians (PCs) to integrate medicine and spirituality. The latter approach is the focus of my dissertation.

Healing begins with hospitality

Jay D. Cooper
"The purpose of this project is to help congregations form relationships among themselves and their communities around the premise that healing begins with hospitality. With the goal of personal and communal wholeness, this project aims to reclaim the biblical practice of hospitality and to help the modern church widen its understanding of how God heals in the world today. My contextualization of this premise stems from working with a local Parkinson's community, serving as a drug court chaplain, volunteering at an adult respite program for persons with Alzheimer's and dementia, leading a local church staff comprised of 104 people, and serving as the Senior Minister of a large membership United Methodist congregation. The author has created a leadership guide for practical ways every congregation may implement a practice of relating healing and hospitality. The author provides a helpful approach to biblical healing and hospitality through two contexts, but which is reproducible in various settings." -- Leaf [2].

Overcoming spiritual bondage in Methodist churches in Togo : deliverance in counseling as a pastoral approach

Tofa Amouzoun
"Healing prayers and deliverance has become very common and central to the activities of most churches in Togo. . . . In the context of my project, spiritual bondage is one of the challenges that members of KMMC in Togo are facing nowadays. . . . Spiritual bondage is prevalent not only among unbelievers and other Christians, but also KMMC members in every aspects of their life. . . . Using qualitative method of data analysis, views . . . received from pastors and church members, . . . discussions . . . on elements of healing and deliverance and principles of education[,] the author use[s] practical methods to address this important issue in pastoral care. . . . [D]eliverance, as a practice, is characterized by different activities. It is the effectiveness of these activities that contributes to the well-being of the victims of bondage. This research . . . found that good healing and deliverance that use contextual approaches can contribute greatly to the growth of the KMMC in Togo . . . . Therefore, the author suggests contextual educational approach that will help pastors to acquire necessary tools that is needed for this ministry. The Faculty of Theology of Lomé, where the pastors of KMMC are trained, will be use[d] to empower them in order to be well equipped for this ministry in the Church." -- Leaf [2].

Assessing the Effectiveness of Training in Spiritual Leadership Theory on Nurse Manager Spiritual Well-Being, Job Satisfaction, and Burnout

Rebekah Wagner D.Min.
With nursing burnout at an all-time high, this researcher evaluated a chaplain intervention to support nurse managers. Prior interventions for burnout have been focused on the staff nurse level. This is very important work, but without also addressing the needs of leaders, it is unlikely to be successful. Studies have shown that one of the predictors of nurse turnover is poor leadership. This project addressed the needs of the nurse managers, with the hypothesis that improved leadership will lead to improved burnout status of the staff nurses. Training was provided in Spiritual Leadership Theory which prioritizes the utilization of spiritual practices and concepts to empower and develop leaders. This training, daily spiritual practices, and participation in bi-monthly spiritual direction/companionship meetings over three months comprised the intervention. Burnout, job satisfaction and spiritual well-being were measured pre and post intervention. Because of the small participant size, no quantitative statistically significant results were able to be noted; although, continued study with additional participants is planned to gather further quantitative data. Qualitative results from the three-month pilot project included improvements in the ability to be reflective rather than reactive, to interact with team members holistically, and to foster spiritual refreshment and renewal.

Preaching as an Element of Transformation and Pastoral Accompaniment in a Multicultural Community in the Midst of a Pandemic

Edwin Cotto-Pérez D.Min.

This thesis project has been developed with a qualitative method to respond to the homiletical problem of how preaching can be an essential element in the intentional effort to provide pastoral care that promotes transformation, encouragement, accompaniment, and spiritual care to congregations and community viewers of religious services through Tamiami United Methodist Church in Miami, Florida, USA. The thesis also proposes how the church can become available to care for the pain, grievance, difficulty, and anguish in times of a health emergency and economic contraction such as COVID-19.

Recovering From and Rejoicing in Fundamentalism: Insights From Former Fundamentalists and the Pastors Who Shepherd Them

Eric Alan Vander Ploeg D.Min.
Christian fundamentalism played a key role in protecting the gospel from liberal decay in
American history. Its leaders built a high wall of separation around the fundamentals of the faith
to protect them from the innovations of modernism. The wall kept cultural threats out, but it also
kept a particular era of Christian culture in. While America later experienced the most rapid
cultural upheavals in its history, fundamentalism remained largely unchanged within its walls,
and the cultural chasm grew wider and wider. Some of the children of fundamentalism have now
left these walls and are in search of something new.

This project seeks to help these “travelers” on their journey. Twenty focus groups with
self-identified “recovering fundamentalists” identified several patterns of personal pain along
with lessons learned that could benefit others. Nine interviews with experienced pastors yielded
best practices in shepherding travelers as they enter evangelical churches. These results were
collated to produce four key findings:

1. Living with the disapproval and disappointment of fundamentalist parents after
2. Learning how to trust authority (of leaders and of the Bible) after being told to “just
trust” and not ask questions.
3. Moving from a model of sanctification that is guilt-based to one that is grace-based.
4. Learning how to rejoice in the fundamentalism of one’s youth and to see God’s
kindness and glory amidst the errors of its proponents.

Listening: The Heart of Christian Healing Prayer

Sandra B. Kerner
Students desiring formation in Christian healing prayer ministry participated in a training course which fostered knowledge and practices of good listening and healing prayer demonstrated in ministry with one another. Students gave feedback to one another on developing skills and reflected on their learning experiences as a community of practice. Course design addressed the need for specific training, practice, and feedback in listening within the practice of healing prayer, listening to God and people, so that healing, empowered by the Holy Spirit, may be enhanced. Biblical and theological sources (from Hilary, Calvin, Wimber, and Payne) undergirded content and practices.
Students desiring formation in Christian healing prayer ministry participated in a training course which fostered knowledge and practices of good listening and healing prayer demonstrated in ministry with one another.

Indigenous African Demonic Deliverance and its Transference into Pentecostalism with Subsequent Refining: Ghana and its Diaspora as a Case Study

Duane Sterling Sims M.A.

This paper examines how the traditional Ghanaian worldview has been contextualized by grass-roots Christians in Ghana, and further by Ghanaian Pentecostals, and how this has been exported, adapted, and refined from Ghana across national and continental lines to its diaspora. I hope to address some key questions regarding Ghanaian deliverance practices (at home and abroad) and integrate my findings into ministry, whether to Africans or anyone. Some of these questions include: “What drives Ghanaians to seek deliverance? How have they, historically, sought to deal with the spirit realm? How do they currently seek to deal with it? What are some of the differences between a traditional Ghanaian understanding and that of a Ghanaian Pentecostal view?”

Impact of Spiritual Counseling for African American Young Adults with Sickle Cell Disease

R. Lorraine Brown D.Min.
The author researched how African Americans, age 18-28, who received care for sickle cell disease (SCD), were impacted by intentional sharing of clinic-based spiritual counseling. This spiritual intervention addressed the often unspoken concerns of this population. Understanding spirituality, while managing the many facets of SCD, is vital for holistic health. Participants found themselves at critical junctures in their spiritual development - seeking, exploring, even questioning - how spirituality plays a role in their overall well-being. The project collected both qualitative and quantitative data through a chaplain interventionist. The chaplain met 1:1 with participants to share strategies for increasing everyday coping and self-efficacy. The participants found spiritual care to be necessary and helpful as they navigated their daily lives and sickle cell disease. The author came to realize to truly be effective, an in-depth longitudinal study is needed for true impact.

Applying the Principles Taught in the Emotionally Healthy Church Through a Discipleship Workshop of Christians Within the A&D Biker Ministries Congregation

Ralph L. Scherer D.Min.
Making disciples was part of Christ’s commission to his Church. Historically, the focus of Christian discipleship has been to produce greater spiritual health and maturity. Author Pete Scazzero, in his book, The Emotionally Healthy Church, offers a paradigm of discipleship that promises to also produce greater emotional health and maturity. This project sought to test the validity of this discipleship paradigm, by teaching and utilizing the principles of The Emotionally Healthy Church in an extended discipleship workshop process with 20-30 adult Christians within our congregation. The process included an anonymous survey, Nominal Group Technique, multiple workshop teaching / learning sessions, a preaching series on these principles and individual follow-up interviews.
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