Liberation theology

Hollering Theology: Exploring liberation theology in Central Appalachia and its power to transform students at the University of Pikeville

Author
Robert Dale Musick D.Min.
Abstract
Central Appalachia is a complex and beautiful region that has been historically mislabeled, misrepresented, and shamed as the land of hillbillies. Suffering in this region is deep and broad as poverty, addiction, and disparities are statistically evident. Although the region is filled with churches, missionary endeavors, and government programs, places like Eastern Kentucky continue to struggle. As the Church seeks to address these diseases of despair, it is imperative for Christian universities to address this suffering through critical pedagogy and a contextualized theology. By the development of an Appalachian liberation theology known as hollering theology, this research project took this new theology and imbedded it in two different college classes at the University of Pikeville. Through this project, it was discovered that the fundamental source of oppression in Central Appalachia is the damning stereotype of the hillbilly. This stereotype has been internalized and is now killing Appalachian Americans. In this study, hollering theology will be offered as a way to challenge the stereotype, give a new vision for God’s work in the region, and make known a hillbilly Christ, which seeks to empower students at UPIKE to engage themselves and their community in a critical and engaged way.

Prophetic Preaching to Inspire Embodied Discipleship Beyond the Walls of the Building

Author
Jon Robinson D.Min.
Abstract
Over the past few decades, the focus of the black church in America has shifted from a communal pursuit of justice and liberation for marginalized people, toward a personal pursuit of piety and prosperity. This project, Prophetic Preaching to Inspire Embodied Discipleship Beyond the Walls of the Building, offers a theo-political discipleship model that seeks to reclaim and reimagine Jesus’ first century call to discipleship. Through prophetic preaching and a practical application of womanist ethics of personal and communal thriving, pastors and parishioners can embody a liberative, justice-oriented discipleship praxis that advances human flourishing beyond the walls of our buildings.

Prophetic Activism: Increasing the Academic Achievement Among Low Performing African-American Male Students at Mary B. Martin School

Author
Danny Anthony Everett D.Min.
Abstract
University Circle United Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio partnered with Mary B. Martin School to address academic achievement disparities for low performing African-American males. If students participate in faith and culturally based extended school programs, then their academic performance improves. Explorations from qualitative research during a church led after school program were expounded. The approach incorporated prophetic activism based on themes of spirituality, educational inequity, and social learning and critical race theories. The data suggests partnerships between churches and schools improve outcomes for African-American male students. A final project was submitted to the Doctoral Studies Committee at United Theological Seminary in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Ministry.

A Project to Discover the Need for a Prison Ministry at New Mount Zion Baptist Church in Cleveland, OH

Author
Vernell Lumbus-Young
Abstract
A Project to Discover the Need for a Prison Ministry at New Mount Zion Baptist Church in Cleveland, OH :
The purpose of this project was to discover the need for a prison ministry at New Mount Zion Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio. In order to determine the need for a prison ministry, a five-point Likert scale questionnaire survey was designed along with one to two open ended questions. The results of the survey revealed that there was a great interest among the congregants for a prison ministry. In the final results of my questionnaire survey and open ended questions, almost all respondents revealed that there is a need for a prison ministry. I concluded that there was a 95% interest in the need for a prison ministry at New Mount Zion Baptist Church.

Strengthening the connection: using liberation theology to affirm the call and inform the ministry of pastors serving the local church

Author
LaWanda Ann Hitt
Abstract
This project argues for teaching Liberation Theology, as a logical heir of Wesleyan Theology, to Local Pastors & Ministry Candidates in the UMC, in order to improve their preaching, teaching and evangelism, and to strengthen their response to the stressors of ministry. Surveys were taken regarding the prevalence of problems encountered by Pastors in the Central Texas Conference in the areas of Theology, Leadership, Authority and/or "Other."

Good news to the poor: effective preaching through the lens of liberation theology

Author
Mark F Bozzuti-Jones
Abstract
Liberation theology offers the preacher a more authentic presence, praxis, and voice. Efective preaching is always an imitation of Jesus and Jesus preached good news to the poor and the oppressed. Women, African Americans and immigrants are the poorest in our society; liberation theology provides an opportunity for a most effective preaching enterprise. This thesis looks specifically at liberation-theology-focused preaching, asking these research questions: What makes for authentic preaching on behalf of those who suffer and experience oppression? How can we use liberation theology to make our preaching more effective, especially in relation to those who are oppressed?

Rescuing, reconnecting, and renewing the village: liberative pedagogy and the impact of teaching Black liberation theology to Black youth at Abundant Life United Methodist Church of Lufkin, TX

Author
Derrick L Noble
Abstract
This project is designed to impact the knowledge base and attitudes of Black youth in the Black church by teaching them Black liberation theology, with emphasis upon Black history and self-esteem. The project surveys both the academic disciplines of Black liberation theology and educational theory as well as their implications for Christian educational ministries within the Black church. It also gathers by questionnaire data from 20 youth who participated in two seminars concerning Black history and self-esteem. The compiled data confirms that this project impacted participants' knowledge and attitudes, while confirming the need for teaching Black liberation theology to youth.

In search of a queer homiletic

Author
Daniel M Geslin
Abstract
The world is transforming from modern to postmodern. In that context, the Christian church is struggling to renew its voice. This voice must be true to the ancient gospel and yet communicative with postmodern people. No discipline deals more directly with the Christian voice, both prophetic and pastoral, than homiletics. In search of a queer homiletic briefly reviews philosophical influences in church history and the impact of Foucault and Derrida's postmodernism. It explores the arc of liberation theologies leading to Queer Theology and the claims it makes on preaching. It suggests how to queer homiletics in a personal way.

Base community: a contemporary response to marginalized populations as measured by the theology and psychology of the early Jesus community

Author
Patrick J Bone
Abstract
THESIS: Though the Episcopal Church acknowledges urgency to minister to marginalized Hispanics and similar populations, internal controversies inhibit motivation, competency, and equipment. This thesis proposes Base Christian Communities to fill that need with the purpose of effecting self-determination among marginal people by applying liberation theology based on Jesus' ministry, and parabolic patterns of gestalt psychology reflecting how Jesus taught self-determination. METHOD: Within auspices of the Episcopal Church, the writer researched, implemented, facilitated, and evaluated a base community of marginal people. RESULTS: varied including: church failures; individual successes; unintended consequence of three other base communities, two organized in secular environments.

An organic-prophetic-liberation model of social engagement: an Adventist ethical response to contemporary moral issues

Author
Maury Damon Jackson
Abstract
The purpose of this professional project was to design a model of moral theology derived from the legacy of an Adventist theological heritage and based upon the works of contemporary theological ethicists. It begins with an empirical analysis of moral issue articles within two Seventh-day Adventist journals, Ministry Magazine and Message Magazine, over the period from fall 2001 through December 2005. Next, a conceptual analysis is undertaken of the theological model that informs moral judgments within these journals. The conclusions of the analysis are that the model of moral theology is legalistic in its commitment to an inflexible and literalistic biblicism. In addition to critiquing the model for moral theology within these journals, the model of moral theology offered by Immanuel Kant is reviewed and found to be inadequate for providing a viable alternative. This is because it too is legalistic in its commitment to an inflexible rationalism. What is offered as a viable alternative for a robust Adventist moral theology is one that takes seriously the Adventist heritage by organically binding moral imperatives to prima facie biblical principles that emerge from major biblical motifs. Moreover, this model incorporates the Adventist prophetic witness to oppressive contexts. This is the organic-prophetic-liberation model of social engagement.
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