Lutheran Churches

Witness, mercy, life together as the framework for mission

Author
Steven D. Schave
Abstract
The thesis for this project was two-fold: 1) We can use the marks that Martin Luther wrote of as the basis for how we define church to a core group. 2) A developed resource entitled Witness, Mercy, and Life Together can be used as the framework for mission. The project’s research involved a combination of meetings, in depth study, and surveys of Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod church planters. The researcher concluded that Luther’s marks of the church can be a tool to developing Lutheran identity, and that the witness, mercy, life together resource is a successful planning tool for church planting.

Positioning an international partner Lutheran church seminary for accreditation : a critical analysis of a proposed procedure for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana Lutheran Seminary, Ghana, West Africa

Author
Steven R. Schumacher
Abstract
There is both a need and interest in attaining accreditation for theological education programs by Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod partner church seminaries in Africa. By means of a critical analysis a proposed procedure for The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana (ELCG) Lutheran Seminary was prepared by the author. He assessed the current student population and ELCG ordained pastors through means of tracking GPAs, personal interviews, surveys and questionnaires to discover academic and cultural needs in preparing for the pastoral ministry. Through his discoveries, the author presents a theological basis for the rationale to acquire accreditation through an African independent Christian association.

Training manual on the Lutheran divine service : a response to Pentecostalism in the ELCT, South East of Lake Victoria Diocese Agape parish

Author
Daniel Henry Mono
Abstract
The project was conducted in Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, South East of Lake Victoria Diocese, Agape Kahama Parish (ELCT-SELVD). Pentecostalism has been seriously penetrating among the Lutheran members to the extent that some of them do not value the Lutheran Divine Service. They claim that the Lutheran Divine Service is not spiritual because it is guided by the book or written materials and therefore, not spiritual.

The study made a survey of the use of the ELCT hymn book for worship called Tumwabudu Mungu Wetu (TMW) which has biblical contents. The project results proved that many Lutheran members in ELCT did not fully understand and believe what is contained in the book.

The study developed a training manual for the Divine Service for pastors use so that they are well equipped to teach their members so that they remain faithful Lutherans.

Exploring beyond the stained glass windows: recovering the use of outdoor sacred space for Lutheran spiritual formation through the use of participatory action research

Author
Keith A Spencer
Abstract
This project documents the experience of seven participants in a Lutheran congregation in Pembroke Pines, Florida, who engaged in a participatory action research study in order to better understand how outdoor sacred space provides opportunities for spiritual formation. Results from the study suggest that outdoor sacred space is an important locus for spiritual formation. Among the important themes that the group identified were: sacred presence, struggle, defining sacred space, response to the sacred, individual versus communal experience, and visibility and perception. The collaborative dimensions of PAR led to greater participant engagement and broadened the group's perceptions and increased their creativity.

The theological principles underlying parish records with particular application to their role in the design and evaluation of computer software

Author
Chris N Hinkle
Abstract
The content of parish records and the terminology used within them should reflect a congregation's theological heritage. The paper reviews the purpose of church records, the nature of the church and church membership, principles of stewardship, and the responsible use of confidential information and shows how they apply to church records. Chapter four provides a brief overview of the history of computers and parish administration software utilized by Lutheran congregations. The final chapters present an instrument for evaluating church software from a pastoral and theological perspective and show how it was used to compare three products for Lutheran congregations.

Supervision of interns

Author
Wendell R Debner
Abstract
This project is a study of intern supervision in the context of a full-year penultimate internship program at a Lutheran seminary. The reflective method of Whitehead and Whitehead in their book, "Method in Ministry," provides the format and structure for the work. In the chapter dealing with tradition, the author portrays the history and development of internship among North American Lutheran theological educators. Under culture, the theory of cognitive dissonance and a systemic method of pastoral care are related to internship supervision. Under experience, the author probes his own history of field education supervision. The study results in several suggestions for field education programs and identifies significant trends in seminary field education programs.

A Lutheran perspective on tithing: a church retreat

Author
Paul H Spohn
Abstract
The purpose of this project is to examine the concept, teaching, and biblical understanding of tithing in relation to Lutheran theology. A large number of Lutherans were interviewed and tested as to their knowledge and attitude toward tithing and stewardship. After an examination of the materials in terms of the historical context, with an emphasis on Luther's scholarship, conclusions were presented and a retreat was designed. The retreat affirmed tithing from a perspective of Christian love.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit in a Lutheran congregation

Author
Carl P Vaagenes
Abstract
This project examines the New Testament charismata, pneumatika, and related texts in the context of church history and Lutheran dogmatics. It proposes that when a congregation is taught that the New Testament charismatic gifts are the normal, ongoing experience of believers these gifts will become manifest in the believers. Then the church will be built up in its ministry to the world as God intended it to be.

Old-fashioned seelsorge: pastoral home visitation revisited

Author
N Fred Nelson
Abstract
The project examines regular home visitation as a form of pastoral care in the light of its historical development and in the light of its present day difficulties. The central proposal is that a liturgical rite, specifically designed for use in home visitation, can be a valuable tool in helping a pastor become a more effective visitor. A rite modeled on the "Affirmation of Baptism" order in the Lutheran Book of Worship is used in parish visits. Response forms from the visited are included in the project. The use of such a rite facilitates and deepens the spiritual conversation in a home visit.

Distinguishing with the law and activating with the Gospel: an integrated approach to the ministries of evangelism and Christian education

Author
Deane Luther Schuessler
Abstract
This project traces the factors that either aid or detract from the integration of the ministries of evangelism and Christian education. The author's inventory is administered to 141 persons in three Lutheran congregations. The results show that: 1) both ministries should be more thoroughly grounded theologically rather than programmatically; 2) neither the age of the respondents nor the length of their tenure in their church correlate with the intensity of their theological understanding; 3) the congregation to which a respondent belongs does effect their understanding; 4) respondents who show a higher awareness of the activating factor of the gospel, rather than only the distinguishing factor of the law, show a more integrated understanding of the two ministries.
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