Pastoral theology

RENEWING THE PRESBYTERY: LISTENING TO COMMISSIONED RULING ELDERS

Author
Samuel Lapsley Pendergrast D.Min.
Abstract
In Utica Presbytery we have eleven Commissioned Ruling Elders (CREs) serving twelve congregations out of thirty in the presbytery. I interviewed twelve CREs who are currently serving or who have served as pastors to learn about their experience and how they evaluate their work, training, and relationship with colleagues in the presbytery. The interview results were categorized, then the group of CREs discussed the results. We developed recommendations for the presbytery in a variety of areas. In the report I interpret the results in light of pastoral theology and the history of ordination. Questions for further study emerge concerning the difference between seminary-trained pastors and commissioned elders, presbytery mission strategy for using CREs, and contextual theological education.

Strengthening Pastoral Identity in Army Chaplains: The Effect of Spiritual Mentoring on Mentors as a Way to Develop Pastoral Identity

Author
Douglas Ball
Abstract
Army Chaplains are in a struggle between various identities within in a system that reinforces and rewards those identities outside the historic pastoral role. This thesis explores how spiritual mentoring can foster, maintain, and revitalize pastoral identity in mid-level chaplains serving as mentors. The author defines and explains pastoral identity; shows that spiritual mentoring is a biblical and necessary aspect of pastoral ministry; and explores the possibility of strengthening pastoral identity in Army chaplains through spiritual mentoring. However, unlike most approaches to spiritual mentoring for pastoral formation, the goal of this project was not primarily the formation of the mentee, but rather the formation of the mentor. Chaplains who serve as mentors are engaging in a historically pastoral activity which will clarify and strengthen their own pastoral identity. The project engaged mid-level and junior chaplains in short-term spiritual mentoring relationships and measured indicators of pastoral identity through a sequential mixed methods approach (pre-surveys, post-surveys, and interviews). Overall, both quantitative and qualitative data supports spiritual mentoring as a method for identity change and formation within the Army Chaplain Corps.

A Phenomenology of Authentic Leadership

Author
Joshua James Tilley D.Min.
Abstract
Objective: To grasp the characteristics and essence of authentic leadership as seen and experienced through the lives of those who have served under and/or over those they perceive and identify as “authentic” or “high quality” leaders.

Method: A literary review and a biblical review were conducted to establish the current scholarship related to authentic leadership. A new phenomenological study was conducted in October of 2018. 12 individuals were interviewed either in person, by phone, or via a video chat.
Results: The result was a literary study, a biblical review, and a new phenomenological study of authentic leadership.

Conclusions: Through the phenomenology and subsequent qualitative research, the researcher came to the conclusion that authentic leadership is provided, felt, and acted upon in different ways by different people in different cultures, but the one universal essence of authentic leadership is the paradox of “relief” and “peace” preceded by a sense of “anxiety” and “pressure,” which is provoked within the follower by the leader. Trust is built through the process.
A model of existential peace is offered to demonstrate this meaning, but no model for creating an authentic leadership is presented as a phenomenology does not provide the groundwork needed to establish such a theory. All cultures represent leadership in different ways, so further research would need to be conducted to create such a model.

The Pastoral Pulpit: Preaching to Offer The Assurance of Grace to a First Generation Burmese-Chin Refugee Congregation in the U.S.

Author
Biak Lian Thang D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis project focuses on preaching to offer assurance of grace to the people who are living in the midst of struggle, and to help them see ‘who they are, what they are, and where they are’ as Burmese-Chin refugees in the U.S.A. It is based on the belief that preaching assurance of grace and of God’s saving act in their journey of life to encourage in a foreign land and assures the congregation of God’s presence and care. The thesis project seeks to show that preaching can offer the assurance of grace that helps a congregation experience God’s grace in their lives so that they can reach the community as the faithful witnesses through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, even though they are invisible, insignificant, and minorities in the society.

Why African-American Generation X'ers Do Not Attend African-American Churches

Author
Lillian Robinson
Abstract
Why African-American Generation X'ers Do Not Attend African-American Churches
This dissertation responds to the question, what are the reasons that African-American Gen X'ers do not attend the African-American Church? Surveys were completed by twenty community volunteers. They survey consisted of twenty Likert-Scale questions, one open - ended statement, and three survey evaluation questions.
The results revealed 60% of the participants felt the church service time did not meet their schedules. The reasons included busy lifestyles, finances, and a desire to preserve personal time. Hypocrisy in the church was selected by 45% of the participants. Ninety-four percent of the participants felt the survey allowed them to express their honest options.

A Resource for the Ohio District of the Brethren Church

Author
Richard G Hagopian
Abstract
A Resource for the Ohio District of the Brethren Church by Richard Hagopian:
The purpose of the project was to create a resource from Smoky Row Brethren Church's structure that could serve as an effective guide for the sustainability of other Brethren Churches in the Ohio District of the Brethren Church, The design of this project included a resource entitled A Manual of Congregational Renewal, which was distributed to and assessed by recognized Brethren leaders in Ohio. The results of the project revealed that the resource can, with some equivocation, be agreed to by the respondents as achieving its purpose.


An Assessment of Denominational Resources and Guidance Available Relating to End-of-Life Pastoral Care in the Anglican Church in North America, Diocese of Western Anglicans, Deaneries of San Diego and Los Angeles

Author
James D Hearn
Abstract
This thesis examines the difficulties faced by parish clergy serving in the Diocese of Western Anglicans of the Anglican Church in North America in attempting to access denominational resources and secure guidance when called upton to minister to congregants facing complex end-of-life issues. While the Church is possessed of rich foundational resources capable of providing bioethical guidance, the data obtained through field research suggests that clergy are either unaware of such resources or face difficulties or confusion in locating, interpreting, and applying them. These resources are considered as re the foundations upon which further resources may be generated.

Developing a Health Strategy for SURV Church, Winter Haven, Florida

Author
James Smith
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to develop a health strategy for SURV Church Winter Haven, Florida. The project director utilized the Transformational Church Assessment Tool and the Prompempo International Church Missions Profile to assess the current health of SURV Church. A demographic study and interview with a Missions organization helped determine a wellness baseline. The director studied the Bible, theological resources, and other healthy church practices to determine healthy indicators and best practices. The project director developed a health strategy with the support of church members input. The proejct director presented the health strategy to SURV Church for approval.

Equipping Selected Families of the Valley Creek Baptist Church, Hueytown, Alabama, in Faith Transmission Skills

Author
Reggie R Ogea
Abstract
The purpose of this project in ministry is to equip selected families of the Valley Creek Baptist Church in faith transmission skills. By equipping parents in personal spiritula formation skills, contextualized in cultural realities and development stages of children, the project director enables primary spiritula influencers to effectively transmit Christian faith to present and emerging generations. In this project in ministry, the project director researched fields of spiritual formation and family ministry, synthesizing his research into a listing of five personal and faith building essential skills, and created an experiential curriculum. The project director equipped parents and spiritual influencers using the research and development curriculum in faith transmission skills during six weekly sessions, each followed by five days of targeted personal and family faith transmission practices.

A qualitative study exploring how senior pastors can deliberately move the congregation toward systemic gospel health

Author
Edward W Dunnington
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore how senior pastors can lead congregations toward systemic gospel health. The research focused on how pastors describe systemic health, what pastors believe to be hindrances to systemic health, and how pastors cultivate systemic health within their congregations. The literature reviewed included biblical and theological material relating to a congregation's systemic nature and the definition of congregational gospel health; change theory; systems theory; and the leader's role. The researcher interviewed two senior pastors of two different churches, their spouses, staff, and lay leaders. Both senior leaders articulated four factors that the literature supported: personal and marital growth; thinking systemically about the congregation; a working knowledge of change theory; and having at least one co-laborer in the work of change. This kind of systemic change is not simply technical in nature, but adaptive and cannot be done alone.
Subscribe to Pastoral theology