Preaching

The authority of scripture in the preaching of C&MA pastors in the Southern District

Author
Dale P Crank
Abstract
This project examines the practices that the pastors of the Southern District of the Christian & Missionary Alliance use to promote the authority of Scripture through their preaching ministries. A six-point Lykert scale was used to quantify the opinions of the pastors surveyed to the practices traditionally seen as promoting the authority of Scripture. Scores were computed for each statement and were analyzed based upon the ages, the educational levels, and the length of time in ministry of the pastors.

Preaching for suicide awareness: a pedagogical experiment in teaching preachers to engage the topic of suicide from the pulpit

Author
Heidi C Johnson
Abstract
The researcher's work on suicide arose from a concern to take seriously the strength and effective nature of the Sunday homily in light of the growing crisis of the suicide epidemic. The thesis is that the sermon is the appropriate place to address the topic of suicide and an avenue suited for addressing suicide is in a homiletics course. The researcher demonstrated how lectures on suicide awareness and prevention in a homiletics course can be an effective method of preparing young preachers for the preaching ministry. The results were positive in creating confident preachers to preach taboo subjects such as suicide.

BEST PREACHING PRACTICES IN HOMILETIC PROGRAMS IN ROMAN CATHOLIC THEOLOGATES IN THE UNITED STATES

Author
Stephen C Bosso
Abstract
The Second Vatican Council emphasized preaching in the Roman Catholic tradition as a liturgical act. As this emphasis on preaching has become increasingly more important, reflected by post-conciliar documents and statements by the popes following the council, the question remains: has the seminary curriculum changed with this emphasis to ensure that the clergy are properly trained for preaching. This research project reviews the literature of evaluation of preaching over the last three decades along with the changes in requirements for homiletics in the five editions of the Program of Priestly Formation. The author developed a research tool using Appreciative Inquiry and interviewed homiletics professors at six Roman Catholic theologates in the United States to aggregate the "best preaching practices" in these homiletics programs. The aggregated results demonstrate that in fact improvements have been made in the preaching programs. Hopefully, the aggregate of b est practices in homiletics programs of Roman Catholic theologates interviewed will encourage all Roman Catholic seminaries to work continuously to improve their homiletics programs for better preaching from the pulpits of their alumni for the people of God.

Cross-cultural Preaching and Catechesis: Passing on the Faith to the Next Generation

Author
Michael Kueber
Abstract
The United States Catholic Church has experienced remarkable growth since the 1960s because of new immigrants. This thesis project focuses on one immigrant group and their children: U.S. Catholic Hispanics. It attempts to respond to the challenge of these Hispanic parents attempting to hand on the Catholic faith to their children. It makes the unexpected claim that preaching is essential part of helping these parents address this difficulty.
Chapter 1 describes the demography of the U.S. Catholic Church in 2018. The influx of Hispanic immigrants is set in the context of a larger influx of immigrants, such as Asians, Africans, and Pacific Islanders. After considering this broad context, this thesis focuses on Hispanic Catholics and the religious education level of their parents and children. The problem is that Hispanic parents are not transmitting the Catholic faith to their confirmation teenage children. That is one reason among others why their teenagers and young adults disengage from the Catholic Church. The purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate through catechetical preaching that Hispanic parents can learn skills to transmit the Catholic faith successfully to their confirmation teenage children.
Chapter 2 provides the necessary background for the thesis project's intervention: Hispanic Catechesis in the U.S. in 2018. Before arriving at this goal, however, it is necessary to examine the Catholic Church's understanding of catechesis and interculturalism. Effective catechesis will involve not only appropriate pedagogies but also a cultural analysis of the society in which catechists teach.
Chapter 3 starts with the history of the Catholic homily from Vatican II until the papacy of Pope Francis. Next, the chapter introduces catechesis and discusses whether the Sunday homily should be catechetical in nature. These two themes then lead to the culmination of the project: cross-cultural catechetical preaching to Hispanic parents in 2018. The principal investigator will attempt to paint a portrait of this complex reality.
Chapter 4 describes the intervention. The principal investigator developed a thirteen-week course for Hispanic parents and their confirmation children. He employed the tool of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) at the beginning of the course and interviewed all parents and their children both before and after the course. He also took field notes during the course to note observations of growth both in parents and in their children. He then analyzes the qualitative research for the thesis project: the initial two sessions of AI, initial interviews, and final interviews.
Chapter 5 presents the final product created from the thesis project's research data. The product is a syllabus for a thirteen-week course for Hispanic parents and confirmation teenagers during which the religious education instructor preaches catechetically to Hispanic parents and their confirmation age children.

Take care how you help others listen : sermon listening in an age of distraction

Author
Sebastian Y Kim
Abstract
Preachers are expected to preach engaging sermons, whereas hearers are expected to be passive during preaching. One of the most pernicious challenges of listening to sermons is distraction due to smartphone addiction. The purpose of this study is to examine how adult congregants of a local church engage in sermons amid distractions. The study employed qualitative research methods with fourteen adult congregants using semi-structured interviews analyzed with the constant comparative method. The research explored neurological, psychological and spiritual issues induced by digital technology. This study concluded that the church should be intentional about making disciples by having meaningful conversations with congregants.

The pulpit in church ministry

Author
Jack Richard Smith
Abstract
The study investigates the effectiveness of the pulpit in church ministry in relation to other avenues of ministry within the local church. A survey was taken of a number of churches and pastors in urban, suburban and rural areas to gain an understanding of the relationship of preaching to moral decision making. Out of this a determination of satisfaction with pulpit ministry was compared to satisfaction with other pastoral functions. Results of the study showed pastoral involvement tends to other avenues of ministry while members of the local congregation find help through and wish to see a stronger emphasis on preaching.

To heal with words: a study of paradox and preaching

Author
Kathy Fuson Hurt
Abstract
The thesis explores the ways in which paradoxical communication is used by mystical teachers and gurus, and by communication-oriented psychotherapists (Paul Watzlawick, Gregory Bateson, Milton H Erickson, et al). In both contexts, that of mysticism and that of psychotherapy, paradoxes are set up in such a fashion that significant life change becomes possible for the mystical seeker/therapy client. The process of change that is initiated by paradoxes is described using the models of the respective fields. The thesis then moves to consider the preaching task in the light of these findings, arguing that sermons might also use paradoxical communication as a means of facilitating important change, even salvation, in the lives of congregation members.

Teaching concepts of family systems theory to a couples group in a local church

Author
Samuel S Bombara
Abstract
This project deals with stagnancy in the family system as a basic problem in the local church. Stagnancy here means failure of marriage partners to experience growth through the marriage experience. Couples will change and grow as they learn concepts of family systems theory. The church must be an organism in society preventing mental and emotional illness. As a result of this program the author seeks to understand better the family system within the local church and to apply that knowledge in the areas of counseling, preaching and teaching.

A pastoral motif: integrating the preaching style of Harry Emerson Fosdick and the counseling style of Wayne Emerson Oates

Author
Norvle Alex Rodgers
Abstract
This major project integrates the preaching style of Harry Emerson Fosdick and the pastoral counseling style of Wayne E Oates into a workable model for contemporary pastors. The project gives an overview of each man relating personal biographical sketches, historical data, styles of their principle forms of ministry and an analysis of their similarities. By drawing a comparison analysis and intentionally weaving their similarities into a single model, an effective means of communicating the Gospel occurs. A sermon, counseling session and congregational survey are offered as evidence illustrating the project's thesis.

Preaching: proclamation and art, a case study of the use of the arts in the preaching ministry of the church

Author
Chris Petrak
Abstract
This project explores the contribution which the arts can make to the preaching ministry of the church. A theory of preaching as proclamation is developed. Aesthetics, theology, and related disciplines help develop a theological understanding of preaching. Seven sermons preached by the author are presented as examples of the contribution to, and integration of, the arts in preaching. Arts employed include short story, drama, poetry, music, and visual arts. Evaluation demonstrates congregational responsiveness to effective integration of the arts into preaching, suggesting the need for greater variety and imagination in all preaching.
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