Psychology and religion

The Knowledge of God and the Knowledge of Self: Exploring Spiritual Formation via Discernment and the MBTI

Author
Christopher Andrew Walker D.Min.
Abstract
In this Research Portfolio, the author explores spiritual formation through growing in the knowledge of God and in the knowledge of self. The specific avenue for exploring growing in the knowledge of God is discernment, and the specific avenue for exploring growing in the knowledge of self is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®. The Spiritual Autobiography tells the story of the author’s personal journey of spiritual formation through the various revelations about God and self that the Lord has brought to his life. The Model of Spiritual Formation theorizes that growing in the knowledge of self can help us to hear from and know God better through discernment, thus aiding in our spiritual formation. The Research Project tested one aspect of the Model with a small group of congregants from Meadow Brook Church in Leamington, ON, and demonstrated an effective process of discernment for the participants. The conclusion of this Research Portfolio is that growing in the knowledge of self can help us to grow in the knowledge of God, which will aid us in our spiritual formation.

An Integrative Model of Spiritual Formation:
Incorporating Practices from Christian Spirituality and Psychotherapy

Author
Kern Orbin Stanberry D.Min.
Abstract
This portfolio represents an integrative approach to Christian spiritual formation that refutes the modern Western dualistic mindset. It reclaims the premodern understanding of the unity of truth as revealed through Scripture and creation and, as such, calls for the engagement of practices from both Christian spiritualty and psychotherapy in the process of Christian spiritual formation. Through a rigorous process of personal, spiritual, professional, academic and field research explorations and reflections, the author presents an integrative Christian spiritual formation model and invites Christian leaders and researchers to intentionally include the subjective realities of people’s experiences in their spiritual formational journey.

Helping People to Experience Spiritual Healing of Painful Life Experiences

Author
Brian Smilde D.Min.
Abstract
This Doctor of Ministry Major Project was intended to assess the extent to which people experience spiritual healing of past wounds through a series of small group gatherings focused on teaching and experiencing the spiritual healing of Jesus Christ.

The project began with identifying the biblical and theological foundation for Jesus healing people from their wounds—not only physical but also emotional or spiritual. Then examining what people in other disciplines—such as social science, counseling, and business—also think, believe and teach about healing or restoration from past wounds.

The intervention involved a small group of six participants experiencing a series of eight small group gatherings. They filled out a Pre-Group and Post-Group Questionnaire. After five small group gatherings of teaching, experiencing and praying, there were two Focus Groups which allowed the participants to share feedback about what they learned, experienced and thought.

The data from the two Questionnaires and the Focus Groups was analyzed in order to assess the effectiveness of these small group gatherings to lead participants toward the spiritual healing of Jesus Christ. The result of this analysis was that participants were helped to identify past wounds or traumas, they felt safe to share honestly and vulnerably with the other group participants, they felt that others responded with grace and empathy, and they reflectively and personally applied the teaching in ways that allowed them to experience Jesus release them from past pain.

Changing Attitudes Toward Life : Using Viktor E. Frankl's Logotherapy in Ministry with Christian Women in Church of the Lord, Anyang, Kyounggi-do, South Korea

Author
Jihye Kim
Abstract
Changing Attitudes Toward Life: Using Viktor E. Frankl’s Logotherapy in Ministry with Christian Women in Church of the Lord, Anyang, Kyounggi-do, South Korea is a project designed to help the target group increase the degree of meaning and purpose in life and motivate a desire to live lives more meaningfully and responsibly with hopeful attitudes by exploring the biblical messages with integration exercises utilizing the key concepts of Dr. Frankl’s Logotherapy. Through a five-week sermon series, six weeks of group sessions including the final group reflection session, and writing reflection and autobiographies, the participants are provided opportunities to evaluate and even revise their values, meaning, and life-styles. Using quantitative and qualitative instruments, results show that educative pastoral counseling along with reflection in a small group setting can effect significant positive changes in their attitudes and behavior.

Finding Peace in Union with Christ through the Practice of Contemplation

Author
Gary W Brouwers
Abstract
Believers in Jesus exist in a powerful unsion with the ecodn person of the Trinity. Through this union, believers have access to everything that Jesus is, including the ability to expereince peace regardless of circumstances. This thesis examinded how a growing awreness of one's union with Jesus affects one's experience of anxiety. Using a mixed method phenomenological study, 46 participants spent increasingly longer periods of time contemplating on thier union with Christ. Anxiety levels were tested using pretexts and posttests of Beck's Anxiety Indicator (BAI). Participants kept records of their experiences using Likert-style scales as well as written journals. Data from BAI, the individual records, and a focus group were triangulated and compared. The results indicated that anxiety levels were reduced in 63 percent of participants. In addition , the data revealed common themes among the experiences of the participants, including strong expressions of God's love, continuing effects of peace beyond the period of contemplation and an appreciation for the structure and accountability of the project. In addition, most participants reported experiences of frustration and confusion as they attempted to spend time in contemplation.

Cultivate Compassion through Affective Perspective Taking

Author
Weihua He D.Min.
Abstract
The hope of the researcher in the project was to help people cultivate compassion through affective perspective taking preconditioned by the practice of imaginative meditation on gospel accounts, the practice of the Jesus Prayer, and the practice of cognitive disputation technique. This research depended on the strategies for data analysis advised by grounded theory. The project did effectuate interpersonal and intrapersonal empathy. The problem studies was whether or not a program of affective perspective taking preconditioned by imaginative meditation, mindfulness practice, and cognitive disputation technique would effectuate the cultivation of compassion in the life of a group of dating or married Christians.

Empowering American Baptist Pastors of Pastoral-Size Churches to Develop Psychological and Theological Resilience in an Age of Disestablishment

Author
Michael Wayne Oldham D.Min.
Abstract
Mainline churches no longer enjoy the status of being the "established" religion in today's culture. The implications of this disestablishment have left churches and pastors feeling frustrated, powerless and often hopeless. This project is a case study of how a combination of video chats and incremental learning resources increased the psychological and theological resilience of American Baptist pastors who serve in pastoral-size churches. This study showed that this process was effective in helping pastors develop a renewed sense of hope and direction for their ministry and might be used in other mainline as well as evangelical denominations. This project will focus on the role of the pastor as the key leader in their church.

ADAPTERS: A Meta-Theoretical Conceptualization of Human Functioning and Therapeutic Intervention

Author
Gary W McDonald D.Min.
Abstract
Counselors utilizing eclectic and integrative approaches need a sound theoretical model on which to base their work. For the Christian counselor, this model must be biblically based as well as psychologically accurate. Although there are hundreds of models of psychotherapy, and many conceptualizations of integration, there exists a need for an overarching meta-theory to provide structure to these various approaches and guide effective interventions. The thesis was a theoretical development project. The author developed a comprehensive model of human functioning and therapeutic intervention that provides support for counselors utilizing eclectic or integrative approaches to therapy. The art and science of therapeutic intervention covers a wide spectrum of theory and practice.

That They May Have Life: The Congregation's Opportunity to Strengthen Resiliency and Foster Wholeness Amid Trauma in the Lives of Volunteer First Responders

Author
Jason Cashing D.Min.
Abstract
With every emergency, first responders are exposed to a degree of traumatic stress. This Secondary Traumatic Stress can sap the life and purpose from first responders, and the accumulation of unaddressed STS can lead to burnout, unhealthy coping mechanisms, and even suicide. The congregation, though practices of Sabbath and Lament, can offer pathways to help mitigate STS and strengthen resilience. Looking at the invitation to Abundant Life in John 10, the Church’s calling and the world’s need intersect, providing a framework and a language to help first responders and congregations alike realize the fullness of Life offered to all.

Building up the church through healing and restoration focusing on Koinonia, Diakonia and psychological studies

Author
Seong Kook Lee
Abstract
In this paper, the author proceeds the project with the question of a healthy Church community. In chapter 1, he approaches the biblical understanding of the image of God. In chapter 2, he studies the recovery of the Church community through Koinonia, and Diakonia. In addition, he tries to change the inferiority complex that the church communities and individuals face into a sense of superiority by dealing with individual psychology of Adler. In the project, he appropriately applies and practices Koinonia, Diakonia, and individual psychology and the conclusion describes analysis of the project.
Subscribe to Psychology and religion