Spiritual formation

The spiritual formation of prospective deacons an inside-out process

Author
Oliver Bala
Abstract
The project incorporated a prospective case-control study based on the book, "Becoming a Healthy Disciple" by Stephen Macchia, incorporating self-reported surveys, pre-and post-experiment to measure growth on ten traits noted in the book. The Control group will be involved in a ten week sermon series covering the ten traits found in the book. The Experimental group will attend the same sermon series, but additionally attend small group studies on the same ten traits, as well as be required to read the Book Becoming a Healthy Disciple. The experimental group showed greater level spiritual development in contrast to the Control group as evidenced by comparison of post-survey data results.

Empowering the lives of at risk youth through early spiritual formation

Author
Mary Ann Hodge
Abstract
This project proposes and explains the results of an empowerment ministry that has helped to produce a more positive and productive life for at-risk youth in Calhoun County, South Carolina. A number of at-risk youth were used for this project. The research was done through qualitative studies, evaluations, counseling, spiritual training, and mentoring by parents, teachers, counselors and church leaders. The results of the study indicated that youth who receive a spiritual foundation were more able to assess challenging situations and apply techniques that led to better decision making than those not receiving a strong spiritual foundation.

A catechism in community for the United Methodist Church

Author
Andrea L Harvey
Abstract
The United Methodist Church has been experiencing a significant decline in membership in the United States and Europe in the 21st century. A catechesis in community outlines a method to assist local churches that are struggling to find their place in post-modern society. Youth and church administrators were surveyed concerning their personal beliefs, perception of the church's inclusion of young people, spiritual formation and Christian education within the church. A brief survey of Christianity and the roots of Methodism remind the church of today where they came from and John Wesley's admonition to 'make Christians.'

Preaching for transformation: developing sermons that aim at personal transformation

Author
Mark W Hanke
Abstract
Research indicates people who call themselves Christians and who listen to dozens of sermons each year are morally hard to distinguish from people who claim no faith in God and have no practice of listening to sermons preached from God's Word. It is God's intention to see his followers transformed into the image of his Son. One of the methods he has chosen to use to realize this spiritual life-change is the preaching of his Word. But preachers have to make sure they are committed to life-changing sermons and not merely an informational exchange. Sermons are meant to bring transformation, not simply inform people of what a biblical text is saying. This thesis-project will help Christian communicators understand how their preaching can align with God's vision to see people conformed to the image of his Son.

Being transformed in the image of Christ

Author
Elaine J Eskew
Abstract
This Doctor of Ministry project addresses the need and benefits of undergoing a spiritual transformation by Christians into the image of Christ. Knowing who you are will empower Christians in times of spiritual crisis and distress. The solution was the development and implementation of the Theo-Transformational Ministry Bible Study Series "Being Transformed in the Image of Christ Project" (BTIC). The project explores the biblical and theological basics for forming a transformational ministry to work in conjunction with the apostolic teachings of the church universal.

Made to make a difference: ministry formation and the holistic redemptive vision of the kingdom of God

Author
Lance Blair Dixon
Abstract
Building on the work of Harv Powers and Rod Cooper in redemptive leadership, this thesis-project seeks to clarify the biblical meaning of redemption and provide a model of discipleship that takes into account the full implications of participating in Christ's transformative work in the world. The goal of designing a holistic discipleship model is to enable Christians to understand more fully and practice more intentionally the true nature of God's reign which we have been called to witness and serve, which is the redemption of all creation. The chapters build toward the development of a curriculum designed to offer every disciple a deeper biblical understanding of God's reign, a clear process of growth consistent with this holistic redemptive biblical vision, and a set of right practices to follow in each dimension of growth, regardless of the participant's particular sense of vocation. By building the curriculum on two influential ethical models of character formation, participants were given the tools to identify ways of deepening their commitment to Christ, growing in their conviction of the kingdom of God, cultivating a more compassionate heart, and developing the kind of Christ-like character that would bear the fruit of the kingdom in their daily lives.

Developing transformational leaders with a redemptive framework at Faith Baptist Fellowship

Author
Gregory J Dirnberger
Abstract
The purpose of this project is to demonstrate that there is a developmental process by which transformational leaders can nurture and reproduce other transformational leaders. Further, there is a redemptive framework that can inform and shape this developmental process in such a way that lives are changed, transformational leaders can be multiplied, and an organization (a church congregation in this case) may be nurtured into vibrancy and health. It is the desire of this writer that this thesis-project may not only articulate a guiding philosophy of developmental process at Faith Baptist Fellowship, but also create an intentional plan and structure for reproducing transformational leaders who possess and can assert their leadership in light of the redemptive leadership framework. This project includes: 1) a description of the organizational context that gave rise to this writer's application of the aforementioned thesis, 2) relevant discussion of biblical and theological foundations that inform and support the thesis, 3) a survey of both spiritual and secular literature that interact with and apply the principles of transformational leadership, and 4) a description of a pilot program designed and implemented by this writer where the convictions of this thesis were applied, tested, and reflected on.

Developing a discipleship strategy for selected believers at Third Baptist Church, Malvern, Arkansas

Author
William T Strike
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to develop a spiritual disciplines strategy for adults at Third Baptist Church, Malvern, Arkansas. The project director explored the field of spiritual formation and identified disciplines that would benefit selected members of the church. A strategy team, comprised of selected members, developed a strategy for instructing the adults at Third Baptist Church, Malvern, Arkansas. The project concluded with a presentation of the team's developed strategy to the deacons at the church.

The transforming effects of the incarnate word via lectio divina within individuals in the Salvation Army

Author
Ruth W Blais
Abstract
The following work is designed to show the possibilities for spiritual transformation through the Incarnate Word via the ancient art of lectio divina. This transformation can take place even though a person's background has been challenging. This work was born out of the writer's desire to meet the cry of the empty human heart. In this work the question of the church's role in spiritual formation will be examined and it will be evidenced that the church of today has come up short and must re-examine where they are in their own process of spiritual growth. The writer explores attitudes and mind sets that churches fall into that can inhibit parishioners in their journey toward transformation. The case studies in this work have been designed to be user-friendly with both individuals and groups. A one-day seminar has been provided that will outline the basics needed to guide a group through the history and process of lectio divina and open up a whole new world for those who choose to practice it.

Trinitarian missional matrix: framing a community of integrated faith, learning, and mission

Author
Steve S Sherman
Abstract
This thesis examined relational trinitarian theology as a theological matrix for creating an undergraduate senior year capstone course to prepare students to enter the professional world as a participating disciple of Christ. Relational trinitarian theology provides an integrated vision for life and living in the context of the missio Dei and provides a model for holistic missional living in community and vocation. The outcome of this research was the development of a curriculum utilizing a "backward design" model that begins with desired outcomes and then works backwards to design learning activities that will shape those outcomes.
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