Spiritual formation

Formational counseling that leads to spiritual transformation

Author
Laura Lee Hamilton
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to impact the spiritual transformation of a select group of women at Springfield Church of the brethren, in Springfield, Ohio, through a one to one formational counseling relationship. Nine women participated in the project. The eight week process included pre and posttest surveys. Qualitative and quantitative analysis were used to determine impact. Results indicate that participants gained significant awareness of their healing process and experienced measurable positive impact on their identity in Christ and on their experience of heart to heart encounter with Jesus. Implications are explored.

How pastors develop spiritual shepherds for the local church

Author
David L Harding
Abstract
This study was to explored how pastors develop leaders as spiritual shepherds for the local church. This study utilized a qualitative research design, in which seven pastors were interviewed based on a semi-structured interview format. The literature review and analysis of the seven interviews revealed that developing spiritual shepherds is a long-term process of helping people discern God's calling to this role, and helping them develop the competencies and character required. This study concluded that developing spiritual shepherds requires a strong relational investment, a commitment to using ordinary means of grace, and relying upon the help of the congregation.

Systematic theology and the spiritual formation of laypersons

Author
Yancey C Arrington
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to discover how laypersons experience the dynamics of spiritual formation through training in systematic theology. Four research questions guided this study: How did the study of systematic theology impact 1) the participants' thinking, 2) the participants' actions, 3) the participants' affections, and finally 4) what about systematic theology uniquely contributes to their spiritual formation? The data was analyzed using the constant comparative method. The data demonstrated that systematic theology uniquely enhanced their spiritual formation increasing confidence in faith, a love for God and the Bible, and peace with the mystery of the Divine.

Encounter discipleship: a self-replicating biblical discipleship model for the postmodern churchgoer seeking an experiential relationship with God

Author
Jarred D Fenlason
Abstract
This study examined the premise that the postmodern churchgoer often has an unmet desire to know God in an experiential way. The researcher developed and implemented an eight-week parachurch spiritual formation discipleship program consisting of teaching and praxis to meet those spiritual needs. The hypothesis was that the participants would report an increase in hearing the voice of God, encountering God's presence, gain confidence in ministering to others through words of knowledge and healing, and improve their spiritual well-being. This theory was tested through qualitative research using phenomenological methodology focusing on the subjective experiences of the participants.

Deep change: how the transformational learning theories of Mezirow and Loder apply to pastoral ministry

Author
Curtis J Young
Abstract
This study describes pastors' understanding of how transformational learning occurs among adults in their ministries. The study is based on qualitative research that included in-depth interviews with nine ministers in the Washington, DC area. It is supported by literature reviews related to transformational learning theory, a biblical case study from the life of Simon Peter, and findings from research that relate to pastoral ministry. Analysis revealed areas in which the ministers' understanding coincided with this theory. It also revealed gaps in their knowledge. The study concludes with ten recommendations to integrate the insights of transformational learning into ministerial practice.

Organic missional leadership development using a modified Meil Cole approach

Author
James Lyle Erb
Abstract
Organic missional leadership development is a process where individuals are mentored to engage non-Christians with the Gospel so that small organic churches can be formed and multiplied. Modifying Neil Cole's model, this six month project sought to develop spiritual leaders who moved beyond attractional methodology to a missional approach. Transformational discipleship, organic church life, decentralized leadership and missional movement were utilized to achieve a healthy and reproducing ministry. Using Participatory Action Research as the research tool, leaders were equipped to engage culture with the Gospel message. the Research showed that more time was needed to fully complete the process.

Christian Spiritual Formation as the restoration of the imago Dei

Author
Richard Shawn Grassel
Abstract
This thesis argues that the telos of Christian Spiritual Formation is the restoration of the imago Dei in humankind. In the Biblical Theology chapter, I analyze six key biblical texts (Gen 1:26-27; Exod 20:4; Isa 40:18; Psa 115:3-4; Heb 1:3; Col 1:15) that deal with the concept of "image." I then relate them to my understanding of the imago Dei and its relationship to the disciplines of Christian Spiritual Formation, especially as a means of outlining the Creation, Fall, Reconciliation and Restoration of Humankind through Christ. The Systematic Theology chapter highlights the Substantialist or Ontological interpretation of the imago Dei and argues the importance of how "right being" precedes "right doing." The Field Research chapter explores two "right doing" motifs often found in youth ministry: 1. "Saved from Hell" versus "Saved to Christ," and 2. "Sin Management" versus "Becoming like Christ." the Conclusion emphasizes that our authentic, systematic renewal in Christ (being) necessarily impacts the nature and degree of right (doing) behavior.

The spiritual formation, mentoring and peer learning of emerging pastoral leaders

Author
Stephen C Baldwin
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to explore how emerging pastoral leaders develop in spiritual formation through structured peer relationships. This study employed a qualitative design using semi-structured interviews with six pastors who were of non-denominational, Baptist General Conference, and Presbyterian Church in America affiliations. This study has found that there is a great need for mentors and spiritual directors who attend to the spiritual formation of the next generation of pastoral leaders as they move into primary leadership roles in the church.

An examination of prayer styles: in search of bringing vitality to contemporary Christian prayer

Author
Jeung Hee Kim
Abstract
The author examined the role of prayer as a primary means to the attainment of Christian spiritual maturity. To this end, a variety of prayer styles were compared. Years of personal experience were drawn on to formulate a series of teaching sessions presented at a small local church. The author's research revealed the biblical basis for prayer as the cornerstone of Christian discipline. It was also shown historically how a style of approach to prayer can set the tone for a whole movement within the church. Examples from the historical Korean prayer movement were drawn on frequently. The author examined and practiced the various prayer styles with her church members and defined both vocal and meditative prayer as major categories, each containing many distinct practices. The author found that the people who joined the program experienced new styles of prayers and spiritual gifts and wanted to learn more and prayed more.

Developing and evaluating the transformative capacities model to cultivate awareness and facilitate practices of faithful presence at Mount Hamilton Baptist Church

Author
Dallas Bernhard Friesen
Abstract
This research project introduces and develops a spiritual transformation model called the Transformative Capacities Model. The heuristic model was developed using the methodology of action research with four participation groups at Mount Hamilton Baptist Church to cultivate awareness and facilitate practices of faithful presence. The model is based on Epistle of James, the life of Jesus and adapts David Kolb's experiential learning paradigm. Data collection tools included: a questionnaire, interviews, and journal logs. This project demonstrates that the Transformative Capacities Model has the potential to be an effective way to cultivate awareness and facilitate practices of spiritual transformation.
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