Spiritual formation

Case studies evaluating the effectiveness of a Bible study program in influencing youth's masculinity

Author
Rodney D Stodghill
Abstract
The author researches three factors fathers need to raise biblical masculine sons: fear of God; father modeling the fear; and father teaching the fear. Men were surveyed to identify their father's masculine influence upon their moral behavior. Two case studies were developed to identify Restoring Authenticate Masculinity Bible study program effectiveness in restoring biblical masculinity. The author concluded that the fear of God was important to the development of the son's biblical masculine identity. The RAM Bible study program was significant in achieving the change.

Through a glass brightly: a Franciscan way of beauty into action

Author
John F Beddingfield
Abstract
"A Year with St. Francis" invited All Souls Memorial Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. to engage a set of stained glass windows picturing Francis of Assisi, exploring whether beauty might be a means to action. After addressing criticism of the term "beauty," the paper discusses Bonaventure and Duns Scotus, theories of organizational frames and imaginative learning, and reflects on the project in light of new monasticism. The paper argues that beauty is used by God to move us into action and that the parish and the Episcopal Church can benefit from a Franciscan impulse in theology and mission.

Spiritual freedom: a multi-faith resource in spiritual formation for inmates

Author
Roland E Gonia
Abstract
The purpose of this project is to investigate and create the formation and sustainability of a healthy, spiritual life for inmates of different faiths while serving a prison sentence and preparing to leave incarceration. This project is intended to benefit prisoners and prison staffs as a resource from multi-faith spiritual formation. This project is being conducted under the auspices of Columbia Theological Seminary and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Temple cleansing: an integration of anger management and spiritual formation

Author
Edward James Vollmar
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to develop a resource useful to pastors and Christian counselors seeking to address, within the small group setting, anger issues presented by Christian men. A copy of the resource, integrating anger management theories and praxis with spiritual formation theories and praxis, was presented to an expert panel comprised of pastors and Christian counselors, along with a questionnaire by which evaluations were made of the resource measuring six goal characteristics. Analysis of the results clearly indicates that the six intended goals were reasonably achieved, especially the goal of fostering spiritual formation. Implications are explored.

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
Bob Burns
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.
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