Spiritual life

The Art of Storytelling: Developing Discernment in an Age of Distraction

Author
Mark A Hamby
Abstract
Through the art of storytelling, twelve instructional lessons of Wisdom lay the foundation for the development of discernment in relation to Wisdom and Folly. The categorically prescriptive truths of Proverbs 1:1-10:1, Ecclesiastes 12:9-14, 2 Peter 1:3-10, and Hebrews 5:8-14 will serve as the building blocks for the development of Christ-like character. Four goals of this research are: (1) an understanding of the fear of the Lord; (2) an increase in discernment when faced with Folly's promises of prosperity, prestige, protection, and pleasure; (3) an increased motivation to yield to correction; and (4) a yearning to seek Wisdom as hidden treasure.

Vox Sancti Spiriti

Author
Victor J Pergola
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to impact the spiritual life of a select group of Christian professionals in the Cleveland, Ohio area. The chosen method included administration of a pre-test and post-test Likert Scale instrument that was built within an eight session course on spirituality. The results indicated a significant increase in awareness for growth in spirituality. There were three themes of emphasis: a focus on worship and liturgy in congregational groups; a focus on prayerful sharing of Scripture in small group settings; and a refocus on the importance of Scripture for Christian growth.

An Evaluation of First Christian Church, St. Francis, Kansas, Members' and Attendees' Perspectives on Pastoral Visitation, as Supplemental to Expository Preaching, for the Stimulation of Their Spiritual Growth

Author
Jeffrey A Landers M.Div.
Abstract
The purpose of this research is to of this research is to evaluate the perspectives of select members and regular attendees of First Christian Church in St. Francis, Kansas, on pastoral visitation, that which supplements expository preaching, as an aid to their spiritual development in the areas of biblical comprehension, convictions, and conduct. The evaluation is based on interviews with ten members and attendees of First Christian Church in St. Francis, Kansas. The interview questions probed the nature of a potential connection between pastoral visits to encourage spiritual growth, that is, growth in comprehending God's Word, having one's convictions shaped by God's Word, and having one's conduct increasingly transformed by God's Word, and substantive spiritual growth as so defined. Dr. Grant Kaul has done excellent research to validate the relationship between an intentional expository sermon and spiritual growth in the church family he serves as senior pastor. His intentional expository sermon plan focused on the book of Revelation. First, that spiritual growth was measured in terms of an increased comprehension of biblical content. Second, spiritual growth was measured in terms of an embracing of biblical convictions and values which are the source for a Christian's conduct. Third, spiritual growth was measured in terms of personal conduct increasingly aligned with both biblical content and convictions. Building upon that research, this author proposes to validate a relationship between pastoral visits and spiritual growth for the church family presently being served in the areas of biblical comprehension, biblical convictions, and biblical conduct. In addition to an intentional expository sermon plan to encourage the spiritual growth of a church family, pastoral visits can be a tool to further reinforce that spiritual growth. This qualitative research, carried out by interviewing church members and attendees, demonstrates that pastoral visits, in addition to expository preaching on Sunday mornings, further enhances the spiritual growth of Christians.

An Integrated Approach to Spiritual Direction: Converging Spirituality, Creativity, and Cognitive Theories through the Expressive Arts as a Model for Christian Spiritual Formation

Author
Ouida A Russea-Pihulyk
Abstract
True spiritual formation is holistic. Transformation occurs where our body, mind, and soul converge and this process can be enabled by creativity. I designed and implemented a Christian formational model to support the integration of creativity to spiritual direction via the expressive arts (music, visual, literary, and movement). A qualitative study augmented by cognitive and theopoetic orientations captured participation of spiritual directors in an expressive arts workshop and the field application of these methods. Results concluded the expressive art inter-modal approach positively impacted spiritual formation and suggested the model could also have beneficial implications for ecumenical and spiritual clinical care practitioners.

A Study of Christian Spirituality Training through Wesley's Means of Grace Focusing on InHeung Methodist Church

Author
Hoo Jung Lee
Abstract
This is a study of the spirituality training through Wesley's means grace and of the spirituality training project implemented to the church members over 60 years old living in the agricultural rural area. In this project, Wesley's means of grace " Bible studies, prayers, the Holy Communion, Christian fellowships, and spiritual journaling" has been applied and the purpose is spiritual growth of participants with progressive changes into holiness in all realms. Therefore, by implementing the project, the author discovers that participants have understood Wesley's spirituality and means of grace, but also their life aims have been switched to resembling Jesus, and it can be a necessary tool for visible growth as they maintain and grow personal relationships with God.

Spiritual formation in the local church

Author
Eugene L Miller
Abstract
The primary goal of the project was to discover more effective ways to enable the spiritual growth of members over sixty years of age in a United Methodist church. Generally, positive results are reported from the experiment. A theological concept of prayer with guided experiences was presented. The practice of journal keeping was encouraged. The material and methodology are effective if the spiritual director/pastor is willing to risk personal involvement by sharing his/her own spiritual pilgrimage.

A study of implications for ministry: alcoholism and its negative effects on spiritual experience and religious practice

Author
Jack F Reents
Abstract
The study investigates the negative effects alcoholism has on alcoholics' spiritual experience and religious practice, and shows the positive changes that take place as alcoholics complete treatment and work at recovery. The study uses questionnaires and interviews to obtain information from patients in treatment on admission, at discharge and following discharge. The expectation was that there would be a decrease in spiritual experience and religious practice prior to treatment and a decided increase following. The questionnaires substantiated this expectation. Over 90 percent of the respondents sensed spiritual growth important in their recovery and indicated a decided increase in religious practice.

A presbytery program of spiritual formation for candidates for the ministry

Author
Fred B Cunningham
Abstract
By providing spiritual director/mentors for candidates for the ministry the presbytery can serve the spiritual growth of the candidates and prepare them for a more effective ministry. The research and study consisted of the preparation of an annotated bibliography of spirituality in the Reformed tradition; interviews with candidates, ministers, seminary students and staff, and spiritual directors of Roman Catholic orders and institutions; and the analysis of books on human development theory and theories of spiritual direction. The project has resulted in a presbytery program of spiritual formation for candidates for the ministry.

From brokenness to healing: a journey--pastoral care and the spirituality of people from Latin America who have suffered torture

Author
Luis A Vera
Abstract
The author investigated the spirituality of people from Latin America who live in the United States and have suffered torture in their native country. He explored how the experience of these survivors is reflected or not in the liturgical and social documents of the Roman Catholic Church and expressed in the Hispanic liturgical tradition. Following the method of practical theology, i.e., a praxis-theory-praxis approach, the author began with the stories of torture survivors and considered these interviews in relation to different elements of the U.S. Hispanic community. He concluded with pastoral recommendations for ministers and suggested rituals of healing for survivors.

Assessing the Physical and Spiritual Needs of Homeless Women for Memphis Union Mission, Memphis, TN

Author
Randy Daniels
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to assess the physical and spiritual needs of homeless women in Memphis, Tennessee. The outcome was to make ministry recommendations to the Memphis Union Mission. The project director gathered and synthesized statistical data of homeless women. The project director organized information available for homeless women from existing agencies. The project director sources material by utilizing surveys completed by homeless women. Data from these surveys gave the project director information to ascertain their physical and spiritual needs. The project director recruited and assembled a recommendation team and presented a recommendation.
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