Spiritual life

The Abide Project's Effect on Experiencing God's Presence in Daily LIfe

Author
Dean Wertz D.Min.
Abstract
The thesis seeks to answer: How will a three-month all-church focus on abiding in Jesus affect the participants' experience of God's presence in their daily lives? The Abide Project was facilitated in the fall of 2018 for children, youth and adults at Hope Community Church (Denver, CO0; included sermons, small groups and daily reminders; and was measured by mixed-methods. The quantitative assessment (compared pre and post-training scores from the Daily Spiritual Experience Scale by Dr. Lynn Underwood) and the qualitative assessment (8 phenomenological interviews) concluded that the project increased the participants' experience of God's presence in their daily lives. An invitation to abide from John 15:1-11 would increase the participant' attentiveness and experience God.

Spiritual Formation in a Hong Kong Chinese Context: A Personal Journey, a Teachable Model Based on 1 John 2:12-14, and a Research Report

Author
Daniel Hung Fai Cho D.Min.
Abstract
In this research portfolio, the author describes Christian spiritual formation as a growth process with common stages and tasks with reference to 1 John 2:12-14 while acknowledging the uniqueness of spiritual experience for each individual Christian through spiritual autobiography. The common spiritual growth stages and tasks were developed as a model derived from an exposition with reference to 1 John 2:12-14. The uniqueness of Christian spiritual formation is acknowledged by a spiritual autobiography, which describes the author’s experiences with God and spiritual realities throughout his life. The universality of Christian spiritual growth is then suggested and illustrated through a model of spiritual growth from the passage. Lastly, a research project investigates the author’s teaching effectiveness in a Personal Growth course with ten students as participants in a Hong Kong (China) seminary using a combination of the two previous sections as teaching components in the journey of Christian spiritual formation. The findings and comments in this report bring to light some valuable teaching advice for Hong Kong seminarians concerning the duality of Christian spiritual formation. This report shows the effectiveness of incorporating the writing of a spiritual autobiography and exploring various learning tasks associated with 1 John 2:12-14, in that these were beneficial to the spiritual growth of Hong Kong seminarians.

A Discovery of Confessional Accountability Practices of Leaders in the Brethren Church Denomination Based in Ashland, Ohio

Author
Steven Leon Cole
Abstract
A Discovery of Confessional Accountability Practices of Leaders in the Brethren Church Denomination Based in Ashland, Ohio:
The purpose of this project was to discover the personal spiritual practices regarding confessional accountability among leaders in The Brethren Church denomination based in Ashland, Ohio. The participants were evaluated by distributing an assessment both by mail and email. The surveys were returned by mail or completed on a survey website where they were stored for data to be
compiled for evaluation.

The most prominent finding revealed that respondents held a high value
for pastors to have vulnerable relationships but found it difficult to develop and
sustain relationships where they can engage in confession and spiritual healing.

Vox Spiriti Sancti: An Impact Study of the Spiritual Life of Christian Professionals in Cleveland, Ohio

Author
Victor J Pergola
Abstract
Vox Spiriti Sancti: An Impact Study of the Spiritual Life of Christian Professionals in Cleveland, Ohio:
The purpose of this project was to impact the spiritual life of a select group of Christian professionals in the Cleveland, Ohio area. The project included the facilitation of a pre-test and post-test Likert Scale instrument. The course content brought focus to the principle Christian mysteries of Trinity, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. The results indicated an increase in awareness for growth in spirituality. There were three themes of emphasis in a small group setting: worship and liturgy, prayerful sharing of Scripture, and the importance of Scripture for Christian growth.

Discovery of How Pilgrimage on The Way of Saint James in Northern Spain Affects Spiritual Healing

Author
Leslie Oden McNamara
Abstract
Discovery of How Pilgrimage on the way of Saint James in Northern Spain Affects Spiritual Healing:

The purpose of this discovery project was to discover the level of healing that participating in the pilgrimage known as The Way of Saint James, in Northern Spain, had on a group of self-selected individuals. The participants were surveyed using an online assessment tool through a website called Survey Monkey. The eighty-five self-selected individuals responded to the assessment instrument after they completed the journey. The results suggest that the pilgrimage journey changed the participant's general outlooks on life and fulfilled unmet emotional needs or core longings.

An Exploration of Spiritual Formation to Increase Awareness and Attachment to God, Self and Others

Author
Susanne Ursula Baldeosingh D.Min.
Abstract
ABSTRACT
The purpose of this portfolio was to explore spiritual formation through lectio Divina, spiritual direction and a focus group to increase awareness of attachment to God, self and others. The portfolio includes a spiritual autobiography (Chapter 2) that traces my life story and God’s presence in it. This is a wonderful tool in becoming more spiritually aware of the many movements of God throughout one’s lifetime. This is followed by a spiritual formation model (Chapter 3) that helps believers to answer the question Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?” Along with, “Who do you say that you are?” The model assists believers to explore their responses to these questions. Then a field research project (Chapter 4) is offered that tests the effectiveness of the model through the experience of five participants over a ten-day period.
The results of the project found in Chapter 4, points to a more secure attachment to God, self and others which was reported by four out of the five participants. Spiritual direction was well received by all participants. Participants also appreciated the mentoring provided and having the experience of someone listening with them for the movement of the Holy Spirit in their lives. All participants felt they would have benefitted more if the project was longer in length. They suggested a time span of three months. Four of the five participants expressed a desire to continue studying using various components of the project. They stated it provided what was missing in their ability to increase attachment to God, self and others.

Laying a Foundation for Nurturing Experiential Communion with the Word of God for Soul Formation through Journaling and Inner Circle Relationships.

Author
Jeffrey William Roy Rev. D.Min.
Abstract
In this research portfolio, three projects form the basis in developing this new pathway to nurture formation. The author’s spiritual autobiography recounts his journey into two-way communion with the Word of God and gives readers opportunities to reflect accordingly. The AESA model (Awareness, Encounter, Surrender, Abide) is presented as a cyclical four-step process designed to help nurture experiential union and spiritual formation. This model incorporates the authors’ own experience, an analysis of how the Word of God is depicted by the Scriptures and in the writings of the Early Church Fathers, four existing contemplative models of formation, and the experiences of those who participated in his research project. The project tested follow up material designed to help people take home and form habits (Contemplative Prayer Journaling and Inner Circle Relationships) that would help them experience union with the Eternal Word of God throughout their day. The project found that these spiritual disciplines can be helpful in nurturing experience union with the Eternal Word of God throughout their day. Two months after the study twelve of the sixteen participants were journaling once a week and nine of the sixteen participants had established some form of weekly inner circle relationship with the desire to be more aware of God’s presence.

Promoting the Psalms as prayer through Bible classes and preaching

Author
David H. Petersen
Abstract
The goal of the project was to increase the Redeemer Lutheran Church congregation's knowledge and appreciation of the Psalms and of their use of the Psalms as prayer. Research was conducted on a Lutheran definition of prayer for the Psalms, the use and role of imagination in interpreting the psalms, and on homiletic strategies tailored to the Psalms as prayer. The research method was to take surveys and observation notes throughout an intensive period of Bible classes and sermons and then again at a later date. The results were positive but most pronounced in those for whom the concepts were new.

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

Author
Lee Hoo Jung
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.

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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