Theology, Contextual

AN AUTOETHNOGRAPHIC EXPLORATION OF MY CPE LEARNING PROCESS

Author
Anurag Mani D.Min.
Abstract
In this project I explore the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education (ACPE) learning process through the lenses of my human condition: my being an immigrant who was born and raised outside the United States of America and came to the country and to the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) process in my adulthood. I use the research method of autoethnography to explore and give voice to my experience. As an immigrant, I observe that my experience of my journey to become a CPE Educator has been marked with unique challenges that seemed different to the experience of those who were born and raised in the U.S.A. My research question is: Can a careful analysis and interpretation of my own experience in the CPE education process help other immigrants seeking CPE certification to better understand their own complex and unique experience through this difficult, challenging, and exciting process?

Transformative preaching in Chinese churches

Author
Philip D Douglass
Abstract
The research explored how pastors preach, their spiritual formation and ethos that encourage transformation in the lives of listeners within Chinese churches. This study is composed of a qualitative design using a semi-structured approach to interview six experienced Chinese pastors. This study concludes that sound hermeneutics leads to sound homiletics. Spiritual formation consists of stringent spiritual disciplines and a required development of godly character within preachers. The message delivered by pastors needs to be clear, understandable and have the ability to connect to the Chinese culture in order to encourage transformation within the lives of listeners.

Application of Paul Hiebert's critical contextualization model to corn beer use among Western Tarahumara believing men

Author
Ted B Wingo
Abstract
Corn Beer usage among the Western Tarahumara of Mexico involves complex beliefs and pervasive patterns of behavior. Will corn beer continue to dictate their way of life and define their identity? Or, will they submit to God's control through His Spirit, and be identified as Jesus' followers, while still being truly Tarahumara? The heart of this project involved a group of young men who said they believe the gospel, and agreed to apply Hiebert's critical contextualization model to their use of corn beer. The dynamic process unfolded as the men were challenged to think through and integrate biblical principles into their dangerous and destructive life situations involving corn beer.

Adapting the historical section of the Perspectives course into particular global contexts

Author
Yvonne W Huneycutt
Abstract
This thesis-project examines why and how the historical section of the mission mobilization course, Perspectives on the world Christian movement, should be adapted as the course is translated for international audiences. The history of the Perspectives course is recounted, focusing on the cultural and missiological environment that influenced the course. An annotated bibliography covers the history of the evangelization of various regions of the world. The author created a guide for Perspectives program developers to aid them in adapting the historical section into their particular cultural contexts. Conclusions are drawn from the evaluation of the guide by international Perspectives developers.

Evangelism is the redemptive mission of God for church growth

Author
Augustine Iwegbunem Odih
Abstract
There is concern within churches about the lack of enthusiasm for evangelism. This observation prompted this project on evangelism as an imperative redemptive mission of God for church growth. Students at Deeper Life School of Evangelism participated in focus groups about possible solutions to this problem. The paper explores diverse definitions of mission and evangelism and concludes that the redemptive mission of God is for total spiritual and social transformation of humanity made possible within contextual and strategic evangelism.

Preparing clergy and congregation for cross-cultural/cross racial appointments in the Iowa conference of the United Methodist Church

Abstract
The United Methodist Church encourages cross-cultural/cross-racial ministry as a way of celebrating human diversity. In this denomination, many clergy serve the church beyond their cultures and ethnicity through cross-cultural/cross-racial appointments. Iowa is one of the conferences with a good representation of clergy from ethnic minority groups. This project critically assesses the effectiveness of the current process of preparing both congregations and pastors for cross-cultural/cross-racial appointments in Iowa. It involves the experience of pastors, congregations and district superintendents through questionnaires and group discussions to identify cross-cultural/cross-racial issues and provide suggestions for effective pastoral leadership in the Iowa Conference of the UMC.

Indigenous leadership development program for the Methodist Church (Lower Myanmar)

Author
Zothan Mawia
Abstract
Indigenous Leadership Development Program (ILDP) caters to the changing spiritual and socio-economic needs of the leadership in the Methodist Church (Lower Myanmar). ILDP was constructed on research findings of the Ten-year Church Development Project of the church, evaluation of the leadership, and knowledge learned through D.Min. course work. The program was offered in three-week retreats focusing on spiritual formation, discipleship and stewardship, and church administration. Pre and post-tests of the three sessions assessed the increase in knowledge and effectiveness of leadership. Participant and program evaluation reports positive changes in the congregation and leadership due to greater spiritual and administrative development.

Walking together: the development of a missional relationship with companion synod partners based on an accompaniment model

Author
Charles K Stewart
Abstract
This Participatory Action Research explored intentional change in the model for a partnership between a congregation of the ELCA and members of a companion synod in South Africa. How could a congregation move from benevolent benefactor toward missional accompaniment? Surveys and an interview measured the impact of three interventions, Bible study, testimony, and prayer. Theological and Biblical perspectives included missional ecclesiology, accompaniment, spiritual practices, and liberation theology. Theoretical perspectives included post-colonial theory, change theory, and cross-cultural communication. Research showed an increased awareness of congregational participation in God's mission and an interest in pursuing accompaniment relationships locally as well as globally.

Employing varied Japanese cultural forms to illustrate biblical truths

Author
Laurence David Hiebert
Abstract
This project evaluated the use of diverse Japanese cultural forms as contextual illustrations in the verbal presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Study of the Bible, missiological practice, and the Japanese context via surveys and interviews with Japanese pastors indicated that it is a biblically, missiologically, and culturally valid and sound approach for ministry in Japan. Parameters for choosing and using contextual illustrations were outlined and numerous examples provided, making it possible to use local cultural forms and expressions to illustrate biblical truths in ways that are both understandable and apprehensible to Japanese listeners.

Transformational preaching in the Korean immigrant context

Author
David Jong Suk
Abstract
This project was designed to explore the transformational impact of contextual preaching on the Korean immigrant population. The project started with presentations of biblical and theological perspectives on preaching in relation to life situations and historical and sociological perspectives on Korean immigrants in parallel to biblical and other immigrants. The project continued with a survey conducted on a typical Korean immigrant congregation to reveal how sermons influence them and change their perception of what is going on in their lives. The project also included manuscripts of sermons delivered to the congregation during this process. The conclusion of the project was to display the value of sermons that seek to change lives as well as the importance of the faithfulness and humility of the preachers to the Word of God. The project was to establish the case that Korean preachers can deliver sermons that transform their people by connecting the timeless biblical truths with their contextualized, personal, ethnic, and cultural style.
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