Theology, Practical

The pastor and the theology of worship in the Southern Baptist Convention

Author
James R Keasler
Abstract
This project describes, examines and evaluates how the theology of worship can become a catalyst for worship renewal in a Southern Baptist church. The project model shows Southern Baptist pastors how to develop a theology of worship that is Christ-centered and biblically based. It also demonstrates how the theology of worship can facilitate pastoral leadership in worship and help reduce conflict over worship styles. It develops a model for implementing worship renewal as well as evaluation of such implementation.

The spiritual discipline of deeper listening in the development of philosophy of ministry

Author
Robert H Woodcock
Abstract
The project developed and implemented a philosophy of ministry discovery process for church leadership. The process focused on developing the spiritual discipline of listening in scripture, prayer, and community in aligning the leadership's core values, vision and mission. The leadership team participated in individual and group processes designed to transform listening. As a result, participants reported an increased sensitivity to God's self-communication through deeper listening in scripture and prayer. Participants also reported greater self-awareness, and a clear understanding of the church's core values and mission.

Communal preaching for transformation: insights from a Filipino American congregation

Author
Rodel G Balagtas
Abstract
This thesis project presents a communal preparation for preaching that is grounded in the dialogical approach of practical theology with the exercises of congregational study and theological reflection for transformation. Hence, it takes as its methodology practical theology, the process of interpreting faith within the context and for the sake of the church. Communal preparation for preaching is transformational. It gives passion, wisdom, improved skills, and new understanding to the preaching event, the preacher, and the community. It captures a new dimension of homiletics, making the homily, not only the personal task of the preacher, but also the community.

Using Augustine's interpretation of Paul to address misunderstandings of sin in the contemporary church

Author
Thomas D Howe
Abstract
This dissertation introduces a contemporary need to revisit Augustine's understanding of sin. It uses his primary works (especially City of God, Confessions, On Christian teaching, Commentary on Galatians and 84 propositions from the Epistles of Romans) as they develop Paul's theology of sin. It builds a theological foundation (based on four theological issues about sin: its origin, its nature, its consequence, and its remedy) in order to establish a correct understanding of the topic of sin in a contemporary context. Ultimately, it utilizes that information to develop a practical theology that is integrated into applicable Christian living in four areas: soteriology, evangelism, ecclesiology, and discipleship. This dissertation takes seriously Paul's notion that "sin is death" (Romans 6:23) and that God has chosen the church to present his remedy for sin to the world.

A strategy to teach expositional teaching and preaching to the leadership of Highland Park Baptist Church, Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Author
Jonathan T Elliff
Abstract
This project is a strategy developed to teach expository preaching to the leadership at Highland Park Baptist Church, Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Chapters 1-3 are the rational, theology and practical foundations of the project. Chapters 4-5 detail the actual project and analyze its strengths and weaknesses. Essentially, the project was a class and teaching/preaching lab executed over a 13-week period in a local church.

Charism and collaborators in conversation: a case study

Author
Jeanne Stewart
Abstract
In recent decades, religious congregations have sought people to collaborate in structures of sponsorship for their ministries. Boards of directors governing their sponsored ministries are charged with assuring their mission and spiritual heritage continues to permeate corporate life. This study contributes to illumining boards' collaborative participation in expressing charism through mission, as it affects their service, and sponsors' own understanding of their charism. Engaging practical theological methodology, it brings the charism and mission of one congregation into conversation with current board leadership literature and with contextual experience of boards. Areas of concern emerge, generating pastoral recommendations for boards and for sponsors.

Practicing a homiletic of passion rooted in imaginative theology

Author
William Wain Wesberry
Abstract
The question of how to help all persons in the church, and young people in particular, create a sense of belonging, a sense of meaning, and opportunities to develop competence is a pressing question of the church today. This project focuses on a particular congregation and upon the role of the pastor in engaging youth and adults in the process of sermon preparation and delivery. Kenda Creasy Dean's use of the term "passions" is explored as it relates to homiletics as well as the work of Thomas Troeger's seven principles for the practice of imaginative theology, resulting in a homiletic of passion rooted in imaginative theology.

Through the lens of Christian scripture: equipping workers at New Beacon Hospice with a vocationally applied theology

Author
Lon Cullen
Abstract
This ministry report describes how the project director led some of the hospice workers at New Beacon Hospice, Inc. in Birmingham, Alabama, to a fuller understanding of Christian theology. The project director also assisted the project participants in the application of Christian theology to their daily hospice service. In order to achieve this, the project director wrote an eleven-unit biblical reference booklet for the participants and led them in ten related devotions. The director used tests and conversational questions to evaluate the ministry intervention. Both the quantitative and qualitative data results demonstrate that the hospice workers were better able to apply Christian theology to their hospice vocation.

A missional vision for West Tennessee Presbytery of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church

Author
Michael Qualls
Abstract
One of the great challenges to mobilizing for ministry in a connectional system of church government is how to bring diverse constituencies to embrace a common mission. This project focuses on one presbytery in which this challenge is magnified and asks to what extent this challenge can be overcome by engaging leaders in developing a missional vision.

Embodying the gospel we proclaim: the spiritual formation of lay ecclesial ministers

Author
Joanne M Cahoon
Abstract
Lay ecclesial ministers in the U.S. are a relatively new form of ministerial leadership within the community of disciples, whose persons and ministry support or contradict the message of the Gospel. This thesis contributes to the integrated ministerial formation of these ministers, called forth by the Spirit. It employs practical theology methodology to arrive at foundational principles and guiding insights for the spiritual formation of lay ministers. Pastoral implications arise from a "dialogue danced" between three partners: the experiences and insights of grounded lay ecclesial ministers with significant years of service, the U.S. cultural context, and the Catholic tradition.
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