Theology, Practical

Parish soul: assisting a parish community in appropriating the symbol of soul to understand its corporate/communal life

Author
Thomas Aldworth
Abstract
This project seeks to provide people of a worshiping community with a new vocabulary for their communal/corporate life. Using movements of practical theology as developed by James N Poling and Donald E Miller, the project explores various theological and cultural understandings of soul in order to introduce a vocabulary of communal dimensions of soul--"parish soul"--to a Roman Catholic parish in Shreveport, Louisiana. The project argues that it is possible to speak of parish soul and to develop guidelines for the care of parish soul.

From survivor to renewal: a retrospective reflection on the revisioning of ministry during a time of crisis

Author
Ted L Sauter
Abstract
This project is an inductive, retrospective study of a pastor's experience in a declining congregation in a transitional urban community, concentrating on a renewal of public ministry during the Persian Gulf War. Using an Organizer Ministry model, the project proposes that life-changing ministry occurs when ministry responds with integrity and faithfulness to genuine human needs. The project explores creative ministry, professional burnout, moral pastoral leadership, and the dynamics of organizing local churches for public service and community relationships.

Countering gender stratification through preaching and shared praxis

Author
Foster C Dryden
Abstract
The author sought to demonstrate that a combination of shared praxis, pedagogy and preaching will counter gender stratification and will result in a new congregational vision and commitment to gender inclusivity. Seven one-hour classes were held in which the participants engaged in a critical reflection of their own praxis while reflecting on a series of five sermons dealing with cultural and theological assumptions toward gender stratification in regard to language, power and models for God. The majority of the participants concluded that gender equality is God's vision for humanity and provided concrete suggestions to be implemented in the congregation.

Catechetical and pastoral implications of a prayer book spirituality of anamnesis

Author
Gregory C Frazier
Abstract
The thesis of this work is that the church has lost its memory of the tradition, separating itself from the praxis of a distinctive Christian lifestyle. The author builds a spirituality of anamnesis (remembrance) from which grows models for Christian education, pastoral care and piety. He presents research based on the documents of the Episcopal Church, the patristics, and contemporary sacramental and liturgical theology. His conclusion is that a return to the tradition is needed for the Episcopal Church, which he describes as "an emerging church.".

The role of bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Author
Gerald Stevenson Troutman
Abstract
The project confirms the thesis that there is a definite need for bishops in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. While the office of bishop is an ancient one for many churches, it is new to the Lutheran Church in America. The Lutheran Church has used this title only since 1980 in Atlanta. The thesis is confirmed through the use of three methods: historical; analytical; and practical. The project argues for maintaining the title and function of bishop in the new church for those who serve in a supervisory role with congregations and ministers. This stance is taken from a practical rather than ontological view of bishop. The Lutheran church believes that the office of bishop has a special function but not a special status. This project defines the function and justifies the status of bishop in the Lutheran Church.

A program of ministry to single adults within a congregation

Author
Lon T Clark
Abstract
The purpose of the project was to test a model for theological reflection with a group of single adults. The objective of the leader was to offer a program of ministry to single adults in which the participants could explore themselves and their condition of singlehood and could experience personal growth, wholeness, and creativity. The group met eight times for two hours. Each session was devoted to examining and reflecting theologically on a specific topic related to singlehood. The experience of the practicum provided a significant insight into the creation of a revised model of ministry to single adults.

A seminar on biblical exposition

Author
Robert C Stone
Abstract
The project is designed to train pastors who have had little or no seminary level classes in biblical languages, exegesis, and hermeneutics. A practical combination of lectures, small group dialogue, individual message development sessions, and case studies are featured. The central core of the seminar is an adaptable thirteen-step process that takes the attenders through the central elements of biblical exposition. It is followed by a post-seminar evaluation of a sermon presented in the participants' churches. The results of the seminar proved gratifying and the post-seminar evaluations and sermons showed marked progress.

Self study guide: the life of Christ

Author
Howard R Whitebred
Abstract
This project is presented as a ten-part study of the life of Christ aimed especially at those persons who are home-bound. Lessons cover: 1. birth and early life; 2. the world in which Jesus lived; 3. beginnings of his ministry; 4. the Galilean ministry; 5. teachings of Jesus; 6. miracles of Jesus; 7. the second period in Galilee; 8. the Perean ministry; 9. the Jerusalem crisis (betrayal, last supper); and 10. the crisis continued (trial, death and resurrection). The purpose of the study is to refresh the memory of lay persons, to sharpen their understanding of the biblical record, and to deepen their faith concerning the greatest life ever lived.
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