Africa

The Development and Evaluation of a Master’s Level Spiritual Formation Course at International Leadership University Kenya

Author
Gary Lenox McKnight D.Min.
Abstract
This research project evaluates the effectiveness of a redesigned master’s course in spiritual formation at promoting the spiritual formation of students at International Leadership University in Nairobi, Kenya. An intensive, two-week period of onsite instruction in Kenya would be followed by three months of student distance work. The redesign also incorporated more of what I had learned in my Doctor of Ministry studies in spiritual formation as well as my growing awareness of contextual factors in Kenya.

I argue that spiritual formation or transformation involves changes in the individual’s: (1) thinking (the cognitive domain); (2) feelings, attitudes, and values (the affective domain); and (3) behaviors (the behavioral or psychomotor domain). Thus, the effectiveness of the course redesign was evaluated based on evidence that participation led to increased (1) understanding of spiritual formation, (2) virtue in specific areas of character associated with spiritual formation, and (3) frequency of several specific types of behavior associated with spiritual formation.

The limited number of students enrolled in the class necessitated a qualitative approach to evaluation, so a focus group research design was chosen. Questions were designed for group discussion to solicit student feedback on course effectiveness. One discussion was held at the end of the two weeks of onsite instruction, while another was held at the end of the course. Additional information was obtained through self-report survey instruments administered at the beginning and end of the course to measure the students’ (1) understanding of spiritual formation, (2) virtue in specific areas of character associated with spiritual formation, and (3) frequency of several specific types of behavior associated with spiritual formation.

The responses to both the focus group questions and the survey instrument questions support the effectiveness of the redesigned course in promoting the spiritual formation of the students cognitively, affectively, and behaviorally.

Equipping Rural Pastors in Zimbabwe to Practice John Owen’s Discipline of Mortifying Sin in Their Daily Life

Author
Stephen Douglas Skinner ThM
Abstract
This project introduced John Owen’s biblical discipline of mortifying sin to twenty-five rural pastors in Zimbabwe. These pastors serve the Lord in regions that limit their access to training and biblical resources. Through the implementation of Owen’s, The Mortification of Sin in the Life of the Believer, these men learned the biblical discipline of daily fighting against the tendency of catering to their residual sin. After they thoroughly read Owen’s work, and signed an agreement to participate letter, an assessment of their spiritual health was made and evaluated through the completion of a spiritual health survey. This was followed by attending a 32-hour seminar, where each man received a conference book. The material had been abridged and edited into a ten-session format. The course was taught at the Peniel Training Center in Hope Fountain, Zimbabwe. At the conclusion of the course, each pastor was asked to summarize this experience in an essay, and each received a certificate of completion.

Characteristics of Diaspora Christian Forestier Who Successfully Evangelize People from the Upper Guinea Host Cultures.

Author
Nathan Kendall D.Min.
Abstract
This phenomenological study investigated the characteristics of successful evangelists working in a trans-cultural West African Muslim context. The evangelists were part of a diaspora minority in Upper Guinea, where missions first arrived in 1919 but still shows few results. The potential evangelistic impact of the local Church, as the population of western missionaries diminishes, motivated research into what characteristics describe those diaspora believers who are successful at evangelizing their Muslim host populations. Interviews provided data to compare those who had successfully evangelized Muslims versus those who had only successfully evangelized non-Muslims. The results of the research point to four primary differentiators between the two groups became evident: a dedication to deep prayer, commitment to Bible study, trust in God refined through persecution, and participation in new Christian works. Additionally, some secondary characteristics were identified, including reading the Bible in multiple languages, an emphasis on external community, and evangelization of others as a means of spiritual growth. Lastly, some non-differentiating characteristics were identified: answered prayer, significant friendships across cultural and ethnic boundaries, and the sharing of learning. In other words, read your Bible and pray every day makes a difference.
Chapter 2 of the thesis explores God’s demonstrated desire for all nations to be saved, God’s use of diaspora God-fearers, and evangelism as an expected endeavor for the whole church. The chapter 3 literature review explores diaspora realities, including the reality of few scholarly resources coming out of French West Africa and nuances of diaspora in North America and Europe, with a preference to what has been reported by Africans. There was also a look at multicultural churches and one ethnic group evangelizing another, all within a West African, Islamic context. Not to be missed is the author’s contrarian view on heart-languages in urban, multi-cultural, West African churches.

Indigenous African Demonic Deliverance and its Transference into Pentecostalism with Subsequent Refining: Ghana and its Diaspora as a Case Study

Author
Duane Sterling Sims M.A.
Abstract

This paper examines how the traditional Ghanaian worldview has been contextualized by grass-roots Christians in Ghana, and further by Ghanaian Pentecostals, and how this has been exported, adapted, and refined from Ghana across national and continental lines to its diaspora. I hope to address some key questions regarding Ghanaian deliverance practices (at home and abroad) and integrate my findings into ministry, whether to Africans or anyone. Some of these questions include: “What drives Ghanaians to seek deliverance? How have they, historically, sought to deal with the spirit realm? How do they currently seek to deal with it? What are some of the differences between a traditional Ghanaian understanding and that of a Ghanaian Pentecostal view?”

Language for Effective Preaching: Practical Guide for Fidei Donum Priests in the Belleville Diocese

Author
Urban Chidi Osuji D.Min.
Abstract
ABSTRACT

LANGUAGE FOR EFFECTIVE PREACHING
PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR FIDEI DONUM PRIESTS
IN THE BELLEVILLE DIOCESE

Urban Osuji, Aquinas Institute of Theology, St. Louis, Missouri.

Culture is an inherited conception that has to do with what a person learns from the parents, others, and the society about what it means to be a human being. As a child grows in the society, the child learns the culture’s general assumptions about family relations, relations between men and women, attitude towards life and death. A child learns these assumptions from parents and caregivers. There are other cultural expressions including table manners and the distribution of chores. Of all these inherited conceptions, language is the most symbolic of them all.
Language as an essential part of preaching is the subject of this thesis. The hypothesis is that Fidei Donum Priests can be effective Preachers by attending to the linguistic idioms, imageries, phrases, and sentence construction of the local congregation. The language of preaching is the concrete language of everyday life. Preaching language is the language that the children hear and understand and when they do not understand, their mothers offer a simpler understanding of the language with stories and imageries. Stories and imageries create and leave impressions on the emotional life of the people. When Priests use stories, imageries, and metaphors in preaching, listeners identify God’s presence in their midst. And that is why concrete imageries are the best tools for preaching.
But the use of concrete language in preaching does not come easy to the missionaries. Therefore, Fidei Donum Priests must immerse themselves by taking time to go to the people, live among them, share their lives and learn their language, including imageries, metaphors, and stories that have significant value for them.

DISCIPLESHIP OF MUSLIM BACKGROUND BELIEVERS IN THE CONTEXT OF PERSECUTION: A STUDY IN NORTH AFRICA

Author
Phillip Smith D.Min.
Abstract
This Doctor of Ministry project was designed to explore the practical implications that can help disciplers of Muslim Background Believers (MBBs) in their mission to care for and, through the power of the Holy Spirit, develop the life and conduct of the new disciples from that background. It begins with the theological foundation of discipleship within the context of persecution and moves on to an examination of the existing literature on the topic.

This researcher conducted qualitative interviews with eighteen MBBs in a city in North Africa and another twelve experienced disciplers who worked in that field. The purpose of this project is to investigate the themes found in the journeys of discipleship and to discover the specific factors that influence MBB disciples to mature in Christ.

Based on a robust understanding and the findings of this research, a proposal for "Adaptive Discipleship Principles in the Context of Persecution" is put forth for workers to enhance the process of training and discipling MBBs, who might suffer for their faith, to know Him and to make Him known.

The research concludes that fear is a key challenging barrier. Those who crossed that barrier have identified themselves with the early church disciples (Acts 4:31). Another important factor that needs the attention of the disciplers is that this kind of work will take patience, perseverance, and much time. This work will be done on a low profile and it will continue to be unnoticeable.

Toward the Spirituality of Oneness: A Remedy to the Attitude of 'We versus They,' A Case of the Turkana and Pokot Communities in Lodwar and Kitale Catholic Dioceses, Kenya

Author
Jane Frances Nabakaawa DM D.Min.
Abstract
Abstract

The purpose of this study is to identify, examine and address the factors contributing to attitude of “we versus them” amongst human societies. We use the Pokot and Turkana ethnic groups as a case study. Through social analysis and the theological reflection, that is, the dialogue of the problem with Magisterium of the church about the spirituality of oneness based on our Lord Jesus’ prayer, “Father that may be one…” (John 17:21), it discusses ways of how humanity can eradicate this divisive attitude by learning how to live as “one” with the aid of Christian (Catholic) spirituality. On the basis of this examination, a number of Pastoral recommendations are proposed on ways in which the catechists as lay ministers at the grassroots can be able to contribute to the rigorous efforts of combating the sin of division to the unity in diversity which we focus on and term as the spirituality of oneness. Thus adding a new dimension of how humanity is to live as one as it captures the daily dynamics, transformative quality of spirituality as a lived experience linked to our relationship to the Ultimate, with others and society and the cosmic world.

Mmanwu Ritual In Igboland: Lessons and Implications for Inculturation and Christian-Muslim Dialogue in Nigeria.

Author
Peter Elochukwu Muojekwu Rev. Fr. D.Min.
Abstract
Although “inculturation” is a relatively new term in the long history of Christian theology, it’s roots are found in the mission of Jesus Christ himself. Despite the many important complexities and nuances of sophisticated theologies of inculturation, what it refers to is simply an ideal for how the Gospel of Jesus Christ transforms the human family. It refers to a mode of evangelization by which specific cultures avails themselves to the Church, and the Church to specific cultures, for a mutually enriching dialogue in which nothing that is truly good and holy is at lost. Unfortunately, the history of Christianity is littered with the tragic results of various processes of confrontation and domination (particularly of the colonial sort) masquerading as evangelization, but actually profoundly at odds with the inculturative model of Christ. Far from providing for a holistic and authentically “holy” union of universal Gospel and local culture, these processes have created what, in many instances, have been unnecessary rifts and even hostilities between what is perceived as “Gospel” and what is perceived as “culture.”
This thesis project is aimed at exploring the phenomenon of Mmanwu, an indigenous Igbo religious institution which has for centuries been at the center of what might be referred to as one of the many examples of both the misadventures of inculturation gone wrong in Nigeria and the pregnant possibilities of inculturation done properly. Because questions about inculturation with respect to Mmanwu are inherently interreligious, the thesis will conclude by attempting to apply some of the lessons from the questions around Mmanwu and inculturation to yet another important locus of inculturation in Nigeria: Christian-Muslim dialogue

Evolving a working model of African pastoral care, counseling, and psychotherapy: a dialogue between Althea J. Horner...and John S. Mbiti

Author
Ndung'u John Ikenye
Abstract
This project is an analytically oriented search of evolving models of African pastoral care, counseling, and psychotherapy for the Kenyan context. The project developed the African interdependent model, a multi-dimensional approach in which pastoral diagnosis and treatment is measured on a continuum of core relational dynamics. The revisionist correlational model was used to correlate the thoughts of Althea J Horner and John S Mbiti. An African corporate personality is compared and contrasted with the desiderata of organization and self. The project concluded that psychoanalytic object relations theory and African corporate personality theory can be complementary. They are tools for meeting the individual at the points of need, and within the cultural contexts, meanings and metaphors.
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