Canada

Witness to the Presence of God Moments in the Action and Voice of Children

Author
Jane Janine Pekar D.Min.
Abstract

This portfolio begins with a reflection of my personal journey in spiritual formation. In response to the contemporary shift in society’s affirmation of the rights an voice of children as world citizens and my experiences as a teacher, parent and ordained minister, I created a model of ministry for families with young children combining components of Young Child & Worship and Messy Church. Using Action Research, I introduced principles of the Reggio-Inspired Approach to enhance the children’s personalization of the experience. The observations of the children’s creative responses and intuitive initiatives were recorded and shared in four Documentations.

The Knowledge of God and the Knowledge of Self: Exploring Spiritual Formation via Discernment and the MBTI

Author
Christopher Andrew Walker D.Min.
Abstract
In this Research Portfolio, the author explores spiritual formation through growing in the knowledge of God and in the knowledge of self. The specific avenue for exploring growing in the knowledge of God is discernment, and the specific avenue for exploring growing in the knowledge of self is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®. The Spiritual Autobiography tells the story of the author’s personal journey of spiritual formation through the various revelations about God and self that the Lord has brought to his life. The Model of Spiritual Formation theorizes that growing in the knowledge of self can help us to hear from and know God better through discernment, thus aiding in our spiritual formation. The Research Project tested one aspect of the Model with a small group of congregants from Meadow Brook Church in Leamington, ON, and demonstrated an effective process of discernment for the participants. The conclusion of this Research Portfolio is that growing in the knowledge of self can help us to grow in the knowledge of God, which will aid us in our spiritual formation.

The Use of Appreciative Inquiry to Help a Congregation Through a Crisis Towards a More Positive Outlook: Reemphasizing Discipleship and Leadership Development

Author
Martin Edward Spoelstra D.Min.
Abstract
ABSTRACT

This portfolio was originally intended to research Discovery Church’s
journey to multisite. Over a four-month period just prior to launch of the second
site, the church dealt with a leadership and financial crisis brought on by a drop in
attendance. These changes necessitated putting multisite on hold and refocusing
energies on discipleship and mission.

The original research question proposed the use of an Appreciative Inquiry
model intended to help the congregation deal with the emotional and social shifts
to become one church with two locations. Facing new circumstances, the
Appreciative Inquiry model was modified to help the church deal with the
emotional and social concerns they had around the dramatic change in their
attendance and vision for multisite. This exercise gave an opportunity for the
Church to recall why they started as a church plant, some of the great things that
God had already done, the courage to risk once more, and step into a new future.

Out of the Appreciative Inquiry, Discovery Church embarked on the
rebuilding process that focused on clarifying their existing vision, developing
disciples making disciples, and a missional leadership development process,
eventually leading them back to the potential for multiplication.

Transformation: How God's Ongoing Work through Preaching Can Impact a Congregation.

Author
Paul McIlwraith
Abstract
ABSTRACT
This portfolio describes the way that God's transforming work in the life of a preacher can impact a congregation. It focuses specifically on a preacher's life, context, and congregation and God's work in each of these areas.
Chapter 1 serves as the introduction to this portfolio. Chapter 2 offers My Personal Preaching Identity, which describes my own identity and transformation as a preacher, my sense of call, spiritual gifting, and theological tradition. It contains my theology of preaching, which has been informed by my personal experiences as well as course work, readings, and mentors drawn from church history. Chapter 3, My Preaching Context, describes the congregation I serve, North Park Community Church, as well as the broader community setting and city. This background was used to propose a preaching strategy and a yearly preaching menu that would meaningfully and appropriately address this unique congregation. My Preaching Field Project, found in chapter 4, is a personalized preaching project implemented in my home church to determine the impact that the preaching is having on the spiritual transformation of a certain demographic of our church. The results identified a transformative impact on this demographic but also revealed some important learnings for preachers about the content and delivery of the sermon. Chapter 5, the conclusion, summarizes the content of this portfolio and describes the way in which I have accomplished the four outcomes of the Doctor of Ministry program.

“FAITHFUL TO HIS PROMISES”: GOD’S CALLING OF STARRY HASMATALI AS AN HISTORIC INDO-TRINIDADIAN MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF GOD IN TRINIDAD AND CANADA

Author
Duane Sterling Sims M.A.
Abstract
This paper is concerned with the case story of Starry Hasmatali, who was raised in Trinidad and immigrated to Canada: first to Toronto and then to Moose Jaw. I have decided to interview her in particular, because she was an integral member of an historic Indo-Pentecostal family in the Church of God (Cleveland TN), in Trinidad. With her late husband, Edward D. Hasmatali, they brought the Church of God (CoG) to the island, and were deeply involved in leadership training and church planting.

Indo-Trinidadian Pentecostalism seems to be somewhat of an overlooked area of academic study, thus in interviewing Starry, I will seek to uncover their experiences in ministry in Trinidad and Canada, particularly in relation to their historic connection to the Church of God. I have also chosen to concentrate upon Indo- Trinidadian Pentecostals, since they comprise a significant section of the population of that country.

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?”

Ministry Context Exegete, Leadership Philosophy and a Model for Teaching Pastors the Pure Gospel in a Prosperity Gospel Context

Author
Darlington Ejikeme Elekwa Dr D.Min.
Abstract
This portfolio consists of three key parts namely; exegetic consideration of the researcher’s ministry context, his leadership philosophy and a model for teaching pastors the pure gospel in a prosperity gospel context. There is a dearth of trained pastors in the researcher’s ministry context. Rampant miss-interpretation of the Bible is a common place in Jos. These facts informed the need for pastors training. The collective wisdom of participants was utilized to develop strategies for training pastors to preach the pure gospel rather than a different gospel (Galatians 1:6,7).
Data collected from a two-day research workshop, participants’ observations, participant’s interviews, extra information volunteered by two participants and workshop evaluations were subjected to open coding, selective coding, axial and in-vivo coding. Analyzed data showed dinner table training model, cell phone correspondence course model, customized coaching and mentoring would be beneficial for training pastors.

The Sanctified Journey: Labyrinths and Gospel Contemplation in a Wesleyan Context

Author
Matthew R.J. McEwen D.Min.
Abstract
Spiritual formation is the process of following Jesus and how we become like him. Although some view this process as a linear experience, the pattern of a labyrinth is another way to describe this spiritual journey. The image of a labyrinth is not only used as the model of spiritual formation, but is also the metaphor employed throughout a spiritual autobiography and a summary of a ministry research project. Research was conducted at Holt Free Methodist Church and involved a small group that had the opportunity to walk a canvas labyrinth while practicing Gospel contemplation. A narrative methodology was used for interpreting the data that was collected through field notes, the use of a denominational survey, and exit interviews. Just as individuals walk a labyrinth at a unique pace, the same result is seen in the practice of Gospel contemplation. The uniqueness of an individual is a key component to the process of spiritual formation. The outcome of this research project resulted in spiritual growth for the researcher, the participants and the congregation in general.

An exploration of the use of moral injury by senior chaplains in their role as advisors to commanders at the operational and strategic level

Author
Shaun Donald Yaskiw
Abstract
Senior military leaders have a special responsibility for the well-being of those under their command - including their spiritual well-being. Moral injury has the potential to significantly corrode the well-being of military personnel, those who lead them, and the institution. Military chaplains have a unique advisory role to play in helping military leaders care for the spiritual well-being of their personnel. Senior military chaplains have the additional opportunity to help senior military leaders shape the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) so as to seek to prevent moral injury, reduce its incidence, and mitigate its effects when it occurs.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

The Mid-Faith Crisis: Introducing Evangelicals to the Dark Night of the Soul

Author
Thomas Sweeney M.A.
Abstract
The mid-faith crisis is a qualitative shift in our faith experience as God weans us of the spiritual delights lavished upon us in the initial stages of faith and leads us on an inner journey of awareness, repentance, and surrender. This typically occurs in middle age and often in the midst of successful ministry, so it is often misdiagnosed as falling away from faith rather than progressing in faith. Such strong medicine is necessary because it addresses a serious affliction: the false self which has smuggled itself unseen into the Christian life and forms the great obstacle between us and God as well as us and those around us. Through the mid-faith crisis, God invites us to lay aside the false self and its tools for navigating life, accept who we really are, and to grow ever more into our identity as the beloved of the Father. While the mid-faith crisis is divinely initiated and sustained, there is room for human participation in the work.
This research portfolio explores the author’s own mid-faith crisis, proposes a model for the phenomenon and reports the results of an action research project to develop and deliver a curriculum that introduces conservative Evangelicals to the mid-faith crisis. It concludes by identifying further potential development of the model and the curriculum.
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