RIM is moving on September 25. For more information, please visit here.

United Kingdom


willliam kevin fisher D.Min.
Explores pastoral theology in the context of the current opioid crisis (1996-2023), concentrating specifically on an Appalachian social location. Examines the mechanism of opioid addiction according to the NIDA model, long-term consequences of addiction, and treatment options. Delves into criticisms of the NIDA model and other factors influencing addiction, to include racism in drug policy. Explores the pastoral theology of Dr. John Swinton and the community mental health chaplaincy model. Suggests exploration of the community mental health chaplaincy model as an appropriate response to the public health crisis. Examines the works of John Swinton as an appropriate pastoral theological model that can be adapted to work with the opioid addicted.

Serving God through Faithful Stewardship on Our Common Home:
Equipping Good Shepherd United Methodist Church and The United Methodist Church of Savage for the Anthropocene

DaeHwa Park M.Div.
The world faces the environmental crisis with climate change. The discipleship pathway of Good Shepherd campus (“Good Shepherd”) and Savage campus (“Savage”) of The United Methodist Church in the greater Washington area has been focusing on a personal holiness that neglects social holiness. Beginning with the congregational survey on Anthropocene, this project explores a variety of global responses to climate change, recent updates from climate experts, and new rational hermeneutics on literacy and scientific methods, so that the Milky Way disciples in small churches may challenge the policymakers to find a teleological road map for a final cause that sets the world free from economical, mental, and physical stresses.

Anglican elders? : shared pastoral leadership in Anglican churches

Christopher David Edward Moll
Because the Church of England is historically clerical, the incumbent pastor formally shares the pastoral burden or cure of souls with the Bishop. Evangelical Anglicans are impelled by both Scripture and mission to consider the New Testament pattern of plural local leaders or elders. This research explored the experience of Anglican ministers and church planters who established locally-shared shared pastoral leadership through a Ministry Leadership Team (MLT).
The purpose of the research was to explore the benefits of shared leadership for making and maturing disciples. In surveying the literature advocating the benefits and biblical precedents of shared leadership, it was noted that in contrast to other evangelicals, Anglicans apply the biblical data using the Normative Principle derived from the work of Richard Hooker. Four questions guided the research: (1) How does the local church’s shepherding ministry strengthen the work of making disciples? (2) What are the benefits of a ministry leadership team in the work of making disciples? (3) What practices have promoted collaborative working between members of the ministry leadership team, with particular regard to the work of making disciples Church? (4) How is the pastors’ Anglican self-identity manifest in the practice of shared local ministry leadership?
Nine UK pastors were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire with the data analyzed using the constant comparative method. Common and clear benefits are articulated by the respondents. The lay offices of churchwarden and PCC were also re- evaluated with respect to the responsibilities outlined in the New Testament for church
officers. The respondents exhibited a clear and confessional Anglican identity. Possible models for accommodating a MLT within the existing parochial structures are explored. Finally it was noted that in these theologically complementarian churches, the role and place of female pastoral leaders was not fully resolved.

Revealing the Unknown God: Acts 17:16-34 as Luke’s Paradigm for Evangelism in a Biblically Illiterate Culture

Timothy Paul Wilson M.A.
This dissertation suggests that Acts 17:16-34 is intended by Luke as a paradigm for evangelism among the biblically illiterate and seeks to identify the methodology that is set forward as a paradigm. In the first section, two arguments against seeing Acts 17:16-34 as a Lucan paradigm are examined. Chapter two examines the arguments of those who claim that this speech is in no way an example of Pauline preaching but is rather the work of Luke or some later redactor. It is argued that there are no ultimately persuasive reasons to accept this view of the reliability of the speech. Chapter three presents the ideas of those who believe that the speech was a failure on the basis of issues such as the small number of converts and insights from the early Chapters of 1 Corinthians. These commentators believe Paul later repented of the approach he took at Athens. Again the essay examines these arguments and ultimately concludes that there is no reason to see the speech as anything other than successful. Section two asks what example Acts 17:16-34 sets for readers. Commentators have differed over their understanding of what Paul is doing here. Some argue that the speech represents a work of assimilation with Greek philosophy, others a critique of Greek idolatry and other groups some combination of the two. This essay will argue for a contextualised critique methodology. It sees critique as Paul’s primary purpose in the speech but acknowledges the way that his message is contextualised to be understandable to his hearers.


Deborah Ruth Zeni MD D.Min.
This thesis research work on best practices of preaching arose out of the researcher’s passion for providing catechists with the means of nurturing a ‘falling-in-love’ with God experience for young children through proclaiming gospel as encounter.
Based on evidence that catechists lack formation in best practices of preaching, the researcher designed and implemented an educational initiative in a multi-site, multi-participant intensive formation program. The researcher used a homiletic grounded in the Paschal Mystery, which located God’s gratuitous and gracious actions on humanity’s behalf as the focus of preaching—giving gospel-power—to any form of preaching carried out during the study.
Within a unique form of pastoral ministry called the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS), employing a qualitative methodology, a constructivist epistemology, and a field-based action research design, the researcher effectively utilized various educational approaches to develop and assess participant competence in preaching using a comprehensive assessment program, and iteratively improving their learning and teaching preaching praxis using program evaluation tools.
The research shows that the curriculum successfully demonstrated that the comprehensive preaching model, which integrated five best practices of preaching for proclaiming the Word with children into the study’s conceptual framework, worked to develop the competence of catechists as preachers of the Good News. Additionally, the research showed that the intervention enabled and empowered the participants to find their preaching voice to speak of God acting mercifully, giving everything, loving unconditionally in the here and now as they experienced God doing in the scriptures.
As such, five best practices of preaching can be used as an effective framework for formation of catechists and educators for teaching preaching as encounter with children and sharing in a happening of grace through the proclamation of the Word.

A Biblical Examination of an Ontological Reading of Theology in Trinity, in the Believer and in Church

Erwin Samuel Henderson Dr Ph.D.
The rationale is to formulate the unique contribution that ontological thinking brings to understanding God in Trinity: in substance, in relationship and in function; the consequences for the believer through redefined relationship with the Trinity in the Person of Christ; and the rediscovery of ontological principles to be restored, in renewal of the Church of Jesus Christ.
This proposal advocates that recovery of ontological truths on the grounds of the interrelationship and interaction of Trinity. Current trends, such as the subordinate-authority-submission and egalitarian debate are critiqued in the light of the ontological reading of Scripture. The recovery of apostolicity as an ontological attribute of Godhead provides significant insight and cohesion to the ontological Trinitarian proposal.
The significance of how God produces existentially and ontologically His life within the believer will define humanity in being, through relationship to Godhead. Religious practices both biblical and extra-biblical are examined and considered to better understand the extent of the paradigmatic shift that occurs in the person of Jesus Christ. This proposal develops a fuller understanding of the composition of a human being in the image of God in ontological terms in contrast to the orthodoxy’s dichotomist, trichotomist assertions. The perspective of states in which a human being exists, culminate in the identification of the ‘πνευματικός’ believer as the sole form of legitimate existence that is biblically normalized and warranted.
The ontological significance will also redefine church according to the nature and Person of Godhead, thereby widely reforming structures and functions according to ontological truths and practices. This argumentation has reconnected Church to the Trinity ontologically and demonstrated that Church utterly depends upon Trinitarian substance and operation to exist according to divine intentions.Emerging from this exegesis is a model of church: ontological and apostolic, originated, [re]sourced, and
incarnate from the nature of Trinity, demonstrating undeniably that it is impossible for the Church of divine intent to exist outside of the three persons of the Godhead, she has no life of her own. Church is this incarnation because her origins, means, and object are of Godhead’s nature, intra-relationship, and operation; whether microcosm or macrocosm, her ontological existence in apostolic Godhead is the defining criterion.
Erwin Samuel Henderson 05/01/2021.

A Biblical Examination of an Ontological reading of Theology, in Trinity, in the [Christian] Believer and in Church

Erwin Samuel Henderson Dr Ph.D.
Ontological theology considered in some theological works, was given little significance as a primary theme. The thesis attempts to restore prominence and cohesion of an ontological construct, whereby function and structure, are the subordinate product defined by the ontological theological perspective. The effects are far reaching for theological definitions of the essential nature of the Trinity, the believer and the church; representing a paradigmatic shift in theological understanding, affecting profoundly the nature existential Christocentric Christianity.
The ontological theology of Trinity contrasts with the relational subordination, authority-submission proponents and opponents, in substance, in relationship and in function. The recovery of apostolicity as an ontological attribute of Godhead provides significant insight and cohesion to the ontological Trinitarian proposal.
The effects upon the believer ontologically are contrasted with the religious disposition and the positional judicial approach to salvation. The prototypical shift occurs in the Person of Jesus-Christ to an existential reality originated in Trinity and replicated ontologically in the believer. The nature of humankind is thereby reinterpreted giving definition to the “spiritual man” as the sole form of legitimate existence that is biblically normalized and warranted.
The ontological primacy provides an alternate construct to the historical structural understanding of church that has not changed since the early patristic period. The proposal emerging from this exegesis is a model of church: ontological and apostolic, originated, [re]sourced, and incarnate from the nature of Trinity, demonstrating undeniably that it is impossible for the Church of divine intent to exist outside of the three persons of the Godhead. Christo-centricity restores Church to the origin, source and 'telos'. Present day observations may exemplify distanciation of contemporary expressions of church from ontological definitions. A return to source represents a theological and ecclesiastic field of renewal to perpetuate in the coming years.

Narratives Church: A Missional Church Planting Path for Cultivating a Unified Theological Vision

Mark Miller D.Min.
This research project focused on the development of a unified theological vision for the missional movement. The researcher conducted a thorough investigation of Scripture and current biblical material in order to discern the barriers existing within the missional movement. The researcher looked at key areas that shape the missional church planting movement: leadership development, theological interpretation of the early church, church planting methods and practice, ecclesiology, and the application and interpretation of Ephesians 4:11. Four church planting organizations participated: North American Mission Board, Acts 29 Network, Association of Related Churches, and Converge Worldwide. A questionnaire given to each movement revealed that there is indeed a disconnect from one movement to the next in terms of areas mentioned above.


“What’s the matter? … matter is the matter!”

Mitchell Bunting D.Min.
A study of George MacLeod, founder of the Iona Community, and his use of language taken from modern physics. He responds to the dropping of atom bombs in 1945 and develops theological insight into the Incarnation of Christ. His words are recalled as pithy sayings and poetic prayers often associated with in his anti-nuclear campaigning in the Church and the House of Lords. The study draws on his published works including the Iona Community magazine Coracle and the documentary film Sermon in Stone as well as interviews with Iona Community members to assess the significance of his use of such language.
Subscribe to United Kingdom