United States

FAITH AND FACEBOOK: EVANGELIZING A RURAL PARISH COMMUNITY IN SOUTHEAST MISSOURI

Author
DOMINIC OKON IBOK D.Min.
Abstract
In Southeast Missouri, where Catholics are a minority, the challenge of diminishing participation and reduced membership requires an intentional engagement of the inactive members and the unaffiliated within the community. Unfortunately, many members of the laity do not have the awareness or skills to evangelize. In a rural community, the challenges seem more significant due to limited personnel and resources. This thesis project aims to equip the laity with the skills and tools to evangelize inactive Catholics and the unaffiliated. It will involve growing in prayer, study, generosity, evangelization, and the discernment of their charisms. With the benefit of social media engagement like Facebook live stream, an opportunity to engage and evangelize is available for our rural parish community. The resources from experienced lay evangelists in evangelization and social media engagement will provide a template that can enhance the development of a program on evangelization for my rural parish community. To test the effectiveness of these resources, seventeen participants engaged in a nine-week program to learn how prayer, study, generosity, evangelization, the discernment of their charisms, and teamwork can prepare them for evangelization. This thesis engaged the inactive Catholics and the unaffiliated in rural Southeast Missouri by using Facebook live stream as an evangelization tool. The focus of this project is thus reminding active Catholics of their responsibility to evangelize and how utilizing a familiar social media portal like Facebook can enhance the process even in a rural community.

Increasing Knowledge of the Doctrine of Salvation among Sunday School Participants at First Baptist Church Minden Louisiana

Author
Stephen Duwayne Bradley D.Min.
Abstract
This project seeks to help Baptists better understand soteriology by using the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as a model to demonstrate how both Reformed and Arminian soteriological views can fit within the Baptist Faith and Message 2000, and to be clear where there is disagreement. It is not appropriate to label Southern Baptists as Calvinists, or Arminians, as historically they fall somewhere between the two persuasions. While there is significant agreement on numerous facets, Baptists vary on elements of soteriology, and thus training lay people to understand these differences will cause less confusion and mitigate unnecessary division.

Chapter 1 introduces the basis for the research project; the thesis of the project, the goals, and the methodology.

Chapter 2 introduces biblical and theological foundations for the doctrine of salvation. This chapter presents exegetical interpretations of relevant biblical passages and theological material.

Chapter 3 provides historical information regarding Reformed/Arminian debate within the Southern Baptist Convention.

Chapter 4 presents a recounting of the project including a 12-week study of the doctrine of salvation as presented by the Baptist Faith and Message 2000.

Chapter 5 provides a short conclusion for the project and offers additional observations, and testimonials from the participants of the 12-week course. Suggestions for further study are also included.

Perfect Love Casts out Fear: Exploring the Effectiveness of a Person-Centered Disability Awareness Seminar in a Congregational Setting

Author
Joshua H Jones D.Min.
Abstract
People with disabilities and their families frequently experience barriers toward inclusion and belonging in multiple spheres of life. These barriers are also present in Christian congregations. However, many congregations express a godly desire to love people with disabilities and their families without these obstacles.

The Old and New Testaments provide examples of how God’s people sought to love people with disabilities in their midst creatively and intentionally in response to God’s gracious actions, invitation, and command. Recent research in disability studies routinely highlight the necessity of being attentive to the uniqueness of each person with disabilities and his or her family. Recent work in the realm of sanctification also encourages Christians to practice active righteousness and vocation with an emphasis upon loving specific neighbors.

In light of current research, this project attempted to better understand the effects of a person-centered disability awareness seminar about the pastor’s own child in a single congregation using a mixed methods approach. A pretest posttest design was used in the quantitative phase of the research utilizing the Multidimensional Attitudes Scale Toward Persons with Disabilities (MAS) to measure attitudes (N = 42). A focus group was used in the qualitative phase of research (N = 7). Results suggest a person-centered disability awareness seminar can be an effective way to improve attitudes and relational engagement in a congregational setting.

HELPING CHURCH MEMBERS UNDERSTAND AND BIBLICALLY RESPOND TO DEPRESSION

Author
Akintoye Jeremiah Akintunde Rev. D.Ed.Min.
Abstract
HELPING CHURCH MEMBERS UNDERSTAND AND BIBLICALLY RESPOND TO DEPRESSION
People often disregard the fact that the spiritual state of mind is greatly affected by what is happening in the physical. At times, depression results from exhaustion, anxiety, worry, and many bottled-up issues in people’s lives. People are depressed because they are unfulfilled in their careers, marital life, education, and plans. Unconfessed sin and wickedness of hearts can be the root cause of some depressive moods. When daily challenges become overwhelming and frustrating, people are spiritually drained and discouraged. What is needed for any individual struggling with a depressive mood is the Word of God through biblical counseling. Biblical counselors offer a compassionate heart and practical help through the biblical principles applied to the counselee’s life and situation.
Christians (church members) are not immune from depression because it is real and can be overcome and conquered through reliance on the Holy Spirit and appropriate biblical principles. Biblical counselors should always keep in mind a holistic perspective of human nature. God created human beings holistically – body, spirit, and soul. When one part suffers, every other part suffers with it. Psychology, philosophy, and psychoanalysis (or psychotherapy) are human theories and philosophies that can only last for a short time. The Word of God (Scripture) is authentic, inspired, inerrant, sufficient, and authoritative for counseling tasks and is superior to anything the world’s wisdom offers. The Scripture has the power to change life and turn around situations.
Regardless of the latest scientific discovery, research, and methodology, medical professionals still believe, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), that ‘mental disorders’ including depression fall into such “diagnostic criteria” with a collection of symptoms known as syndromes. A syndrome is simply a collection of symptoms that a person is experiencing.

The Role of the Family-Equipping Model in Church Planting and Replanting Training for the Calvary Family of Churches in Englewood, CO

Author
Franklin Samuel Trimble D.Ed.Min.
Abstract
This project focuses on the combined efforts of the family ministry movement and the replanting movement in equipping current and future planters and replanters in family ministry. In the project, the reader will be given biblical, theological, historical, and ecclesiological examples of what a healthy family ministry can look like. This project is meant to encourage and equip future and current ministers, especially those with few resources, as they seek to develop a healthy family ministry culture in their contexts. Churches can see healthy family ministry established in their midst regardless of the number of resources at their disposal.
Throughout the project, the reader is given biblical instruction regarding the primacy of parental discipleship in relation to the biblical instruction of children. This primacy is made even more specific when the project addresses the role of the husband and father in the home-discipleship process. The project then looks to Hebrews 3 & 10 to address the need for all ages of the church to meet regularly. Once the biblical and theological groundwork has been laid, the project then moves into a section in which the history of modern youth ministry is examined in contrast with the historical precedent of family worship. Ecclesiological matters are then discussed in detail such as the importance of intentionally limiting church calendars and the need for a plurality of elders that can lead a congregation in meaningful membership which then leads to accountable shepherding.

Equipping the Korean-American Families for Family Worship at Orange Canaan Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, CA

Author
WOO LEE LEE D.Ed.Min.
Abstract
In the 120 years of Korean immigration to the United States, there has been a history of much hardship and loneliness associated with settling down in a strange land and living life as an immigrant. For many immigrants adjusting to life in the United States, in which their children have had to adjust to life in a whole new culture, it is often the case that they have not been able to pay much attention to their children's lives. Now, these parents face the problem of communicating to and discipling children that have grown up in a completely different language and culture—having been assimilated to the culture and having been educated in the United States growing up with a completely different set of values from their parents' generation. As such, problems and conflicts within Korean immigrant families in the United States continue to grow. For Christians, the problems they face often find their children leaving their homes and leaving their churches. Unfortunately, this is the reality of the Korean church in the United States.

Establishing a Biblical Marriage Mentorship Program at First Baptist Church in Midlothian, TX

Author
Kevin Joseph Phillips D.Ed.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this project is to answer the question, “Would first-year married couples learn about and embrace a biblical foundation of marriage from a mentoring relationship built upon a curriculum focused on appropriate passages of Scripture?” The project will outline the biblical foundation of marriage and how first-year couples better can connect with that foundation through an intentional mentor relationship that leads them to a better understanding of four scriptural passages around marriage.
Chapter 1 introduces the problem, need, and purpose of the project. The thesis states that first-year married couples will show more commitment to the teachings of Scripture as a foundation to a lifetime of marriage after being mentored in a curriculum centered on those Scriptures.
Chapter 2 includes the biblical and theological foundations for developing a marriage mentor curriculum that will help first-year married couples understand why God established marriage. The theology of marriage, mentorship, and Christian education are treated in the chapter. This chapter also includes a review of related literature.
Chapter 3 details the writer’s goals, limitations, and plan for his project. The researcher will support the thesis statement and describe the process by which it was addressed through the project.
Chapter 4 explains in detail the writer’s formation of his workshop material. This chapter will give the reader an overview of the training material as well as the curriculum utilized in carrying out the couple-to-couple mentorship.
Chapter 5 provides a detailed evaluation demonstrating the results of the project implementation. The researcher related the research that supports the thesis statement through the results of the surveys taken by the newlywed couples.
Chapter 6 is a summary section. The researcher utilizes this chapter to give an overview of the project and gives examples of ways this project could be utilized in addition to the couple-to-couple mentorship.

Identificación de las Estrategias Para Acompañar a la Familia Pastoral Que Ha Sido Herida Emocional y Espiritualmente por Miembros de Sus Congregaciones

Author
Alejandro Roque D.Min.
Abstract
Se han hecho estudios acerca de pastores heridos que eventualmente abandonaron el ministerio. Sin embargo, poco se ha trabajado en la investigación acerca de la familia pastoral herida emocional y espiritualmente por miembros de sus congregaciones y de las estrategias de acompañamiento pastoral que les restaure exitosamente como familia y al ministerio.

El enfoque de este proyecto ha sido investigar y encontrar las estrategias de acompañamiento a la familia pastoral que ha sido herida y afectada de manera negativa. Las heridas emocionales y espirituales provocaron que algunos pastores y sus familias abandonaran el ministerio, la iglesia y en algunos casos hasta la separación o divorcio. La narrativa del proyecto habla acerca del impacto de las adversidades causantes de las heridas y del resultado en la vida de la familia de los pastores entrevistados.

En este proyecto se entrevistó a ocho pastores. Las familias de estos pastores fueron impactadas negativamente por los problemas ocasionados por miembros de sus congregaciones lo que les causó heridas emocionales y espirituales. Debido a los problemas en sus congregaciones, los pastores enfrentan múltiples presiones y exigencies de parte de sus iglesias, y las heridas emocionales y espirituales que esto les causa no han sido tratadas debidamente. La familia pastoral herida no ha recibido, por parte de sus denominaciones, el apoyo espiritual y emocional que les conduzca hacia la restauración. Por esta razón, se ha encontrado la necesidad de este proyecto: el encontrar estrategias de acompañamiento para traer sanidad a la familia pastoral.

Este trabajo de investigación incluye las estrategias de acompañamiento que ayudarán de una manera efectiva a que los pastores sean restaurados emocional y espiritualmente.

Identificación de Factores Que Contribuyen al Crecimiento de ta Sede Hispanohablante del Modelo Multisitio de Grace Church, in Greenville, Carolina del Sur.

Author
Robby Richard D.Min.
Abstract
El objetivo de la presente investigación es identificar los factores, desde la perspectiva del liderazgo de la iglesia, que contribuyen al crecimiento de la sede hispanohablante de Grace Church, en Greenville, Carolina del Sur, EE. UU., y, por ende, que contribuyen al alcance de la comunidad hispanohablante en su contexto con el evangelio.

El modelo de iglesia multisitio está formado por congregaciones que se consideran parte de una misma iglesia local y se reúnen en diferentes lugares geográficos y espacios físicos. A pesar de que no cuenta con una larga trayectoria de años, ya ha evidenciado signos positivos de eficacia para el alcance evangelístico de diversas comunidades pluriculturales. Estas huellas de competencia del modelo se hacen visibles en resultados observables en la experiencia práctica de su aplicación y en datos disponibles en diversas fuentes.

La presente investigación reveló que los factores propuestos en las hipótesis formuladas son, en efecto, válidos. Además, aportó información valiosa sobre otras dos características específicas del ámbito organizacional y eclesial que fortalecen la relación entre la sede hispanohablante y la iglesia anglohablante. Estas constituyen la base esencial para la efectividad de los elementos propuestos en las hipótesis.

Para aquellas iglesias que deseen implementar el modelo multisitio, es recomendable tomar en cuenta el entorno demográfico donde se desea abrir una sede, las características propias del tipo de la comunidad eclesial que se desea, y los principios únicos que cimientan toda comunidad hispana.

The Dynamics of Spiritual Formation: Selected Case Studies on Christian Marital Health and its Contribution to Child Spiritual Formation

Author
John Henry Peterson Jr. D.Ed.Min.
Abstract
Baptist Minister, William Tiptaft coined this relevant declaration, “Children take more notice of what their parents do, than what they say.” Actions speak louder than words. Psychologist Albert Bandura would echo the same sentiment based upon his Bobo Doll experimentation. According to Bandura, people learn through observation, imitation, and modeling. The problem is more about what is not happening in the Christian home than what is happening in the Churches. Thus, the need to investigate the dynamic characteristics of healthy Christian marriages and the influence they have on the spiritual formation in children is a worthy study. This research will not examine the cause and effect of unhealthy marital relationships, but rather focus attention on healthy examples to extrapolate data promoting spiritual formation. The Christian husband and wife relationship plays a significant role in the spiritual formation in children. Children growing up in a family where parents consistently modeled a healthy Christian marriage are more likely to embrace a similar biblical worldview as their parents. Children who grew up in a home where a healthy Christian marriage exist will most likely take ownership of their own faith and spiritual growth as adults. Christian individuals who have parents who demonstrate healthy Christian marriages will be the participants in this study. The individuals interviewed will vary in how they perceive the influence of their parent’s marital relationship in their spiritual growth. The individuals interviewed will identify similarities between their view of life and their parents shared views. The individuals interviewed will exhibit an ongoing desire to maintain an intimate relationship with God and their spouse.
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