United States

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.

Case Studies of Church Staff Cultures and Associated Factors that Contribute to the Spiritual Health of Full-Time Staff Members

Author
Ed Johnson III D.Min.
Abstract
According to this researcher, spiritual health, in the context of the Christian faith, is defined as: living a Christ-like lifestyle in thought, in speech and in actions (2 Tim 2:22; Titus 2:12), repenting and abstaining from personal sin (1 John 1:9; 1 Pet 2:11), and growing in communion, reverence and obedience to God (2 Pet 3:18; 1 Pet 1:2). The thesis of this doctoral dissertation is that there are factors within a church staff culture that impact spiritual health of full-time staff members.

At its core, this researcher posited three hypotheses to determine whether a church staff environment or ethos will positively contribute to the spiritual health of the employees who work therein: (1) An intentional ongoing investment in and evaluation of the spiritual health of staff members, (2) A sustained emphasis on both the relationship and task side of the spectrum in the day-to-day staff operations, and (3) A fundamental and predominate adoption of and alignment with biblical concepts and practices. A case study research method was selected for this project as a viable means by which to test the validity of these hypotheses. It examined the staff culture of three local American churches to analyze the results.

In the estimation of this researcher, numerous churches and pastors do not understand or have yet to realize the influence and impact a workplace culture has on their staff members’ spiritual well-being. Consequently, these types of churches and pastors tend not to have an intentional plan to establish or restructure said culture so that it positively contributes to the spiritual health of the staff. This applied research project seeks to bring awareness to this issue and to provide a way forward for churches and pastors to create, cultivate, and maintain staff cultures that foster spiritual health among their full-time staff members.

Factores Que Contribuyen a la Integración Entre el Conocimiento Teológico y la Madurez Espiritual en la Vida de la Facultad de Instituciones Teológicas

Author
Elena Vazquez González D.Min.
Abstract
Los docentes de las instituciones teológicas son personas que poseen el conocimiento teológico y necesitan continuar creciendo en su madurez espiritual.

La tesis central de este proyecto fue investigar cuáles son los factores que contribuyen a la integración entre el conocimiento teológico y la madurez espiritual en la vida de la facultad de instituciones teológicas. Las instituciones teológicas necesitan estar conscientes de la tendencia a la dicotomía entre el conocimiento teológico y la madurez espiritual en las facultades, y ante esta realidad deben buscar cómo implementar los factores que contribuyen a la integración entre ambos.

Este proyecto doctoral, al reconocer la existencia de la dicotomía entre el conocimiento teológico y la madurez espiritual en las instituciones teológicas, planteó la siguiente pregunta de investigación: ¿Qué factores pudieran contribuir a la integración entre el conocimiento teológico y la madurez espiritual en la vida de la facultad de instituciones teológicas? Para responder, se propusieron tres hipótesis acerca de los factores que contribuyen a la integración: (1) el primer factor es que las instituciones teológicas tengan como uno de sus valores institucionales la integración entre el conocimiento teológico y la madurez spiritual dentro de su facultad (2) el segundo factor es que las instituciones teológicas establezcan normas de que sus docentes sean modelo de vida íntegra al Señor (3) y el tercer factor es que las instituciones promuevan que los docentes tengan un mentor espiritual a quien le rindan cuentas

El resultado final de la investigación, el cual se obtuvo por medio de entrevistas fue el adecuado para comprobar la validez de las tres hipótesis.

Case Study on How Spiritual Maturity Benefits Soldiers While on Overseas Assignments

Author
Joshua A. Cannon D.Ed.Min.
Abstract
As the United States of America pushes further and further into secularization, the U.S. Army has followed suit. While many see this movement as a step in the right direction, many others do not. It is without doubt the Army has always had its issues with discipline; however, it is the overall epidemic of suicide and other high-risk behaviors that has the attention of the entire nation, forcing many to ask why. While many have accepted the belief or ideology that belief in God is antiquated and irrelevant in today’s modern age, many others are beginning to recognize a rise in high-risk behaviors, especially within those serving overseas. A preliminary look shows that those who devote themselves to their faith appear to benefit in ways that cannot be denied.

This dissertation examines the overall benefits of those soldiers that are spiritually mature and are considered to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The author will attempt to take aim to understand and counter the ideology that religion and belief in God is antiquated and irrelevant in today’s society leading to the belief that service members ought to follow suit. While the Army takes great initiative towards the mental and spiritual health of the soldier, it is without a doubt that one area of influence is being forced out. It is the focused approach towards faith in God as a benefit to many areas of a soldier’s life that is forcibly quieted, seen as a personal journey not to be discussed, and irrelevant to the overall force. The purpose of this study will be to examine spiritually mature soldiers and begin to understand the benefits of a deep relationship with God while serving on overseas assignments.

The Development and Evaluation of a Theological Commentary and Expository Sermon Series on Jonah Implementing Pericopal Theology and a Christiconic Hermeneutic

Author
Josiah D. Boyd D.Min.
Abstract
For the edification of God’s people, biblical preaching is essential (Eph 4:11–16), a divinely-mandated activity which assumes not only Scripture’s explanation but also its application. While much scholarly attention has been paid to the former facet (i.e., the move from text-to-theology), much less has been given to the latter (i.e., the move from theology-to-application). One homiletician, Abraham Kuruvilla, has recently attempted to fill this void by articulating and demonstrating a methodology through which a preacher can, with confidence and clarity, lead the people of God from the Bible to its intended, and thus binding, application. The aim of this research was to explore the effectiveness of his proposed theology and hermeneutic for the identification, development, communication, and reception of biblically-founded, theologically-valid, and hearer-relevant application.

Following the example of Kuruvilla, a theological commentary for preachers was developed for the book of Jonah and a subsequent four-week expository sermon series was preached. In order to assess the effectiveness of the proposed methodology for the developing, communicating, understanding, and applying of a biblical text, a selfadministered pretest and posttest survey was developed and distributed to volunteer participants which focused on both the content and applicational weight of the book. It was hypothesized that by the utilization of pericopal theology, a christiconic hermeneutic, and the subsequent preaching of an expository sermon series, there would be measurable growth in (1) knowledge of the biblical text, (2) understanding of the theology of the biblical text, and (3) discernment of the divine demand placed upon God’s people through the biblical text. The instrument provided quantitative data that was analyzed and evaluated and which, ultimately, verified all three hypotheses affirming that the utilization of pericopal theology and a christiconic hermeneutic demonstrates an associated and significant increase in biblical knowledge, theological understanding, and applicational discernment among the participants.

Factores Que Promueven Una Pastoral Integral Hacia el Inmigrante Indocumentado en las Iglesias en el Valle de San Gabriel en el Condado de Los Ángeles

Author
Héctor Alas D.Min.
Abstract
El movimiento migratorio desde cualquier punto del planeta hacia los Estados Unidos es una realidad de dimensiones gigantescas. La complejidad de este fenómeno es tal, que ha llevado a las oficinas del gobierno norteamericano a repensar sus políticas, tanto internas para los que ya se encuentran en el país, como para los que buscan aventurarse intentando llegar. Pero no son los únicos, también ha desatado una incertidumbre generalizada para los que ofrecen sus servicios legales en el manejo de los procesos para formalizar su documentación.

La iglesia cristiana no es la excepción dentro de esa complejidad. Como tal, por su misión esencial hacia el prójimo, por encima de cualquier tendencia política, está llamada a mostrar el corazón de Dios hacia el inmigrante en maneras concretas. Para encaminar a la iglesia en su desafío hacia una pastoral integral a favor del inmigrante, se investigarán los factores que contribuyen a lograrla. Los instrumentos que facilitarán la investigación serán encuestas y estudios de casos. Lo anterior permitirá recabar la información de lo que se hace actualmente, y determinará también lo que podría hacerse en la amplitud que se desprende a partir de lo que la Biblia propone.

Al término de la investigación se ofrecerán 3 factores indispensables para que la iglesia cumpla con su misión pastoral de manera integral en un contexto multicultural. Los factores aludidos son los siguientes: 1) el entendimiento de la misión integral prescrita en la Biblia, 2) la implementación de ministerios de misericordia a favor de los inmigrantes indocumentados, 3) la promoción de alianzas estratégicas con organizaciones que realizan una pastoral integral.

An Exploration of African American Pastors Use of Spiritual Disciplines to Combat Spiritual Burnout

Author
Herman L. Baxter Sr. D.Min.
Abstract
Leading in ministry can be a challenging job. The struggle to fulfill a divine calling while being human leaves no rest for the weary. African American pastor is no exception. These spiritual leaders often experience spiritual dryness – stress, and burnout - due to excessive demands that may lead to physical, emotional, and spiritual exhaustion. Days run into nights and, as they say in Broadway, “the show must go on” for most pastors every week. Many weary pastors combat spiritual dryness – fatigue, burnout, depression, and more – longing for more “peace that surpasses all understanding.” It is no wonder that some pastors do not remain in the ministry after five years. Trying to minister in this state is not ideal, yet many pastors remain resilient.

Throughout the history of the Christian church, practicing spiritual disciplines have been a means to spiritual renewal. However, across the United States, these practices to combat spiritual dryness are done a little differently in predominately African American led churches.

This study will gather qualitative research through in-depth interviews to discover how seven selected African American senior pastors combat spiritual dryness. The interview questions noted circumstances for times of spiritual dryness, the pastors’ experiences through spiritual dryness, and the process to combat spiritual dryness. This understanding helped these African American pastors overcome spiritual dryness. Interview responses will produce common themes and confirm three significant elements to combating spiritual dryness. First, the participants will identify different spiritual discipline practices for other times of spiritual dryness. Next, they will concur that upholding a robust biblical discipline is needed to prepare for times of spiritual burnout. Finally, participants will verify that a healthy dependence on God is required to maintain spiritual wellness. This project concludes with the participants’ suggestions for how newly assigned Christian leaders can most effectively combat spiritual dryness.

SACRAMENTAL IMAGINATION: A LUTHERAN APPROACH TO THE ANALOGICAL/DIALECTICAL DIVIDE IN PREACHING

Author
Todd Arthur Peperkorn D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis answers the question of whether there can be a Lutheran sacramental imagination for preaching. It begins with an overview of the history of preaching in The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS), especially since the move into English in the 1920s. This history traces how the LCMS has largely adopted the New Homiletic, but has not reflected critically on how its own theological hermeneutic integrates with the New Homiletic, and what relationship this may have to sacramental preaching.

Beginning with definitions of a dialectic imagination and a sacramental/ analogical imagination from David Tracy and Mary Catherine Hilkert, it examines the roots of the sacramental imagination in the works of Edward Schillebeeckx, particularly his early book, Christ the Sacrament of the Encounter with God. It then compares this with the writings of Richard Eslinger, Hans Boersma, and Graham Hughes.

Next the thesis attempts to reconcile a sacramental imagination with a Lutheran hermeneutic. The most successful attempt for this has been in the writing and work of Lutheran Gordon Lathrop. While there are some concerns regarding a dialectic counterbalance, a Lutheran sacramental imagination that takes both the distinction of Law and Gospel and the place of grace begins to emerge.

The ministerial intervention was a seminar for a group of pastors from the LCMS. It involved questionnaires, sermons, and interviews both before and after the seminar. The seminar included modeling sacramental preaching and taught the practice of “Preaching Partners” as a way of connecting the preacher to the the congregation.

It concludes by determining that more work needs to be done on defining a Lutheran sacramental imagination, that Preaching Partners is an excellent method for building both pastoral relationships and in creating a collaborative spirit in preaching, and that Lutherans will benefit from more interaction with non-Lutheran preaching and scholarship.
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