Bible--Theology

Work Perspectives, The Sacred/Secular Divide, and Workplace-Related Preaching, Equipping, and Church Support

Author
Joy P. Dahl D.Min.
Abstract
This study explored perspectives of work and workers, as well as potential connections between these perspectives and a lack of workplace-related preaching, equipping, and support provided by the church to congregants. This research, founded on a biblical theology of work, identifies implications for understanding church dynamics, and for dismantling beliefs and practices upholding the unbiblical sacred/secular divide.

The research engaged two groups within one church: pastors/paid church staff and congregants. The survey focused on: (1) value of work inside versus outside the church; (2) value of workers inside versus outside the church; (3) importance of work-related topics for preaching, equipping, and support within the church; and (4) adequacy of pastor/staff understanding of non-church workplaces and their ability to help congregants address workplace issues. This Doctor of Ministry project represents a unique study which evaluates perspectives of church workers and non-church workers within one church body regarding a primary area of everyday life often unaddressed or under-addressed by the church.

Two descriptive surveys, one for each group, garnered a 69.01% response rate from 71 pastors/staff, and a 9.62% response rate from 5,113 congregants. The surveys gathered quantitative responses, except for two qualitative responses regarding workplace demographics (for congregants only) which assisted the church in understanding the makeup of its non-church workers. The results of the surveys revealed that both pastors/staff and congregants within this church placed similar, high value on church and non-church work and workers. However, these perspectives did not translate into pastors/staff attributing high importance to work-related topics within church practices when compared to other topics. Additionally, both groups affirmed an inadequate understanding by pastors/staff of non-church workplaces and the daily issues congregants face.

The final chapter includes conclusions of the study and implications for future research. It also provides recommendations of potential next steps for the church.

CONTRASTING CONTRACTUAL AND COVENANT MARRIAGE IDEAS IN THE LIVES OF BELIEVERS FROM A MUSLIM BACKGROUND

Author
Nakhati Jon D.Ed.Min.
Abstract
Islamic marriage is a contract, and biblical marriage is a covenant. These two principles intersect and form a point of reestablishment in the marriages of believers from a Muslim background (BMBs).

Islamic contractual marriage ideas remain in marital relationships of BMBs. The intent of this study is to explore and understand the influence of Islamic contractual marriage on believers who now embrace the ideas of Christian covenant marriage.

The qualitative research will explore the believers’ understanding of their Islamic contractual marriage and their beliefs concerning biblical covenant marriage. BMBs retain a contractual view of marriage because they have not applied the ideas of covenant marriage, thereby affecting negatively their spousal relationships. Additionally, the use of certain cultural and religious terms reinforces their understanding of their marital relationship, often reflecting either a contractual or covenant perspective.

For BMBs and missionaries there is a deficiency of available literature that compares and explains the differences between the Islamic and biblical views of marriage. This study hopes to be a foundational resource to highlight areas which possibly are retained in these marriages.

Cruciformational Discipleship: A Leader Training Program for Producing a Fruitful Missional Ministry for the University City Chinese Christian Church

Author
Tony Liang D.Min.
Abstract
The mission of the church was expressed as to build a fruitful cruciformational community of Christ that glorifies God. To do that in the postmodern and post Christendom age, a missional church would need the full utilization of the ministry of the Word. in all its forms for all levels, from personal to congregational. It required developing ministry expressions that properly adapt to the very complex and rapidly changed ministry context, and at the same time that ensured these expressions to be firmly rooted in the Biblical foundation and centered in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The theological vision that was derived from the theological framework for the given ministry context was key to fulfill that purpose effectively. This project was a discipleship training pilot program for all ministry leaders.

The program first presented to the trainees the big picture of how the ministry of the Word transformed the lives of believers as holy priests through the worshiping lives of the church to produce fruitful results. It then taught the trainees the process of utilizing it: to build the theological framework that was the foundation of ministry, to develop the ministry platforms that enabled effective ministry utilization, and to derive the theological vision that connected the Biblical foundation to the ministry expression for
given ministry contexts.

The results from the evaluation of the program showed that the project had reached the initial goals in understanding the basic concepts and their theological foundation. However, the program had too much content. Therefore, the trainees could not explore the three catalysts fully and had not reached one of the goals associated with them (to have the basic skill to apply those catalysts in ministry).

Creating a Narrative Empathy Among Southern Baptist Leaders: Shaping a New Perception of Islam, the Prophet Muhammad and Jihad

Author
Charles Wesley Powell Dr. D.Min.
Abstract
The Southern Baptist denomination is the largest Protestant religious group in the United States. Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 there has been an increase of negative rhetoric among Southern Baptists towards Muslims. This thesis-project asks to what extent a lack of narrative empathy towards Muslims can be altered in the life of the Southern Baptist leader thus enabling the leader, consequently the denomination, to better understand and communicate the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad as embodiments of spiritual discipline and peaceful living. The theoretical framework and in-depth qualitative interviews provide invaluable insights into the dynamics and use of anti-Islamic rhetoric among Southern Baptists. Concrete strategies of action are proposed, such as strategic personal encounters between Southern Baptists and Muslims which when combined with a better understanding of Islam can help uncover the Southern Baptist denominations preconceived prejudices and misunderstandings of Islam that so often hinder constructive dialogue. This project has crucial practical implications that has not yet received scholarly attention.

EXPOUNDING ROMANS 6-8 TO ADVANCE GREAT COMMISSION OBEDIENCE IN THE LEADERSHIP AT MAYFIELD MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH, FORT WORTH, TEXAS

Author
Larry Hall D.Min.
Abstract
The writer is the pastor of a Missionary Baptist congregation. In a self-appraisal survey, congregational leaders ranked Great Commission obedience low among ministry priorities. This project investigated the question: Can a pastoral approach in expounding Romans 6-8 be effective in developing a Great Commission theology and in advancing Great Commission obedience for select leaders at Mayfield Missionary Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas. The project pursues two goals: 1) to develop the theology of the participants and 2) to develop pastoral preaching effectiveness.
The research design combined both the qualitative and quantitative method. The writer designed seven sermons from Romans 6-8 in a series entitled Gospel Assurance, a Motivation to Great Commission Obedience. The writer expounded selected doctrinal themes from the Biblical text to develop elements of a Great Commission theology in the participants. Using a pastoral approach, the writer selected eight congregational leaders to participate in a small group to give feedback on the preaching effectiveness. In addition, the participants completed a pre and post project questionnaire to indicate theological understanding, opinion surveys, and interviews. The writer assessed the participants’ awareness, attitudes and actions in relation to the Matthew 28:18-20 mandate to make disciples.
The writer diagnosed the participants’ gain in theological understanding and simultaneously increased pastoral preaching effectiveness through small group feedback. The writer and participants advanced toward Great Commission obedience.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IN VIETNAM:
A PASTORAL PROGRAM TO EQUIP CHURCH MINISTERS FOR ACCOMPANIMENT

Author
Sr. ANN DIEP NGUYEN, OP D.Min.
Abstract
Domestic violence is a real issue in Vietnam. This thesis-project is an effort to propose a pastoral program to equip Church ministers for accompaniment. The author, mainly, uses the methodology of Richard Osmer’s as primary framework and, simultaneously, integrates a number of components from Poling and Miller to strengthen the performance of this thesis-project. In the process, this study, by conducting qualitative interviews of Church ministers, examines first, if the Church ministers are aware of the domestic violence situation, and then, what skills they may need in responding to this issue. As a result, this study acknowledges some insights from practical, socio-cultural, theological, and pastoral perspectives. Under this understanding, this thesis-project suggests some recommendations for a pastoral response to domestic violence, and provides a possible pastoral program as a way to equip Church ministers in assisting women who experience domestic violence in the context of Vietnam.

Learning to Pray Without Ceasing: Instilling the Importance of Prayer and its Connection to Social Justice in Youth

Author
Wesley Brian Jamison D.Min.
Abstract
Progressive churches continue to struggle with retaining youth, who often seen little merit in the church's traditions and rituals. These spiritual practices are essential to nurturing the strength and vision necessary to create a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. This project offers a model for integrating these practices into the regular activities of youth ministry as a way of reconnecting them to the struggle for justice. It was tested by adding the observance of the daily offices of prayer to a youth mission trip and examining the views of participants concerning prayer and its connection to justice before, during, and after the trip. Noticeable changes were measured during and after the trip, indicating that youth came to see spiritual practices are more important to the work of justice. These findings suggest that the church would do well to look to its own history of monasticism as a model for youth ministry in the post-Christian era.

Laying a Foundation for Nurturing Experiential Communion with the Word of God for Soul Formation through Journaling and Inner Circle Relationships.

Author
Jeffrey William Roy Rev. D.Min.
Abstract
In this research portfolio, three projects form the basis in developing this new pathway to nurture formation. The author’s spiritual autobiography recounts his journey into two-way communion with the Word of God and gives readers opportunities to reflect accordingly. The AESA model (Awareness, Encounter, Surrender, Abide) is presented as a cyclical four-step process designed to help nurture experiential union and spiritual formation. This model incorporates the authors’ own experience, an analysis of how the Word of God is depicted by the Scriptures and in the writings of the Early Church Fathers, four existing contemplative models of formation, and the experiences of those who participated in his research project. The project tested follow up material designed to help people take home and form habits (Contemplative Prayer Journaling and Inner Circle Relationships) that would help them experience union with the Eternal Word of God throughout their day. The project found that these spiritual disciplines can be helpful in nurturing experience union with the Eternal Word of God throughout their day. Two months after the study twelve of the sixteen participants were journaling once a week and nine of the sixteen participants had established some form of weekly inner circle relationship with the desire to be more aware of God’s presence.

Satisfied: the glory of Christ in counseling: how biblical theology reforms biblical counseling

Author
Gary Bernhard Spooner
Abstract
The project establishes a Christ-centered, community-based counseling center that demonstrates through case studies the benefits of biblical theology in biblical counseling. It argues that biblical theology, by its nature, reforms the conception of biblical counseling toward the glory of God, reforms the content of biblical counseling toward biblical narrative, and reforms the practice of biblical counseling toward the life of faith.

Imparting biblical theology cross-culturally for transformation

Author
Reid
Abstract
Sydney Evalgelicals are known for their Biblical Theology and this approach has been an essential part of the Preliminary Theological Certificate which has been taught overseas in over 35 countries. The research focused on this course and what components are necessary to teach Biblical Theology across cultures that will maximize the possibility of the transformation of individuals in their cultural contexts. This research utilized mixed methods and outlines reasons for the success of the course such as the type of people involved in teaching, the models of delivery and its underlying hermeneutical approach. Potential weaknesses are also reviewed.
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