Wesley Theological Seminary

The road less traveled : pilgrimage and spiritual formation among younger Christians

Author
Nick J. Works
Abstract
"For hundreds of years pilgrimages were a vibrant expression of Christian spirituality. Following the Protestant Reformation pilgrimage as a spiritual discipline began to cease among protestants. In the last 50 years pilgrimage has made a cultural and religious resurgence in American life both religious and secular. At the same time younger Christians began to disconnect from the church in larger and larger numbers. These younger Christians became more mobile and travel much more often than older Christians. Pilgrimage as a spiritual discipline may be a spiritual practice that was attractive to younger Christians under the age of 40 that allowed them to practice their faith and remain engaged in their faith community. This study examined the religious travel practices of one United Methodist congregation to determine if younger Christians found pilgrimage practices as a suitable spiritual discipline." -- Leaf [2].

Cultivating holy friendships : an ecumenical cohort model for redemptive social change

Author
Thomas A. Williams
Abstract
"The project question the author engaged was this: How can I connect local ecumenical leaders together to support and build courage together to make a faithful, sustained, redemptive social change in local communities? The author argues in this paper that faithful movements for redemptive social change arise from leaders who were supported, challenged, complimented, and inspired by a community of friends. This paper outlines the condition of loneliness in our culture and among our clergy and congregations, and how an intentional cohort model of support can connect clergy to one another around community issues of importance. In the course of this project the author met with community clergy, researched other cohort models, and attempted to assemble those pastors together. The model adjusted from a "convening" model toward gatherings centered on an issue. The issue carried the convening power rather than the idea of convening a group of potential friends." -- Leaf [2].

Know their suffering : facilitating a deeper understanding for the local church of the plight of the working poor

Author
Weatherly Overall Weatherly
Abstract
"Many middle-class church members are devoted to acts of mission. Despite good intentions they suffer from insufficient poverty intellect for understanding the circumstances of those they serve. This project encourages a deeper understanding of the working poor, thus increasing the practical and relational efficiency of outreach. A six-week small group experience combines biblical, theological, and Wesleyan foundations, with emerging trends and efforts to increase the awareness and knowledge necessary to have more authentic relationships with those in poverty. The results are that greater poverty intellect can reduce inaccurate assumptions and increase the depth of mutual understanding and engaged interaction between the classes." -- Leaf [2].

Enhancing the chaplain's role in support of suicide prevention efforts : an active duty army battalion chaplain's pursuit of saving soldiers' lives

Author
Christopher J. Washburn
Abstract
"Chaplains bear the weight of Soldier welfare and care alongside their religious support mission. Without requiring new regulations or major overhauls in chaplain functionality, this author contends that through intentionally leveraging one's duties, an active duty Army chaplain might significantly augment the existing program of suicide prevention in a way that results in saving lives - for Soldiers to utilize chaplain support. This project explored three potential avenues of attack: chaplain integration training, expanded spiritual fitness events, and identification of barriers. Initial analysis suggests that such life-saving focused efforts have a positive impact upon building connection and fostering help-seeking behaviors." -- Leaf [2].

Research on the rooting of new believers in the ATA Church through the hospitality program

Author
Natalya Tsay
Abstract
"[In this project paper, the author explores the ways in which a congregation may] improve the level of hospitality among young people at [the] Ata Methodist Church through the hospitality program. The questionnaires were filled out before and after the hospitality program by 10 church members aged above 20. Some of them changed their attitude towards new people; others gained understanding about biblical hospitality. The author provided examples of practical workshops to the hospitality program to use it at other churches of similar scale. It will contribute into rooting of new believers at the church and expansion of God's Kingdom." -- Leaf [2].

Dare to change : adaptive leadership internship experiences by seminary interns in field education

Author
Dorothee Edith Tripodi
Abstract
"By engaging in congregational analysis using Heifetz and Linsky's leadership characteristics, UPSem (Richmond) M.Div. seminary interns of the summer 2019 intensive and fall 2019 part-time academic year sessions defined internship experiences as either technical, technical-adaptive, or adaptive. The instructor, using ethnographic methodology combined with Heifetz's reflection process of observation, interpretation, and intervention, explored the interns' narrative findings concerning their ability to identify leadership challenges. The conventional wisdom that students would be limited in their ability to use Heifetz and Linsky's leadership characteristic due to lack of ministerial experience proofed unfounded. The outcome of this ethnographic reflection invites further exploration concerning a pastoral intern's leadership abilities in light of on-going vocational discernment, vocational identity, and authority in complex systems subject to denominational and cultural change." -- Leaf [2].

Developing a coaching model of ministry to mitigate moral drift in Special Operations

Author
Pete Stone
Abstract
"Soldiers serving in Special Operations Forces (SOF) live under enormous pressures to perform at the highest levels while sustaining a high, relentless operational tempo. Unless they remain grounded in an identity gives them meaning apart from their SOF profession, that pressure can more easily erode personal values, cause moral drift, and lead to unintended consequences. Chaplains serving in SOF must find effective ways to help mitigate this risk and support a flourishing life. The author received training in a Christian-based personal coaching program and implemented that coaching model with a test sample of five Soldiers serving in SOF to mitigate that risk. The author measured the effectiveness of the coaching process with direct observation, interviews and surveys, and determined that personal coaching effectively reduced the risk of moral drift in the subjects. The author concluded that the coaching model provides an effective way for chaplains serving in SOF to help Soldiers remain grounded in their identity outside of the SOF profession by helping them clarify their values, determine their priorities, and design actions that will align them with that identity. Personal coaching is an effective ministry tool chaplain can use to mitigate the risk of moral drift and support a flourishing life in the lives of their Soldiers." -- Leaf [2].

A study on the restoration of faith and the calling education of the young adult as 'N abandonment generation'

Author
Dong Nam Shin
Abstract
"This is a study of the restoration of the faith of modern youth called the N generation. Their present-day problems are seen as the limits of capitalist development and the capitalization of the church. For solving this problem, I propose the theological theories based on the Scripture's calling and Luther's and Calvin's calling. For seven weeks in young adult worship, I preach a biblical theory and lead the small groups. Thus, I would like to think again about the basic calling of faith and help them to overcome their problems and restore their faith by finding calling. For that reason, this project for young people help them to realize the importance of calling and give them the time of thinking about their calling. This project will provide strategies to overcome their reality rather than escaping." -- Leaf [2].

Restorative rest : sounding the alarm on a culture of excess

Author
Joseph D. Sherwin
Abstract
"The author explores the impact of restorative rest on medical staff at Brooke Army Medical Center and the Cadre of the 264th Medical Battalion in San Antonio, TX. He sought to determine the efficacy of restorative rest techniques and tools in alleviating sleep deprivation and fatigue. By teaching the value of restorative rest as revealed through the Sabbath, the author intends to examine its effects on promoting greater levels of readiness and resiliency among Cadre and Staff. The author further intends to use the data derived from this study as a means of developing a tool that will be used to inform Commanders regarding the dangers of sleep deprivation within their ranks and how proper Sabbath practices and restorative rest might make for a more ready and resilient fighting force." -- Leaf [2].

Pro Deo Et Patria : lessons from Daniel for navigating the God-country paradox as an army chaplain

Author
John E. Scott
Abstract
"Pro Deo Et Patria, For God and Country, is the Army Chaplain Corps motto. Is it possible to serve both when the chaplain believes these entities' values are in conflict? This project was about the God-Country Paradox, the apparent self-contradictory concept of serving God and country as a Christian Army Chaplain. The author conducted a biblical case study of Daniel 1-6, and a phenomenological questionnaire of conservative Christian chaplains to learn about this challenge and to contribute to addressing it. The author then used that knowledge to craft the God-Country Paradox workshop, which he presented to active duty battalion chaplains as a mentoring session. The author determined that identity is a critical factor in serving God and country and that Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah are excellent biblical archetypes of how to serve God and country loyally." -- Leaf [2].
Subscribe to Wesley Theological Seminary