Wesley Theological Seminary

Formed in the itinerancy : shaped as disciples, authorized as pastors, and sent as missionaries in the Susquehanna Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church

Author
James Patrick Bohanan
Abstract
This project focuses on itinerancy in The United Methodist Church as a practice, in the life of the writer, and in the stories of multiple clergy interviewed and surveyed. The narrative research concentrates on the Susquehanna Conference of The United Methodist Church, though it also includes clergy from eleven other annual conferences. Five bishops and one general church executive were interviewed. The writer offers a theology of the itinerancy and encourages itinerant clergy to contemplate how they have been shaped as disciples, authorized as pastors, and sent as missionaries in the context of their itinerancy.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

"Sing, O Barren One" : writing hymns to transform and to be transformed

Author
Lindsay Louise Biddle
Abstract
Biblical and spiritual ancestors dialogued with the Divine in order to come to terms with reallife circumstances. In a church in Glasgow, Scotland, the author-pastor encouraged worshippers each week for three months to record their personal well-being, reflect on scripture, and use parts of worship based on the reflections. Their situations dramatically transformed, and they experienced transformation, not so much as a direct result of this project, but rather, this experiment of writing hymns that illuminate or dialogue with scripture gave them time and space to express, listen, respond, and realize the transformation happening in and around them.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Creating a missional church in Nepal through the lay leader (Aguwa) training program : focusing on Aguwas in the Ramechap area

Author
Sung Hoon Bea
Abstract
In the dissertation, I propose what to do for the renewal of the Nepalese Church in the Ramechap area in Nepal. In emphasizing that the Nepalese Church should be a missional church modeled on the mission of God (Missio Dei) in order to be a healthy church, I suggest . . . a specialized training program for Aguwas, who are lay leaders in the Nepalese Church. Through the Bible-based education program, Aguwas will be leading figures that can lead the Nepalese Church to transform, and by their leadership the Nepalese Church will be a missional church that is self-reliant, self-sufficient, and autonomous.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Co-creators with God : enhancing spirituality through visual art

Author
Mark L. Barden
Abstract
The visual arts are instrumental in enriching Christian spirituality. This project engaged participants through videos, discussions, devotions, presentations, experiential activities and a field trip, to enable them to embrace visual arts to deepen their spirituality. The author designed and implemented a multi-week course, including a video series, for participants to explore the connection between their spirituality and the visual arts. The results indicated a positive impact prompting changes for growth by each participant in utilizing the visual arts as a spiritual discipline.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Clergy traveling companions : perichoresis and clergy discipleship in community

Author
Heather M. Baker-McAllister
Abstract
Clergy Traveling Companions examines issues surrounding clergy crises. Crises may be sexual boundary violations or actions resulting from depression or anxiety. The researcher critiques current supervisory practices within The United Methodist Church. The practices include the use of cluster groups and managerial supervision provided by the District Superintendent. The
researcher proposes that perichoresis and an understanding of God as community offers a lens to understand the needs of clergy. This need creates a space for the clergy person to live into their own Christian discipleship. The project developed and tested a mechanism through which clergy might experience accountable discipleship community.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Space for grace : creative ministry in physical and online spaces

Author
Lisa Arledge
Abstract
Oasis, an urban mission of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, encourages millennials and people who do not normally attend church to experience God. Based on a theology of space within the Trinity, the researcher modified Oasis’s previous ministries to include small group interventions and original art and videos shared on an online blog. An online survey affirmed the values of creativity and shared experiences. The paper concludes with recommendations for Church renewal based on the intervention. Shared leadership, creativity, and flexibility will help young adults connect with God and each other and make the Church more accessible to all.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Exploring the DNA of Oxon Hill United Methodist Church : and its impact on the church's ability to live a missional existence

Author
Patricia Allen
Abstract
The author explored the relational impact of local community and church history on the congregation, the decision making processes of the church, and the possibility of reimagining and repurposing these influences for the manifestation of biblical community. The author conducted a book review, facilitated a spiritual gifts inventory, led a bible study, and engaged a pastoral leadership assessment tool to assess the ability of the church to identify historical influences and potential opportunities for new understanding. The analysis of the responses gleaned from these experiences is the church's deeply entrenched understanding of community cannot easily be reimagined for different results.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Shuttered factories, scattered faithful : a third generation study of Gastonia and the confluence of faith, poverty, race, class, textile manufacturing, and union organizing in the new South

Author
Laura Alexander-Elliott
Abstract
Following on from Millhands & Preachers (Yale Divinity) and Spindles & Spires (Union Seminary), two religious academic works that studied Gastonia, N.C., in previous sequential generations, the author examines the relationship between the faith community and disappearing textile industry through the lens of her hometown, which once boasted the largest concentration of Southern cotton mills--businesses that built and sustained churches. She incorporates issues of economics, labor, class, and race, and--utilizing dozens of local interviews and surveys--documents the missions role congregations and faith-based nonprofits play today when both manufacturing and the mainline church have been in decline.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

A Study on the Education and Spiritual Formation for Church Construction in a Redevelopment Area: Focused on the Preparation for Constructing a New Dongkwang Church Building

Author
Jong-yoon Won
Abstract
This study aims to explore church education and spiritual formation as a means of preparing for the construction of a new church building in a redevelopment area. To this end, detailed and extensive research was carried out on the Church and architecture. And then, based on the research results, education was offered to members in the church for the sake of getting the biblical meaning of the church and the scientific concept of architecture understood; afterward, in conjunction with the education, a special prayer campaign and spiritual retreat were carefully organized and officially executed. By doing so, Dongkwang Church's spiritual community came to receive a new vision of a great thing implied in the redevelopment project, and further the whole congregation ended up with a pledge of commitment to church construction.

Defining Church in the 21st Century in an Age of Disruption: What we Take Forward, What We Let Go

Author
Vona R Wilson
Abstract
Looking through the lens of Christ's behavior and prayer in chapters 14-17 of John, the author identifies seven theological descriptions that help us recognize the body of Christ in any circumstances. Establishing a Virtual Chapel, an electronic devotional tool, within the community context of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee, the author observed surprising impact as employees, volunteers and donors began sharing this message of Christ with others. Initially beginning as a 169-person distribution, it now reaches over 900 people.
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