Wesley Theological Seminary

Revitalizing Rural: Merging Churches for Cooperative Ministries that Bring Renewal

Author
Tiffany A Nagel-Monroe
Abstract
The author researched changes in the Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church as it pertains to church development, statistical changes, and the decline of the rural/small congregation churches. This project focuses on a two-point charge in rural Oklahoma who merged together through ministries and programs to bring about renewal and regeneration in an unlikely place. The project is to show that cooperative and collaborative ministry models can and will bring about revitalization, even in the rural and small churches where little to no investment is being made.

Reclaiming the Spiritual Practice of Centering Prayer for Use in the United States Armed Force

Author
Clinton R Sheets II
Abstract
The author explored the impact of centering prayer on medical staff at Brooke Army Medical Center. He sought to determine centering prayer's efficacy in alleviating perceived stress using Thomas Keating's method of centering prayer and drawing from the contemplative lives of John of the Cross, Therese of Lisieux, and Thomas Merton. Centering prayer was conducted on site one day a week for an hour at a time over a four week period. Some participants reported a greater sense of calm in their lives at the end of the study while others had difficulty in using centering prayer.

Faith finance and a plan a Methodist tactical approach to personal stewardship

Author
Daryl L Williams
Abstract
The author researched the link between faith and financial stewardship in Christians to prove that linking spirituality to financial teachings would prompt Christians to be better stewards. The author conducted a six-week seminar, which immersed participants in a financial literacy class that taught both tactical and spiritual approaches to finances. The analysis of the responses of participants indicated that having faith as a part of their financial teaching was instrumental in their motivation to complete the program as well as implement it. Also, the research suggested that the program would lead participants to become more generous givers to their church.

Rest for weary souls a retreat model for spiritual caregivers in the aftermath of disaster

Author
Donna L Patterson
Abstract
Clergy and lay ministers are often called upon to provide spiritual support following natural and human-caused disasters. Serving others in the intensity of the trauma and long-term recovery of a disaster can take a physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional toll on caregivers. A retreat was established for spiritual caregivers to be part of a supportive community of others with similar experience of disaster caregiving. Spiritual caregivers were given the opportunity to explore their own experiences and feelings in a comfortable, safe environment and inviting format. This paper serves to describe how retreats can be valuable experiences of rest and renewal for spiritual caregivers.

Cultivating missional leadership through adapting the class meetings (centered on the Jeju JungAng Korean Methodist Church)

Author
Lewis A Parks
Abstract
Jeju JungAng Korean Methodist Church confronted with the challenges in the transformation of the church related to rapid changes of society. These challenges created many conflicts within the congregation. In order to solve the problem at hand, the author researched the implications of missional ecclesiology for leadership through adapting the Wesleyan class meetings. The author formed and led a six weeks "Class Leadership Training (CLT)" for the leadership that rose up in them would be able to move the entire congregation toward a more a missional response to its changing context. The author conducted surveys before and after CLT for understanding how the CLT helped the leadership change their mind.

A study of Christian education by the pilgrimage of mission history in Korea focused on the Dongbackjeong Methodist Church and the Appenzeller Mission Memorial Center

Author
Kwang-hyun Nam
Abstract
The purpose of this dissertation is on the study of new ministry case in the rural/fishing village churches. The second chapter tries to find the patterns of pilgrim in Biblical and theological backgrounds. The third chapter tries a historical approach to Dongbaekjeong church and Appenzeller Memorial Hall. In the project the writer tried through the survey for the pilgrims to find a model of pilgrim which can be applied to their spiritual discipline while the pilgrims visit the sites of mission history and tries to analyze, evaluate, and explain the confession of faith and transformation during the pilgrim journey.

Igniting the fire of spirituality the transformational power of John Wesley's spiritual disciplines

Author
James A McGinnis
Abstract
The author created a curriculum for teaching and experiencing the spiritual practices of John Wesley. The Prevenient, Justifying, and Sanctifying Grace of God calls humans into relationship with God. The practice of the spiritual disciplines is our response in faith to God's grace. Routine spiritual practice develops Christian discipleship and builds leadership. The curriculum was taught in two seven-week sessions, also taught as a weekend retreat, and the participants completed a pilgrimage to Mt. Angel Benedictine Abbey, Mt. Angel, OR to finish their spiritual experience. Pre and Post questionnaires show positive attitudes toward the spiritual disciplines and improved spiritual focus.

Does providing small group worship to the homebound and chronically ill congregant reconnect them to their faith community?

Author
Steven J Masters
Abstract
The author, working with two congregations, visited with chronically ill and home parishioners and their family members, providing personalized small group worship services. The author measured the effectiveness of the process by conducting spiritual assessments throughout the study to see if the congregant felt that the visits improved their connection to their congregation and as a result of these visits felt better about life in general. What the author concluded is that the persons being visited were extremely grateful, welcoming, and encouraging to the persons visiting them.

Spiritual formation for youths through Lectio Divina, spiritual journal, centering prayer focusing on youth ministry of Wonju First Methodist Church

Author
Won Jueng Lee
Abstract
In this paper the author shows understanding of adolescence as an important period for youth spiritual formation. Christian spirituality is an intimate encounter with God, the source of change and maturity as a gift of God 's grace. Spiritual formation is a lifelong process, and adolescence is a valuable time to prepare for the spiritual formation. In Korean society, however, youths are suffering from spiritual and psychological poverty due to the college entrance exam-centered educational system and losing the opportunity of spiritual formation. Therefore the author presents three spiritual disciplines which are Lectio Divina, Spiritual Journaling, and the Centering Prayer for intimate encounters with God, spiritual satisfaction, and aiming to taking after Jesus Christ.

God's embroidery

Author
Melanie K Marcus
Abstract
Parishioners may experience spiritual transformation through the study of icons and the practice of embroidering an icon. The Orthodox tradition of iconography can nurture a renewal of life in Jesus Christ expressed as fruits of the Spirit. The author studied four groups of participants in three churches to determine the impact of the study of iconology, and of embroidering an icon, on participant spiritual transformation. Using a survey, interviews, an exit questionnaire, and observations, the effect of studying iconography and making an icon on participant spiritual transformation was reported.
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