Dallas Theological Seminary

Relationships between personality types and sin tendencies of young adult Christians.

Many young adult Christians lack awareness of even their most basic patterns
of sin. This project sought to broaden awareness of such instinctive patterns by
identifying relationships between sin tendencies and personality types. Specifically, it
explored sin patterns in relation to each of the eight preferences of the Myers-Briggs
Type Indicator: introversion, extraversion, sensing, intuition, thinking, feeling, judging,
and perceiving.
All subjects had a 4-year college degree, were under the age of 35, and were
believers in Jesus Christ who were actively involved in Christian community. The study
took a mixed method research approach and collected both quantitative and qualitative
data. It began with a descriptive survey which yielded fifty-three usable responses.
Following the survey, the researcher conducted in-depth interviews with seven of the
respondents in order to gain deeper insight regarding the impact their personality
preferences had on their patterns of behavior.
When considered in combination, the quantitative and qualitative results
verified strong relationships between six of the eight preferences and specific sin
tendencies. While the hypothesis regarding the remaining two preferences was not
confirmed, the interview results suggested relationships between slightly different sin
tendencies and these preferences. The study recommends some specific additional
research be conducted to confirm these potential correlations. The project concludes with
recommendations regarding how one could utilize the findings to positively

Selected case studies in how to move Rhea’s Mill Baptist Church from plateaued to growing

Rhea’s Mill Baptist Church is in the expanding community of Prosper, Texas. Though the community is growing, the church is not. The purpose of this dissertation was to understand why the church’s growth has plateaued. The hypothesis was: as Rhea’s Mill Baptist Church gives attention to issues associated with space, small groups, and focus, the church will move from plateaued to growing.
The body of this dissertation is divided into three parts. It begins with a review of relevant literature concerning issues of space, small groups, and focus as they relate to church growth. This is followed by an explanation of why qualitative case study research was used to evaluate two churches that successfully moved from plateaued to growing. The case-studies demonstrated that there is a link between giving attention to issues associated with space, small groups, and focus and a church successfully moving from plateaued to growing.
The dissertation concludes with applications that will aid in helping Rhea’s Mill Church move from its current plateau to growing once again.

Selected case studies investigating the principles of visionary leadership of the senior pastor in the revitalization of a declining church

As early as the 1980s, church growth specialists began to sound an alarm concerning the death, decline, and revitalization of churches. These specialists identified an association between pastoral leadership style, the presence of a compelling vision that identified how the church should look in the future and key actions that would result in the cessation of the decline and initiation of revitalization.
The readers will discover that there is an association between the visionary leadership of the pastor and the principles used to impact at least eight different spheres of the ministry that have been entrusted to him.
This dissertation defined “visionary leadership” as leadership that inspires people to change because of two things: the Senior Pastor’s model and message. The project will examine the role the of selected senior pastors and the impact of their visionary leadership on the revitalization of a declining church.
The primary means of investigation and research in this project was the use of eight case studies of pastors, which will assess their leadership style and its impact on revitalization. Some of these pastors entered their churches more than twenty years ago, and some began three years ago. In each case, their churches have experienced marked growth after a period of decline.


This research sought to evaluate how a homiletics training program developed
by John Jauchen for pastors in Africa could be adapted and applied within the Haitian
Church in America (for Haitian pastors/preachers). The desired outcome of this program
was to help Haitian pastors better appreciate the art of preaching, be more passionate
about sermon preparation, and be able to identify a process for sermon preparation. In
addition, on a broader level, the project evaluated whether this program improved their
attitude toward expository sermon preparation and increased their confidence by using a
standardized process.
A well-balanced sermon is clear, true, relevant, and biblical. These are
necessities for a sermon to accomplish its purpose of changing lives to the glory of God.
A link exists between satisfactory sermon preparation and its delivery. Preparation prior
to delivery was considered in this project. The value of preparation was highlighted
because all good preachers should take this characteristic seriously. Preparation is the
action or process of making ready or being made ready for use or consideration.
Clarity and effective communication are two important characteristics of
developing a well-balanced and clear sermon. The flow of a sermon depends on both
clarity and effective communication skills. Therefore, these skills were addressed during
the evaluation of this homiletics training seminar manual.
Commitment is necessary for producing well-balanced sermons. Otherwise,
congregants will become undernourished because preachers lack the skill to prepare and
deliver expository and well-balanced sermons.
A questionnaire and two focus groups were part of the evaluation process for
this project. The pre-survey evaluated those who participated in the training seminar. It
provided a foundational understanding of their ability to develop expository preaching
skills. The post-survey measured their progress after being exposed to the training.


Unfortunately, the world we live in is full of sin, rejection and pain leading all
of us to be frequently hurt. These hurts motivate even Christians to develop unhealthy
methods of repairing ourselves, independent of God. These unhealthy methods, which do not resolve the hurt, leave us living in a state of quiet despair and below a state of
flourishing. Furthermore, almost all of us base our sense of identity on temporary things,
including past hurts, which leave us vulnerable to anxiety. Currently, the culture in the
United States has moved (and continues to do so) away from basic Christianity,
particularly in family life where core beliefs are formed.
The author is developing a Christian education program where students learn the key biblical principles of maturing in Christ,being married, and raising a family. The program has three parts: individual discipleship,marriage, and parenting. This research evaluated the effectiveness of the individual discipleship portion of this Christian education program and its contribution to the spiritual development among participants at selected area churches.
This study utilized a mixed-method approach. Participants in the program participated in a survey (pre- and post-class). Selected individuals were part of focus groups. I anticipated that by participating in the program students would grow in their spiritual development through examining their life story, would have an improved understanding of their identity in Christ, and would exhibit a positive change in their expected sense of peace. As students examined their life story in light of God’s Holy Word, they would most assuredly find places where false identities had been errantly believed as truth. It was expected that when students confronted these misbeliefs and embraced God’s truth about their identity, they would experience a greater sense of peace. This new state would enable the individual to flourish more fully.


In March 2020, the United States began shutting its borders to international travelers asking citizens to return home and go into self-quarantine due to a new invisible enemy known as COVID-19. In the days and weeks to follow, almost every sector of life around the world was impacted as the virus became a global pandemic, and unprecedented restrictions were enacted for public safety. Businesses and schools were closed; sporting events were cancelled; gatherings were restricted; and face coverings were mandated. Overnight, churches were forced to adapt and embrace various digital media platforms to create an online presence and develop new strategies to minister to their congregations.
This research project examined the implementation of a hybrid (in-person and online) church ministry model at Brookridge Baptist Church in Plover, WI using two descriptive surveys. The study sought to discover if the hybrid church model could help meet spiritual needs and facilitate personal church involvement during both a period of restricted gatherings and the ensuing phases of the COVID-19 crisis, as well as a part of the regular ministry of the church going forward.
Two descriptive surveys were administered during two different points in time during the pandemic formed the basis of the research. The first survey was given in April 2020 during a time of state-mandated restricted gatherings, and a second in December 2021 while the pandemic continued in its variant forms.


The thesis of this dissertation was Christian congregations are called to make
disciples in the community in which the church is located. Suburban, homogeneous,
minority-led churches are an oasis and a safe-haven for ethnic minorities who relocate
from urban centers. Yet, as outposts of Christ’s kingdom, these churches are charged with
the responsibility of reaching across ethnic lines to make disciples of all nations
beginning with the neighborhood in which the congregation worships. The assumption
that leading a homogeneous congregation to diversify is the same regardless of the
church’s location and the ethnicity of its pastor ignores the long history of race relations
in America. Minority pastors who lead suburban, ethnically homogeneous churches need
key leadership qualities to diversify their congregations.
Through semi-structured interviews with nine African American pastors from
different denominations and different regions of the United States, this qualitative study
concluded that biblical conviction, cultural competence, conflict resolution skill, and
emotional intelligence are key leadership qualities necessary for diversifying suburban,
ethnically homogeneous, minority-led congregations.
This dissertation is divided into five sections. The first section provides a
rationale for this study and explains the significance of the project given the novelty of
the topic and the lack of specific research on the topic. The second section discusses the
relevant literature concerning biblical conviction, cultural competence, conflict resolution
skill, and emotional intelligence. The third section describes the research procedure,
offers a justification for using in-depth interviews as the preferred research method, and
addresses the limitations of the study. The fourth section of this dissertation presents the
results from the interviews which substantiate and confirm the project’s hypotheses. The
last section gives implications for ministry, shares the delimitations of the study, and
makes recommendations for future research.


This DMin research study identified some of the primary reasons for which
the second-generation South Indian believers leave the Mar Thoma Church in America
for other local evangelical American churches. The research concentrated on the
identification of such reasons and determined the contributing factors pertinent to
ministry at the Mar Thoma Church. The research for this study included a review of
literature focused on the exodus of the second generation from other ethnic immigrant
churches in America. The literature review primarily featured a biblical, theological, and
practical framework for the following ministry components: worship style, preaching and
teaching, pastoral care, friction between generations, and burnout. This study sought to
develop practical ways to produce fruitful ministry at the Mar Thoma Church in America.
A descriptive survey, designed and developed by the researcher, yielded 250
survey responses from those who met the following mandatory criteria: (1) secondgeneration
South Indians, (2) who have left or are currently transitioning out of the Mar
Thoma Church in America, and (3) are current members or active participants of other
local evangelical American churches. The survey gathered quantitative and qualitative
responses by including both closed and open-ended questions. The survey was designed
to gather demographic and personal information and details concerning the survey
respondents’ experiences at both the Mar Thoma Church and local evangelical American
The results from this study will be used as a catalyst for purposeful
discussions concerning the ministry paradigm for the Mar Thoma Church in America.
The results will also assist the leadership of the Mar Thoma Church in the development
and implementation of fundamental reforms that will effectively minister to the second


The purpose of this dissertation is to examine why 80-85% of churches in the United States are declining, or have plateaued, and what effect the application of key metrics within the heart of a pastoral leader can have on reversing this trend. This research examines six selected metrics for pastoral leadership which are associated with sustainable church health. The body of this dissertation makes six propositions for qualitative research. The research continues with a presentation of three case study churches, including interviews of leaders within each church. The dissertation concludes with a chapter presenting the six metrics and how declining and plateaued churches and the pastoral leaders therein can, through prayer, begin to dream, think and plan for health that leads to growth


The thesis of this dissertation is that the internal succession for senior pastorship in the Chinese heritage church are affected by four key factors: 1) the heart and future preparation of the outgoing leader, 2) intentional planning through the early identification and grooming of the prospective successor, 3) building unity and trust in communication to address concerns and reach a consensus with stakeholders, and 4) a relational and spiritual focus in the entire transition process.
The dissertation is divided into four parts. First, a literature review surveys writings on leadership succession from both the secular and Christian perspectives, with an examination on the biblical insights and a theological framework for leadership succession. The second part of the dissertation covers the qualitative research procedure used in this project through the case study method and its strengths and weaknesses. The third part of the dissertation reports the case study research findings from the three case studies Chinese heritage churches that have completed what is deemed as successful internal senior pastor’s succession considering the four hypotheses. The final section draws out the applications from the research that can be applied to any church considering internal leadership succession with a special focus on the needs of Chinese heritage churches in America. The conclusion of the dissertation also includes the limitations of this study as well as suggestions for future research.
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