Dallas Theological Seminary

Equipping short-term mission team-leaders for effective misison trips

Author
Edsel Dureus
Abstract
The author identified and researched churches and para-church ministries with best practices and proven training resource materials to equip short-term mission (STM) trip team leaders and participants to have greater effectiveness in their STM trip endeavors with reliable principles. The first principle is that STM trip leaders must be well-equipped to train and lead their teams, and thus they will have a greater impact than their counterparts: untrained STM team leaders. The second principle is that once trained, STM trip leaders will know what to do purposely in order for them to have successful STM trips under all circumstances. The third principle is that once trained, STM trip leaders will strategically have systems in place to avoid or deal with pitfalls that tend to diminish the spiritual impact and the quality of STM trip experiences. The fourth principle is that once trained, STM trip leaders who are well equipped to train and lead their teams, become excep tionally indispensable catalysts to foster future long-term missionaries because of the quality of their previous STM trip experiences.The purpose of these case studies is to discover best practices and proven training resource materials to equip STM trip leaders and participants to have greater effectiveness and thus successful ministry in their STM trip endeavors by surveying three distinct ministries. In this project, STM trips will be defined by not only the length or duration of a specific mission trip, but also in terms of the specific ministry focus during the time frame which helps to determine its quality and effectiveness. Churches and para-church organizations will have a greater impact in their STM trips when the leaders of the teams and their participants are well trained for every assignment that encompasses their STM trips. The case study method was chosen. That allows an outside researcher flexibility to enter the context of interest, establish rapport, and to observe pertinent details and probe with formal and informal questions that will lead to deeper clarification and understanding in virtually every area of their inquiries. It also allows the researcher to administer data collection gathered from written materials as well as one-on-one interviews, in order to compare and contrast the findings. This project showed that STM trip leaders who are well equipped to train and lead their teams to have a greater impact than their counterpart, untrained STM team leaders. Also, after training STM trip leaders, they then know what to do in order to have successful STM trips under all circumstances. This research project showed there are churches and para-church ministry organizations with best training resource materials qualified to develop effective STM leaders and participants. When comparing the r esults of the three subjects in this research project, it is refreshing to discover the similarities in strong biblical convictions among them and the passionate commitment that fuels the fibers of their training resource materials to produce the kind of disciples that will glorify God on the mission field and at home.

Selected case studies of immigrant churches that are reaching the next generation

Author
Kenslio Ojentis
Abstract
The thesis of this dissertation is that immigrant churches that reach the successive generations demonstrate specific practices that bridge the cultural and generation gaps. The body of the dissertation is divided into three parts. The first part examines current literature on the following: (1) Immigrants' role in America's changing demographic and the role of religion in the preservation of language and culture, (2) The historical development of ministries to the second-generation immigrants, (3) attempts to foster intergenerational relationships (4) the importance of leadership development, and (5) biblical parallels of generational and cultural challenges. The second part involves the research procedure and the rationale for choosing the case study methodology to investigate the selected immigrant churches in their specific cultural and religious contexts. The last part details case studies of immigrant churches that successfully minister to their second-generation believers. Since second-generation church members live and actively participate in the world of their parents and that of the land of their birth, they are often conflicted with unique challenges related to acculturation. The challenge for the immigrant church is to determine which indigenous religious policies, traditions, and cultural practices are worth adopting and which need to be rejected; which need to be retained, and which must be negotiated and adapted. As a result, the dissertation then concludes with a chapter detailing some best practices that are intergenerational and transcultural to fit in various ethnic contexts. These principles will make the case for the immigrant church to be regarded both as a multigenerational and an intergenerational household.

An evaluation of the benefits of experiential learning techiques used In selected marital enrichment programs

Author
David L Sumlin
Abstract
The institution of marriage is believed to have reached a state of crisis. With upwards of half of the marriages ending in divorce and a growing trend of cohabitation rates, most marriage practitioners feel helpless to do anything to stave off this crisis. This longitudinal study explores some of the advances in science, education, and theology to identify the potential impact that experiential learning and the role of the practitioner have on marital enrichment outcomes. Large effect sizes from experimental groups help to support the assertion that Activity-Based Marital Enrichment programs yield higher levels of sustained outcomes than traditional interventions

A gender specific comparative study of single parent concerns and issues and their association with church participation

Author
Aaron H Gaddis
Abstract
This research project conducted a gender specific comparative study on single parent concerns and issues and their association with church attendance and participation. The study answers the following research question. What are the differences between selected male and female single parent concerns and issues that affect their church attendance and participation? The growth of the single parent family in American society necessitates this study. Single parent ministry is a vast mission field that has not been sufficiently infiltrated by the local church. The goal of this research is to begin the discussion securing gender-specific reactions to selected concerns and issues that are associated with attendance and participation in the local church. Six concerns and their associated issues have been selected. Concerns involving the Judgment of Others; Care for Children; Time management and Financial Resources; The Local Church's Response to Single Parenting; Personal Spiritual Growth; and Faith Transference to Children. A core group comprised of unwed single parents, divorced single parents, and widowed single parents, guided the study. Exclusions from the study were: Non-custodial single parents, cohabiting parents, parents who are married and parenting single. The custodial parent was chosen because of his/her reliability and consistency. Published literature beginning with the Bible offers clear guidance on how to approach the good and bad widow, the orphan, the divorced, the unwed, and the poor. Other literature offers sociological and historical data on the single parent family in America. Literature offers limited comparative data on male and female single parents and their religious practices. Because of the limited empirical data this study will contribute to the resources available for future studies. The comparative research data was collected from 112 custodial single parents currently raising children between the ages of birth to eighteen years of age. There are 74 women and 38 men who volunteered to participate using the 37-question online survey research instrument. For greater understanding, five individuals were personally interviewed on seven fundamental questions taken from the survey. More details on the data collection and research procedure will be shared in chapter three. This pioneering study offers estranged single parents inclusion in the local family of faith so that the trend of single parenting will be changed as they launch their children as arrows against the darkness of a secular society.

La relevancia suselementos críticos en la predicación

Author
Mark D Henzler
Abstract
Esta disertación examina los cinco elementos críticos para la relevancia en la predicación: el mensaje del texto, el poder de Dios, relación a la necesidad de los oyentes, un propósito concreto y la implementación de la buena técnica retórica. Investiga lo que dicen los autores notables en cuanto a los elementos, analiza una encuesta de más de 50 pastores respeto al tema y además provee sugerencias para la enseñanza de la homilética en institutos y seminarios. Finaliza con sugerencias específicas para el predicador de la Palabra de Dios para que sus sermones tengan mayor relevancia para sus oyentes.

Selected studies for a reflection on leadership growth in presbyterian (PCUSA) churches

Author
Bryan C Stamper
Abstract
The thesis of this dissertation focuses on the idea that medium-sized Presbyterian Churches in the PCUSA offer a unique opportunity for growth within a denomination experiencing declining membership. This paper starts with an identification of common factors for church growth, then specifically exposits systematic changes that can be implemented in PCUSA churches to create a healthier culture. The hypotheses of this paper describe three areas of potential change to grow healthier medium-sized PCUSA churches: the size of the local church leadership board, the implementation of policy governance practices, and the introduction of transformational leadership training in the local church. Has this Abstract already been submitted for publication?

Selected interviews of four disciple-makers and their proteges to determine key ingredients for biblical discipleship

Author
Warren D Culwell
Abstract
The purpose of this dissertation is to discover the top essential human environmental elements to the making of a strong and growing disciple of Jesus. Four disciplers and their protégés were interviewed and recorded for the purpose of discovering what, in their personal opinion, were the essential ingredients in developing and training strong and growing disciples of Jesus. The results indicated my top three hypothesizes were not confirmed. Their top three elements were the relationship, the centrality of the Word, and the application of what the disciple was learning. There were other elements discussed in the interviews.

Selected case studies on how to revitalize a traditional church ministry

Author
Timothy R Rogers
Abstract
This dissertation is an examination of the quality of leadership necessary to sustain revitalization in the traditional church. A case study model approach was used to gather data from three churches at least fifty years old that have undergone some form of revitalization. The leadership focus was twofold: first, inquiry was made on the kind of leadership structures or systems that the churches had in place, and second, consideration was given to the person of the senior leader: his strengths, weaknesses, and other personal traits. Several conclusions were reached throughout this study, with the overarching research conclusion being that church contexts that are best positioned for revitalization are ones in which both the leader and the leadership system can be described as healthy or pursuing greater health. With the understanding that God is the ultimate source of spiritual renewal, this study focuses on what we can control: the environment of leadership within the church. As such, consideration is given to exploring what healthy systems and healthy leaders might look like and to understanding the challenges that accompany this difficult work of revitalizing a traditional church.

The courageous and compassionate pastor: an exploration of the role of the local church pastor in the renewal efforts of the declining denomination

Author
Chad A McMullin
Abstract
This project was focused on clarifying the leadership roles for pastors within the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). There are so many expectations upon pastors and it is very difficult to know where to focus our energies and efforts. This research includes a survey of 45 Disciple pastors and the congregations they serve. The results were that church vitality is directly related to certain pastoral leadership practices. The conclusions are as follows: The role of the pastor is to be a visionary bridge building leader. The role of the pastor is to lead his/her congregation into a deeper Christian spirituality. The role of the pastor is to help lead the congregation toward developing more fluid/organic governance structures. Finally, the role of the pastor is to lead by example and to lead with both courage and compassion.

An explosion of key strategies for ministry to single,never married English-speaking Chinese women in selected churches within the Singapore Baptist Convention for spiritual growth and Fospel ministry

Author
Hwee Chuang Heng
Abstract
The purpose of this research was to explore the strategies of ministry to never-married single, women in selected Baptist churches in Singapore. This objective was achieved through in-depth interviews of church pastors who were responsible for the spiritual well-being of the single women in their churches. It was concluded that the ways of ministry by the pastors to the single women were to make known to the women the biblical/theological perspective on singleness, to have an awareness of the issues facing the women and to seek out the means to address the issues faced by the single women.
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