Concordia Theological Seminary

Witness, mercy, life together as the framework for mission

Author
Steven D. Schave
Abstract
The thesis for this project was two-fold: 1) We can use the marks that Martin Luther wrote of as the basis for how we define church to a core group. 2) A developed resource entitled Witness, Mercy, and Life Together can be used as the framework for mission. The project’s research involved a combination of meetings, in depth study, and surveys of Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod church planters. The researcher concluded that Luther’s marks of the church can be a tool to developing Lutheran identity, and that the witness, mercy, life together resource is a successful planning tool for church planting.

Positioning an international partner Lutheran church seminary for accreditation : a critical analysis of a proposed procedure for the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana Lutheran Seminary, Ghana, West Africa

Author
Steven R. Schumacher
Abstract
There is both a need and interest in attaining accreditation for theological education programs by Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod partner church seminaries in Africa. By means of a critical analysis a proposed procedure for The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ghana (ELCG) Lutheran Seminary was prepared by the author. He assessed the current student population and ELCG ordained pastors through means of tracking GPAs, personal interviews, surveys and questionnaires to discover academic and cultural needs in preparing for the pastoral ministry. Through his discoveries, the author presents a theological basis for the rationale to acquire accreditation through an African independent Christian association.

Promoting the Psalms as prayer through Bible classes and preaching

Author
David H. Petersen
Abstract
The goal of the project was to increase the Redeemer Lutheran Church congregation's knowledge and appreciation of the Psalms and of their use of the Psalms as prayer. Research was conducted on a Lutheran definition of prayer for the Psalms, the use and role of imagination in interpreting the psalms, and on homiletic strategies tailored to the Psalms as prayer. The research method was to take surveys and observation notes throughout an intensive period of Bible classes and sermons and then again at a later date. The results were positive but most pronounced in those for whom the concepts were new.

Training manual on the Lutheran divine service : a response to Pentecostalism in the ELCT, South East of Lake Victoria Diocese Agape parish

Author
Daniel Henry Mono
Abstract
The project was conducted in Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, South East of Lake Victoria Diocese, Agape Kahama Parish (ELCT-SELVD). Pentecostalism has been seriously penetrating among the Lutheran members to the extent that some of them do not value the Lutheran Divine Service. They claim that the Lutheran Divine Service is not spiritual because it is guided by the book or written materials and therefore, not spiritual.

The study made a survey of the use of the ELCT hymn book for worship called Tumwabudu Mungu Wetu (TMW) which has biblical contents. The project results proved that many Lutheran members in ELCT did not fully understand and believe what is contained in the book.

The study developed a training manual for the Divine Service for pastors use so that they are well equipped to teach their members so that they remain faithful Lutherans.

Impact of life-Time ordination of Elder in the Pastoral ministry among the Zou Churches in North-East India

Author
Hau Suankap Manlun
Abstract
This dissertation chiefly examines the function of pastors and church elders in the divine worship and the administration of the Zou Churches in North East India. The author states that ordination is only for those who received a divine call from God to serve publicly in the holy ministry of the word of sacraments. Today, what is commonly called an "elder" is in reference to laymen appointed to secure the congregation in its temporal affair and to assist the pastor in the administrative tasks. In scripture the most common titles for the holy ministry are elder, overseers, and pastors. These three titles are interchangeable (Eph. 4:11; Acts 20:28-31; 1 Pet. 5:1-4). The author promotes the value of ordination for pastors. Elders are not ordained, but appointed to assist pastors with the administrative of the local congregations. This research had concluded that the practice of life-time ordination of elders is not beneficial for the wellbeing of the Zou Lutheran Church and should be carefully replaced with a more biblical polity.

Cultural Identification and establishing a devotional life: Essentials in rural outreach

Author
Robb W Roloff
Abstract
In order for a rural congregation to have an effective outreach, it must first understand the culture of their congregation and that of their society. This knowledge must be accompanied by a fervent prayer life specifically directed at outreach. Surveys were conducted of visitors and members to establish an understanding of their understanding of how the congregation is viewed from those who are not part of its culture and from those who are. Because of this project, deficiencies in the church's culture that inhibited new membership were corrected and the members attained a greater prayer and witness life.

Salem's Haven: A program for young unmarried mothers

Author
Ray R Ohlendorf
Abstract
The Researcher used a Mixed Methods Approach. A qualitive primary method was used first, then using the qualitive data as a basis for collecting and interpreting the quantitative data. The researcher examined various theories concerning the cause of pregnancy among young unmarried women; theories such as poverty, poor home life, the absence of fathers, and others. The qualitive portion of the dissertation consisted of interviews, surveys, empirical evidence, graphs, and others. Using a mixed methods approach enabled the Researcher to tailor it to a select audience. The program of this dissertation addressed the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of the mothers from a Christian perspective.

A Christian approach and response to same-sex attraction and marriage in an increasingly secular and hostile context

Author
Kyle A Heck
Abstract
Through the use of specific bible studies, discussions, and role plays the author worked to equip his congregation with a better understanding and appreciation of what God's word teaches concerning same sex attraction and marriage with a view toward enabling the congregation's members to engage our community, family and friends. He addressed the lack of awareness concerning his own congregation's own divergent views about same-sex attraction and marriage through the use of internal surveys and interviews. The author also used surveys and interviews to engage a local community college to learn about views on homosexuality from people outside the congregation. The results were that the congregation gained awareness on the issue and is now better equipped to engage and support individuals, family and friends struggling with sexual identity issues.

Post-divine service catechesis in Luther's Catechisms: reforming congregational identity

Author
Craig A Meissner
Abstract
A Northern Illinois parish with a strong catechetical tradition in former years had recently seen significant membership losses. Other great changes were pending as it was losing one of its main buildings. With the congregation subsequently facing an identity crisis, the researcher proposed and conducted five to ten-minute catechetical sessions based on Luther's Catechisms for the whole congregation immediately following the Sunday Divine Service. Data was collected assessing beliefs, desires, practices, and activities indicative of member and congregational self-identity. The experiment proved to significantly strengthen members' identity as Christians, increasing in faith, hope, love, and knowledge of Christian doctrine while conducted, as well as a mild increase in participation in parish life.

Improving New Member Catechesis and Integration at Grace Lutheran Church, Tulsa, Oklahoma, by means of a Lutheran Catechumenate

Author
Christian C Tiews
Abstract
Borrowing a concept from the Early Church and the Roman Catholic RCIA, the author-a Lutheran pastor-implemented a nine month long new member class in his church. This deviates from most new member classes, which are often only a few hours in length. Surveying the 44 catechumens and other participants, who represented a sample/small subgroup and cross section of the total congregational population, the author showed quantitatively that the long period of instruction markedly improved the catechesis of the new members, created a stronger Lutheran identity in them, and improved their integration within the congregation.
Subscribe to Concordia Theological Seminary