Lancaster Theological Seminary

Vital gifts and veiled temptations: using the enneagram to understand holy identity

Author
William H Cluley
Abstract
The author designed a thirteen week Sunday School curriculum incorporating the teaching methodology of Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligence strategies to introduce the concepts of Holy Identity based on the Enneagram personality typology. The author compared the self-identification of type after experiencing the course with a pre-test of the Wagner Enneagram Personality Style Scale. Eight of ten participants matched their self-identification to the score on the pretest. This course was seen as an effective approach to self-awareness of personality type and dynamics.

Hospitality -- envisioned and practiced: the reality of practiced hospitality and St. Matthew's United Church of Christ

Author
Darrel R Justh
Abstract
This project explores the vision and practice of hospitality as performed by the congregation of St. Matthew's United Church of Christ. Through questionnaires and discussion groups, the congregation's practice of hospitality was compared to five research congregations. The questionnaire and discussion groups focused on the concrete and abstract occurrences of hospitality. The acquired information was used to compare the congregation's implied practice of hospitality with tangible experiences. The dissertation enabled the congregation to gain a better understanding of their practice of hospitality.

What pastors experience in their congregations as they represent the peace position in the Church of the Brethren

Author
Jeffrey O Copp
Abstract
This study gathered information from Church of the Brethren pastors about their experiences representing the Brethren peace position in their congregations. This was considered a fruitful window through which to examine the state of the peace position today. A questionnaire was sent to 228 Brethren pastors. One hundred seventeen responded. The findings revealed that most congregations are not experiencing significant conflict over the position, but a majority of pastors are uncomfortable with the current status quo. Six concrete recommendations for changing peace demographics in the Church of the Brethren emerged from the data.

How do we become like Christ? American Mennonite spiritual formation through the lens of one woman's life and one seminary 1909-2003

Author
Dawn R Nelson
Abstract
Mennonites have been drinking deeply from contemplative spiritual formation wells in the last 30 years. In order to find out why, the author researched a typical Mennonite woman's life, that of her grandmother, to discover what Mennonite spirituality was. The author also researched the development of the spiritual formation curriculum at the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries since the 1980s, to discover why and what Mennonite spirituality is becoming. The author concluded that there are values and themes that Mennonite spirituality needs to preserve, even as it is recognized that the way to embody these themes is changing drastically.

New wine on old wineskins: is there need for a new paradigm in outdoor educational ministry?

Author
Ross S Bash
Abstract
The extent to which environmental and religious values are emphasized and integrated in outdoor educational ministry programs of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was examined through survey research of PCUSA church camps. The results indicated that environmental values are not emphasized or integrated with religious values. Based on the results and review of both theological and environmental literature, a new paradigm is required in outdoor educational ministry to better integrate environmental and religious values and contribute to a re-formation of Christian beliefs and practices to ground the relationship between God and God's creation, including humanity, more ecologically and holistically.

Two thousand years of grace and the church: hermeneutics in an Evangelical and Catholic tradition

Author
F Christopher Anderson
Abstract
How does one interpret scripture through "the faith of the historic church expressed in the ancient creeds and reclaimed in the basic insights of the Protestant Reformers?" (Preamble to the Constitution of the United Church of Christ) I show that scholars in the field of hermeneutics are seeing the need to interpret from a tradition. I give an overview of the Post Critical Retrieval Movement. I illustrate how five texts have been interpreted through tradition in the field of spiritual direction. I introduce an Evangelical and Catholic tradition. I give an introduction to how Augustine, Chrysostoom, Bernard, Calvin and Barth interpret scripture. I glean twelve common hermeneutical insights from these five interpreters. I explain my own 'pre-understandings' for interpreting scripture. In two case studies I show how interpreting through this tradition differs from how one would interpret using only the historical-critical method. I further illustrate this by a sermon and commentary.

An (Ana)baptist homiletic of community: preaching as a communal and dialogical practice

Author
Leo Hartshorn
Abstract
This dissertation makes the argument, through an examination of primary and secondary sources, that sixteenth-century Anabaptism exhibited in its beliefs and practices a communal and dialogical modality of biblical interpretation and preaching. From this collective and interactive configuration a critical discrimen was created as a heuristic device to analyze contemporary hermeneutical and homiletical traditions to reveal which concepts might be appropriated and the limitations of those traditions in constructing an inclusive, emancipatory (Ana)baptist homiletic of community. In the concluding appendix suggestive guidelines are made for constructing a pedagogy and practice of such a preaching model.

Ecological grace, wisdom and parish ministry

Author
Samuel H Hartman
Abstract
The author proposes that contemporary Christians can build an ecological church that holds the whole creation at its moral center by drawing on methods of biblical wisdom literature. By observation of the relationships of the cosmos and the human place in it, by creative listening to the traditions of scripture and theology, and by encouraging experiences of God based on ecological metaphors and models in worship, education and practices of ministry, communities of faith can widen the horizons of varied theological worlds to encompass the whole of God's creation, resulting in wise living at a time of ecological crisis.

Ignatian spirituality and feminist scholarship: companions of Sophia

Author
Maria A McCoy
Abstract
This study explores the relationship of Ignatian spirituality and feminist scholarship. The author examines Ignatian spirituality and The spiritual exercises through feminist perspectives and presents information gleaned through women's experience of praying with female symbols of the Divine. Analysis demonstrates that Ignatian spirituality has the ability not only to welcome Christian feminist scholarship, but to be enlightened by it. Compatibility with Christian feminist views, however, requires the expansion of Ignatius' spirituality, and an adaptation of The spiritual exercises to include contemporary feminist theological, biblical, spiritual, and psychological research. In this spirit, these two movements provide powerful resources for women's development.

Rich toward God: a study of endowments in twenty congregations of the United Church of Christ

Author
Robert F Peters
Abstract
This project investigates positive and negative experiences with congregational endowments, drawing on a detailed survey of 20 congregations of the United Church of Christ with endowments exceeding one million dollars. Analyzing these experience in the context of New Testament ethical teaching on wealth and the history of endowments in churches, the project concludes that endowments can be effective resources for congregations if biblical and theological principles and sound management policies are addressed.
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