Denver Seminary

Equipping Advent Health Leaders to Hold Team Members Accountable Through Hard Conversations

Author
David L Kennedy D.Min.
Abstract
Many leaders at AdventHealth avoid holding those they are leading accountable through hard conversations. This affects both the performance of the team they are leading, as well as the organizational health of the hospital. As this project demonstrated, it can also affect the mental health of the leader, leading to feelings of isolation and shame. This problem was addressed through a twelve-week intervention on how to navigate accountability conversations consisting of reading, group meetings, role-playing, and mentoring. The project utilized a qualitative, phenomenological method to explore the lived experiences of each of the participants. The specific behavioral changes sought were decreased avoidance of crucial conversations and an increase in perceived effectiveness at navigating them. Participants were selected using the Style Under Stress Assessment (SUSA), setting a baseline for avoidance and perceived effectiveness. Pre- and post-project semi-structured interviews were also conducted, and participants took the SUSA again after the intervention to determine whether avoidance had decreased and perceived effectiveness had increased. The result was that participants not only increased in their perceived effectiveness and decreased their avoidance of these difficult discussions, but feelings of isolation were replaced with relational connection and shame was replaced with “tentative confidence”.

The Lived Experiences of Marital Therapy for Couples Who Have Achieved
Positive Relationship Outcomes

Author
Lambert Louise Lambert D.Min.
Abstract
Marriage is in a crisis in North America. The reported divorce rate ranges between 30-50%. Separation and divorce is disrupting the stability of the family and its members, including Christian homes. Many couples, finding the prospect of marriage to be risky, are opting to cohabitate to test their relationships, which increases the potential for divorce should they marry. However, research shows that healthy, satisfying marriages have positive benefits for those couples and their children.
Some couples that seek counseling for their marriage problems are able to adjust well and rebuild their marital relationships, while others are not. An interpretive phenomenological analysis examined the lived experiences of six couples, who were nominated by mental health professionals or self-referred, and confirmed by the Dyadic Adjustment Scale as couples who achieved positive relationship outcomes following marriage counseling. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted, and a conceptual mapping task was completed, for each participating couple. After a rigorous analysis of the data, four significant themes emerged. Achieving healthy relationship functioning for couples following marriage counseling involves: (a) improving their communication, (b) being willing to work on their relationship, (c) accepting their partners for who they are, and (d) relying on their faith as a resource. The results of this study may have important implications for couples in marriage counseling, as well as those working with couples: counselors, therapists, pastors, medical practitioners, community organizations, and faith-based organizations.

The Lived Experiences of Marital Therapy for Couples Who Have Achieved Positive Relationship Outcomes

Author
Lambert Louise Lambert D.Min.
Abstract
Marriage is in a crisis in North America. The reported divorce rate ranges between 30-50%. Separation and divorce is disrupting the stability of the family and its members, including Christian homes. Many couples, finding the prospect of marriage to be risky, are opting to cohabitate to test their relationships, which increases the potential for divorce should they marry. However, research shows that healthy, satisfying marriages have positive benefits for those couples and their children.
Some couples that seek counseling for their marriage problems are able to adjust well and rebuild their marital relationships, while others are not. An interpretive phenomenological analysis examined the lived experiences of six couples, who were nominated by mental health professionals and confirmed by the Dyadic Adjustment Scale, as couples who achieved positive relationship outcomes following marriage counseling. In-depth semistructured interviews were conducted, and a conceptual mapping task was completed, for each participating couple. After a rigorous analysis of the data, four significant themes emerged. Achieving healthy relationship functioning for couples following marriage counseling involves: (a) improving their communication, (b) being willing to work on their relationship, (c) accepting their partners for who they are, and (d) relying on their faith as a resource. The results of this study may have important implications for couples in marriage counseling, as well as those working with couples: counselors, therapists, pastors, medical practitioners, community organizations, and faith-based organizations.

The Effect of a Wilderness Program Upon Identity Understanding and Spiritual Formation in Young Millennials

Abstract
This study examines the effect of a wilderness program featuring a solo component upon eight Young Millennials aged twenty to twenty. The project the study focuses on took place in Big Bend National Park in 2020. The author looks closely at the Biblical record and uses four primary examples as case studies. _Special attention is given to generational theory, nature deficit disorder, and digital nativity. The author looks at the complex issues and difficulties that Young Millennials face in growing as spiritual leaders, and he explores how a wilderness program with a solo component can address those issues and help to bridge the generation gap between Young Millennials and former generations. _This is a qualitive study that relies highly on interviews, journals, surveys and
reflections from person experience. The study suggests that there is great value in this type of program for transformational identity work, and spiritual formation amongst the Young Millennial
Generation.

Examining the Experience of Spiritual Growth Resulting from Scripture Reading, Prayer, and Silence-Solitude When Practiced at Prescribed Intervals.

Abstract
The author examined the spiritual growth of a group of participants who engaged in a highly structured exercise of scripture reading,
prayer, and silence-solitude. The researcher used a qualitative research method. The results
of the study revealed that the participants who were the most intentional about engaging
in the prescribed exercises experienced the greatest growth in the areas of fruit of the Spirit.

Enabling Emotional Healing and Spiritual Resilience through Guiding and Empowering Veterans to Tell Their Stories

Abstract
The thesis for this research was Enabling Emotional Healing and Spiritual Resilience through Guiding and Empowering Veterans to tell their Stories. The research method used for this project was qualitative design, particularly narrative with a thematic approach to analyzing the data. Themes are a part of a lived experience or story. A pre-and post-interview was conducted by the researcher with the individuals selected for the small group that met for twelve sessions. The individuals in the small group were given the COPE Inventory developed by Carver, Scheier, and Weintraub and two questions developed by this researcher. his research project set out to answer the question, “What will be the effects of mentoring and empowering individuals to tell their stories on their emotional and spiritual resilience?” The results from the small group showed that the veterans in the group felt more empowered to tell their story by the end of the small group. As the group progressed through each session the researcher noticed that the veterans themselves became more willing to share their difficult stories but they also began to help each other because of similar life experiences. The research showed that members of the small group had not only been empowered to tell their story but also felt a stronger sense of resilience and personal agency to help others tell their story.

he Effects of Hospitality on Emotional and Spiritual Transformation within Cadence International Hospitality Houses

Abstract
The Effects of Hospitality on Emotional and Spiritual Transformation. A phenomenological study that explored how emotional and spiritual transformational is fostered in healthy and effective Cadence hospitality ministries. The goal was to identify a few transferable principles that could benefit Cadence International and other ministries or ministry leaders. The most obvious transferable principle was that hospitality itself is transferable and holds rich potential for emotional and spiritual transformation. Authentically sharing life extends hospitality and health beyond the reach of a particular ministry.

Finding Meaning in a Move: Taking a Faith-Based, Logotherapeutic Approach to the Stressors Military Spouses Experiencing in Relation to a Permanent Change of Station

Abstract
The average Army family undergoes a Permanent Change of Station (PCS) every 2-3 years. A PCS involves moving from one Army installation to another within the continental United States (CONUS) or outside (OCONUS). While a PCS gives Army families the opportunity to travel and experience different cultures, service members and their spouses cite relocation stress and isolation from family and friends among the top three stressors of military life. In an effort to help military spouses more effectively deal with relocation stressors, the researcher created a 6-week faith-based, logotherapeutic group study entitled Finding Meaning in a Move. The researcher then examined what effect participation in the group study had on the Search for Meaning and Presence of Meaning in a small group of active-duty Army spouses experiencing relocation stressors. The research was conducted using an embedded mixed-methods approach. Quantitative data was gathered using the Meaning in Life Questionnaire (MLQ) produced by Michael F. Steger. Qualitative data was drawn from study participants' personal journals. The majority of study participants experienced a decrease in Search for Meaning and an increase in Presence of Meaning over the course of the study. The researcher concluded that participation in a faith-based, logotherapeutic group may have helped these active-duty Army spouses find meaning through their religious faith, potentially mitigating relocation stressors.

Increasing Evangelistic Awareness, Attitudes, and Behaviors at First Baptist Church of Golden CO

Abstract
This research project measured the effect of a multi-layered intervention with leaders and members of First baptist Church of Golden. The intervention included Sermon content, B.E.L.L.S., D groups, and Intercessory prayer. The researcher was motivated by a desire to increase church leaders and members desire for and frequency of gospel conversations. The researcher utilized the five missional habits given by Michael Frost in his book, Surprise the World: The Five Habits of Highly Missional People. The five habits are Bless, Eat, Listen, Learn, and Sent. A six-week sermon series was designed to highlight the need to live a Questionaable Life, and the five missional habits. Participants signed up to be in a D group members committed to be in worship weekly, meet with their D group weekly, and pray for one another, as well as each person D group members were praying to have an evangelistic conversation with. The results of the data gathered pre- and post-intervention was measured using a mix-methods approach. The intervention was found to have significant increase in participants desire for and frequency of gospel conversations.

A Phenomenology of Practicing Dignified Dialogue on Denver Seminary Students’ Perceptions of Biblical Mutuality

Abstract
This research investigated the problem of reluctance, inability, or challenges experienced by Christians to engage in Spirit-directed civil or dignified dialogue around theologically divisive topics, such as biblical mutuality. The goal was to explore the role, significance, and potential value of practicing dignified dialogue with other Christians as a way to negotiate divergent theological perspectives in order to determine, in part, how the exchange of ideas via dialogue might broaden understanding and even rightfully further consideration of the subject. A phenomenological research method was employed to discover the lived experiences of Denver Seminary students who practiced dignified dialogue in group studies around the topic of biblical mutuality for ten weeks. Participants’ collective experiences revealed that though participating in dignified dialogue was a difficult, thought-provoking, and tumultuous practice, it was a necessary skill to further develop as it is an essential component of shared humanity . The study affirmed the importance of dignified dialogue as a way to navigate conflict among Christians for the purpose of growing in Christlikeness, modeling unity among diversity, and sharing God’s reconciling love with a broken world.
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