Denver Seminary

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

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

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.

The Effect of an Approach to Mission that Focuses on the Spiritual Formation of the “Remnant”

The thesis of this project was that "Participating in a pastoral ministry training program that focuses on spiritual formation, developing healthy relationships, and practicing a life of prayer in community will deepen each participant’s experience of God’s presence, and give each participant a renewed and clarified sense of mission." This thesis maintains that ministry in the church should focus on the spiritual formation of the most committed people in the church, called the “Remnant,” rather than on marketing the church to non-members. The concept of the Remnant in this thesis is based on the teaching of Anglican writer Martin Thornton. This thesis argues that the prayer, spiritual growth, and ministries of the Remnant will have a vicarious influence on the larger church and the world; the spiritual growth of the Remnant will naturally lead to increased ministry and mission. In this thesis, the biblical theology of the Remnant is complemented by Bowen Family Systems Theory (BFST), which teaches that growth in healthy functioning by an individual in a system will contribute the health of the system. The thesis argues that the biblical theology of the Remnant and BFST are complementary approaches to understanding the relationship of the individual to the group and the impact of the individual on the group. This thesis project studied the result of four years of “pastoral ministry classes” that were aimed at the spiritual formation the Remnant in the church. These classes focused on a cultivating the participant’s lives of prayer and on understanding growth in healthy functioning in terms of BFST. It concluded that the classes gave most of its participants a renewed and clarified sense of mission, a new awareness of how their behavior impacts others, and helped the participants’ to development a new framework for helping others in healthy ways.

The Role of Transformational Leadership in Creating a Culture of Leadership Development at Grand Point Church

Numerous definitions, explanations, and theories about leadership, exist in the contemporary literature. Substantial effort has gone into classifying these dimensions of leadership thus, generating considerable research of leadership styles and behaviors. Many researchers and practitioners have developed a consensus that leadership is a flexible developmental process, with each new theory building on, or replacing, that which was derived before it. Main theories that have emerged during the 20th century include: Great Man theory, Trait theory, Style and Behavioral theory, Transactional theory, and Transformational theory. Each theory had its theorist and proponents resulting in both the positive and negative practices of leadership. The theory that has gained the attention of business, military, religious, and academic leaders in the past three decades in Transformational theory. This theory distinguishes itself from the previous theories, on the basis of its alignment to a greater good of leadership development.
The rationale for this project was to research the Transformational leadership theory and its role in creating a culture of leadership development at Grand Point Church. This research used a qualitative design wherein the researcher engaged the project participants through interviews, observation, and a survey to describe the phenomenon of transformational leadership in their current context of ministry. This phenomenon was identified and measured using the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ).
The result of the research confirmed the distinctives of Transformational leadership as effective in creating a culture of leadership development in order to accomplish the missional objectives of Grand Point Church. The four distinctives are: Idealized Influence, Inspirational Motivation, Intellectual Inspiration, and Individualized Consideration. Each of the project participants have used these distinctives, and their individual MLQ ratings, to create a personal leadership development plan based on the theory and practice of transformational leadership.

Characteristics of Diaspora Christian Forestier Who Successfully Evangelize People from the Upper Guinea Host Cultures.

Nathan Kendall D.Min.
This phenomenological study investigated the characteristics of successful evangelists working in a trans-cultural West African Muslim context. The evangelists were part of a diaspora minority in Upper Guinea, where missions first arrived in 1919 but still shows few results. The potential evangelistic impact of the local Church, as the population of western missionaries diminishes, motivated research into what characteristics describe those diaspora believers who are successful at evangelizing their Muslim host populations. Interviews provided data to compare those who had successfully evangelized Muslims versus those who had only successfully evangelized non-Muslims. The results of the research point to four primary differentiators between the two groups became evident: a dedication to deep prayer, commitment to Bible study, trust in God refined through persecution, and participation in new Christian works. Additionally, some secondary characteristics were identified, including reading the Bible in multiple languages, an emphasis on external community, and evangelization of others as a means of spiritual growth. Lastly, some non-differentiating characteristics were identified: answered prayer, significant friendships across cultural and ethnic boundaries, and the sharing of learning. In other words, read your Bible and pray every day makes a difference.
Chapter 2 of the thesis explores God’s demonstrated desire for all nations to be saved, God’s use of diaspora God-fearers, and evangelism as an expected endeavor for the whole church. The chapter 3 literature review explores diaspora realities, including the reality of few scholarly resources coming out of French West Africa and nuances of diaspora in North America and Europe, with a preference to what has been reported by Africans. There was also a look at multicultural churches and one ethnic group evangelizing another, all within a West African, Islamic context. Not to be missed is the author’s contrarian view on heart-languages in urban, multi-cultural, West African churches.

Effects of a Multifaceted Approach to Leadership Development on a Select Number of Potential

Byron C Fultz D.Min.
The thesis was to assess the effects of a multifaceted approach to leadership development, utilizing instruction, experience or observation, skills practice, and coaching/mentoring. Assessments before and after were administered, focusing on perceptions, understanding and receptivity to the prospect of lending or moving toward leadership utilizing a small group environment, the 12 week project explored core ideas in Biblical leadership, studies on Jesus' development of the Twelve, philosophy and approach to ministry & leadership, and character in leadership. Participants shared in the group experience, met individually with the researcher, took turns facilitating the group, and reflected on their experience in individual interviews following the study. Results of the project reflected appreciable progress in positive perception of leadership, in grasping the Biblical understanding of leadership, and in open-ness to the prospect of leading/moving into or toward leadership

The Growth of Faith Lutheran Church of Castle Rock through Intentional Evangelistic Efforts

Ebassa Berhanu D.Min.
The author research what difference if any, a six-week teaching on the Great Commission and an instructional program on discipleship making, will have on the thinking and behavior of the people of Faith Lutheran Church on the importance of evangelism. The author used narrative qualitative method to measure his results. The research was fruitful from the point that the correct biblical understanding, by large, changes the thinking and behavior of people. Before the teaching a majority of the participants had a limited understanding of the word "go" in the Great Commission. They understood it as a suggestion rather than implied command to support the only command in Matthew 28:19 to "make disciple." Having the correct understanding shifted their thinking: going from point A - B had a greater purpose, which is to look for opportunities to "make disciples." Another misconception the participants was on evangelistic efforts. They had a very negative perception of what evangelism meant. The image they had was people holding "repent or you will go to hell," which left a bad taste in their mouth. This caused them to distance themselves from the work of the evangelist. The correct understanding of the word evangelism being a bearer of Good news, changed their thinking and behavior. The instructional program had positive results as it equipped people on how to share the gospel with others, creating confidence in the lives of the participants.

Discipleship in a Disney Culture: The Effect of Christian Self-Denial on Perceived Delight in Jesus and Others

Joel Van Soelen D.Min.
The purpose of this project was to test the hypothesis that a six-week small group focused on
Christian self-denial, in loving God and others, would lead to an increase in perceived delight in
Jesus and others among members of Anaheim Christian Reformed Church in Anaheim, CA.
Self-denial is a key component in living as a disciple of Jesus. The research identified
consumerism as an obstacle. Self-denial in the writings of Augustine, John Calvin, and Timothy
Keller were researched. Small group participants learned about the role of self-denial in the
Christian life and completed assignments to help them grow in their relationship with God and
others through Christian self-denying practices. A mixed methods approached was utilized to
assess the effectiveness of the project. Quantitative data showed a significant increase in
happiness from pretest to post-test. Qualitative data evidenced a change in thinking in regards to
the positive nature of self-denial in the Christian life through journal entries and from pre-interview to post-interview responses. The conclusion of the project revealed the positive view of
Christian self-denial in discipleship, the vital nature of small groups, and the importance of
reflection to encourage delight Jesus and others.

The Effect of a Rule of Life on the Symptoms of Acedia at Church of the Epiphany

Stacey Timothy Tafoya D.Min.
The question that arises is how spiritual communities can be affected by the many
distractions of the modern world. Churches are not immune to the lack of “the ability
simply to be alone with our thoughts.” In fact, it would seem that the church, whose text
is the Bible, must go further to break through the endless distractions of the day to hear
the voice of God in the scriptures.
the church began a journey with international refugees when
twenty-five children and adults from the nation of Burundi came to church on a Labor
Day weekend. This started a mini-influx of folks from various parts of the world. The
church has discovered a new sense of purpose and excitement as there are folks present in
worship from five continents. The worship of Epiphany is also both ancient and future,
focusing on the best of classical hymnology and contemporary worship within the
worship of the Book of Common Prayer. In addition, there is also an emphasis on the
Bible as the pastor and the church seek to be Christ-centered and evangelical as well as

The Effect of Preaching God's Mission in the Workplace

Joseph Warrington D.Min.
Thesis: A twelve week sermon series on God's mission would change the attitude (feeling) and practice (frequency) of mission in the workplace of members of Grace Church.
Research method: A mixed methods approach that utilized two open set surveys as well as participation in staggered focus groups, and interviews all designed to determine the defectiveness of the intervention.
The conclusion reached in the study conformed the intervention increased the participant's attitude (feelings) towards God's mission in the workplace. It also confirmed that the intervention increased the behavior (frequency) of the participant's in activities that promote God's mission in the workplace.
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