Denver Seminary

Cultivate Compassion through Affective Perspective Taking

Author
Weihua He D.Min.
Abstract
The hope of the researcher in the project was to help people cultivate compassion through affective perspective taking preconditioned by the practice of imaginative meditation on gospel accounts, the practice of the Jesus Prayer, and the practice of cognitive disputation technique. This research depended on the strategies for data analysis advised by grounded theory. The project did effectuate interpersonal and intrapersonal empathy. The problem studies was whether or not a program of affective perspective taking preconditioned by imaginative meditation, mindfulness practice, and cognitive disputation technique would effectuate the cultivation of compassion in the life of a group of dating or married Christians.

Changing Church Culture among Church Leaders by Moving from Meetings to Mission

Author
Andrew J Kumpel D.Min.
Abstract
This study researched the effect of replacing church committee meetings with missional teaching and experiences of evangelism for church leaders on perceived current and preferred organizational culture. A three-moth moratorium of all official church meetings allowed the researcher to conduct five training sessions on evangelism. The researcher collected quantitative data from both control group participants and experimental group participants using a pretest and posttest model using the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument. Findings revealed some changes in perception of both current and preferred organizational culture among research participants. Change in organizations is pervasive because of the degree and rapidity of change in the external environment.

Understanding the Transformative Effect Suffering has on the Health of Marital Commitment in Devout Christian Marriages

Author
Patrick S. Lovejoy D.Min.
Abstract
This phenomenological study assessed, retrospectively, the transformative effect suffering has on the strength of marital commitment in devout Christian marriages. The study yielded a shared experience of suffering being viewed as instrumental in the development of strong intimate ties and shared sacred history within the marriages of the participants. Couples agreed that various forms of suffering refined their marital commitment towards one another and helped supply a lasting shared intimacy with the marriage. Many marriages equate suffering to evidence of failure and flee relationships preventing the birth of the resiliency necessary to navigate the transitions that come from enduring suffering.

Empowering American Baptist Pastors of Pastoral-Size Churches to Develop Psychological and Theological Resilience in an Age of Disestablishment

Author
Michael Wayne Oldham D.Min.
Abstract
Mainline churches no longer enjoy the status of being the "established" religion in today's culture. The implications of this disestablishment have left churches and pastors feeling frustrated, powerless and often hopeless. This project is a case study of how a combination of video chats and incremental learning resources increased the psychological and theological resilience of American Baptist pastors who serve in pastoral-size churches. This study showed that this process was effective in helping pastors develop a renewed sense of hope and direction for their ministry and might be used in other mainline as well as evangelical denominations. This project will focus on the role of the pastor as the key leader in their church.

Nature as a Means of Adolescent Spiritual Formation

Author
James D Thompson D.Min.
Abstract
The author researched what effect a ninety-day practice of journaling and guided contemplation of God in nature would have on an adolescent's sense of connection with God using the Convergent Parallel Mixed Method approach. Quantitatively, the intervention led to a statistically significant increase from the Daily Spiritual Experience Scale pretest to the posttest. Qualitatively, through student journals and reflections, five clusters of meaning emerged: the adolescent landscape, deeper connection with God, big questions, gratitude, and common nature. If God intends creation to point people to himself, then it is a significant problem if people have lost the capacity or the desire to pay attention to creation.

The Abide Project's Effect on Experiencing God's Presence in Daily LIfe

Author
Dean Wertz D.Min.
Abstract
The thesis seeks to answer: How will a three-month all-church focus on abiding in Jesus affect the participants' experience of God's presence in their daily lives? The Abide Project was facilitated in the fall of 2018 for children, youth and adults at Hope Community Church (Denver, CO0; included sermons, small groups and daily reminders; and was measured by mixed-methods. The quantitative assessment (compared pre and post-training scores from the Daily Spiritual Experience Scale by Dr. Lynn Underwood) and the qualitative assessment (8 phenomenological interviews) concluded that the project increased the participants' experience of God's presence in their daily lives. An invitation to abide from John 15:1-11 would increase the participant' attentiveness and experience God.

ADAPTERS: A Meta-Theoretical Conceptualization of Human Functioning and Therapeutic Intervention

Author
Gary W McDonald D.Min.
Abstract
Counselors utilizing eclectic and integrative approaches need a sound theoretical model on which to base their work. For the Christian counselor, this model must be biblically based as well as psychologically accurate. Although there are hundreds of models of psychotherapy, and many conceptualizations of integration, there exists a need for an overarching meta-theory to provide structure to these various approaches and guide effective interventions. The thesis was a theoretical development project. The author developed a comprehensive model of human functioning and therapeutic intervention that provides support for counselors utilizing eclectic or integrative approaches to therapy. The art and science of therapeutic intervention covers a wide spectrum of theory and practice.

Increasing the Transformational Quality of a Sermon by Soliciting Input from the Congregation during the Sermon Preparation Process

Author
Michael C Merriner
Abstract
Does soliciting input from others when preparing a sermon increase the transformational quality of that sermon? Six sermons preached at Clear Wather Church in Anchorage, Alaska were prepared with the help of a feed-forward group and compared to six sermons prepared without input. Listeners assessed the transformational quality of each sermon by completing a listener survey. There was no statistically significant difference in how the listeners assessed either set of sermons. The results of this quantitative study call into question the theory that soliciting input when preparing sermons increases their transformational quality.

Extending Beyond Self Resiliency in Christian Adoptive Parents

Author
Harold Hyung Park
Abstract
Constructivist grounded theory was used to generate a substantive theoretical model for the development of resilience and coping strategies of Christian adoptive parents. "Resilience: Extending Beyond Self" provides a unique theory which illustrates processes in response to adoption-related parenting challenges. The core category that emerged from the research was "seeking connection." Two other categories were also raised including, "turning it over to God," and "seeking new perspectives." These three areas represent protective factors which increasethe likelihood of desirable outcomes in high-stress parenting situations. The model theorizes that the underlying motivation for these three categories is to find support and belonging.

Preaching and Teaching Jesus' Parables in a Narrative Fashion to Help People Embrace Kingdom Values

Author
Gerald J. Neufeld
Abstract
When Jesus told parables, they were effective and powerful. People are still enthrolled by stories.Stories effect listeners neurologically and emotionally, drawing them into the story, causing them to identify with the characters, waiting to see what happens to them.Parables need to be alllowed to tell their story, allowing their power to work, leading to change.Preaching Jesus' parables in a narraive fashion helped the people of Grace Church understand the Kingdom, more fully embrace kingdom values, encouraging them to live those values, focusing on others, reaching out to others, and loving others as Jesus does.
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