Denver Seminary

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

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

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

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

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

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
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