Denver Seminary

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

Author
Ebassa Berhanu D.Min.
Abstract
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

Author
Joel Van Soelen D.Min.
Abstract
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

Author
Stacey Timothy Tafoya D.Min.
Abstract
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
sacramental.

The Effect of Preaching God's Mission in the Workplace

Author
Joseph Warrington D.Min.
Abstract
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.

An Examination of Stonebriar Community Church’s Mission Project in Chhattisgarh,
India, 2003-2014, and the Lessons That Were Learned That Can Benefit a Western
Evangelical Church or Mission Agency Engaged in Cross-Cultural Mission Work

Author
Thomas J Hayes D.Min.
Abstract
e
The first missionary effort by Americans to engage in cross-cultural Christian
mission was by Adoniram and Ann Judson. They set sail from Salem, Massachusetts, on2
February 19, 1812.1 Since that day, a steady stream of missionaries and mission work has
departed from the American Church. There have been periods of incredible growth as
well as periods of marginal interest. However, from the twentieth century and extending
into the twenty-first century was a period of time in which the American Church led the
global efforts of cross-cultural mission work. During that more than one hundred years,
the American Church sent more cross-cultural workers into more nations than any other
country in the world. The American Church leadership of the global mission effort was
not simply relegated to the number of cross-cultural workers sent: the American Church
also financed more mission efforts than any other country, formed more diverse types of
mission agencies, and created whole new styles of ministries during this unprecedented
time period of mission growth

Redemptive Understanding of God's Genocidal Commands to the Israelites

Author
Jeremy J Ahn D.Min.
Abstract
Acquiring new discipleship members is difficult when many potential candidates protest that thew instances of Old Testament genocide reveal God as one to be feared rather than loved. This thesis explains how this author's newly designed classroom materials encouraged the development of understanding and empathy in discipleship candidates for the journeying Israelites. Of fundamental importance to this thesis is this author's insight illuminating the paramount significance that each recorded genocidal command correlates with a certain Stage of the Old Testament. Formal qualitative evaluations at the conclusion of this specialized course supported this researcher's hypothesis that deeper cognitive and spiritual enlightening of the recorded Old Testament events would authentically convey a holistic, loving, and paternal God, unfolding a redemptive plan for humankind throughout the ages.
This course was also designed to assess if our church's static number of new discipleship candidates would increase, especially if the instances of Old Testament genocides could be presented as acts of a a loving, redemptive God. Those discipleship candidates who completed this revised course are enthusiastically drawing new candidates by word of mouth. With the next course still two months away, we have already doubles our usual applications.

How a Study of Biblical Individualism and the Body of Christ Affects Young People’s
Willingness to Engage in Church Leadership at First Presbyterian Church, Alliance,
Nebraska

Author
Kim Y Jay D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis researched the issue of an independent and individualistic mindset of young people in their 20s to 40s at First Presbyterian Church Alliance in Nebraska. This mindset is associated with their unwillingness to participate in church leadership. Understanding the biblical and literary foundations of individualism and collectivism are the core approach to confronting this mentality which is exhibited in behaviors of egocentricity, selfishness, or egoism. The biblical and literary principles of individualism and collectivism are intrinsically harmonized with a sense of unity which is actualized in a recognition of self-value as an autonomous being. An individual as an autonomous and rational being should recognize his and her inner attributes and utilize them for the needs of others. The nature of unity is the corporate reality of all individuals which is represented in the characteristics of the body of Christ. Learning true individual value and unity would benefit the young people and encourage them to get involved in church leadership.

Strengthening Pastoral Identity in Army Chaplains: The Effect of Spiritual Mentoring on Mentors as a Way to Develop Pastoral Identity

Author
Douglas Ball
Abstract
Army Chaplains are in a struggle between various identities within in a system that reinforces and rewards those identities outside the historic pastoral role. This thesis explores how spiritual mentoring can foster, maintain, and revitalize pastoral identity in mid-level chaplains serving as mentors. The author defines and explains pastoral identity; shows that spiritual mentoring is a biblical and necessary aspect of pastoral ministry; and explores the possibility of strengthening pastoral identity in Army chaplains through spiritual mentoring. However, unlike most approaches to spiritual mentoring for pastoral formation, the goal of this project was not primarily the formation of the mentee, but rather the formation of the mentor. Chaplains who serve as mentors are engaging in a historically pastoral activity which will clarify and strengthen their own pastoral identity. The project engaged mid-level and junior chaplains in short-term spiritual mentoring relationships and measured indicators of pastoral identity through a sequential mixed methods approach (pre-surveys, post-surveys, and interviews). Overall, both quantitative and qualitative data supports spiritual mentoring as a method for identity change and formation within the Army Chaplain Corps.

Finding Peace in Union with Christ through the Practice of Contemplation

Author
Gary W Brouwers
Abstract
Believers in Jesus exist in a powerful unsion with the ecodn person of the Trinity. Through this union, believers have access to everything that Jesus is, including the ability to expereince peace regardless of circumstances. This thesis examinded how a growing awreness of one's union with Jesus affects one's experience of anxiety. Using a mixed method phenomenological study, 46 participants spent increasingly longer periods of time contemplating on thier union with Christ. Anxiety levels were tested using pretexts and posttests of Beck's Anxiety Indicator (BAI). Participants kept records of their experiences using Likert-style scales as well as written journals. Data from BAI, the individual records, and a focus group were triangulated and compared. The results indicated that anxiety levels were reduced in 63 percent of participants. In addition , the data revealed common themes among the experiences of the participants, including strong expressions of God's love, continuing effects of peace beyond the period of contemplation and an appreciation for the structure and accountability of the project. In addition, most participants reported experiences of frustration and confusion as they attempted to spend time in contemplation.

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.
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