Bethel Seminary (Saint Paul, Minn)

A Model for the Development of the Leaders of a Regional Gospel Movement

Author
Daniel R Nold
Abstract
The problem this research project addressed was the need for a leadership development model for a regional gospel movement. The researcher explored biblical principles of leadership development exemplified in the life of Moses (a noted movement leader). The researcher then turned to the books of Acts and Ephesians to glean leadership development principles from the gospel movement which occurred in Ephesus. This was followed by a review of literature focusing on gospel movements and their leaders. Finally, the researcher conducted a study of sixteen leaders using grounded theory methodology. The results were used to construct a model of leadership development for a regional gospel movement.

From Apathy to Mission: A Critical Transition for Pastors and Leaders of Faithful, Yet Changing Congregations

Author
Dale R Stiles
Abstract
Throughout the researcher's 20 years of ordained ministry in the Lutheran Church he has continually been interested in the critical role effective biblical discipleship practices have on the 21st century church as well as the church of the future. It is evident in many communities of faith and among individual believers that there is a problematic lack of passion, urgency, and interest in faithfully carrying out one's call to discipleship. For this project five individual congregations and their pastors were studied and assessed as models that have bridged the gap from apathy to mission and from casual observer to faithful disciple. Data was gathered through general observation, open-ended questionnaires, face-to-face interviews, and surveys. Through grounded theory and a phenomenological approach to research, core concepts that can aid communities of faith in bridging the gap from apathy to mission were identified.

A Model for Small Church Leadership to Support Thier Minister's Self-Care

Author
Jeremy S Allard
Abstract
The complexity of vocational ministry is difficult to manage and maintain. Balancing the complex nature of the church, relationships, family life, spiritual and personal life provides the minister with a struggle that rarely ceases. Pursuing self-care within this environment can provide relief to the struggle but is difficult to do alone. The study seeks to provide a model for local church leadership to support their minister so he or she can successfully manage ministry and personal life through self-care practices. The project identified ministers employed in Stone-Campbell churches with a weekly attendance of less than 125 in Minnesota and Wisconsin. A survey was sent to these ministers asking what types of support they receive from their congregation and leadership. The results of the survey identified five ministers who received the highest support. These five ministers were interviewed to determine the relationship between the church leadership support and their self care practices. The biblical and theological review examined the imago Dei's relationship with the elements of self-care with a priority towards spiritual formation. The literature review identified six strategies for successful self-care practice. The interviews identified three relationships that influence the practice of a minister's self-care. These relationships are the foundation to the model for how church leadership can support their minister's self-care.

The Impact of Past Hurts on Effective Ministry in a Local African American Church

Author
Imogene Lowery
Abstract
The author examined how to move an African American church through past hurts to effective ministry. She sought to understand hurts, and the long lasting and negative impact of hurts on individuals and the church. The research was qualitative and used surveys and interviews. Upon analyzing the data the findings were compared and contrasted. The findings revealed passive aggressive behaviors such as gossip and spreading rumors as some ways congregants handled their hurts. Hurts were used by false accusations, a failure to show compassion, and lack of commitment, which negatively impacted the ministry. The author developed seven principles for a hurting church to help this congregation return to effective ministry.

From the Suburbs to the City: Seeking the Shalom of an inner city neighborhood

Author
Elias Soiles
Abstract
The project's thesis is that the church is to be an agent of shalom and of God honoring culture making in the city. Journey Church, a white, middle class church moved into a poor, working class, culturally diverse neighborhood. This project outlined the ministry model Journey Church developed to reach its neighborhood and contribute to its flourishing. The biblical and theological review concluded that the city is God's intent. The literature review explored the ways eschatological views impact the church's understanding of its role in the city. The researcher used action research, demographic analysis, ethnography and case study.

Empowering congregations to move from simple hospitality to celebration of ethnic diversity within their churches

Author
Stephen R Gibson
Abstract
This thesis addresses the question of how a large church can best pursue ethnic diversity. Using qualitative research methosd the researcher demonstrated that the best practices found among secular organizations in pursuing diversity are effective when implemented in a large predominately white church. The researcher demonstrates that the four best practices of getting the leadership to be champions for the cause, casting the vision across the organization, motivating the organization's employees by demonstrating the beneficial nature of the vision's success and creating a system-wide plan allows for a large church to successfully pursue the celebration of diversity.

Engaging leadership at Marshfield Christian Church

Author
Nicholas A Ruth
Abstract
This project addressed limited participation in church leadership. Field research consisted of surveys, focus groups, and interviews in three congregations. Research focused on the barriers and incentives to assuming a leadership role, characteristics of leaders, models for structuring leadership, and equipping the congregations to participate in leadership. The research showed the largest factor in engaging leadership is a personal invitation by a respected leader. This direct appeal counteracts a common fear of not being qualified. The researcher presented a comprehensive plan for developing collaborative leadership structures and creating an organizational culture which supports current leaders and nurtures future leaders.

Imparting biblical theology cross-culturally for transformation

Author
Reid
Abstract
Sydney Evalgelicals are known for their Biblical Theology and this approach has been an essential part of the Preliminary Theological Certificate which has been taught overseas in over 35 countries. The research focused on this course and what components are necessary to teach Biblical Theology across cultures that will maximize the possibility of the transformation of individuals in their cultural contexts. This research utilized mixed methods and outlines reasons for the success of the course such as the type of people involved in teaching, the models of delivery and its underlying hermeneutical approach. Potential weaknesses are also reviewed.

The use of oral training in Uganda to develop biblically trained leaders.

Author
Kevin J Olson
Abstract
This project addressed the need for biblically trained leaders in Uganda. In response to this problem, the researcher studied the use of oral training as a method to train leaders. This included the role of the African oral tradition, the biblical oral history, and the goal of making disciples through biblical education. In order to understand discipleship; the knowledge, character, and ministry life of the students was closely evaluated and they grew significantly in each of these areas. The data sources included exams, surveys, and interviews. The participants who contributed their perspectives to the study included students, observers, and teachers.

Helping young adults discern Christian self-actualization through the wisdom of those who have gone before

Abstract
This thesis addresses the Christian young adult belief older Christian adults wisdom and advice is invalid. This assumption can cause young adults unnecessarily pain because they do not benefit from older Christian adult spiritual, relational and employment experience securing Christian self-actualization. To address this problem, the researcher (a) investigated Scripture as well as theological and biblical commentaries related to these themes; (b) reviewed relevant ancient and contemporary literature; (c) conducted qualitative and quantitative research that demonstrated the validity of advice from older Christians, and finally, (d), created three transferable concepts to help young adult Christians achieve self-actualization.
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