Bethel Seminary (Saint Paul, Minn)

The faith at work movement for Westwood Community Church

Author
Daniel A Bolt
Abstract
This thesis investigated the faith at work (FAW) movement through the lens of philosophical hermeneutics. The researcher addressed the need for more integration of the FAW movement at Westwood Community Church to achieve a more robust outreach and discipleship ministry in the church and working community. The church and world need the FAW movement's emphasis on the whole person. The conclusions showed that less bifurcating of clergy-laity, secular versus sacred, and work versus faith dualism would be helpful. Second, that working people should run the FAW movement. Three, the FAW movement integrate the work-faith ministry.

Exploring anthropological monism for pastoral care practice

Author
Michael R McLeod
Abstract
This research project explored the viability and benefits of anthropological monism for pastoral care practice in a local church, utilizing (a) integration for holism to overcome fragmentation due to sin, (b) embodiment to refocus the church towards human physicality and the prominence of resurrection for end-of-life outcomes, and (c) community for forging outwardly focused relationships for a healthy and healing orientation of spiritual maturation for whole and holy personhood. A multidisiplinary literature review was undertaken to glean pastoral care insights from the bio-cultural sciences. Finally, qualitative ground theory was deployed in fieldwork to discover potential misgivings and benefits for pastoral care.

Toward maturity: the journey of the C & MA mission and the Église Protestante Évangélique in Guinea

Author
Daniel Ibsen
Abstract
This project presents the events and factors that contributed to the development, maturation and indigenization of the Église Protestante Évangélique de Guinée (EPEG) resulting from the effort of the Christian & Missionary Alliance misison in Guinea, West Africa. The researcher presents a historical case study in which he examined biblical, theological and missiological foundations for indigenous church planting. He then presented the historical narrative of the Christian & Missionary Alliance work in Guinea from 1918 to 2005. Elements that contributed to the indigenous expression of the developing church included: vision and intentionality, sacrifice and commitment, godly lifestyle, identification with nationals, commitment to leadership development, unity among diverse tribal groups, and external political and social influences.

Cooperative catechesis: a model for equipping Lutheran parents and pastors to catechize children in the Christian faith

Author
Phillip E Booe
Abstract
The problem this project addressed was the decline of parental involvement in and responsibility for the Christian catechesis of their children in the context of the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synold and, in particular, the New England District. The researcher approached this project from a postmodern theoretical perspective. Using grounded-theory and phenomenological methodology, the researcher surveyed parents and pastors through an online survey and follow-up interviews. Informed by the findings, the researcher developed a cooperative catechesis model that went beyond traditional catechesis approaches. The model emphasized lifelong catechesis beginning at birth and continuing throughout one's life across four stages.

Transformation of the Prescott Foursquare Church: becoming a church planting church

Author
John W Gooding
Abstract
This research project was a qualitative study to discover key events in the transformation of a small, rural, and broken church to one of worldwide impact. In 1970 the Prescott Foursquare Church was discouraged and had a ruined reputation. It is today the head of a movement (The Christian Fellowship Ministries) with over two thousand churches. Key discoveries were crisis evangelism, empowered discipleship, and focused church planting. This produced a local church with dignity and authority for world evangelism. It is the story of a self-propagating, self-sustaining, and self-governing congregation transcending smallness to reach into the world with the gospel.

Conceptualizing and engaging with pastoral authority

Author
Scott R Maurer
Abstract
While secular academia has begun to explore followership, there is a dearth of research in the Christian world. In response, the researcher interviewed sixteen congregants and six pastors from churches in the Washington, DC area about how they conceptualize and engage with pastoral authority. The researcher analyzed the interviews using a modified grounded theory approach. Analysis suggested congregants have an overreliance on a pastor's personal authority and an underdeveloped conception of a pastor's role authority. Drawing on the field research, relevant literature, and the Hebrews 13:7 and 13:17 biblical texts, the researcher offers a practical theology of authority and submission.

Spiritual formation for seminarian spiritual leaders

Author
Patricia L Cowan
Abstract
Jesus changed the world through spiritual formation and spiritual maturity. Jesus' focus upon God enabled him to do God's will. Jesus separated himself from culture and people at times to be with God in nature, pursuing God at the deepest level. Seminary spiritual formation training at the deepest level can be most beneficial to spiritual leaders, churches, ministries, and culture. This project included thorough research of scripture, literature, and survey method on spiritual formation and spiritual direction. Common themes from these three areas of research were combined to encourage seminary spiritual leaders to be free through intentional spiritual formation.

Spiritual formation: beyond cognitive belief -- an ethnographic study of adult Sunday school in baptistic churches in Massachusetts

Author
Laura J Cassidy-Moffatt
Abstract
This research project examined adult Sunday school in seven baptistic churches in Massachusetts. An ethnographic study was conducted to discern common practices and highlight opportunities for growth in the midst of church decline. The researcher examined the biblical concepts of teaching and knowing and conducted a literature review of the history of Sunday school, pedagogical best practices, and advances in cognitive neuroscience of learning. The researcher identified five themes common to these Sunday school programs that have resulted in lack of holistic formation in Sunday School as traditionally practiced: mission, attendance, commitment/engagement, format, and content. The field research yielded a pessimistic portrait of adult Sunday school in six of the seven churches studied. It was shown to be an outdated model practiced by a dwindling group. The researcher described ways, using the five identified themes, in which the aging Sunday school model could be augmented to better fulfill the goals of knowing in the biblical sense, personal transformation, and cooperation with the Holy Spirit's guidance and teachings. Teaching in ways that transform lives is a long-term cooperative effort with the Holy Spirit and can only be done in the context of a healthy church community. Churches that do not prioritize discipleship set themselves up for members who are spiritually apathetic, and ultimately those churches may decline over time.

The impact of imago Dei on thinking about portrait photography

Author
Neil Craigan
Abstract
The problem this project addressed was the relationship between the imago Dei and the work of portrait photographers. The research examined the connection between being an image bearer and an image creator of the image bearer; this included developing a philosophy of the portrait and the value attached to it. The field research utilized interviews with professional photographers to understand their approach to photography. The project concluded that the imago Dei should be the primary driver in any discussion of humanity. The themes of humanity, reality, relationship and morality were seen as central to the work of the photographers.

Integrating biblical teaching and organizational wisdom in the work of pastor-church relations, Christian Reformed Church in North America

Author
Cecil Van Niejenhuis
Abstract
This project addressed the lack of integration of biblical teaching in the work of pastor-church relations, Christian Reformed Church of North America. The goal was to demonstrate and encourage a thorough integration so that organizational wisdom might be informed, anchored and enriched by scriptural teaching. This goal was achieved through program development. The core biblical theme of hospitality was traced through Scripture, and juxtaposed with the four-lens approach of Bolman and Deal's Reframing organizations. Each of these lenses was linked to one of the four New Testament gift passages, and to the biblical theme of hospitality.
Subscribe to Bethel Seminary (Saint Paul, Minn)