Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry (Ambridge, Pa)

The Fear of the Lord: Its Meaning and Use as a Motivation for Christian Living

Author
Bradley R. Sickler D.Min.
Abstract
The fear of the Lord is a multifaceted concept. Rather than trying to narrow down the definition to one concept, this study defines the concept in terms of four broad vantage points: first, the fear of the Lord as an emotional experience with the living God; second, the fear of the Lord as an objective truth which can be taught to people; third, the fear of the Lord as a motive for behavior; and finally, the fear of the Lord in relation to the love of God. The study was motivated by a realization that it was rarely specified as a motive in Christian decision-making or Christian behavior among the congregation. To address this problem and pastorally respond to it, this study makes use of the discipline of biblical theology, tracing the theme of the fear of the Lord and its development from Genesis to Revelation (chapter 2). Four main concepts pertinent to understanding the fear of the Lord are then examined from the perspective of systematic theology (chapter 3), in order to define the meaning and purpose of the fear of the Lord from both a biblical and systematic perceptive [sic]. In order to help the congregation understand and live in the fear of the Lord, an assessment of what the congregation currently believes about the fear of the Lord is also needed. Chapter 4 presents the results of field research undertaken to assess these belief’s utilizing ‘Q methodology,’ a research technique that allows the researcher to conduct a qualitative study using quantitative methods. Chapter 5 concludes with a summary of the results of this study and offers reflections on how to move forward in light of those results, as well as a discussion of ways in which the field research might be improved.

Confirmation, Community, and Commitment: Evaluating Church Attendance at the Episcopal Church of St. Mary, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Author
James W. Hunter D.Min.
Abstract
his work studies the phenomenon of individuals dropping out of active church membership after confirmation. The positive approach adopted to examine this issue is through Appreciative Inquiry. Rather than trying to "fix" a problem, this paper studies what is good in the current confirmation preparation program, discovering how those good elements can be improved, and the importance of community in retaining members. The problem is analyzed through Holy Scripture, the Great Tradition of Christianity, and the experiences of eleven parishioners who have matriculated through the confirmation process and remained active in the life of the Episcopal Church of St. Mary, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Study of the Ministry of Re-Parenting (Parenting) of Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Jos, Nigeria

Author
Gloria Ladi Kwashi D.Min.
Abstract
Re-parenting of orphans and vulnerable children in Jos, Nigeria has proven to be the best way of bringing up children in place of orphanages. Using ethnographic tools and Proactive research methods, and a survey of the Old and New Testament, scholars in this field as well as field studies, the author has discovered that both the Christian community and society have clung onto the stereotype of side stepping responsibilities and keeping the vulnerable and orphaned children in institutions. Zambiri has proven the felt need of orphans is to have parents primarily. Re-parenting has therefore provided that need.
Re-parenting of orphans and vulnerable children in Jos, Nigeria has proven to be the best way of bringing up children in place of orphanages.

Forgiveness: The Heart of God

Author
Marcia C. King D.Min.
Abstract
Painful forgiveness issues often exist within families, even within the church. To understand what the Bible, theologians, and social scientists say about forgiveness, the story of Joseph and the Parable of the Prodigal Son were exegeted. The pastoral aspects of forgiveness were explored utilizing an ethnographic approach of, observations, a survey, and one-on-one interviews. The results of this project is a five-hour course, "Forgiveness: The Heart of God," which emphasizes the transformational power of Christ in forgiveness. The last class concludes with a Eucharistic prayer retreat for generational and inner healing.
Painful forgiveness issues often exist within families, even within the church.

Reclaiming Subtitutionary Atonement in an Episcopal Church

Author
Claudia Nalven
Abstract
This paper examines how parishoners at an evangelical Episcopal Church have absorbed and understood the doctrine of substitutionary atonement. It considers how preaching through a framework of substitutionary atonement, can help shape the incorporation of this doctrine into the congregation's life and self-understanding. The paper uses as a framework the theology of Thomas Torrance, who combines reformed soteriology with patristic Christology to overcome some of the objections to this doctrine. Exodus 34 and the prologue of John's Gospel form the biblical basis for this approach to substitutionary atonement. The paper commends substitutionary atonement as part of a framework for lectionary preaching.

An Assessment of Denominational Resources and Guidance Available Relating to End-of-Life Pastoral Care in the Anglican Church in North America, Diocese of Western Anglicans, Deaneries of San Diego and Los Angeles

Author
James D Hearn
Abstract
This thesis examines the difficulties faced by parish clergy serving in the Diocese of Western Anglicans of the Anglican Church in North America in attempting to access denominational resources and secure guidance when called upton to minister to congregants facing complex end-of-life issues. While the Church is possessed of rich foundational resources capable of providing bioethical guidance, the data obtained through field research suggests that clergy are either unaware of such resources or face difficulties or confusion in locating, interpreting, and applying them. These resources are considered as re the foundations upon which further resources may be generated.

Outward Focused Church Cultural Shifts Leading to Missional Outcomes

Author
Rodger Woodworth
Abstract
The thesis of this project proposed that an inward focus prevented members of an established congregation from having authentic relationships or significant conversations of eternal matters with those outside the walls of the church. Thenographic information concerning internal and external challenges was gained through questionnaires and interviews. The study proceeded to examine biblical and theological foundations for an outward focus, re-envisioning a missional church culture, educated and equipped members through outward focused gatherings, and encouragement with unchurched people in the community by means of a common passion, to develop authentic, mutual relationships of trust and influence.

Addressing Cohabitation and Pre-marital Sex in Church Marriage Preparation

Author
William T Henry
Abstract
This thesis examines the issues involved for young engaged couples in chosing to live together and/or sleep together before marriage. Married couples at St. Stephen's Church, Sewickley, Pennsylvania, entered in the pre-marriage preparation process shared observations about their generation and their personal expereinces related to co-habitation and sex before marriage. A study of relevant Scripture was undertaken to gain a better understanding of the Bible's witness in the areas of human nature, marriage, sin, lust and sexual immorality. A broad study of theologians and their perspectives provided deeper insights into the same issues.

Building Up the Body of Christ: Discerning the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Episcopal Diocese of Albany

Author
Ellen C Neufeld
Abstract
Expressions of what may be understood to be charismatic gifts of the Holy Spirit are commonly used in many events sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of Albany, New York or by groups or parishes within this diocese. This thesis examines the extent to which this circumstance causes stress or even rifts in diocesan life and relationships. Biblical sources as well as historical and contemporary theological sources are used to illuminate the nature and application of principles for discerning spiritual gifts while a field study analyzes the aspects of the pastoral problem to understand its real nature and effects.

Characteristics of Apostolicity: Yesterday and Today

Author
Jonathan R Tagg
Abstract
Statistics confirm that younger generations are leaving the church, yet many Christ-centered congregations lack solutions. The purpose of this project is to explore how a renewed understanding of "apostolicity" can bridge social and cultural divides. The three samples of this study will include two movements (one ancient, one contemporary) and one local church. In addition, there is a biblical-theological overview of "apostolicity" (with focused exegesis of Ephesians 4 and Acts 17). Discoveries will yield strengths, weaknesses and questions for future discussion.
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