Technology and religion

An Ethnography of the eLibrary of Tien Dao Case Study of Contemporary Digital Ministry in the 21st Century

Author
David Chan
Abstract
The purpose of this dissertation was to conduct an ethnographic research on the planning, preparation and implementation of Tien Dao eBooks and eLibrary. With the used of participant-observation methodology and survey questionnaire of field research, historical and ethnographic data were collected and interpreted to show case that the Tien Dao eLibrary was a timely and strategic venture of Christian ministry in the digital age of the 21st century.

The networked preacher: using new media in the new evangelization

Author
Alex J Zenthoefer
Abstract
This project maintains that the tools of Social Networking Sites can be a valuable tool for the work of evangelization. Chapter one explores the origins of the New Evangelization and offers a review of its significance for preachers today. Chapter two addresses the sociological effects of Social Networking Sites. Chapter three highlights recent efforts by Church leaders to take advantage of the tools of new media in evangelization. Chapter four focuses the reader's attention on how preachers can use the tools available through Social Networking Sites. Chapter five presents the results of a survey carried out by the author.

The church and changing societal values among the present generation of youth and young adults

Author
Philip George Robinson
Abstract
This project examines a paradigm shift in societal values in the English-speaking Caribbean and implications for Church mission and ministry among youth and young adults. The methodology includes a questionnaire and focus group involving tertiary level Caribbean students, as well as interviews. The research detects a paradigm shift in core values, a technology-led change in morality and apparent breakdown in responsiveness and leadership in key social institutions, and determines that family, school, and church are still vital in transmitting wholesome values and restoring a society's moral equilibrium. It proposes intergenerational intervention strategies at every level.

Pastoral ministry and technology: opportunities and challenges

Author
Wayneford Patrick McFarlane
Abstract
The issue of pastoral ministry and technology needs serious attention for all churches in an electronic age. This project examines the willingness and readiness of the Jamaica Methodist District clergy to use relevant Information and Communications Technologies to overcome the leadership, administration, and service delivery issues that result from the prevailing shortage of presbyters. The project further seeks to highlight opportunities and challenges that may come with the use of these technologies in pastoral ministry. It uses a combination of methods which include surveys, interviews, and observations to gather information.

Using on-line sermon discussion groups to enhance the effectiveness of a preaching ministry

Author
Lyle D Buyer
Abstract
For those engaged in Christian ministry the impact of technology cannot be ignored. Many ministries have wholeheartedly embraced Internet technology through websites, blogs, live chats and a myriad of other applications. While thoughtful people have offered biblical perspective both endorsing and warning against this trend, there continues to be much need to carefully think about how new technologies can come alongside various aspects of ministry in a way that maximizes their benefits and minimizes their inherent dangers. This project explores how the Internet can enhance the impact of a preaching ministry by providing a forum to discuss the content of a sermon after it has been delivered. The research is used to design a seminar to guide preachers in developing on-line sermon interaction groups.

The integration of discipleship and digital technology

Author
Phillip A Sallee
Abstract
Despite the exponential growth of digital technology and social media, little is known about how these new tools can be used to advance the goal of discipleship. The image that some Christian leaders have of digital technology and social media is that it is unnecessary, is a waste of time, and is fraught with potential dangers. Similar to most emerging technologies, dangers to exist; however, an opportunity to expand exponentially the influence of a disciple maker through digital technology and social media also exists. This dissertation will document a digital=discipleship experiment that was conducted in the writer's church for one month. It will describe the theological foundation for discipleship. Further, it will test the results of the digital-discipleship experiment with spiritual inventories, which were conducted before and after the experiment. The results demonstrated that digital technology is an asset to discipleship. Research data collected indicates two significant findings: a gap exists between a disciple's motivation and involvement, and digital technology increases spiritual involvement.

Beyond technology: Albert Borgmann's "device paradigm" and its implications for American evangelical churches

Author
Dan Harvey Jarrell
Abstract
This dissertation presents qualitative research applying the work of Albert Borgmann to evangelical churches in America. Borgmann believes the most concrete expression of technology is the device that delivers a commodity with minimal involvement in the processes that create that commodity. Consumers in a technological culture default to a "device paradigm" that shapes their worldview and drives them to commoditize focal realities and sacred things. People expect to enjoy thick spiritual experiences without participating in the processes that create and cultivate such experiences. The author suggests strategies to temper the device paradigm in American evangelical churches.

Finding our voices: developing and equipping small church communications as an experience of spritual renewal

Author
Karen L Munson
Abstract
This project lays groundwork for small churches to engage in the complementary work of spiritual renewal and becoming equpped with appropriate communication technology. It demonstates that congregational viability depends on an ability to speak authentically to others about actual experiences of Christ. Research and teaching experiences identified ten areas of particular concern to small churchs, offering opportunities for practicing and modeling healthy community. An advanced lay speaking course provides tools for United Methodist leaders.

Web site development and a process for congregational study, education, and evaluation: www.ccwm-medford.org

Author
Larry A Titus
Abstract
The Congregational Church (UCC) of West Medford, Massachusetts, after a series of congregational studies, developed a web site to address the assessed needs of evangelism and education for faith development. Studies, including a timeline, theological world views, demographic profiles and church records, helped members learn about the context and identity of the church. Insights from these studies guided the Web Site Team and minister as they designed the web site. The web site project increased member's appreciation for and knowledge of the church, and provided an effective form of evangelism for those using the Internet to find a church.

The Sabbath motif as a foundation for web-based renewal for Navy chaplains

Author
Robert J Fitkin
Abstract
Web-based Sabbath renewal sought to determine if technology could facilitate ongoing spiritual nurture for Navy chaplains. Online renewal used Sabbath themes to provide web-based content. To facilitate accountability and chaplains' desire for fellowship a "Sabbath friend" was created. The MBI Human Services Survey instrument determined the success of web-based renewal. Overall, MBI found chaplains decreased their feeling of burnout and increased their feelings of ministry accomplishment. The online Sabbath renewal project was a first step to provide Navy chaplains a viable opportunity to continue their spiritual vitality in arduous duty assignments around the world. The evaluation of the web design was a secondary goal. Using Likert scales, the evaluation measured technical aspects of web-based design such as cognitive load, aesthetics, and navigation. The online renewal site successfully helped chaplains with spiritual renewal/awareness that resulted in greater feelings of accomplishment in ministry. The results of this project also offered hope for the future application of web-based renewal for everyone in the helping profession. In the end, this project accomplished a new method for facilitating the ancient need for spiritual renewal.
Subscribe to Technology and religion