Tyndale University

Grace Leads to Joy: Spiritual Formation and the Examen

The purpose of this portfolio was to study how best to lead church
congregants in Christian spiritual discernment toward spiritual formation. This
portfolio begins with the author’s spiritual autobiography and with that
knowledge the model of spiritual formation was developed. The spiritual model
can be pictured using an image of a wheel where Christ is placed at the hub (the
center) of one’s life and is connected to all the spokes (or parts) of one’s life. The
model works to encourage people to move Christ closer to the center of their
lives, where they can live and have their being in their “true selves,” as God’s will
Using this model of spiritual formation, a field research project was
developed to help spiritually form the spiritual leaders of the Oakridge
Presbyterian Church congregation towards a greater unity in Christ. Using the
Examen as a spiritual practice helped guide participants to focus and be
intentional about noticing God’s presence in all things and therefore helping to
keep Christ as the centre of their life. The field research component helped
determine how the congregation’s spiritual leaders had deepened their awareness
of the presence of God in daily life.

Trinitarian Spiritual Formation: Spirtiual Direction and Supervision of Spiritual Directors Within the Fullness of Trinitarian Life

In this Research Portfolio, the author articulates a contemplative evocative approach toward Trinitarian Spiritual Formation, from where discernment and ministry flow. This will be explored through three avenues. The first is a spiritual autobiography describing the author’s own spiritual formation in response to the question: How will I know God’s voice? The author’s discernment of vocational call to spiritual direction and supervision will be shared. The second is through the development of a Trinitarian Spiritual Formation Model as informed by Trinitarian Spiritual Formation anchored in trinitarian theology. In the face of hybrid forms of spiritual direction, this understanding of spiritual formation will be applied to the question: What makes spiritual direction, spiritual direction? The third is through a field research project that attends to the spiritual formation of Tyndale graduate spiritual directors. The project is guided by the question: Does attending to the spiritual formation of directors through a contemplative evocative approach better equip them to discern a calling to the supervision of directors? This research confirms that a contemplative evocative approach toward spiritual formation is helpful for discerning whether or not directors are called to become supervisors.

Venerable Doctor Maria del Pilar Gonzalez Gateman

The motivation behind all of my ministry has been to walk alongside people and help them know the God in Jesus that I have come to know and to whom I grow closer. As my life has drawn me toward leadership roles my interest became more focused on the formation of leadership, particularly those in churches. The strain of leadership, and expectations on leaders in parishes, led me to search for ways to encourage healthy emotional and spiritual formation for these leaders.
My model for spiritual formation describes formation using the metaphor of dance. This model allows for the ebb and flow of our spiritual formation and led me to utilizing the Prayer of Examen as a way of helping leaders become aware of that ebb and flow in their lives. Participants used the Examen for 7 weeks, reflecting on the experience in a journal.
Participants became much more aware of the presence of God throughout their day. They also became more aware of their interactions with both God and others the longer they practiced the Examen. The main contribution this work has made to my own ministry is to highlight the importance for leaders of self-examination in the presence of God.

Implementing The Appreciative Inquiry Approach To Revitalize The Church of Pentecost Canada

James McKeown Quainoo D.Min.
The Church of Pentecost Canada is an ethnic Pentecostal denomination with roots from Ghana. Over the last thirty years she has grown numerically, spiritually and geographically across Canada. However, the church is confronted with the need to reflect and explore how to be more relevant to the ever-changing church and Canadian culture.
This portfolio reflects the exegesis of the context of ministry of the church at McKeown Worship Centre in Toronto and the branch in Edmonton. It focuses on strengths, challenges and opportunities, philosophy of leadership, and a research project that initially began with a heightened interest towards exploring soul care and social action. The research project used a guided Appreciative Inquiry approach to enable participants to identify, design, and implement integrative initiatives. A greater awareness and urgency for more social engagements with the wider Canadian community have been created among a cross-section of church leadership. There is the need to use the principles of Appreciative Inquiry further to engage the whole church to develop more contextual and intentional strategic approaches to revitalization.

Witness to the Presence of God Moments in the Action and Voice of Children

Jane Janine Pekar D.Min.

This portfolio begins with a reflection of my personal journey in spiritual formation. In response to the contemporary shift in society’s affirmation of the rights an voice of children as world citizens and my experiences as a teacher, parent and ordained minister, I created a model of ministry for families with young children combining components of Young Child & Worship and Messy Church. Using Action Research, I introduced principles of the Reggio-Inspired Approach to enhance the children’s personalization of the experience. The observations of the children’s creative responses and intuitive initiatives were recorded and shared in four Documentations.

Developing Mutual Spiritual Intimacy Among the leaders of Walking on the Water Ministries Through the Use of Ruth Haley Barton’s Book Pursuing God’s Will Together

Walter Gregory Joseph D.Min.
This research project used Ruth Haley Barton’s book Pursuing God’s Will Together, as a tool to develop mutual spiritual intimacy among the leaders of Walking on the Water Ministries. Sessions were completed with the leadership group over an eight-month period using some of the principles of participatory action research. Research methods included surveys, group sessions, Barton’s Personal Reflection exercises and questions, and my personal observations. The result was a personal growth experience for the leaders, as we journeyed together in developing mutual spiritual intimacy. x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

An Integrative Model of Spiritual Formation:
Incorporating Practices from Christian Spirituality and Psychotherapy

Kern Orbin Stanberry D.Min.
This portfolio represents an integrative approach to Christian spiritual formation that refutes the modern Western dualistic mindset. It reclaims the premodern understanding of the unity of truth as revealed through Scripture and creation and, as such, calls for the engagement of practices from both Christian spiritualty and psychotherapy in the process of Christian spiritual formation. Through a rigorous process of personal, spiritual, professional, academic and field research explorations and reflections, the author presents an integrative Christian spiritual formation model and invites Christian leaders and researchers to intentionally include the subjective realities of people’s experiences in their spiritual formational journey.

The Use of Appreciative Inquiry to Help a Congregation Through a Crisis Towards a More Positive Outlook: Reemphasizing Discipleship and Leadership Development

Martin Edward Spoelstra D.Min.

This portfolio was originally intended to research Discovery Church’s
journey to multisite. Over a four-month period just prior to launch of the second
site, the church dealt with a leadership and financial crisis brought on by a drop in
attendance. These changes necessitated putting multisite on hold and refocusing
energies on discipleship and mission.

The original research question proposed the use of an Appreciative Inquiry
model intended to help the congregation deal with the emotional and social shifts
to become one church with two locations. Facing new circumstances, the
Appreciative Inquiry model was modified to help the church deal with the
emotional and social concerns they had around the dramatic change in their
attendance and vision for multisite. This exercise gave an opportunity for the
Church to recall why they started as a church plant, some of the great things that
God had already done, the courage to risk once more, and step into a new future.

Out of the Appreciative Inquiry, Discovery Church embarked on the
rebuilding process that focused on clarifying their existing vision, developing
disciples making disciples, and a missional leadership development process,
eventually leading them back to the potential for multiplication.

Transformation: How God's Ongoing Work through Preaching Can Impact a Congregation.

Paul McIlwraith
This portfolio describes the way that God's transforming work in the life of a preacher can impact a congregation. It focuses specifically on a preacher's life, context, and congregation and God's work in each of these areas.
Chapter 1 serves as the introduction to this portfolio. Chapter 2 offers My Personal Preaching Identity, which describes my own identity and transformation as a preacher, my sense of call, spiritual gifting, and theological tradition. It contains my theology of preaching, which has been informed by my personal experiences as well as course work, readings, and mentors drawn from church history. Chapter 3, My Preaching Context, describes the congregation I serve, North Park Community Church, as well as the broader community setting and city. This background was used to propose a preaching strategy and a yearly preaching menu that would meaningfully and appropriately address this unique congregation. My Preaching Field Project, found in chapter 4, is a personalized preaching project implemented in my home church to determine the impact that the preaching is having on the spiritual transformation of a certain demographic of our church. The results identified a transformative impact on this demographic but also revealed some important learnings for preachers about the content and delivery of the sermon. Chapter 5, the conclusion, summarizes the content of this portfolio and describes the way in which I have accomplished the four outcomes of the Doctor of Ministry program.

Ministry Context Exegete, Leadership Philosophy and a Model for Teaching Pastors the Pure Gospel in a Prosperity Gospel Context

Darlington Ejikeme Elekwa Dr D.Min.
This portfolio consists of three key parts namely; exegetic consideration of the researcher’s ministry context, his leadership philosophy and a model for teaching pastors the pure gospel in a prosperity gospel context. There is a dearth of trained pastors in the researcher’s ministry context. Rampant miss-interpretation of the Bible is a common place in Jos. These facts informed the need for pastors training. The collective wisdom of participants was utilized to develop strategies for training pastors to preach the pure gospel rather than a different gospel (Galatians 1:6,7).
Data collected from a two-day research workshop, participants’ observations, participant’s interviews, extra information volunteered by two participants and workshop evaluations were subjected to open coding, selective coding, axial and in-vivo coding. Analyzed data showed dinner table training model, cell phone correspondence course model, customized coaching and mentoring would be beneficial for training pastors.
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