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The Practice Of Children’S Ministry: Developing A Cohesive Vision Of Practice With Church Leaders, Shannon Clarkson Rains May 2019

The Practice Of Children’S Ministry: Developing A Cohesive Vision Of Practice With Church Leaders, Shannon Clarkson Rains

Doctor of Ministry Project/Theses

The purpose of this project was to create a congregational workshop for church leaders that leads to the development of a cohesive vision for the practice of children’s ministry. In order to do this, I began by presenting the evolution of children’s ministry in the Churches of Christ along with the current tensions that exist between ministers and church leadership created by a lack of cohesive vision for the practice of children’s ministry. This foundational understanding of the origins of this tension supports my discussion of a vision for children’s ministry that includes attention to the ...


Creating An Indigenous Multicultural Faith: The Russian Orthodox Mission In Alaska And The Centrality Of Cosmology, Niklaus Von Houck Mar 2019

Creating An Indigenous Multicultural Faith: The Russian Orthodox Mission In Alaska And The Centrality Of Cosmology, Niklaus Von Houck

History Undergraduate Theses

This paper applies letters, journals, history interviews, government-company contracts, international treaties, theological works, and images to examine the convergence of Russian Orthodox Christianity and Alaskan Indigenous shamanism cultures to explicate the harmonizing of an Indigenous multicultural Christian faith in nineteenth-century Russian Alaska. Central to this examination is the evaluation of effects of Orthodox Christian missiology on native Alaskans and the Indigenous religio-cultural response to Russian missionaries. Not merely a historical overview of contact between natives and missionaries in Russian Alaska, this paper harmonizes the commonality of cosmology between native Alaskan shamanism and Orthodox Christianity. It analyzes the impacts of comparatively ...


Social Media Polarization And The Ministry Of Reconciliation, Douglas Bursch Feb 2019

Social Media Polarization And The Ministry Of Reconciliation, Douglas Bursch

Doctor of Ministry

Online communication is becoming increasingly divisive. This dissertation argues that the best way for individuals to decrease social media polarization is for people to engage in the ministry of reconciliation in their social media interactions. Section One describes how social media polarizes because the medium promotes networked individualism, exaggerates dehumanizing “discarnate” communication and numbs humanity’s ability to form meaningful relationships. The left-brain focused argumentation, writing-centered communication and depersonalized nature of online interactions increase a lack of empathy in social media users and add to the polarizing chaos evident in many social media conflicts. Section Two examines how individuals have ...


The Implications Of Digital Technologies For The Lds Church And For Orthodox, Heterodox, And Post-Mormon Identity, Ryan Scott Bartlett Jan 2019

The Implications Of Digital Technologies For The Lds Church And For Orthodox, Heterodox, And Post-Mormon Identity, Ryan Scott Bartlett

Media Studies Theses & Dissertations

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been experiencing an information crisis that stems from the rise of the Internet and from digital technologies more broadly. The contemporary speed at which information flows, coupled with the ability that individuals now have to bypass traditional sources of religious authority and engage in horizontal communication and the production of alternative Mormon- themed texts and discourses online has caused LDS leaders to lose some of the control over Church- related discourse that they have customarily enjoyed for nearly 200 years.

As sensitive information about the Church is disseminated into widely-accessible digital ...


Telling The Good News, Allyson R. Escobar Dec 2018

Telling The Good News, Allyson R. Escobar

Capstones

In light of recent clergy abuse scandals, cover-ups and leadership shake-downs, it is a divided time in the Catholic Church: but this isn’t the whole story. My final capstone project is a critical essay of how Catholicism (and religion overall) is represented in mainstream media--particularly in secular news publications and entertainment (horror films) in the United States. By examining the coverage and how conversations differ within members of the Catholic Church--from journalists and critics to active Catholics, religious men and women--this project calls for greater accountability, fairness, faith representation in all media, and the overall claim that there are ...


Examining The Political Motivations Of Christian Women Following The 2016 Presidential Election, Julie Grace Jul 2018

Examining The Political Motivations Of Christian Women Following The 2016 Presidential Election, Julie Grace

Master's Theses (2009 -)

As research begins and continues to examine the historic nature of the 2016 presidential election, this study aims to understand the political motivations of a specific group of voters – Christian women in two Wisconsin counties that flipped from voting for a Democrat in 2012 to a Republican in 2016. Long-form, qualitative interviews were used to obtain an understanding of the participants’ faith, their view on politics, and their thoughts on the 2016 election and President Trump’s first year in office. Grounded theory was used as a theoretical framework for this study, and the constant comparative method of analysis was ...


Radical Social Ecology As Deep Pragmatism: A Call To The Abolition Of Systemic Dissonance And The Minimization Of Entropic Chaos, Arielle Brender May 2018

Radical Social Ecology As Deep Pragmatism: A Call To The Abolition Of Systemic Dissonance And The Minimization Of Entropic Chaos, Arielle Brender

Student Theses 2015-Present

This paper aims to shed light on the dissonance caused by the superimposition of Dominant Human Systems on Natural Systems. I highlight the synthetic nature of Dominant Human Systems as egoic and linguistic phenomenon manufactured by a mere portion of the human population, which renders them inherently oppressive unto peoples and landscapes whose wisdom were barred from the design process. In pursuing a radical pragmatic approach to mending the simultaneous oppression and destruction of the human being and the earth, I highlight the necessity of minimizing entropic chaos caused by excess energy expenditure, an essential feature of systems that aim ...


Evaluating “Discovery Bible Study” In An Evangelism Program At African Christian College, Floyd Vidler May 2018

Evaluating “Discovery Bible Study” In An Evangelism Program At African Christian College, Floyd Vidler

Doctor of Ministry Project/Theses

The problem addressed in this project emerges from my understanding of evangelism. For me evangelism must include proclamation, discipleship, a reliance on the Holy Spirit, and the utilization of small groups. I see DBS as accomplishing these goals, and the problem of this work was to demonstrate whether this is true in the context of African Christian College and the surrounding area.

I used a method called participatory action research. I made it my goal to learn all that I could about DBS and then share this material in a classroom setting with my students at ACC. We then participated ...


Spiritual Transformation At Austin Christian Church, David Hooper May 2018

Spiritual Transformation At Austin Christian Church, David Hooper

Doctor of Ministry Project/Theses

This project was designed to meet a need at the Austin Christian Church (ACC) for enhancing the spiritual formation of new converts to Christianity by providing clear direction for mentors seeking to disciple others into the image of Christ. The scope of this project is focused directly on taking the first steps toward a deliberate pathway for spiritual formation by establishing the foundational principles. The apostle Paul’s pastoral theology provides the theological rationale for the project. Theosis, the theologically rich description of the Christian transformative process, also informs the theological foundation for the project. Drawing on the work of ...


Confidential Publics: Digital Reconciliation And Queer Muslim Identities, Mariam Mustafa Apr 2018

Confidential Publics: Digital Reconciliation And Queer Muslim Identities, Mariam Mustafa

Master's Theses

In this paper, I trouble constructions of community through exploring temporal spatial configurations of support for queer-identified Muslims living in America. I assert that when community is not something one can physically access, use of the internet to create temporary spaces of community is critical in assessing identity reconciliation between intersectional conflicting identity. As it relates to queer Muslims, where there is a distinct lack of public community, the level of crisis some individuals face is explored through their use of online vehicles to establish social support systems that would otherwise not be available. My paper provides a framework in ...


Voiceless Icons No More: The Self-Representations Of Muslim American Lives In Digital Media, Kristin M. Peterson Jan 2018

Voiceless Icons No More: The Self-Representations Of Muslim American Lives In Digital Media, Kristin M. Peterson

Media Studies Theses & Dissertations

With the proposed travel bans in the U.S., niqab bans in Canadian cities, fears over terrorism, attacks on veiled women, and concerns about refugees, Muslim Americans have become prominent icons of larger political issues in North American society. While the images of Muslims have dominated public spaces, the complex lives and significant concerns of Muslim Americans have often gone untold. This study focuses on the creative work that Muslim American youth are producing and circulating through digital media spaces and mobile technologies.

The projects discussed in this study include: the Places You’ll Pray photo series, which documents public ...


A Systems Theory Analysis Of The Goshen Seventh-Day Adventist Church's System Of Communication, Clavour R. Tucker Jan 2018

A Systems Theory Analysis Of The Goshen Seventh-Day Adventist Church's System Of Communication, Clavour R. Tucker

Master's Theses

Problem

The Seventh-day Adventist Church (SDA) is a complex and multilayered nonprofit organization (NPO), with carefully outlined policies and guidelines for almost every aspect of the organization. However, the philosophical or structural framework that guides communication within the organization is not clear. It is my hypothesis, having been a member and employee of the organization for almost 30 years, that not having such a structure has led to the creation of a fragmented culture of communication, which is observable in local congregations. This research assesses this phenomenon at the Goshen SDA Church, in Chicago, IL, and seeks to answer the ...


Raça, Jinshu, Race: Whiteness, Japanese-Ness, And Resistance In Sūkyō Mahikari In The Brazilian Amazon, Moana Luri De Almeida Jan 2018

Raça, Jinshu, Race: Whiteness, Japanese-Ness, And Resistance In Sūkyō Mahikari In The Brazilian Amazon, Moana Luri De Almeida

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This dissertation presented an analysis of how leaders and adherents of a Japanese religion called Sūkyō Mahikari understand and interpret jinshu (race) and hito(person) in a particular way, and how this ideology is practiced in the city of Belém, in the Brazilian Amazon. The teachings of Sūkyō Mahikari classify humanity into five races (yellow, white, red, blue/green, black/purple) and five religions (Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism). In this classification, the original humans - hito, the kingly race ōbito, and the God-given supra-religion sūkyō - deteriorated into ningen (people), the other races, and shūkyō (religions) along an evolutionary timeline ...


The Shunned Speak Out: Former Members On Life In The Jehovah's Witnesses And After, Nour Saudi, Joy Notoma Dec 2017

The Shunned Speak Out: Former Members On Life In The Jehovah's Witnesses And After, Nour Saudi, Joy Notoma

Capstones

"The Shunned Speak Out" is an interactive feature that explores the practice of religious shunning among Jehovah's Witnesses. When Jehovah's Witnesses opt to leave the group or are punished for an indiscretion, they are shunned and have to completely start their lives over without their families and the only community they have known. This piece profiles 13 former Jehovah's Witnesses, including their journeys and the emotional repercussions of shunning. Their personal stories are weaved in with expert voices and research on the organization.

https://jwshunning.github.io/jw/


Learning To Pray The Lord’S Prayer For Spiritual Transformation At Tachikawa Church Of Christ, Naoyoshi Fukushima Dec 2017

Learning To Pray The Lord’S Prayer For Spiritual Transformation At Tachikawa Church Of Christ, Naoyoshi Fukushima

Doctor of Ministry Project/Theses

ABSTRACT

This thesis describes a project to lead the members of Tachikawa Church of Christ to learn and experience the power and blessings of praying the Lord’s Prayer for spiritual edification and maturity. The program consisted of eight weeks of learning the meaning of the Lord’s Prayer and doing spiritual exercises. To provide a theological foundation for this project, I delivered eight sermons on the Lord’s Prayer with strong emphasis on the relational nature of the prayer.

Those who engaged in the spiritual exercises were given opportunities to experience joy, peace, and correction as they tried to ...


From Guest To Host: Cultural And Language Conflict In The Korean American Catholic Parish, Irene H. Park Oct 2017

From Guest To Host: Cultural And Language Conflict In The Korean American Catholic Parish, Irene H. Park

LMU/LLS Theses and Dissertations

Pastoral ministry in the context of Korean American Catholic parishes brings many challenges, including that of cultural conflict. Frequent miscommunications occur between the Korean speaking and English speaking groups who coexist in these parishes. Considering some of the socio-cultural and theological factors of this issue, which are explored in this paper, a pastoral plan utilizing social media is proposed.


Bodies As Living, Twirling Sacrifices: Performing Black Girlhood, Liturgical Dance, And The Black Church Tradition, Brianna Heath May 2017

Bodies As Living, Twirling Sacrifices: Performing Black Girlhood, Liturgical Dance, And The Black Church Tradition, Brianna Heath

Cultural Studies Capstone Papers

The purpose of this study is to investigate liturgical dance in the black church tradition as a gendered space. I argue that black girls perform their sexuality as ascribed to hetero-patriarchal ideology—as preached within the black church—through liturgical dance. This ideology akin to politics of respectability separates the sacred from the secular which causes a tension. This tension shows up in the hyper-ness of liturgical dancing. This study discusses this by contextualizing liturgical dance within a history of black concert dance and embodied practices of resistance. This study frames liturgical dance within the black dance tradition, black feminist ...


Practical Theology In An Interpretive Community: An Ethnography Of Talk, Texts And Video In A Mediated Women's Bible Study, Nancie Hudson Apr 2017

Practical Theology In An Interpretive Community: An Ethnography Of Talk, Texts And Video In A Mediated Women's Bible Study, Nancie Hudson

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

This study of social interaction in a small religious group used ethnography of communication as a research method to collect and analyze data from 20 months of fieldwork. As a long-term participant-observer in a women-only interdenominational Bible study, I investigated the group’s patterned ways of speaking, how print and electronic learning materials influenced the practical application of Scripture to daily life, and how the contemporary format for women’s Bible study alters the traditional Bible study experience. Patterned ways of speaking in this setting included group discussions and conversational narratives about religion, motherhood and lack of time. Using affirmations ...


Deepening Community: Dispelling The Myth Of Small Through A Gospel Of The Small, Sarah R. Cordray Apr 2017

Deepening Community: Dispelling The Myth Of Small Through A Gospel Of The Small, Sarah R. Cordray

Doctor of Ministry Theses

This transformative, mixed-methods research project utilized a modified PAR in order to strengthen inter-relationships of a congregation and with its community. Intentional small acts of conversation and listening were utilized as the main tool to implement change, as participants were awakened from the myth of small-town living, in which assumptions of connectedness were made. This project was deepened through the use of key theoretical, biblical, and theological lenses, such as: community, social capital, open systems theory, transformational leadership, hearing, incarnation, perichoresis, and a sense of belonging. Results revealed a deepened sense of community, a growing awareness of inter-relationships, key differences ...


Restoration, Shannon M. Slaight-Brown Jan 2017

Restoration, Shannon M. Slaight-Brown

Theses and Dissertations

The marks I make in clay have different characteristics, and the physical mark of one’s fingertips or visual record of the hand is personal and intimate. This visible activity is the evidence of my constant presence and control within each object. Its repetitive meditation produces a private relief from my persistent anxieties. This exploration for me is not only visual, but also physical. This is the start of my infatuation with the idea of pattern. It has its own discrete visual language and modes of communication; and through my research I am developing a method of intercommunication.


On Solid Ground I Stand: Narratives On Disclosure, Resilience, And Faith Amidst Recognition Of Childhood Sexual Abuse, Wade Rhodes Dundee Jan 2017

On Solid Ground I Stand: Narratives On Disclosure, Resilience, And Faith Amidst Recognition Of Childhood Sexual Abuse, Wade Rhodes Dundee

Masters Theses

Childhood sexual abuse seems to be a hidden secret in American society; one of the famous, "If we don't talk about it, it won't happen" narratives. However, we know this is not true. Both the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (2012) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) state one in four girls and one in six boys will fall victim to sexual abuse before they celebrate their 18th birthday. There is a high probability that because of the alarming lack of disclosure of male survivors, these statistics could be incorrect and could hinder creating or allowing ...


Bible As Interface, Michael Paul Hemenway Jan 2017

Bible As Interface, Michael Paul Hemenway

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The book is undergoing a major technological transition as print wanes in its dominance and the internet and mobile devices transform our reading and writing technologies. With the entangled histories of bible and book, our emerging technological age and its transformation of the materiality of bible forces us to engage bible as something irreducible to a book. The connections between the major technological transition from roll to codex in antiquity and the contemporary move toward the internet and mobile technologies as reading platforms encourage us to consider bible as an interface that affords high surface area, collaboration, and anarchy. Building ...


Finding Christ In Cinema: Examining Secular Film Theologically, Evan Wheatley Jan 2017

Finding Christ In Cinema: Examining Secular Film Theologically, Evan Wheatley

Honors Theses

For me as a teenager, secular films were merely a form of entertainment. A trip to the movies meant the chance to escape to a “galaxy far, far away,” to stand alongside Harry Potter in his latest confrontation with Lord Voldemort. I did not realize at the time the parallels between the Force in Star Wars, and the Christian God, or how Harry and Voldemort’s cinematic struggle can be seen as an allegory for the fight between good and evil.

At the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, I was introduced to how God can use secular film to challenge our ...


International Social Support And Intervention: The Uyghur Movement -Xinjiang Province, China, Isabella Steinhauer Jan 2017

International Social Support And Intervention: The Uyghur Movement -Xinjiang Province, China, Isabella Steinhauer

Undergraduate Honors Theses

The Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), locally and historically recognized as East Turkestan, in northwestern China has been experiencing rising ethnic tension between the ethnically Turkic-Muslim Uyghur population and the Chinese majority population, the Han. Due to China's means to fully integrate the region and silence opposition, the Uyghurs have been severely harmed by China's accelerated repressive policies, human rights violations, rapid infrastructure development, and incentivized Han migration. Just south of Xinjiang in Tibet, the Tibetan population has been experiencing similar circumstances of oppression inflicted by the Chinese state and have been able to obtain international social support ...


Welcome The Stranger? Recent History Of American Christianity And Refugee Policy, Brenda Edith Cuellar Jan 2017

Welcome The Stranger? Recent History Of American Christianity And Refugee Policy, Brenda Edith Cuellar

Masters Theses

Immigration is a controversial and complex issue. The United States has a history of welcoming millions of immigrants and refugees. Recent political rhetoric surrounding immigration has been negative and associated with danger and terrorism. Religious leaders along with their congregations have a history of advocating on behalf of the marginalized as well as combating against a broken immigration system that leaves eleven million people undocumented. This research paper uses a case study to explore the Sanctuary movement, a religious and political campaign that provided shelter for thousands of Central American refugees fleeing war. Interviews with seven religious leaders in Arizona ...


Implementing Vocational Training At Escuela Quiteña De Estudios Bíblicos, Joshua K. Marcum Dec 2016

Implementing Vocational Training At Escuela Quiteña De Estudios Bíblicos, Joshua K. Marcum

Doctor of Ministry Project/Theses

This DMin project addressed the problem of the absence of a viable training model to equip graduates of EQEB (Escuela Quiteña de Estudios Biblicos) for self-sustaining ministry. Based upon a theology of vocation, the project implemented and evaluated the inclusion of a technical-skills component to EQEB’s current seminary training. The project followed the integration of sixteen EQEB students in the vocational program implemented during the 2015-2016 school year. Qualitative research data gathered from five group interviews with these students, my own field notes, and a faculty interview provided the substance upon which I based the project´s findings. Over ...


Formulating A Covenant Of Discipleship For The Membership Of The Gwinnett Church Of Christ, David Chisholm Dec 2016

Formulating A Covenant Of Discipleship For The Membership Of The Gwinnett Church Of Christ, David Chisholm

Doctor of Ministry Project/Theses

This project addressed the lack of a covenant of discipleship for the membership of the Gwinnett Church of Christ (GCC). The purpose of the project was to develop such a covenant document to help all the members of GCC better live out the process of becoming more like Jesus. To provide a theological foundation for this project, I explored discipleship in the exhortation sections of the book of Hebrews, which specifically addresses the need for greater commitment and intentionality amongst a community of faith. I also explored the theoretical framework of how formulating a discipleship covenant document could create progress ...


A Dollar A Day: Child Sponsorship And The Marketization Of Human Development, Taylor Hallett Dec 2016

A Dollar A Day: Child Sponsorship And The Marketization Of Human Development, Taylor Hallett

Capstone Collection

Child sponsorship as a method of international development offers child sponsors a personal connection to the process of alleviating poverty in the global South. As a form of human development, child sponsorship is constituted by neoliberal principles of marketization and social entrepreneurship. How does child sponsorship, in this context, require us to rethink the ethics of international development in light of ongoing debates about neoliberalism? In this research, I argue that child sponsorship reifies the binary of the “developed” and “undeveloped” worlds. Through undertaking a content analysis of three organizations (Compassion International, World Vision, and UNICEF) and applying post-structural critique ...


Formulating An Intentional Curriculum For Spiritual Leadership Development At The West University Church Of Christ, Daniel A. Mcgraw Aug 2016

Formulating An Intentional Curriculum For Spiritual Leadership Development At The West University Church Of Christ, Daniel A. Mcgraw

Doctor of Ministry Project/Theses

This project addresses the lack of a formal curriculum for spiritual leadership formation in the West University Church of Christ in Houston, Texas. While the West University Church of Christ has been blessed by strong congregational leaders in both the past and present, recent conversations revealed the need for a deeper connection to God and a better understanding of spiritual leadership on the part of the congregation’s leaders. The problem I identified was a lack of understanding about spiritual leadership in contrast to secular understandings of leadership and the lack of a formal curriculum to help address this problem ...


Challenging Students At Fort Worth Christian School To Engage The Economically Disadvantaged In Their Community, James Hensley May 2016

Challenging Students At Fort Worth Christian School To Engage The Economically Disadvantaged In Their Community, James Hensley

Doctor of Ministry Project/Theses

This doctor of ministry thesis presents a project in which I led a group of students at Fort Worth Christian School in experiences that challenged them to be more engaged with the economically disadvantaged in their community. The problem I identified at the outset of the project was a lack of such experiences along with troubling attitudes about poverty. Many students initially demonstrated ambivalence or even outright hostility toward the notion of helping people who live in poverty. I found such attitudes to be contrary to the teachings of Jesus and to my central beliefs as a Christian. I believed ...