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Rediscovering The Bible For Involvement And Insights For Spiritual Growth For The Restoration Church Member, John F. Woodward Dec 2016

Rediscovering The Bible For Involvement And Insights For Spiritual Growth For The Restoration Church Member, John F. Woodward

Doctor of Ministry

This dissertation proposes that many individuals in the Restoration Church, an early nineteenth-century American church movement founded by Barton Stone and Alexander Campbell that today includes hundreds of Churches of Christ/Christian Churches, are experiencing spiritual malnourishment, while finding in the tradition a lack of resources, rhetoric, or guidance to stem the hunger. Section 1 describes the influence of contextualization, tracing the history of the Restoration Movement back to its early philosophical and social influences that resulted in a rationalist and Biblicist interpretation of the Bible that focused primarily on conversion and church organization, while distracting attention from spirituality and ...


Spiritual Renovation Through Accountability: A Contemporary Look At John Wesley's Class Meeting And His Admonition To Watch Over One Another In Love, Robert Marshall Dec 2016

Spiritual Renovation Through Accountability: A Contemporary Look At John Wesley's Class Meeting And His Admonition To Watch Over One Another In Love, Robert Marshall

Doctor of Ministry

The dissertation asserts that Christ-focused small groups, particularly in the Pacific Northwest, can be a primary means of spiritual transformation while developing a sense of belonging in the Body of Christ. Without these small groups, public Christian worship can be little more than sentimentality. The term, small groups, describes small gatherings of Christ’s followers who “watch over one another in love that they may help each other to work out their salvation.”

Section 1 introduces the topic of a disconnect between the Church’s promise to be a transforming community and the spiritual emptiness and loneliness asserted by many ...


Extending The Table: A Strategic Guide Of Missional Renewal For A Declining Congregation, Phillip Vaden Faig Dec 2016

Extending The Table: A Strategic Guide Of Missional Renewal For A Declining Congregation, Phillip Vaden Faig

Doctor of Ministry

The Lord took Ezekiel to the Valley of Dry Bones and asked him, “Son of Man, can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:3) Many churches in the large metropolitan cities of North America are looking over the Valley of Dry Ministries and asking essentially the same question, “Can these ministries live again?” The decline of the church in large metropolitan cities of the United States has been dramatic. It is not an unusual sight to drive through a major city and see church buildings that were once filled with congregants either shuttered and repurposed or with only a small remnant ...


Spiritual Direction With Children The Next Natural Step In The Christian Historical Progression Of Children's Spiritual Formation, Lacy Finn Borgo Dec 2016

Spiritual Direction With Children The Next Natural Step In The Christian Historical Progression Of Children's Spiritual Formation, Lacy Finn Borgo

Doctor of Ministry

Children without a listening and guiding companion miss opportunities to build upon their connection with God and others. Historically, from a western Protestant viewpoint, Christians have struggled to understand or acknowledge, much less encourage, the reciprocal nature of a child’s life with God. Supporting the reciprocal nature of a child’s life with God includes acknowledging their full humanity by embracing childhood as a fully human state and therefore their need for a whole person spiritual formation. The institution of Sunday School, Godly Play, and the Children’s Spirituality Movement have each helped us to understand, acknowledge and encourage ...


Reclaming Compassion: How Compassion Moved From Virtue To Benefit, And How To Move It Back, Jon Talbert Dec 2016

Reclaming Compassion: How Compassion Moved From Virtue To Benefit, And How To Move It Back, Jon Talbert

Doctor of Ministry

This dissertation examines the growing movement of compassion that has developed and emerged in the 21st century and its impact on the current landscape of society. Section 1 takes a closer look at how compassion moved from a virtue to a benefit, and the expectation of reward that subtly crept into the developmental psyche of the culture. Section 2 traces that benefit-mentality into the seven domains of culture, including: Business, Faith, Government, Social Sector, Education, Arts & Entertainment, and the Media. Section 3 introduces a new line of thinking that reestablishes compassion to its purest form by identifying the makeup of ...


Fundamental Image Theory: An Integrated Model Of Trauma, Cassandra K. Sieg May 2016

Fundamental Image Theory: An Integrated Model Of Trauma, Cassandra K. Sieg

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Historically, trauma theory and intervention has focused on “actual or threatened death or serious injury” (DSM-IV; APA, 1994). More recently, the field has broadened its consideration to a range of trauma and stressor related disorders, including perpetration induced traumautic stress (PITS; MacNair, 2015). Violence perpetration has negative implications on a personal, interpersonal, and group level, but a review of the literature reveals a significant gap in our understanding of perpetration-induced traumatic stress, including 2 fundamental questions: how does perpetrating violence cause trauma, and how can we treat this trauma? None of the existing psychological models adequately answer the first question ...


Student Perceptions Of How People, Practices, And Culture Within A Christian Secondary School Contribute To Or Detract From Their Spiritual Development, N. Matthews Beimers Apr 2016

Student Perceptions Of How People, Practices, And Culture Within A Christian Secondary School Contribute To Or Detract From Their Spiritual Development, N. Matthews Beimers

Doctor of Education (EdD)

This is a phenomenological study of five Grade 12 students and their perceptions of the factors in their Christian school that have contributed to their spiritual development. Through interviews with each of the students, the details of the students’ perceptions revealed how and why specific people, practices, and elements of school culture affected their spirituality. All of these students provided keen insights through honest and vulnerable reflection. The major thematic categories that emerged were teachers, peers, spiritual practices, and the positive school community and ethos. The major recommendations for practice is to consider how the school can find avenues for ...


Pedagogy For Christian Worldview Formation: A Grounded Theory Study Of Bible College Teaching Methods, Rob Lindemann Apr 2016

Pedagogy For Christian Worldview Formation: A Grounded Theory Study Of Bible College Teaching Methods, Rob Lindemann

Doctor of Education (EdD)

To date, only emerging qualitative data exist on pedagogy employed specifically for worldview formation, especially in Christian contexts. Using a grounded theory approach, I carried out this qualitative research using personal interviews with the goal of discovering a theory for the processes expert teachers use in employing effective worldview pedagogy. Data was gathered through personal interviews with six participants who were nominated by their presidents or deans as suitable candidates according to the criteria of an expert teacher in this aspect of Bible college teaching.

The process of qualitative coding led to a theory of pedagogy for Christian worldview formation ...


The Tree With Good Fruit Or Bad Fruit: An Evaluation Of The House Church Movement And The Three-Self Patriotic Movement In China, Jiying Song Mar 2016

The Tree With Good Fruit Or Bad Fruit: An Evaluation Of The House Church Movement And The Three-Self Patriotic Movement In China, Jiying Song

Seminary Masters Theses

This thesis is a research on the Three-Self Patriotic Movement (TSPM) and the House Church Movement (HCM) in China. These two movements have produced two church systems in China: the Official Church and the Underground Church. With the method of ―China-centered,‖ I present Christianity as a world religion and explore its development in Chinese society. In chapter 1, I explain the motivation of this research and the methodology I utilize in my approach to Chinese church history. I give a general historical background in chapter 2 and divide the Chinese church history into five eras: the preparation for Christianity (before ...


Global Warning: Stereotype Threat In The Global Church, Michael Badriaki Feb 2016

Global Warning: Stereotype Threat In The Global Church, Michael Badriaki

Doctor of Ministry

The involvement of missionaries in global missions from United States to Uganda particularly through short-term missions teams is a growing reality; while the involvement of Ugandans in missions still remains mostly local and regional. Most missions groups are motivated by the biblical commission to proclaim the gospel, humanitarian and social justice causes. However, global missions Christian groups in Uganda and Christian groups from the United States of American are faced with intercultural challenges. This dissertation discuses stereotype threat which has been shown to have debilitating consequences of fear, unsettling cognitive burdens and anxiety in targeted individuals and people groups to ...


"But I Wouldn't Do That": Teaching Cultural Empathy, Julie A. Dodge Feb 2016

"But I Wouldn't Do That": Teaching Cultural Empathy, Julie A. Dodge

Doctor of Ministry

Over the past thirty years, as awareness has increased regarding the value of understanding cultural and other differences in delivering social and faith based services, organizations and academic institutions have worked to provide training in cultural diversity or cultural competence. In spite of this emphasis on training and preparation, research suggests that most practitioners have higher perceptions of their cultural competence than actual demonstrated skills. This dissertation reviews the common types of cultural competence training that are offered, considers methods for instruction, and suggests that teaching cultural empathy will improve service outcomes in intercultural settings. Cultural empathy is defined throughout ...


Elder-At-The-Fire: Missional Generativity, Jo A. Harlow Feb 2016

Elder-At-The-Fire: Missional Generativity, Jo A. Harlow

Doctor of Ministry

Societies and cultures are changing at an unprecedented pace. In this time of uncertainty, how does the Church continue to advance God’s kingdom and nurture fully mature disciples of Christ? This paper will show that global shifts demand a new type of Christian leader—Elder-at-the-Fire—who is able to apprentice others to a life of Missional Generativity. The so-called ‘proven’ forms of discipleship are becoming ineffective. People in the world are floundering to understand their purpose; many seek spiritual guides and self-help solutions in search of spiritual meaning. In biblical times and in ancient tribal traditions, elders provided spiritual ...


The Dance Of Formation: Engaging Faith Practices As A Way To Shape Clergy Spouse Life In The Evangelical Lutheran Church In America, Erin M. Swenson-Reinhold Feb 2016

The Dance Of Formation: Engaging Faith Practices As A Way To Shape Clergy Spouse Life In The Evangelical Lutheran Church In America, Erin M. Swenson-Reinhold

Doctor of Ministry

Christian spiritual formation is a lifelong process of being transformed into the image of Christ. The current model of theological education in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) often fails to prepare seminarians and their spouses for the challenges of long-term ministry by neglecting the spiritual formation process in favor of skill-based training. When this occurs, problems may arise in the marriage or ministry. This dissertation proposes there is a definite need for spiritual nourishment and spiritual formation for clergy and their families, and faith practices are important predictors of individual and relational health.

The first five years of ...


Restorying God: Re-Imagining The God Of The Bible And Re-Enchanting Our Neo-Secular Selves, Robert Joseph Burnham Feb 2016

Restorying God: Re-Imagining The God Of The Bible And Re-Enchanting Our Neo-Secular Selves, Robert Joseph Burnham

Doctor of Ministry

The Western world has undergone dramatic transformation in the last five hundred years. A premodern world became modern and then postmodern. In the terms of philosopher Charles Taylor, the Western social imaginary—the collection of images and ideas that define human flourishing and guide a populous through daily life—has shifted from one of “transcendent-enchantment” to “immanent-disenchantment.” Christianity, a

once singular Roman Catholic Church, is a diversity of denominations that, despite best efforts and intentions, are watching people of all demographic groups join a mass exodus in body, soul, or both from the church. However, one would be mistaken to ...


Convergent Commensality: Towards Generational Reconciliation Through Differentiated Table Felowship, Daniel Proffitt Feb 2016

Convergent Commensality: Towards Generational Reconciliation Through Differentiated Table Felowship, Daniel Proffitt

Doctor of Ministry

The generation gap, as it is classically defined, maintains postures of ideological polarization between generational cohorts. In a congregational context, the pendulum of societal projection diagnoses obvious differences in generations as a means of dealing with systemic anxiety inhibiting differentiation.

The temptation of self-reactivity, destructively compensating for a lack of self- identity – through blame, shame, control, and escape/chaos – results in overgeneralization of the generation gap as a response to formational violations of love and trust, and a perpetuation of unresolved anxiety that leads to homeostasis of the generation gap. The family systems model frames generational research as a bifurcating ...


Deconstructing Faith And A Disorienting Community, Scott Thomas Scrivner Feb 2016

Deconstructing Faith And A Disorienting Community, Scott Thomas Scrivner

Doctor of Ministry

Life does not go as planned. It can be both brighter and more tragic than expected, and probably even both, all at once. I have felt deeply the moments my expectations were not met in my life. My faith is one of those things greatly affected by such brokenness and beauty in life. After years in ministry and years practicing my faith, I have found that the church is too often not a space to work through the disorientation that comes when one’s understanding of life conflicts with one’s actual experience of life. Instead of making room for ...


An Enlivening And Concrete Life-Together: Discovering A Fresh Rootedness In The Gospel For Local Organizations And Families In A Global Economic And Postmodern Consumerist Culture, Charles Estanol Feb 2016

An Enlivening And Concrete Life-Together: Discovering A Fresh Rootedness In The Gospel For Local Organizations And Families In A Global Economic And Postmodern Consumerist Culture, Charles Estanol

Doctor of Ministry

This dissertation claims that the transmission of the gospel falls short in postmodern rural life because the message has not meaningfully integrated with community life as a whole and asserts that the witness of the church must employ a greater connectedness to local culture to affirm a rootedness in the gospel. Section 1 describes the abstract nature and influence of the global economy and postmodern consumerism, highlighting the growing negative effects on rural communities, families, and ultimately the witness of the gospel. Section 2 surveys a range of Christian organizations in today’s society analyzing how they can become polarized ...


Crossing The Great Divide: Advocating For Cultural Intelligence In The Training Of Missionaries To Navigate The Missiological Implications Of Globalization, John Mitch Arbelaez Feb 2016

Crossing The Great Divide: Advocating For Cultural Intelligence In The Training Of Missionaries To Navigate The Missiological Implications Of Globalization, John Mitch Arbelaez

Doctor of Ministry

Globalization has brought about many missiological implications that directly affect missionaries serving in cross-cultural situations. Though globalization may appear to be bringing the world together, cultural differences and cultural diversity continue to persist causing more cultural conflicts as people from different backgrounds continue to collide with one another. Today’s missionaries need a trusted metacultural framework to rapidly adapt and contextualize the Gospel message into the multiplicity of cultural nuances swirling in the kaleidoscope that is globalization.

In Section One, missiological implications due to globalization such as cultural homogenization, hybridization, secularization, consumerism, McDonaldization, migration, and new religious movements, are discussed ...


Mind The Gap: Navigating The Pitfalls Of Cross-Cultural Partnership, Ashley Purcelle Goad Feb 2016

Mind The Gap: Navigating The Pitfalls Of Cross-Cultural Partnership, Ashley Purcelle Goad

Doctor of Ministry

Living Waters for the World is an organization that trains hundreds of mission teams to install clean water systems in Haiti and beyond; however, many of these projects lay in disrepair: unused, despite the best of intentions of the American volunteers. Section One examines current problems of many existing partnerships in Haiti. Americans tend to have a skewed interpretation of what the word “partnership” means or what partnership connotes in a cross-cultural context. This results in an American organization providing a service or product for a community, which at first glance, seems positive, but, in fact, results in a lack ...


Theocentric Vision: A Model For The Discernment Of Congregational Vision As Spiritual Formation, Kurtley Elliott Knight Feb 2016

Theocentric Vision: A Model For The Discernment Of Congregational Vision As Spiritual Formation, Kurtley Elliott Knight

Doctor of Ministry

This dissertation addresses the cultivation of a theocentric model of vision discernment that is spiritually formative for evangelical churches. This author will make the case that contemporary evangelical models of vision development possess an anthropocentric orientation that is individualistic, future-focused, and derived from business practices, thus subverting the spiritual formation of congregations. How then can congregational vision be shaped in a way that is spiritually formative for the faith community as a whole? This writer will posit that congregational spirituality will increase through the adoption of a theocentric model of vision discernment.

Chapter One sets the direction of the dissertation ...


Leaving Decline And Towards Growth: Discovering The Keys To Church Regeneration In South Wales, Elizabeth M. A. Linssen Feb 2016

Leaving Decline And Towards Growth: Discovering The Keys To Church Regeneration In South Wales, Elizabeth M. A. Linssen

Doctor of Ministry

This paper highlights the current spiritual climate of Christianity in Wales today, calling for urgent attention to certain deficits within the Church. Section one begins by examining the claims of secularists who believe that Christianity is in a terminal condition in Britain, and whether that is an accurate view. We then progress by looking for signs of new life in UK churches and what it actually means to be a healthy church.

From there, we turn to the great commission Jesus Christ entrusted to His church prior to His ascension, and look at the relationship between growing healthy disciples of ...


Engaging Critical Thinking: Teaching Christian University Students How To Improve Their Thinking, Cedrick Valrie Feb 2016

Engaging Critical Thinking: Teaching Christian University Students How To Improve Their Thinking, Cedrick Valrie

Doctor of Ministry

Students in Christian university classrooms across North America largely lack the valuable skill of critical thinking. Such a skill can often appear as a daunting and lofty task that is reserved for scholars or those with a high IQ. Both faculty and students may feel uncertain of what it is, thereby avoiding it altogether. The primary intent of this dissertation study is to explore and explain critical thinking concepts that faculty can use to help their students improve their thinking about academics and about life. This study is secondarily designed to address the institution’s role in encouraging this process ...


Down To Earth Leadership: Influencing Communities Through The Virtues Of Jesus Christ, Deve Persad Feb 2016

Down To Earth Leadership: Influencing Communities Through The Virtues Of Jesus Christ, Deve Persad

Doctor of Ministry

While Canadian culture has changed significantly over the last 40 years, Christian leadership development has failed to keep pace. Today’s leaders must learn to apply the Gospel through their lives and ministries into communities that are undergoing constant change as a result of increasing multiculturalism, religious pluralism, and mounting pressures of social diversity. There is a long line of short-tenured Christian leaders that have previously made attempts at leadership without taking time to understand the benefits of focusing on the key virtues from the life of Christ in order to navigate the complexity of the various systems, structures, and ...


Learning To Listen: Leadership Lessons From North American Indigenous Voices, William P. Dobrenen Feb 2016

Learning To Listen: Leadership Lessons From North American Indigenous Voices, William P. Dobrenen

Doctor of Ministry

What difference does it make that Indigenous peoples were destroyed by Western colonial hoards, often in the name of God? What can be learned from the voices of Native Americans who understand traditional values and pre-colonial leadership practices? How can these voices be lifted up into twenty-first century conversations concerning cultural and leadership issues in a post-modern world? Are these voices worth listening to? What are they saying? This paper proposes a call to pay attention to traditional ways of thinking that need to be renewed today, particularly for individuals and organizations that are weary of faddish leadership rhetoric that ...


Aging Baby Boomers, Churches, And The Second Half Of Life (Challenges For Boomers And Their Churches), Terry L. Nyhuis Feb 2016

Aging Baby Boomers, Churches, And The Second Half Of Life (Challenges For Boomers And Their Churches), Terry L. Nyhuis

Doctor of Ministry

Growing numbers of Baby Boomers are experiencing a transformation in their values, perspectives, and beliefs. As a result, they no longer fit in their churches. This dissertation proposes that, for many, this is an indication of healthy spiritual growth from the First to the Second Half of Life. This is not a problem to resist or fix; it is growth to celebrate, adjust for, and enter into.

Section One develops a typology of the First and Second Halves of Life based on work by Richard Rohr, James Hollis, John W. Fowler, and Ken Wilber.

Section Two describes the Baby Boomers ...


Veiled Glory: How Conservative Anabaptist Women Reflect The Feminine Image And Glory Of God, Elaine V. Yoder Feb 2016

Veiled Glory: How Conservative Anabaptist Women Reflect The Feminine Image And Glory Of God, Elaine V. Yoder

Doctor of Ministry

Through the lens of the metaphor “Veiled Glory,” this dissertation explores how a traditional conservative Anabaptist view of the feminine reflects specific aspects of God’s image and glory. Drawing from Scriptures that detail feminine aspects of God’s image, such as mother, mystery, wisdom, and a Jewish rabbinic and mystical understanding of the Shekinah glory of God, one discovers significant feminine images of God threaded throughout the biblical account. Embracing these aspects of God’s image can bring personal identity and shalom, a Hebrew word describing a deep inner peace and sense of wellbeing, to women belonging to traditional ...


Hospitality And The Kingdom Of God: Our Invitation To Join The Work Of Restoration, Shannon Frances Garvin Feb 2016

Hospitality And The Kingdom Of God: Our Invitation To Join The Work Of Restoration, Shannon Frances Garvin

Doctor of Ministry

Hospitality engages a world imagined by God, taking on the heart of God, and choosing to live in ways responsive to the
active presence of God in the world. Hospitality, by nature, is subversive as it restores creation through seemingly minor
and simple actions which effect healing, health, and wholeness. Practitioners of hospitality take on the ministry of Christ
fashioning their lives and choices after his, attending to the needs of others, trusting in the abundance of God, and living
in rhythm with God’s work in the world. Hospitality engages the Table Ministry of Christ in the world inviting ...


Revitalization Of Moderate Baptist Churches, George Hambric Brooks Feb 2016

Revitalization Of Moderate Baptist Churches, George Hambric Brooks

Doctor of Ministry

This dissertation examines church revitalization in Moderate Baptist churches that are experiencing decline. It looks at various models and principles that can be addressed by church leadership to help revitalize a congregation. Section 1 describes the problem of decline in church attendance since the 1950s. It looks at the natural Life Cycle of church. Special attention is paid to Moderate Baptists, especially the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and its formation and separation from the Southern Baptist Convention. Section 2 examines the problem. The problem of decline in churches has existed for numerous years. This has led to new innovations and attempts ...


Developing An Applied Semiotics Of Prophetic Perceptuality, Mark John Chironna Feb 2016

Developing An Applied Semiotics Of Prophetic Perceptuality, Mark John Chironna

Doctor of Ministry

In John 5:19, Jesus defended the healing at the Pool of Bethesda and disclosed his capacity to see and perceive, in real time and from his inferiority, his Father’s activities. Jesus informed his accusers that they would witness even “greater works.” In John 14:12, he said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” These “greater works” would be possible because Jesus ascended to the Father and poured out upon them ...


Our Flight From Death Is Killing Us: Applying A Psychological Framework To A Christian Understanding Of The Human Condition, G. Mark Griffith Feb 2016

Our Flight From Death Is Killing Us: Applying A Psychological Framework To A Christian Understanding Of The Human Condition, G. Mark Griffith

Doctor of Ministry

Our awareness of mortality motivates us to subconsciously act in ways that are damaging. This dissertation engages the problems to individual and communities generated by our unexamined awareness of death. This awareness motivates us to attempt to flee death's grasp—even though we know there is no escape. The flight from death robs us not only of our ability to live full lives but also robs us of our ability to faithfully follow Jesus into the world. At times, we even distort religion and use it to shield us from death. Faith practices can be manipulated to draw us ...