2010 Doctor of Ministry in Preaching
Sharon Ann Hayston
An Active Practice of Hope: Building Collaborative Partnerships within the Preaching Process
Throughout the history of Christianity, the preaching ministry has been the primary responsibility of the ordained. Frequently overlooked within this traditional model has been the considerable degree of theological insight and lived experience existing within the laity that can significantly enrich the preaching ministry within any faith community. This is a case-study of one such faith community which has viewed this resource as a great source of hope and mobilized it by building effective collaborative partnerships between the laity and the ordained in the development and presentation of sermons, including the proposed development of a virtual faith community.
Helen Elizabeth Jacobi
Guests in the House: Preaching a Cathedral Ministry
Preaching in a cathedral setting requires the preacher to be particularly attentive to the context and secular world of cathedral guests. Cathedrals are houses of prayer for all who come, whether they are pilgrims, tourists, church-wary attendees, or regular worshippers. Preaching in a way which is attentive to these guests is empowering for the faith of the regular cathedral worshipper. Those who live a life of faith bring many of the same questions and concerns as the guests from the secular, postmodern world. Proclaiming the gospel in this world requires the preacher to step beyond the constraints of Christendom and to listen deeply to the world in and beyond the biblical text.
Gene Bentley Manning
A Wandering Storyteller was My Ancestor: Listening to and Preaching God's Story
This thesis explores the importance of honoring “story” within the context of the sermon. Drawing from narrative theology and several modern day homileticians, the work offers one preacher’s journey in search of an authentic storytelling voice. The purpose of this work is to heighten the preacher’s understanding of the importance and the effects of using personal story to draw listeners into God’s ongoing story. Written from the perspective of an Episcopal priest, it relies upon the sacramental life of the congregation wherein the story of God’s saving act in Jesus Christ is recounted Sunday by Sunday at the altar. The responses to a survey given to individual members of the congregation support the thesis that the person in the pew engages more fully with the sermon when a story or illustration is used to tie our present life to the life of Scripture.
2010 Doctor of Ministry in Congregational Development
Martin James Carney
Free(d) Spirit: Where Creating Surprisingly Connects
Using a Trinitarian structure, this thesis tells the story of the OpenSpaces Project. Art instructor Kitty Lynne Klich and the Rev. Martin Carney created this project during the winter of 2009. The goal of the project was to create a “circle of trust”—using the practice of Parker Palmer—to connect art and spirituality. This work is a narrative theological reflection upon that project.
Randolph Cassells Charles
When The Music Touches Our Heart
A basic responsibility and opportunity of every Christian is to grow toward a more integrated life of faith, making real the relationship between our belief and our behavior, between what we proclaim on Sunday and how we live our lives on Monday. There are many methods and practices of Christian formation and theological reflection that can support us in this life journey. The Music Story Method follows a specific pattern: we listen to music, we become aware of our feelings, sometimes we have a strong emotional response to music, which may lead to a greater awareness of God, and, when we share this experience with others, we can build faith community and strengthen relationships. I interviewed twenty members of the Epiphany Community – downtown poor, downtown workers and parishioners. I studied experts on the topics of music and emotion, music and spirituality, and church and culture. I offer the following applications for local congregations: Music Story Interview, Music Prayer, Music Story Listening Groups and “When the Music Touches Our Hearts” Workshop.
Randall Carl Kidder Day
It’s Not Just An Old, Old Story: Introducing Congregational Emotional Systems Through The Lens Of Multigenerational Transmission
This thesis presents an overview of systems thinking (Bowen Family Systems Theory), a summary of the concept of multigenerational transmission and application of both to congregational life. Further, it examines the possibility of introducing systems theory and, in particular, the family of origin lens to lay leaders and laity generally. There are reports on history conversations with laity in five congregations, conducted to test the receptivity of laity to systems thinking and seeing congregational history through the family of origin lens. Conclusions are offered with thoughts about methodology and some resources for considering and designing an introduction to systems theory and family of origin to lay leaders and lay members.
Judith Anne DeLorme-Loftus
Compassion Resilience: The Law Enforcement Chaplain’s Response To Compassion Fatigue
The ministry of the law enforcement chaplain is a ministry of listening, counseling, and support to law enforcement officers, support personnel, their families, and to victims of crime and other traumatic events. Because of the law enforcement chaplain’s frequent interaction with traumatic events, either primarily or secondarily, the chaplain may be exposed not only to posttraumatic stress disorder but also to secondary traumatic stress or compassion fatigue. Since there is a lack of professional literature examining the role of compassion fatigue in the experience of the law enforcement chaplain, this thesis explores the law enforcement chaplain’s vulnerability to compassion fatigue. The author defines and discusses the concept of compassion resilience and suggestions to ameliorate the effects of trauma, either primarily or secondarily, for the law enforcement chaplain, chaplains in other ministries, and those clergy ministering in congregational settings.
Gawain Frederik de Leeuw
From Wallflower to Dancer: Moving from the Pastoral Director to Community Organizer Model for the 21st Century Church
The cultural context of the mainline church has changed over the last 50 years. The responsibilities of the priest, which were understood within the larger culture, are inadequate for building sustainable institutions. The previous model was the pastor as counselor and administrator. Clergy will need to develop skills of leading and organizing. Priests should be stronger at building institutions than addressing individual psychological needs of congregants.
Robert Edward Droste
Reaching Creative People
In 2002, economist Richard Florida published The Rise of the Creative Class. In it, he described the emergence of a powerful economic class: “the scientists, engineers, artists, musicians, designers and knowledge-based professionals” who “are paid principally to do creative work for a living.” Based on a review of certain key texts, individual interviews and an online survey, this thesis develops a working profile of the Creative Class. It then explores some of the key obstacles faced by churches that wish to reach this group. This is followed by a review of what Christianity offers them (understood broadly as well as viewed more narrowly as Episcopalian in the Anglican tradition). It concludes with essential first steps for building an effective strategy.
Francis Appleton Hubbard
The Challenge of Ideological Diversity in the Local Congregation: It’s Not Easy Being a “Purple” Church, But It’s Worth It
Major socio-political national or international issues which originate beyond the local congregation can seriously impact a local congregation and require a response from it. Such issues can become sources of serious conflicts within a congregation if not handled well. This thesis examines the experiences of four different Episcopal congregations in coping successfully with ideological diversity within their memberships, thus earning them the sobriquet "purple churches," meaning ideologically diverse, instead of "conservative" (red) or "liberal" (blue). Some biblical and theological resources plus some of the relevant literature regarding leadership as well as regarding some other sorts of diversities within a congregation are applied to coping with ideological diversity within a congregation. The lessons learned from the four congregations are combined with those from the Bible and the literature to provide resources to enable other congregations to cope successfully, and potentially to thrive, with ideological diversity.
Leon Clement Mozeliak, Jr.
To Live or Die: What Criteria Help Determine Whether A Mission Can Grow Into A Parish: How Diocesan Dollars Should Be Spent
This thesis explores the potential for growth of mission congregations in varied developmental circumstances and their anticipated potential to evolve into congregations of parish status. When twenty-five or more adult confirmed communicants in good standing gather together as the Body of Christ in a given geographical location, in the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina, with the intent to form a mission congregation to spread the Gospel the approval of the Ecclesiastical Authority must be requested in writing. With the Ecclesiastical Authority’s determination that such organization is expedient, approval must be given by the Diocesan Executive Council. This thesis is offered as an aid in assisting Ecclesiastical Authorities and Diocesan/Regional Judicatories in their ministries concerning these small congregations which are often known as missions.
Andrew James Sheldon
As It Was In The Beginning: Post-Ordination Formation In Ministry For The Missional Church
In the transition into a first congregation the newly ordained clergyperson is already beset with a variety of challenges having to do with a change in community, identity, and in many cases, location. Having arrived they will then discover that they are not as well prepared for the task as they would have thought. As such, it is vital that church judicatories sponsor post-ordination training programmes that regularly bring new clergy together for formation in ordained ministry. The learning should be grounded in professional activity, address the core competencies necessary to ordained ministry, be sensitive to the emerging learning needs of the participants, be facilitated by skilled peers, and encourage a practice of life-long learning. When applicable, attention should also be given to the training of competent supervisors. The ultimate purpose, of course, is that appropriately equipped clergy will be in a better position to promote and serve God’s mission in the world.
Leigh Farley Waggoner
Latino Ministry In the Episcopal Church: Who Are We?
The Episcopal Church has had Latino ministry for over forty years. Despite this tenure, we have little knowledge of who the people in the pews are, why they are there, who their leaders are, and what is contributing to the increase among those congregations that are growing. As we enter the 21st Century this study opens a window onto these Episcopal Latino congregations. This study considered four markers (Spanish language, Latino clergy, Latino congregants, and elements of popular religion) as it sampled leaders of sixty Episcopal Latino congregations. To delve deeper, an additional sampling of the leaders from among those congregations that are stable or growing received further inquiry. Elements that might contribute to congregational vitality, their current needs, and how the congregations relate to their dioceses and other parishes were also considered. Throughout this study and subsequent analysis, several questions were raised. With further attention to these issues, answers can be found. Those answers will help the Episcopal Church move faithfully into our future – a future in which, God willing, we will be more fully one with our Hispanic sisters and brothers.
2010 Masters of Theological Studies
Jennifer Lynn Tucker
Silenced By Abuse: Healing Through Reclaiming Voice
In this thesis, the aspects of silence and silencing were examined in relation to psychological abuse, looking specifically at three components: silencing as the result of abuse; silencing as abuse; and silencing as resistance to abuse. Literature was reviewed related to silence and silencing, abuse and trauma, personality development, and pastoral theology. Using these perspectives the phenomenon of silencing was analyzed and its relationship to psychological abuse was demonstrated. In addition, ways in which reclaiming voice can lead to, and is part of the healing process were examined. A case study was presented using autoethnography, a qualitative research method that draws on the writer's subjective experience by using an autobiographical personal narrative. The nature of one’s relationship with God was discussed and the connection between sin and silencing was examined. Biblical examples of silencing, resistance, and transformation through the recovery of voice were cited and discussed. The thesis concluded with a discussion of the implications for pastoral care.