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Practical Theology: DMin Projects

Doctor of Ministry Projects in Practical Theology, Session One: Connecting Rhetoric and Ethics within Practical Theology

When: June 9, 2021, 1:00 pm - Wednesday

Where: Swang 232

Session 1

Session Abstract

Both the study of theology and the practice of ministry depend upon the power of language. Words, in part, describe ideas and contexts, prescribe orthodoxy and practice, and persuade scholars and congregants. This session considers how—at the intersection of theology and ministry—ideal and real language might name virtues appropriate to the people of God and provoke practices that form godly virtues in congregants. The CSC expresses its gratitude to the Siburt Institute for their generous sponsorship of this session.

 

Paper Abstracts

Rosanna Anderson, Austin Presbyterian, “Preaching for Generosity: A Textual Analysis of Stewardship Sermons.”

Preaching about stewardship is a perennial concern for pastors. Many books offer guidance on stewardship, but are pastors following this advice? To understand what is rather than what should be, this study collects and analyzes a large set of stewardship sermons to gain perspective on trends in this specific genre of preaching. After reviewing the technological methods used to gather and perform textual analysis on recent stewardship sermons by mainline preachers in the United States, this work presents the resultant findings. Seven prominent themes emerge in preaching for generosity. Reflections on that data and directions for further research follow.

 

Adam Daniels, Abilene Christian University, “Developing a Guiding Document for Youth Ministry at the Cookeville First United Methodist Church.”

This project utilizes virtue theory as a means of clarifying vision and evaluating ministry for effectiveness. Over eight sessions, eight members of the Cookeville First United Methodist Church engaged ideas on virtue, character, and ministry. Participants found conversations using virtue in a youth ministry to be an effective tool for intergenerational engagement. Ultimately, the discerning community chose and defined six virtues, forming a guiding document of virtues representing the Christ-like character qualities desired in a youth emerging from this congregation. Possible contributions of similar projects to the larger Christian community are considered.

Speakers

Ron Bruner, Editor, Discernment: Theology and the Practice of Ministry, Convener

  • Rosanna Anderson, Austin Presbyterian, “Preaching for Generosity: A Textual Analysis of Stewardship Sermons.”
  • Adam Daniels, Abilene Christian University, “Developing a Guiding Document for Youth Ministry at the Cookeville First United Methodist Church.”
  • Mason Lee, Abilene Christian University, Respondent

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James Cone with conferee at the CSC in 2017

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Pulitzer Prize winner Marilynne Robinson delivering the CSC plenary address

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Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), delivering the CSC plenary address.

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US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith delivering the CSC plenary address

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David Brooks engaging conferees during breakfast at the CSC

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