Doctor of Ministry Research: Connecting Theology and Practice in Ministerial Contexts
When: June 9, 2023, 9:00 am - Friday
Where: Baylor Seminar Room
The practice of ministry often brings ministers and church leaders to understand the need for their ministry to change within their emerging context. They must discern the future desired by God and the path that wisely leads to it. Even when the desired outcome is known—regenerative culture, inclusive multiculturalism, or spiritual transformation—leaders must discern a path that brings everyone along. This session, underwritten by the Siburt Institute for Church Ministry, considers ethnically and culturally sensitive ways to understand the gospel and spiritually form authentic, replicating disciples through those understandings and relevant practices.
Laura Callarman, Eden Fellows, “Refining the Eden Community’s Pathways for Shaping Regenerative Christian Culture”
This presentation examines a DMin project that refined the “pathways” the Eden Community uses to transmit regenerative Christian culture. It lays out theological foundations undergirding the project: the importance of ecclesial diversity and creative contextualization, features that empower the church to embody a variety of life-giving “alternative stories” with the capacity to present truly good news to the world. It summarizes the principles and processes of Appreciative Inquiry and describes how the project employed those. And it explores the significance of the project’s foundations, findings, and processes for organizations seeking to improve their ability to effectively convey their cultural commitments to people in their own contexts.
Jennifer Reinsch Schroeder, Abilene Christian University, “An Inclusive Framework for Ministry: Fostering the Spiritual Formation of Children in a Multicultural Church”
Children’s ministries within diverse congregations often elevate a White, Eurocentric gospel perspective, which results in barriers to spiritual formation. This intervention seeks to address this problem by examining the impacts of ethnocentric and ethnorelative gospel perspectives; articulating a theology shaped by imago Dei, love of God and people, and the multicultural witness of the church; and constructing practical application components to facilitate movement toward a multicultural mindset. The resulting artifact, created by a team, is viewed as the start of a conversation intended to guide multicultural churches toward practices that express the fullness of God and remove spiritual barriers.
Robert Musick, University of Pikeville, “‘Hollering’ Theology: Exploring Liberation Theology in Central Appalachia”
For over 150 years, the lens of the “hillbilly” has been used to oppress the people of Central Appalachia. Hollering theology explores how liberation theology can be contextualized in the region through a biblical model of liberation as found in Genesis 2. In addition, through the assistance of Dalit theology and the work of Ignacio Ellacuria, Appalachian Americans are able to see Jesus as a Hillbilly Christ who is working with them for empowerment. Participants will leave this presentation with insight into the hillbilly experience and how to use hollering theology to address the seduction of seeing the hillbilly as “less than.”
Ron Bruner, Editor, Discernment: Theology and the Practice of Ministry, Convener
- Laura Callarman, Eden Fellows, “Refining the Eden Community’s Pathways for Shaping Regenerative Christian Culture”
- Jennifer Reinsch Schroeder, Abilene Christian University, “An Inclusive Framework for Ministry: Fostering the Spiritual Formation of Children in a Multicultural Church”
- Robert Musick, University of Pikeville, “‘Hollering’ Theology: Exploring Liberation Theology in Central Appalachia”
- Mason Lee, Abilene Christian University, Respondent
- Michael L. Sweeney, Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan University, Respondent