Project Documents

Date of Award

1981

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Elden M. Chalmers

Second Advisor

Fritz Guy

Third Advisor

Arnold K. Kurtz

Abstract

There has been a growing need in the Seventh-day Adventist Church to ground pastoral ministry on an undergirding theology that provides an integrating matrix for all of its tasks. Too often there has been a dichotomy between "pure theology" and "applied theology". Pragmatic and immediate concerns, rather than theology, have usually guided and determined the implementation of most tasks of ministry.

The thesis of this study is that the work of God Himself in ministering to human needs forms a fundamental paradigm for men to construct such an undergirding theology of ministry to their fellows. This concept is pursued specifically in the area of reconciliation. God's act of reconciliation through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is studied and its implications in the three areas of individual experience, the life of the church in community, and its outreach in mission.

The Glen Ellyn Seventh-day Adventist Church in Illinois was chosen to implement a project along these lines. The theology of reconciliation was spelled out in a series of Sabbath morning sermons and afternoon seminars that provided the main educational thrust. The Sixteen Personality Factor and Motivation Analysis Tests were used in the normal course and crises of parish life to aid in applying this theology to inner alienations. The seminars and mid-week meetings were used to facilitate an experience of reconciled community life. The fostering of personal spiritual gifts together with public evangelism was used to call others to reconciliation.

Evaluations of the project by the church members revealed that over half grasped the theology of reconciliation and were able to successfully apply it to the first two areas. Mission appeared to be the one area where measurable results were not immediately apparent. The pastor found it to be an excellent model to integrate his ministry to the church.

Subject Area

Reconciliation, Pastoral theology, Theology, Practical

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