Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Steven P. Vitrano
Miroslav M. Kis
Douglas R. Kilcher
In recent years the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination has become more aware of the pastoral and evangelistic opportunities offered by chaplaincy ministries, i.e., full-time institutional/specialized ministries. This project was to develop and teach a course in chaplaincy ministries in order to offer seminary students opportunity to explore these ministries as potential careers within the scope of the Gospel mission.
A theological undergirding for this project was developed from the incarnation of Christ into this world institution, from incarnational motifs pervading Old and New Testament ministries and the Gospel commission mandating cross-cultural ministries— missions and missionaries. Five institution types, i.e., health-care, the military, corrections, colleges/universities, and business/industry, likewise were viewed as total societies, cultures in themselves, and their chaplaincies as incarnational/cross-cultural-type ministries.
The course was structured around in-class lecture and discussion; guest chaplains; reading assignments and reports; and field trips to an Air Force base, a hospital, and a prison. Emphasis was placed on the total encompassment by institutions of the lives of their clientele, chaplain assumption of institutional identity, ministry which reaches persons at all stations and levels of institutional life, and the pluralistic character of these ministries.
As a result of this study seminary students become aware of a new validity and viability in chaplaincy ministries as career ministries, as expressions of the Gospel mandate to "gospelize" "every nation and tribe and tongue and people" (Rev 14:6)— and institution. This study presents the feasibility of developing formal institutional ministries tracks parallel with the well-established tracks to parish and evangelistic ministries. Appropriate courses tailored to each of the institutional ministries and specialized aspects of these ministries should be added to the regular curricula.
Chaplains, Hospital--Seventh-day Adventists, Military chaplains--Seventh-day Adventists
North, James J., "Chaplaincy Ministries: the Development and Implementation of a Course in Specialized Ministries as Vehicles for Seventh-day Adventist Self-understanding and Expression of Mission" (1988). Project Documents. 209.
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