ETheses - Doctor of Ministries

Phil Brown (2011)

Evangelism and Discipleship Making in Emerging Missional Groups and Churches: Key factors that impinge on missional effectiveness

The Australian Church is struggling to grow in the context of a rapidly changing society. This has prompted a re-examination of the nature of church leading to experimentation and the establishment of fresh expressions of church and approaches to mission including Emerging Missional Churches (EMC). Using a case study approach with participant-observation, structured interviews, and narrative analysis this study analyses five groups…The study finds that fewer non-church people are being reached than the EMC rhetoric would suggest…It calls for relational leadership and greater intentionality in evangelism and discipleship. The study also explores the relationship between those being reached and discipled, drawing on Fowler’s stages of faith development…

Supervisor: Rev Ass Prof Darren Cronshaw
For permission to use this thesis please email phil.brown@communitiesofblessing.org

John Barclay (2010)

Families in Cross-Cultural Ministry – a comprehensive guide and manual for families, administrators and supporters.

Families have been an integral part of the modern missionary movement since 1793 when William Carey left for India with his family. Cross-cultural ministry presents significant challenges to the family at every stage from recruitment to retirement. Many of the pressures inherent in living in another culture (transitions, language and culture learning, and various issues that arise during the life-cycle of families prior to their eventual re-entry) are unique compared with their peers who remain ‘at home’.

This Project traces the development and impact of member care for cross-cultural Christian workers against the backdrop of global missiological change. Pollock’s ‘Flow of Care’ model provides a basic sequential framework for the various stages in the cycle of cross cultural ministry, from recruitment to re-entry/retirement. At each stage there is a complex range of issues that calls for responses by the key players – the families (with particular reference to Third Culture Kids), their sending church/es, the mission agencies, and the communities in which they serve. These issues are explored and analysed on the basis of personal experience, reference to relevant literature, and theological reflection. In addition, responses from interviews with fourteen couples with at least ten years of cross-cultural ministry experience provide substance and contemporary life illustration to this work.

Supervisor: Dr David Price

Judith Long (2010)

Developing a Methodology for Teaching Theology: incorporating Insights from educational philosophy, theology and quantitative field research

While theology is one of the core subjects taught at most theological institutions, there seems to be a growing dissatisfaction with its relevance for Christian faith and ministry. Part of this is a perception problem, but part of it may be a reflection of the way theology is currently being taught. In order to address this issue research was conducted from three different areas to obtain insights that might be used to develop a new methodology for teaching theology…

All three areas of research identified the key issue of personal transformation as important for teaching theology. Therefore a methodology called ‘A Transformative Methodology for Teaching Theology’ was proposed and expressed as nine key principles. The implications of the Methodology extend beyond just the teaching and learning of theology to the personal life of the educator as well as the students. The Methodology also requires changes to the structure of the way theology is taught and therefore has implications for curriculum development, the institutions where theology is taught, and the affiliating bodies for those institutions.

Supervisor: Dr Charles de Jong

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Martin Bragger (2009)

A Critical Analysis of “Policy Governance” as a Model for Church Leadership

In recent years, many churches have chosen to implement a form of governance known as Policy Governance (PG), a model originally developed by Dr. John Carver for the governance and leadership of non-profit organizations. The ideological core of PG is that effective leadership is the result of the establishment, and proper use, of policies; and the primary role of effective governing boards is to concern themselves with the establishment of those policies…

This study critically analyses the Policy Governance model, to assess its theological legitimacy in the light of the principles that underlie New Testament ecclesiology, and agrees with the consensus of scholarly opinion that the NT does not provide any prescribed model of church structure and leadership for all times and places… The position taken is, that it is the Trinity that informs the shaping of ecclesial communities, and the NT shows a process of development in the leadership structures of churches, having both pragmatic and theological aspects…Despite the real concerns regarding the Policy Governance model however, our conclusion is that, in the light of the theological and pragmatic insights gained in this study, it is possible to construct an adjusted Carver-based model of governance for the contemporary evangelical church that would preserve its triune characteristics.

Supervisor: Rev Dr Jeff Pugh

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Angelo Cettolin (2006)

AOG Pentecostal Spirituality in Australia: a comparative Study of the phenomenon of historic pentecostal spirituality and its contemporary developments within the Assemblies of God in Australia

The Pentecostal movement emerged at the turn of the twentieth century stressing the experience of the Holy Spirit evidenced by glossolalia. It passionately advocated a return to a pristine early Christianity in which empowerment by the Spirit was seen as essential. Recent practice in the Assemblies of God in Australia (AOG) appears to be playing down features of historic or classical Pentecostalism. It gives the impression of moving towards more mainline expressions of the Christian life. Sociological theory proposes that as organisations, including churches, develop they tend to become more structured, moving from spontaneity towards order and routinisation…

An essential aspect of AOG (Pentecostal) spirituality is its inherent flexibility and adaptive, innovative nature. Despite humble beginnings the AOG is now reaching the middle class in Australia. Although there are tensions over charismatic freedom, an organisational structure has developed facilitating the movement’s preservation and ongoing growth.

Supervisor: Rev Dr. Kevin Giles

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Dr Ruth Nicholls (2008)

Catechisms and Chants: A Case for using Liturgies in Ministry to Muslims

The challenge of fostering the spiritual growth of Muslims interested in following Jesus Christ forms the basis of this study. The impetus for it arose from an Islamic context which typically is hostile towards Christians and any movement towards Christianity. For the group of national Christians ministering to such Muslims encouraging spiritual growth was a constant concern as they sought to be more effective. This study aims to provide those Christians not only with a possible answer but also a model. Three principle factors guided the study: the challenge of the changes these Muslim seekers encounter in their spiritual journey; the nature of spiritual growth leading to spiritual maturity and a meeting context…

Theoretically, a possible solution to the problem of fostering Muslim seekers’ spiritual growth was to develop culturally relevant and purpose focused liturgies. These liturgies, while reflecting Islamic culture, express Christian truths through a type of rite of intensification. Given that the Islamic salat reflects both the Jewish prayer cycle and the monastic “daily office”, the ritual form of the “Daily Service” of the Anglican tradition was chosen as the structural model. The result was a distinctive structure informed and influenced by Islamic culture which also allows for flexibility and creativity to respond to the particular meeting situation, and the needs of the Muslim seekers within that meeting.

Craig Preston (2007)

Bioprinting: Theological, ethical and pastoral reflections

Supervisor: Brian Edgar

Emerging biotechnologies have given rise to ethical and theological issues previously considered inconceivable in science, medicine and theology, as they provide us with the capabilities to manipulate, and fundamentally alter, the human body and psyche. Humanity’s conception of the physical body has changed significantly over the centuries, vacillating back and forth between varieties of dualistic and monistic thought. There has also been a move from body-neglect at one extreme to a body-obsession at the other. These changing perceptions have, in no small way, been shaped by the growing interaction between theology and scientific developments especially evident in the rise of medical science as it found expression in anatomy and surgery, and developed in its relationship with biology, chemistry and physics. Latter centuries have seen this interaction of theology and the sciences, in relation to the body, greatly increase with the advent of molecular and evolutionary biology, genetics and the plethora of emerging biotechnologies. The human body has thus become the defining soil in which the future of the science-faith relationship is set to grow. The effects of these biotechnological advances will also have significant pastoral implications for the Church of the 21st century, implications the Church is hardly equipped to cope with.

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Darren Cronshaw (2005)

Reflections on Australian Contextual Models of Pastoral Ministry
Australian historical images – for example, the Aborigine, convict, bushman, gold digger, Anzac ‘digger’, and migrant – are a fruitful source for theological reflection to develop models of ministry. These images and their historical contexts helped shape Australian culture and so shape context for ministry. A conversation between historical themes and Christian tradition suggests a number of complementary models for pastoral ministry in Australia…

The pastoral ministry can be imagined and expressed by various models which describe different emphases of ministry, and the most effective models for pastoral ministry in Australia will derive from and critique Australian culture and historical images.

Supervisor: Dr Darrell Paproth

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