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NYTS Dissertation Projects

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NYTS Dissertation Projects
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Africans have a rich culture and heritage and the time has come for Africans to show the world the richness of their culture and how intrinsically African culture is linked to African religion. It is important for Africans to learn from the past in building for the future; to learn about their traditions, their culture; themselves. This is Sankfa: Sankfa – that bird is wise, Look, Its beak, back turned, picks For the present, what is best from ancient eyes, Then steps forward, on ahead To...
Topics: Ritual, Ancestry, Sankfa, Africa, Religion
NYTS Dissertation Projects
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This Doctor of Ministry demonstration project explores the connection between ACPE students’ abilities to deal with their own suffering and their ability to be pastorally present to their patients’ sufferings. My basic premise is that there is a strong correlation between these two abilities. Part of the work necessary in CPE is to help students find ways to access and deal with their “operational” theologies—the unconscious beliefs, images, and ideas that shape their sense of self,...
Topics: spiritual care, spirituality, CPE, ACPE, suffering, pastoral care
NYTS Dissertation Projects
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A Model for Ministry in the Institutional Process by Earl B. Moore
Topics: model, ministry, corrections
NYTS Dissertation Projects
by Linda Willette Spears
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The focus of this dissertation project is on domestic/intimate violence in the Harlem community, and what the church is, or is not doing, to remedy the situation. Domestic/Intimate violence is not a new phenomenon but one that has been going on in the shadows of our urban communities. One of the goals is to help the church community understand that this behavior is a crime and then to bring it out in the open where it can be properly dealt with. Once the church community becomes aware that this...
Topics: domestic violence, church, response
This paper documents an evaluation of Presbyterian participation at the major conference on women held annually at the United Nations. The evaluation was completed as a demonstration project for the Doctor of Ministry Degree from the New York Theological Seminary. The paper provides a brief overview of the field of evaluation and explores how evaluation has become critical for program improvement and accountability. It also describes the context for this particular evaluation. The work also...
Topics: Evaluation, Peacemaker, Advocacy, Presbyterian Church
How Can A Traditional Anglican Parish sponsor a “Free Church” Mission?
Topics: anglican, church, parish, free church, mission, cooperation
NYTS Dissertation Projects
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This dissertation sheds light on the exclusion of women from congregational leadership and proposes a new model, Women’s Anointed Mission, for supporting women of diverse faith traditions as leaders. Women make up more than half of the world’s population, but they still trail men in various sectors of society. The purpose of this work is to examine how sexism and anger at the Creator hold both men and women back from their God-given talents. The challenge was to draw upon seemingly...
Topics: Women, Mission, Ministry, Leadership, Womanist
This project took place in the New York City area, and set out to provide a comprehensive handbook and training manual for lay and ordained practitioners, working with 21 st century youth.   These youth, also known as Millennials, are members of the generation born from the 1980s onwards.  This project took form out of my work in the juvenile justice system and from my observation that youth were not being adequately served by the faith community of which I am a part. Closer evaluation...
Topics: Chaplaincy, youth, incarcerated, Incarcerated, Youth Culture, Paradigm
NYTS Dissertation Projects
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The Hip Hop culture has a great influence on Christian teenagers. Unfortunately, those of the Haitian community have a lack of understanding of Hip Hop. Most elders in the Haitian community view Hip Hop as the music that is corrupting their children; while their children’s view it as a way to fit-in or to assimilate into the American culture. What most Haitian American Christian teenagers are unaware of are the philosophical-spiritual religious teaching that are in Hip Hop, known as the...
Topics: hip-hop, disciple, christ, Haiti, community
NYTS Dissertation Projects
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The experience of the American Veterans is a journey often filled with pain and suffering.  Often they come back home to face a changed society, family, friends and self.  The military and combat has deeply affected their body, mind and soul.  They return from combat often afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  They are faced with the dilemma of “Thou shall not kill”, a belief that is taught in secular and religious society.  This conflict creates a spiritual conflict...
Topics: CPE, Veterans, tools, PTSD, spiritual conflict, spiritual healing
  As a core faculty member of the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care and an adjunct at the New York Theological Seminary, I train chaplains from diverse theological backgrounds, including many who now follow a Buddhist tradition. Although these chaplains typically have some biblical tradition in their backgrounds, they lack a working appreciation of biblical content, themes, and methodology. This can create a gap in ministry as many patients that chaplains attend to have a living...
Topics: Psyche, Bible, Translation, Chaplaincy
NYTS Dissertation Projects
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This Doctor of Ministry Project addresses the need to Prepare High School Students to be Educated in a Multifaith World. The rationale for this initiative is predicated upon the need for Christian youth to be able to interact and dialogue with other faith community members in the world of work and at institutions of higher learning. This necessitated the selection of a site, a site team, a training team and a primary focus group. St. Johns Baptist Church of West Hempstead was the site used for...
Topics: education, high school, students, multifaith, dialogue
NYTS Dissertation Projects
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This demonstration project addresses the topic of spiritual direction, which is the process of one individual accompanying another on her or his spiritual journey, with the objective to establish, deepen or maintain the individual’s relationship with God, a higher power, an inner or infinite source or the laws of the universe. In the traditional sense, director and directee have been adherents of the same faith tradition: Jewish to Jewish; Christian to Christian; Muslim to Muslim, and...
Topics: spiritual direction, multi-faith, interfaith, interspiritual, OSIS
When faced with a health crisis, people tend to take stock of their lives, and ask profound existential, theological and spiritual questions.  Fear, loss of control, vulnerability, mortality, alienation, loneliness, suffering, anxiety, guilt, sadness, despair, isolation are some issues that confront the infirm.  These emotions contribute to and are often worse than the illness itself.  However, they are difficult to quantify and as a result they are often ignored by a medical system that is...
Topics: medical system, HMO, HIP, leadership, spirituality, religion, ministry
The current pastoral call process used by regions/judicatories of the American Baptist Churches, USA does not have a systematic spirituality of discernment component. In the American Baptist tradition, the pastoral call committee is at the vanguard of the local church‟s journey in seeking for a new pastor. Who the committee members are, and how they choose the new pastor, play a decisive role in the eventual health of the pastor-congregation relationship. The pastoral call process has...
Topics: pastoral call process, spirituality, discernment, spiritual dynamics, vision for ministry, sense of...
NYTS Dissertation Projects
by Roy E. Pike
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Faith And Committment
Topics: faith, commitment
The current environment in healthcare is at a crossroads regarding the understanding of the role spirituality plays in the dynamic of physical healing.  Although there is evidence to support the importance of the spiritual and religious lives of patients, it is difficult for members of the medical and nursing staff to make the time to learn more about the care of the soul.  Hospital chaplains work within this healthcare environment to advocate for the spiritual needs of patients and to assess...
Topics: spiritual care, interdisciplinary relationships, hospital chaplains, physical healing
The Harlem Hospital Center demographics in health provision have changed exponentially as a result of the myriad cultural divergences in the neighborhood. While there are multiple worship services, there is not a specific service that is all encompassing. This project seeks to enlarge the limits of spiritual and pastoral care by providing an interfaith service, in addition to the existing services, from a biblical, theological and spiritual perspective.
Topics: diversity, inclusion, space
NYTS Dissertation Projects
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This project will provide an in-depth qualitative examination of the challenges women face, and will seek to discover commonalities among women globally. Focusing on the roles of women, families, religious institutions, academic settings and employment, it will deconstruct the biblical texts that have helped define the roles the social roles of women and men, and show how they have impacted social views of women and women’s views of themselves.  The project will examine ways to raise...
Topics: Women, Wholeness, Transformation, Religion
NYTS Dissertation Projects
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Africans have a rich culture and heritage and the time has come for Africans to show the world the richness of their culture and how intrinsically African culture is linked to African religion. It is important for Africans to learn from the past in building for the future; to learn about their traditions, their culture; themselves. This is Sankfa:  Sankfa – that bird is wise,  Look, Its beak, back turned, picks  For the present, what is best from ancient eyes,  Then steps forward, on...
Topics: Sankfa, Ancestral Ritual, African, Culture
NYTS Dissertation Projects
by Reverend Alfonso Wyatt
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The absence of young people in the congregation and/or the inability to keep young people in the church is a serious problem that impacts both denominationally driven and independent churches of all sizes. The challenge statement unapologetically states that houses of worship devoid of meaningful youth presence and participation will ultimately die. Young people are thought to be the future of the church. There will be no future if there is no presence. There can be no arguing, parsing of...
Topics: Teens, Teaching, Mentoring, Nurturing Teens
As pastor of Bethel Temple of Praise, Yonkers, NY I have become aware that our  church is not reaching the immediate community. There appears to be a narrow view of  the mission of our church. I have developed a Pilot Program that will increase awareness  as to how our church can apply a missional theology in order to challenge the Church to  rediscover its Biblical call to holistic ministry. This project draws from Biblical models  and principles that are applicable in any context. The...
Topics: Holistic, Mission, Kingdom, Call, Living
Many established congregations own larger facilities than the current membership can support. Many rent to religious and spiritual organizations, other nonprofit organizations, and even to businesses. There are financial and theological considerations in doing so. Multiple faiths live side-by-side, meeting in shared space, but often with little or new interaction. The Community Church of New York Unitarian Universalist rents to groups or programs representing five other traditions: Hinduism,...
Topics: multi-faith, faith, community, non-profit, religion
NYTS Dissertation Projects
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The Muslim Women’s Institute for Research and Development (MWIRD) is a faith-based, community-service organization located in the Highbridge section of the Southwest Bronx. This project shifts the paradigm of local human service to community members from the broken body in recovery, to the healing spirit of resilience, by empowering clients to resolve their problems. It develops a leadership training model that cultivates and crafts strategies for full citizenship in participants, enabling...
Topics: interfaith, muslim, women's center, leadership, muslim, women's center, bronx, 2010, resilience,...
As a chaplain with the Hospice Care Network in Long Island, N.Y., I serve many individuals and families who are at the end of their life cycle with varied faith beliefs. The question is can Chaplains help people of multifaiths mourn together, in an effort to discover peace, healing, and comfort in God during the bereavement process. This project will establish written guiding principles useful for Chaplains/Clergy engaged in the bereavement setting. Chaplains are not involved in the Bereavement...
Topics: Chaplains, bereavement, multifaith, guidelines, principles, mourn together, different faiths,...
In the Black Church faith tradition, women usually seek spiritual friendships or relationships in their efforts to draw nearer to God. These types of relationships are defined as the ones that pay attention to the movement of God in the life of a person. It is not uncommon to find groups of women who bond together because of or through church experiences. Spirituality seems to be far more important than religion or denominational preference and is basically at the core of how women relate to...
Topics: Sisterhood, Distractions, Spirituality, Relationships
The traditional Black Baptist Church utilizes a European protestant construct of worship liturgy, which too often does not reflective its inherent traditional African religious worship practices, save the socio-cultural artistic genre evidenced during an ecstatic Black church worship service. Restoring the Black Church to its Multi Faith identity by honoring some African Worship traditions, presupposes that the traditional black Baptist Church not be afraid to embrace its Afro centric roots...
Topics: Multifaith, Black Church, African Worship, Africa, Restoration, Identity
Separation from organized religion happens in a variety of ways. People can be removed from the group by consensus, by the leadership or on their own volition. Often these separations are the result of negative experiences. In many cases, these separations are self-imposed and it may be years before people find their way back to a faith community. These separations may leave many seeking fulfillment for their faith needs, but to no positive end. There is often an encounter for many individuals...
Topics: leadership, healing, trauma, community, domestic violence
This project grew out of my deep belief that the transformative experience of working the Twelve Steps in a program of recovery has much to offer the Christian Church, and my equal conviction that the expression of Christian faith has much to offer people in recovery.  Building on the seventy years of history, tradition, and practice of the Twelve Step recovery movement and seven years of experience in the Step By Step Recovery Ministry, I set out to place the Twelve Step experience in its...
Topics: 12 steps, recovery, worship, liturgy, recovery ministry, churches
NYTS Dissertation Projects
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The Caribbean Americans of All Souls Episcopal / Anglican Church, are a Marginalized people living in two locations. They are affected by immigration status, Diaspora identity, culture, language, education, history, generational differences, and social connection / disconnection. Their bi-locationality needs to be defined so that congregational growth and stewardship improvement will be realized without negating the mission "back home". If All Souls is to grow in numbers as well as in...
Topics: carribean, anglican, church, marginalization, medgar evers, stewardship, church growth
The focus of this project was the development and implementation of a model of personal spiritual formation that afforded the activity-oriented Christians at the First Baptist Church of Flushing a means to live more spiritually centered lives. To foster this spiritual centeredness, a spiritual formation handbook was developed using a modified version of the ancient practice of the daily office. The handbook was more rigorous than the typical “quiet time” commonly used by many Evangelicals....
Topics: contemplative spirituality, ministry, Flushing, Spirituality, contemplative worship
Serving in temples in the United States for more than 25 years as a Japanese Buddhist priest, and working with the Interfaith Center of New York for over 10 years, I am aware of the painful memories that the swastika symbol represents in the West where it is seen by many as a symbol of the hate and genocide perpetuated by the Nazis. However, the swastika has also been an important ancient holy symbol of happiness, well-being, and good luck for Buddhists, Hindus, Jain and others for more than...
Topics: Symbol, Transforming, Swastika, History
NYTS Dissertation Projects
by Edward Ayisi Nyarko
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The journey to my Doctor of Ministry demonstration project (DP) began in a predominantly African church in the Bronx, located in the center of a community that was not represented in its congregation. The community was majority of Irish and Irish-American decent, but not a single one of them attended this African church. The songs and liturgy were modeled in the charismatic church format, that is, Holy Ghost filled, tongue speaking worship with prophesies and laying of hands on the sick for...
Topics: nones, un-churched, ministry, church plant
NYTS Dissertation Projects
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The current study analyzes the extent of inner suffering and the impact of inner healing and deliverance among church leaders and staff members.  People from all walks of life experience a wide range of mental health conditions because of internal suffering. These challenges are increased in many communities because the church has failed to establish proper measures to address such inner sicknesses and improve the congregations' economic conditions. However, more financial and material...
Topics: Deliverance, Help groups, Inner Healing, Leadership, Pastors, Help groups, Inner Healing,...
This project is the result of a decade-long study of Uth Turn—an early intervention project for at-risk urban youth Run under the auspices of the Fund for Community Leadership and Development, and in conjunction with the New York Theological Seminary, Uth Turn has developed a model for youth intervention programs which attempts to prevent future involvement with the juvenile justice system. The program is run with the innovative use of the graduates of NYTS’ Master of Professional Studies...
Topics: youth ministry, seminary, Fund for Community Leadership and Development, Youth Intervention, NYTS
The purpose of the Butler mentoring program is to provide intervention for young females so that they may discern their true identity, develop skills, ascertain a clearer picture of career goals and process their feelings so that they can cope with some of the concerns and problems that they face today; peer pressure, self esteem, dissatisfied school grades, fear of teen pregnancy, parental involvement and many others. It is the hope of the church that the Christian education provided will...
Topics: christian education, young females, ministry, career, healthy environments
Haitian Protestantism and social justice are two concepts that are at odds traditionally. The challenge of this project was to bridge the schism between the material and the spiritual life. Overcoming this dichotomy in the Protestant Haitian mind necessitated that one retraces the Haitian Protestantism's history for a better understanding of the situation. In fact, social justice, for the Haitian Protestant, is not part of the church's mission. The Haitian Protestant should always keep the eyes...
Topics: haitian community, ambassadors of christ, social justice, brooklyn, church, deuxieme eglise...
As an Associate Minister of the Sound View Presbyterian Church, Bronx, New York, it was my observation of the young adults’ of the church, that caused me to initiate this demonstration project and investigate the cause(s) of the drastic reduction in young adults’ (ages 18-19 years) membership in the church. In 2008, during my internship in the church, there were more young people, but in 2009, I noticed a drastic decrease in attendance in this age group. “I realize that there is a...
Topics: The Bronx, Presbyterian, Leaders, Young Adults
NYTS Dissertation Projects
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The problem was the rapid and increasing loss of the young people—second-generation immigrants, from their parents’ churches in the Diaspora. I became aware of this during my eleven years of being an associate pastor in a prominent immigrant church in Brooklyn, New York. The purpose of this study was to define and explain the struggle of Christ Apostolic Church to retain young people for the Church of tomorrow. The purpose also was to translate the result of the research into a meaningful...
Topics: youth, ministry, diaspora, 2nd generation immigrants, christ apostolic church
NYTS Dissertation Projects
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The specific purpose of this project is to determine if and/or how a sense of community can be created amongst teenagers in a military chapel setting. I will attempt to define a sense of community as I understand it and I will deal with how teenagers in our modern society cope with and approach new relationships. Detailed attention will be given to the topic of military mobility and how it impacts on youth in the military family. In order to uncover valuable lessons learned and in- sights...
Topics: Fort Wadsworth, community, teens, youth, military chapel, militray mobility
NYTS Dissertation Projects
by Kelvin D. Redmond, Sr.
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In the popular Christian hymn "Lift Him Up," the opening verse asks "How to reach the masses, men of every faith? For an answer Jesus gave the key, if I be lifted up to the world I'll draw all men unto me." Before Jesus can be lifted up, men of every faith, must be reached, and taught about Jesus either inside or outside the church. In this doctoral dissertation I attempt to better understand those factors important in "reaching African-American males ages 16-24."...
Topics: african-american male, 16-24, church, African-American Baptist Church, Church, Religion
The focus of this ministry was on empowering single parents and their children to achieve an optimum level of living in an impoverished community.  This community, River Park Towers is a high-rise housing complex that has a large population of single parents along with their children. On reflecting on the social conditions of these parents, I am reminded of my own experiences as a divorced single parent of limited resources: education, lack of job training, and/or the economic empowerment to...
Topics: single parent, children, thriving, ministry, community
NYTS Dissertation Projects
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Young black men in the neighborhood of Morris Height in the Bronx have lost respect for the ability of the church and society to transform their lives, and have become alienated from both the church and social institutions. This paper documents a 2011 senior/youth project in which “Seasoned Seniors” of Calvary United Methodist Church in Morris Heights shared their life stories with the young men who “hang out” on the corner across the street, selling drugs. In the sharing of stories,...
Topics: Youth, Seniors, Dialogue, Transformation, Church
This project deals with one of the most controversial subject in today’s academic and theological disciplines. This study addresses the ongoing decline and closure of churches and the impact to the denominational framework and other social implications to its adherents. I also address the identity of both the church and the community in reference to the public’s interpretation and racial equality in both communities. In this case, the study delves into deep-seated animosity between the...
Topics: Stranger, Neighbor, Church, Community, Growing
NYTS Dissertation Projects
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Orality alone cannot disqualify a religious system from qualitative greatness because Judaism, Christianity and Islam were all orally-based for long periods of time before their teachings were codified in writing. Onyamesom is the heritage into which the traditionalists were born. It is maintained by Onyame and influenced by the ancestors. It emerged from the sustaining faith held by the forebears of the present generation and is being practiced today in various forms and intensities in African...
Topics: storytelling, onyamesom, orality, onyame
NYTS Dissertation Projects
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I am the pastor of an historic African American church in South Central Los Angeles, California. As of 2015 the national incidence of bi-vocational pastors is 34%. However, this number soars to 57% for African American pastors, and is rising. Surging housing costs, shifting social demographics and shifts in religious engagement threaten the survival of area churches; therefore, it is mandatory for many pastors to retain dual employment to afford the cost of living and protect the financial...
Topics: Bi-Vocational, bivocational, career, pastor, Los Angeles, inner city church, Melchizedek,...
The focus of this project was the development and implementation of a model of personal spiritual formation that afforded the activity-oriented Christians at the First Baptist Church of Flushing a means to live more spiritually centered lives. To foster this spiritual centeredness, a spiritual formation handbook was developed using a modified version of the ancient practice of the daily office. The handbook was more rigorous than the typical “quiet time” commonly used by many Evangelicals....
Topics: spirituality, spiritual formation, sermons, worship, contemplative worship, holy thursday
NYTS Dissertation Projects
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This Demonstration Project is a retelling of the history of the Community Church of Syosset, NY, a United Church of Christ, in the form of a novella. The work is necessarily divided into two parts. As the novella itself is of primary importance for a proper understanding of the Project, it is presented as Part One of the work. There, the reader will find the account as distributed to the congregation and community. It features an amusing tale of historical investigation and adventure that...
Topics: history, church, art, storytelling, Syosset, UCC
NYTS Dissertation Projects
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The christianity history of Korea is short, but the Korean church has accomplished miraculous growth for its comparatively short time period. The total population of Korea is approaching fifty million, and one quarter of Koreans are Christians. This is a surprising aspect for Korea, a country in which Christianity is not a national religion. However, the Korean church has another hidden aspect. It bears many scars because it has only focused on church growth in terms of quantity. The church has...
Topics: Han, Anger, Hurt, Korean, Christian, History
NYTS Dissertation Projects
by Manar K. Hirmina
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Spontaneous, spoken prayer has been a challenge for me as far back as I can remember. I thought attending an Interfaith/Interspiritual seminary would provide me with the words I needed and would simultaneously remove the fear and dread I felt when asked to pray out loud. Unfortunately, that was not to be. My research project was twofold. First, I went on a quest to learn to pray with ease, then I developed and delivered a workshop for others who, like me, were interested in praying more...
Topics: BIBLICAL LITERACY, URBAN CURRICULUM, DEVELOPMENTAL FAITH, LITURGICAL PARTICIPATION
People are hungry in our local communities, surrounding neighborhoods, counties, states, nations and the world. This is no secret to the average person, who follows current events and world history. The average individual on the street knows this to be so by listening, reading, observing and experiencing extraordinary hunger in a personal way. Hunger has no categorized boundaries. Poor people who live in the Appalachians Mountains are hungry. Poor people who live in urban ghetto cities are...
Topics: church, ministry, food pantry, music
There is a debate going on in the black church that pits traditional worship against contemporary worship styles. Those who argue in favor of traditional worship maintain that some liturgical “basics” are non-negotiable. Worship must include hymns and other liturgical elements and must hold fast to the already established and uniformly accepted order of service. Conversely, those who argue in favor of contemporary worship maintain that the church must be able to serve individuals on every...
Topics: traditional worship, contemporary worship, defining worship, worship service, african american...
NYTS Dissertation Projects
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“Nurturing the Human Spirit through Character Development in the Adolescent” was designed to discover and develop the spiritual nature of our adolescents by assisting them in discerning and constructing positive character-building skills. By familiarizing them to their own and other religious beliefs and practices, the adolescents will be able to more easily accommodate themselves to their diverse neighborhoods and schools. By understanding their peers’ religious and social practices, a...
Topics: Human Spirit, Adolescent, Development, Nurturing
The Homebound elderly are those who are forced as a result of medical condition or old age to spend most of their time in their homes. Most of the homebound elderly experience abandonment, loneliness and fear. These situations often make them panic and become frustrated. As a result of these conditions, their sense of safety and security evaporates, which finally leads them to despair. Their inability to re-connect with their faith community also affects their spirituality and faith journey....
Topics: Pastoral Care, Spiritual Needs, Elderly, The Home