Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)




One of every two individuals in the United States suffers from chronic illness. While these numbers are staggering, studies indicate that they will continue to rise. The problem exists that the local church is not fully equipped to address the desire and need for wholeness and community felt by the millions of individuals living with chronic conditions. These individuals suffer alone and the contemporary church has failed to minister effectively with them. With proper grounding in a biblical understanding of God's role in illness and suffering, a foundation in the role of pastoral care throughout Church history, and by looking through the lens of both those in the medical field and those within the structure of the Church, effective ministry with the chronically ill can happen. The local church is best able to reverse the feelings of isolation and offer caring Christian community and hope to those dealing with chronic illness.

Chapter One provides a basic overview of this problem and embraces it in the context of narrative. Careful study of Scripture, showing the misinterpretation of sin and suffering in the Bible, is found in Chapter Two. God's healing presence in the midst of suffering is shown as a better interpretation. Chapter Three looks through the course of Church history in relation to pastoral care. Embracing what the field of science and medicine has to offer the church in caring for those with chronic illness is addressed in Chapter Four. Chapter Five discusses what models of ministry to the chronically ill are available in the contemporary church. A final understanding for ministry with the chronically ill is offered in Chapter Six.

Included in

Christianity Commons