Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Clifford Berger, DMin

Second Advisor

Carlos Jermaine Richard, DMin


This project addresses what I perceive to be an opportunity for some aspects of African American spirituality to become more holistic. It is noteworthy that many African American communal worship experiences are powerful and dynamic. I hypothesize that many African American Christians can enjoy an even more enhanced spiritual experience by integrating contemplative spiritual disciplines into present dynamic communal practices for spiritual formation. In Section One, I look at the genesis of the circumstances that necessitated communal solidary for enslaved Africans in the New World. I follow the path of their religious journey from being a clandestine group of ecstatic Christian worshipers, to eventually establishing their own Christian churches with a distinctively black culture. In Section Two, I examine the spiritual experiences of traditional African American Christian churches and some multi-ethnic churches to ascertain to what extent contemplative spiritual disciplines play a role in spiritual formation, if at all, and note alternatives. In Section Three, I propose my hypothesis as a way forward to fill a gap in some areas of African American spirituality. I argue that practicing the contemplative spiritual disciplines will further enrich the corporate spirituality of many African Americans and replicate that same dynamic encounter with God in their private lives. I present the benefits of consistently practicing the disciplines through the experiences of some leading practitioners. Section Four is a brief, summarized description of the content and structure of the Artifact. Section Five describes the mechanics of bringing the Artifact into fruition. Section Six provides a review of the overall process and discusses further research needed.

The Artifact is a resource for an upcoming focus group discussion, in preparation for a subsequent online presentation of spiritual disciplines in a program called, “The Gathering,” in which this group will participate in as a panel. The purpose is to discuss the value of practicing contemplative spiritual disciplines for an enriched Christian spirituality.