Date of Award

2-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

Department

Seminary

First Advisor

Cynthia Preszler, DMin

Second Advisor

Julie Dodge, DMin

Abstract

The dynamic combination of the unique characteristics of man and woman have been described by author Carolyn Custis James as The Blessed Alliance. Yet power struggles, misunderstandings, and unmet expectations often plague the particular struggles of modern marriages therefore creating a demand for marriage therapists and psychological modalities that seek to rectify the conflictive divide among the genders. Marriage therapy has provided tools and methods for marriages to resolve their differences, strive for a relationship of equity, and develop a culture of mutuality. These new and improved marriages attend egalitarian churches, only to discover the gender wars are still being perpetuated due to masked patriarchy, hierarchical values, and misconstrued theology, thus fostering a culturally delayed and confusing ethos for modern marriages. Like marriages, church leadership can also benefit from the psychological principles of equity in order to establish harmony between the genders and compliment the values of modern marriages.This dissertation highlights the symbiotic relationship between marriages and churches and offers psychological solutions used in marriage therapy applied to church leadership to create a culture of equity. It introduces the problem egalitarian marriages, or Peer Marriages, are experiencing with churches claiming egalitarian values but not operating in practice, entitled Near Peer Churches. This church ethos provided for modern marriages perpetuates confusion and frustration for both institutions of marriage and church. The effects, barriers, and implications of patriarchalism is explored as the current church is still experiencing its significant impact that prevents a culture of equity. Theology integrated with psychological modalities is the presenting solution to achieve equity within church leadership, thus developing Peer Churches for modern Peer Marriages. In so doing, establishing harmony for both institutions to work better together.

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Christianity Commons

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