Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Charles Conniry, Jr., Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Rand Michael, D.Min.


The Church is a larger family system that experiences some of the same types of functional and dysfunctional characteristics, as does an individual or family. There are many systemic principles and concepts that are applicable to both church and family.

God's family is an example of love based on God's example in all families and His church. God's example is seen in the systemic approach. The Holy Trinity is the perfect example of balance, functionality, competence and relationship. Jesus states, "My Father and I are one" (John 1 0:30). "Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father" (John 14:9b). Through Jesus, we can follow God's family and see the most functional example of love and relationship.

No Church is completely healthy or very unhealthy, but most lie somewhere along a continuum or as a tapestry, reflecting differences in degree along many dimensions. Likewise our own families and the church are a multi-colored tapestries. This dissertation will consider the necessary dimensions for developing a growing and healthy church and family. We will consider the systemic approach to health, competence and function. We will also consider what characteristics are healthy and unhealthy in Christian counseling from scriptural and systemic approach. We will see that the systemic approach honors God's plan for the family and Church.

We will examine the interpersonal relationships that are actually occurring and their affect on the health of the Church and individuals within a church. A healthy church functions as the Body of Christ. We will consider these dimensions and the systemic affect on the Church and the family member. Albert Einstein once stated "We cannot understand the nature of a system by analysis of its parts and problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them".

Included in

Christianity Commons