Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives (DLd)



First Advisor

MaryKate Morse, PhD

Second Advisor

Kurtley Knight, DMin

Third Advisor

Jason Clark, PhD, DMin


This dissertation begins with the presupposition that leaders and members of the white, evangelical church are aware that there is an ongoing racial struggle in the United States, and in the church. Beginning with the theory that the church is in denial regarding historical complicity toward racism and white supremacy, this paper uses Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s Grief Stage model to explore how the white church has become stuck in the early stages of grief (denial and anger). This exploration reviews historic and current examples in which white Christians have been complicit with systematic oppression against Black people and non-Black persons of color in the United States. There is an exploration of biblical, psychological, and sociological examples of lament, which align with Kübler-Ross’s depression stage of grief, and helps people and communities to become “unstuck” from the relentless, early grief cycle. It is the argument of this dissertation that only through lament can people finally move forward into acceptance of their role in reconciliation. Lament allows the white church to fully repent and move into their role in order to begin the work of reconciliation.


On August 29 2022, this degree of Doctor of Ministry with a concentration in Leadership and Global Perspectives (DMin) was exchanged for a Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives (DLd), with the approval of George Fox University, ATS, and NWCCU.

Included in

Christianity Commons