Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Calvin Habig, DMin
Bill Gibson, DMin
Over the last 25 years, technology has made learning, sharing information, and connecting easier than ever before. Humans, especially in North America, have access to unprecedented amounts of information, ways to interact, and tools for relationship building. Yet, in the United States, humans find themselves in one of the most polarized times of the last 50 years. At the same time, the US church has been in major membership decline and its societal influence has decreased. Great numbers of the poorest US Americans are leaving the church and with that exodus gaps between social classes are widening as less spaces exist for people from different classes to build relationships with one another.
This thesis contends that churches possess the ability and responsibility to bridge social divides in order to bring healing to communities through shifting theological perspective and establishing enterprises that activate people’s creative abilities. Section one states the problem of division amongst socio-economic classes and surveys the challenges that poverty generates in the fabric of society. Section two explores various tools and enterprises currently being used by faith communities to address the problem of poverty and class gaps. Section three provides a theological foundation for promoting churches’ creativity, surveys creativity research, and examines ways to activate creative potential. It also highlights the history of the Methodist movement to find inspiration and direction for the future of the church. Section four details the dissertation artifact: a podcast, online community and website for equipping people to collaborate with their communities in creative ways. Section five gives specifications for the artifact. Finally, section six analyzes the project’s development, implementation, and future possibilities.
Kaufmann, Tyler Jack, "Vile Methods: Bridging Divides and Expanding Churches' Understanding of Creativity" (2021). Seminary Doctoral Programs. 409.