Date of Award

2-2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

Department

Seminary

First Advisor

Russ Pierson, DMin

Second Advisor

Deborah Loyd, DMin

Abstract

The concept of hospitality has many applications. This dissertation is an exploration of hospitality using the American foster system as an example of how hospitality can be applied to an at-risk group.

Chapter 1 looks at the state foster care. There is an exploration of the two main reasons children enter foster care: neglect and drug offenses. Lastly, there is a look at the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study and how its results are contributing factors to the current state of foster care in the United States. Chapters 2 and 3 delve into the concept of hospitality, what it is and how it is applied.

Chapter 2 focuses on the biblical and historical roots of hospitality within the Christian faith. Chapter 3 focuses on how hospitality has been conceived and applied outside of Christianity in postmodern philosophy and other religions.

Empathy is the subject of Chapter 4. This omnibus chapter looks at empathy theory, reflection as an empathetic skill, and how empathy can be restored as a primary characteristic within evangelicalism.

Chapter 5 looks at volunteerism as the American approach to hospitality. The history of volunteerism, its challenges, how to encourage it, and why churches are an ideal environment for inspiring it are all covered.

Finally, in Chapter 6 the threads of the previous chapters are tied together. The application of the hospitality cycle within a ministry context is broken down and application steps are provided. Lastly, there is a discussion of how the use of decentralized networks could lead to a mesh of hospitable care networks capable of supporting and connecting communities together. The hope of all these steps is to help families in crisis avoid becoming part of the foster care system, thus slowing the rate of children entering the system.

Included in

Christianity Commons

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