Date of Award


Document Type

Project Portfolio

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Melinda Smith, DMin

Second Advisor

Mark Chironna, DMin

Third Advisor

Leonard I. Sweet, PhD


In this Project Portfolio, I will address the following NPO: Christians have a limited understanding of the nature and character of Jesus due to the whitewashed imagery and artwork many American churches portray. Much of the historical artwork shows Jesus with Caucasian or European features that are relatable only to a certain demographic, leaving many minority groups excluded. The overall key insights from my research are twofold: First, a lot of modern artworks that share broader expressions of Jesus are still relatively inaccessible due to licensing fees and limited audiences. Second, most churchgoers have never been encouraged to question the image of Christ and are comfortable assuming that he looks like the artwork displayed in their churches. By exploring a greater variety of imagery, participants are encouraged to rethink their understanding of hospitality and inclusivity regarding the way the church is teaching the image of Christ. The goal is not to take away a favorite image but to add to the types of imagery that shape and develop one’s faith. The ministry setting is the local church in the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church and additional churches beyond the UMC denomination. My project is threefold: a Visio Divina through an Advent Devotional, Visio Divina through a Lenten Devotional, and an Introduction to Visio Divina Bible Study. The devotionals include diverse collections of Christian imagery with reflection questions that encourage curiosity and self-discovery surrounding the need for adapting more diverse imagery. The Bible study introduces the practice of Visio Divina and exposes the audience to a variety of Christian images in art and film. All three explore historical, Christological, relational, and symbolic imagery, recognizing the need for all categories to express a broader understanding of the nature and character of Jesus.

Included in

Christianity Commons