Date of Award


Document Type

Project Portfolio

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Donna Wallace, DMin

Second Advisor

Ekaputra Tupamahu, PhD

Third Advisor

Ken Van Vliet, DMin


Group spiritual direction with participant leaders within Nerima Baptist Church in Tokyo, Japan, was introduced across eight monthly sessions wherein directees developed the practice of silence, listening to themselves, others, and Holy Spirit. The experience of being accepted by God and others through safe relationships found the church in a relational culture of authentic relationships. The residual effect was the experience of one's own full acceptance by God and others, which further carries potential for lasting impact on the leadership style of the church through the 1-on-1 interaction. The group spiritual direction was facilitated by Sachi Nakamura, a spiritual director certified in the United States, conducted through an online platform. It was essential for participants to commit to the group spiritual direction voluntarily, not compulsively, as having an open heart to God and others had a great impact on group dynamics. While Group spiritual direction generally prohibits dual relationships, this experimental effort with three leaders from one local church revealed that participants were more open to the collective format than imagined. Even with initial anxiety about revealing one's heart to the same church leader, it became clear that trust was indeed fostered through the actual experience of the sessions. Self-evaluations of participants indicated that Group spiritual direction with a certified spiritual director as facilitator for members with open hearts created a safe, compassionate space wherein vulnerable hearts were held in peace, and opened to trust in God in new and empowering ways.

Included in

Christianity Commons