Place Informs Posture: Developing a Model of Spatial Lectio Divina for Under-Resourced African Christian Leaders
Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Rebecca Park-Hearn, PhD
Holley Clough, DMin
Ken Van Vliet, DMin
NPO DESCRIPTION: How can a small, covenanted, safe community of African Christian leaders grow into the most transformative environment for a person to be formed and empowered holistically?
KEY RESEARCH INSIGHTS: 1. ‘Place informs posture.’ A Christian leader’s socio-cultural position frames their perspective on – and opportunities to receive – ongoing spiritual formation and leadership development. To empower under-resourced Christian leaders ministering in an environment of survival, formation must grow from acknowledging this reality. 2. ‘Leaders thrive deeply in safe cohort communities of their peers.’ A ‘third’ space where leaders can grow in community without fear of becoming spiritually unhealthy or burning out from overwork is critical for one’s own health, let alone those they form in Christ. 3. ‘Lectio divina practiced together in a spatially-aware, embodied rhythm within our homes grounds our identities in the love of God, our Friend.’ This formative prayer practice opens the heart to God and serves as a foundational spiritual practice of health for the leader.
MY VOCATIONAL CONTEXT: There is a noticeable hunger in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, for a mutually-supportive formational cohort for African Christian leaders (‘ACLs’). ACLs who pour out their lives sacrificially are not sustainably supported, under-resourced in their own development. Available resources focus almost completely on physical survival alone. How can this project facilitate a safe space for ACLs to mature together in their own flourishing?
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: My project empowers leaders to mature their inner worlds through the formational practice of a new model of ‘spatial lectio divina’ within the “Community of Creation.” Through 3 4 facilitating environments where ACLs can grow healthy in their inner world, flourishing in practice-based cohort communities of love, my project will develop and empower under-resourced leaders as they mature into the “natural ecology of [their lives],” rooted within a local place.
Kamalski, Chris, "Place Informs Posture: Developing a Model of Spatial Lectio Divina for Under-Resourced African Christian Leaders" (2023). Doctor of Ministry. 578.