Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
William Valmyr, DMin
Stu Cocanougher, DMin
Back to Eden (BTE) practical ecotheology is a presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, anchored in the Garden of Eden story, before the fall of mankind, enculturated in an African ethos within various African perspectives, traditions, and worldviews. It is useful to reclaim God-given African Christian identity and agency. Essentially, BTE ecotheology is mankind divinely integrated vertically with God and horizontally with humanity and His creation, based on Genesis 1–2. It is an appeal to become deeply rooted in the Spiritual soil of divine truth, to become entrenched in the incarnate Son, and to become planted as an ecological steward of God’s creation. It is an invitation to become grounded—heart, mind, soul, body, and spirit—in the Creator’s tangible, loving presence. Humanity returns to Eden and receives original God-given identity and agency, when saved by the blood of Jesus, filled with the Holy Spirit, and surrendered to God’s will for mankind and His created universe. Redeemed humanity, in a diversity of ethnicities, is reconciled in Eden, and in divine unified community, expresses the image of God and executes His delegated authority as ecological caretakers of Earth. Ultimately, BTE practical ecotheology addresses the need for economic empowerment, to combat the problem of poverty, through entrepreneurial opportunities. It serves as a practical ministry foundation for BTE projects, education, environmental guardianship, and entrepreneurial endeavors. The research focuses on two rural, African independent, Pentecostal communities in Uganda and Zambia. This topic is personal. As a minister of the gospel, a thirty-one-year business owner, a certified public accountant, and a third-generation entrepreneur, the writer serves as a consultant to entrepreneurs as they envision, launch, and scale businesses.
Gordon, Laura W., "Back to Eden: A Practical Ecotheology and Entrepreneurial Endeavor" (2023). Doctor of Ministry. 584.