Date of Award


Document Type

Project Portfolio

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


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First Advisor

Leonard Wilson, DMin

Second Advisor

Calvin Habig, DMin

Third Advisor

Leonard I. Sweet, PhD


This project is the result of a curiosity that there might be an opportunity (NPO) for the church, for everyone, to “learn how God is incarnate and works outside of the parameters of the church as evidenced by the birth of Contemporary Christian Music from the psychedelic hippie subculture of the late ’60s and early ’70s.” From a theological perspective, the answer might be obvious. Of course God is incarnate and works outside of any and all parameters humanity attempts to impose on the divine! However, what rises to the surface when such questions are engaged, is the extent to which God’s presence in the whole of creation surpasses all expectations of that which is culturally defined as sacred. The ministry context in which this research began was a denominational congregational setting (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) in the suburbs of an upper midwestern metro area. However, the local context quickly gave way to a larger perspective of an entire denomination and beyond. What began as an exploration of the beginnings of Contemporary Christian Music gave way to an exploration of the artificial and culturally defined border between that which is sacred and secular. Because of this, the project took the form of a book that is intended to be helpful to the church but accessible to everyone, regardless of religious orientation. The story that is told still focusses on the birth of Contemporary Christian Music, but its possible origins in the hippie psychedelic subculture forces the emphasis on the meaning of incarnation. Therefore, this book attempts to tell an engaging story that includes music, God, LSD, and International drug smuggling, giving rise to the opportunity to explore how God is, and always has been, incarnate in the whole of creation...with or without organized communities of faith.

Included in

Christianity Commons