Date of Award


Document Type

Project Portfolio

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Calvin Habig, DMin

Second Advisor

Karen Claassen, DMin

Third Advisor

Leonard I. Sweet, PhD


Considering the approximately 29 million adults in the United States struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD), we have discovered 85-90% do not seek available recovery options for alcoholism because a significant percentage do not see themselves within the typical narrative of a conventional recovery program. Most recovery approaches, whether secular or those involving spiritual principles, follow a century-old template for how any addict at any level ought to approach an abstinence-only treatment for their habitual misuse of a particular substance or behavior. Treatment for alcohol addiction has remained largely unchanged since the 1930’s even in the face of tremendous cultural shifts regarding alcohol use. The research undertaken for this project has revealed an alarming gap between the millions who abuse alcohol and available treatment options, largely due to the fact that a one-size-fits-all approach is not appropriate for such a dynamic issue. While the tried-and-true methods of Twelve Step Programs (TSP) remain necessary for a small percentage of severely addicted individuals, this research has shown it necessary for more tools to be made available to those exploring healthier, more spiritually discerning alcohol consumption. As a pastor certified and ordained in a Lutheran congregation, serving in the Des Moines, IA area, I have been involved as a participant, leader, and sponsor of conventional recovery groups. I have also pastorally counseled individuals in their own problematic relationships with addictive substances and behaviors and consider this to be a key component of my larger ministry as a Christian pastor. This project - a 40-day devotional workbook designed for individual or group use to facilitate a fast from alcohol - represents one tool which might be used to help those dissatisfied with their alcohol use gain better spiritual understanding for the ways God sets people free from every unhealthy attachment.

Included in

Christianity Commons