Date of Award

5-1-2008

Degree Type

Dissertation

University or Center

Interdenominational Theology Center (ITC)

Degree Name

D.Min.

Abstract

The purpose of this project was to begin an intentional effort to retrieve the ministry of faith healing through using a Christian education model to educate/train clergy and laity. The model was comprised of Sacred Scripture, church tradition, individuals from the Christian community experiences, and conversation voices from theologians, former and contemporaries; including medical scientists. The model was presented in the manual titled, Faith Healing Ministry: A Christian Education Model for Clergy and Laity.

The premise is that many church leaders fail to model the ministry of Jesus in liberating folk who are ill within their congregations. Christian education is necessary to retrieve the ministry of faith healing with integrity and accountability because of fear and suspicion due to deception and fraudulent acts. In other words, some in the pastoral and lay leadership are fearful to engage in faith healing because of controversy due to misuse of the gifts and abuse of recipients in that area of ministry. One way to change negative attitudes about the ministry of faith healing is through Christian education.

Seminars were conducted over a period of six weeks with a group participation of sixteen clergy and laity who completed questionnaires concerning their knowledge of and involvement in faith healing. The seminar sessions were taught by the researcher and the author of the manual. One theme addressed consistently: Faith healing should be an intentional ministry of the Christian church to bring holistic well-being and soundness to the congregants.

The church reformers have influenced theologians and church leaders for centuries taking the theoretical position that the gifts and miracles ceased being used in the church between the first and third century. The researcher demonstrated the influence their theory has had on some Protestant denominations in regards to the lack of faith healing practiced even in our contemporary society. The assumption is, the group that participated in the project are able to understand theoretical positions taken by some and can now take a stance to support their beliefs and values in regards to faith healing.

The Sacred Scriptures, some Christian traditions, former and contemporary theologians, as well as physicians and scientists demonstrates evidence of how faith and prayer works in the healing process of physical illness.

The model for Christian education and training regarding faith healing will be ongoing and a component will be added to include how to stay healthy.

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