Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Interdenominational Theology Center (ITC)

Degree Name



The purpose of this project is to promote transformative change within a local church by establishing an ethos of mutuality built upon mutually shared religious beliefs rather than shared culture or age. The pastor of a predominantly African-American church of approximately two hundred members located in the City of Pensacola in the panhandle of Florida observed that there was no perceived cooperative and collaborative exchange between those who shared a culture (individuals bound together with certain beliefs, interests, and culture) or those who were from the same generation within the church. The church being studied is an urban inner-city ministry comprised of 71 % adults and 29% youths. Culturally, the differences among members are more geographical in their origin than racial. Pensacola, a city with a fluid population, attracts people from different communities within the nation. Utilizing the concepts of task competence, transactional commitment, and transformative consciousness (consistent mental awareness of transformative praxis) for the pastor and the membership, this project addresses transformative change (ministry involvement, organizational commitment, and membership retention) as well as attitudes, behaviors, and actions within the local church. The project includes the development of a four-lesson series that addresses the idea of mutuality (embracing shared core beliefs and ideas). The project enrolled twenty-one people representing each ministry subgroup within the church. The group completed a pre-test and post-test (questionnaire) and participated in all group session activities designed to develop mutuality in the areas of core shared beliefs such as spiritual growth, and the church's direction of ministry, vision, and mission. The effectiveness of the lesson plan series was evaluated based on increased unity, behavioral attitudes towards each other, and praxis in the ministry. The community known as the Greater True Vine Missionary Baptist Church of Pensacola, Florida is the project's primary focus. The hoped for outcome of the project was to create greater unity and organizational commitment among the church's members as a result of their renewed focus on their shared core religious beliefs.

Included in

Religion Commons