Date of Award

Spring 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


This transformative, mixed-methods research project utilized a modified PAR in order to strengthen inter-relationships of a congregation and with its community. Intentional small acts of conversation and listening were utilized as the main tool to implement change, as participants were awakened from the myth of small-town living, in which assumptions of connectedness were made. This project was deepened through the use of key theoretical, biblical, and theological lenses, such as: community, social capital, open systems theory, transformational leadership, hearing, incarnation, perichoresis, and a sense of belonging. Results revealed a deepened sense of community, a growing awareness of inter-relationships, key differences in how women and men connect in congregational life, and a changed congregational behavior of reaching out to disconnected ones.

Available for download on Friday, May 31, 2019