Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


This study examines and explains readiness of reconciling with believing nonbelongers from 284 respondents in two categories of 139 systematically selected ELCA congregations in the western United States that received adults during 2001-2005. A concurrent-nested, mixed-method design integrates biblical-theological missio Dei and missio ecclesia foundations with Prochaska’s Transtheoretical Stages of Change and Parshall’s Contextualization Spectrum. Chi-square crosstabulations, simple logistical regression, and Centering Resonance Analyses show: faith of origin, worship attendance growth trend, regional location, population size and growth trend, clergy and lay partnership, and programmatic emphasis has significant effects on the readiness of congregations and respondents to receive the unaffiliated.