Date

8-2017

Department

Rawlings School of Divinity

Degree

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

Chair

Rodney W. Dempsey

Keywords

Biblical Marriage, Blended Families, Church education, Marriage and Family, redemption, Stepfamilies

Disciplines

Counseling | Social Psychology

Abstract

Within the American population, the Stepfamily now outnumbers that of the traditional nuclear family; a trend mirrored in the local church. Stepfamilies within the church culture struggle in navigating the relational complexities, emotional and spiritual strain, and biblical confusion inherent to the formation of a stepfamily, while church leaders lack both understanding and the training necessary to minister to this growing population. Often step-families choose anonymity or leave the local church for fear of being shunned. In synthesizing, existing research with data garnered from stepfamilies via their participation in an anonymous online survey and participatory learning activity (PLA), challenges unique to stepfamily members in relation to the church can be classified. Armed with this data, a comprehensive and biblically based curriculum will be developed to train members of stepfamilies and those who minister to them.

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