Department

Seminary

Degree

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

Chair

Charlie Davidson

Primary Subject Area

Religion, General; Religion, Clergy; Religion, Philosophy of; Psychology, Cognitive; Health Sciences, General; Gerontology

Keywords

Alzheimers, Christian, Dementia, Non-cognitive, Pastoral care, Value of the soul

Disciplines

Christianity | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Counseling Psychology | Geriatrics | Practical Theology | Psychology | Religion

Abstract

This work is intended to examine and study the theological and moral reasons to provide pastoral care to persons who have limited or no cognition. Dementia, Alzheimer's, certain other medical conditions and the aging process cause a loss of brain function that affects memory, thinking, behavior and judgment. Most Clergy wrestle with the fact as to whether there is any purpose in ministering to such persons especially when there is no verbal or non-verbal response. This paper involves surveys, research, collection of historical and biblical data and medical science to evaluate the disease process and explore ways in which to communicate with them and in turn help them connect with God. This thesis will also help families of non-cognitive persons, caregivers, peers and the writer to better understand ways in which to love and care for these marginalized people.