Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Individualism, collectivism, sense of belonging, identity, small group, covenant, mixed method
Howard, Jacob Samuel, "Changing an Individualistic Cultural Identity into a Christocentric Identity at Community Alliance Church of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Towanda, Pennsylvania" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4216.
Jesus instituted a new way of doing community which would transcend all cultural backgrounds and creates a new belonging and identity. This thesis aimed to engage a small group of men from Community Alliance Church in a covenant community, establishing a christocentric identity. The small group of five men, including the facilitator, met for eight weeks to practice several spiritual disciplines together, including confession and accountability, to know what God says about whom they are in Christ, and how to live out that identity in every circle of influence. This mixed-method action research project included both entry and exit surveys with entry and exit interviews for each participant. The surveys tested the participant's cultural orientation along the continuum of individualism and collectivism. It tested their theological understanding of key biblical terms such as community, sanctification, and identity. It also tested their sense of belonging. The interviews took the results from the survey and allowed the participant to expound on their answers. In the participant's own words, the exit interview determined if the intervention impacted or changed their cultural outlook, influenced their theological beliefs, and augmented their sense of belonging.