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Towards a theological framework for United Reformed Church ministry in the twenty-first century.

Price, Kathryn M. 2019. Towards a theological framework for United Reformed Church ministry in the twenty-first century. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This thesis attempts to construct a theological framework for ministry in the United Reformed Church that is provisional - able to move with the times, based on the traditions that were foundational for the denomination, inclusive of all ministry, lay and ordained, and rooted in the actual practice of ministers now. Chapter Two declares this a work of practical theology and creates a bespoke methodology that has as its framework an amalgam of the pastoral cycle and Appreciative Inquiry. The tools used include literature review, ethnography, contextual Bible study and grounded theory to construct as accurate a picture of ministry in the URC as possible, so as to identify the issues that concern the church at this time. Chapters Three and Four explore first the official written side of the picture, reading both primary and secondary source texts from the history of the Reformation, through the formation of the URC in the fourth quarter of the 20th century, to reports and statistics up to the present day. Then the local reflective voices of practising ministers are heard through paired conversations and contextual Bible studies. Chapter Five places these two halves of the picture in dialogue, listening for both agreement and dissonance, in order to make it both complete and realistic. Along the way a secondary aim emerges - that of finding an ecclesiological way to move the conversation on to a resolution. In Chapter Six, Provocative Propositions build on the critical dialogue to posit a different, but possible future for ministry and construct a new theological framework. These Propositions form the basis of conclusions drawn in Chapter Seven, that goes on to pose questions for future study. What emerges is a hopeful prospect, practicable, theologically underpinned and faithful to the Reformed tradition.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BR Christianity
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2020
Date of Acceptance: 25 March 2020
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2021 02:23

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