This study sought to address the significant problems domestic abuse presents for individual local church contexts. When Christian husbands misuse their God ordained authority to control and harm their fellow image bearers the secular community accuses the church of enabling abusers causing problems for the greater church community. When church leaders demonstrate an inability to properly apply biblical instruction when confronted with disclosure or discovery of abuse secular experts accuse church leaders of creating cultures which allow abuse to thrive.
In an effort to address secular concerns the author examines the biblical origins of violent behavior and the devastating impact of violence on the marital relationship. In addition, the author discusses the historical response to domestic abuse by secular feminist organizations and various Christian denominations. The author sought to recognize and utilize knowledge and techniques found in the social sciences in addition to various attempts to design training to educate church leaders to properly handle situations of abuse. Ultimately the author describes the project he designed and implemented to help educate pastors and ministry leaders to address domestic abuse with compassion and competence.
Through the formation of his training model the author discovered that despite observational accuracy of pastoral mistreatment by secular experts the conclusions the experts form concerning Christian doctrine in response proves biased. Despite evidence of a lack of pastoral education, acknowledgment, and willingness to engage domestic abuse in some local churches the statistics still demonstrate that committed Christian couples who regularly attend church are less likely to engage in abusive behavior. The author found that when church leaders grow in awareness and ability to address abuse they are best positioned in the community to help eradicate the negative impact of abuse on women, children, and families.
|Advisor:||Williams, Sam R.|
|Commitee:||Hambrick, Bradley, James, Al|
|School:||Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary|
|Department:||Department of Graduate Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- North Carolina|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Pastoral Counseling, Clergy, Counseling Psychology|
|Keywords:||Domestic abuse, Domestic violence, Equipping, Intimate partner violence, Pastoral staff, Training|
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