Date of Award

5-2022

Document Type

Thesis

Primary Advisor

Richard A. Wright

Secondary Advisor

Sarah Easter

Committee Reader

Mark W. Hamilton

Abstract

This project was designed to meet a need at the Northwest Church of Christ in Oklahoma City to help the church transition from a church that values diversity to one that realizes its vision of being diverse and inclusive. The scope of this project was to create an action plan to increase diversity and inclusion to present to the church leaders for their consideration. The theological foundation for the project comes from Paul’s convictions, expressed in Gal 1–2, that any who are in Christ should not be excluded or treated as a lower-class member of the community based on their race or ethnicity. Paul’s views and context provided insight into Northwest’s plans in our present context.

The intervention was conducted using a purposeful sample of members at Northwest. The diverse development team was selected from a group of members who had some level of experience with or had demonstrated willingness to discuss difficult topics regarding race and ethnicity. The intention was to empower members who were already aware of racial tensions and growth opportunities to suggest actionable plans to church leaders. The process initiated with a study of Gal 1–2, especially Paul’s teachings on Jewish and gentile relations in the first century. The process then focused on exploring ways to improve our practices of inclusion to increase diversity and make it more likely that minority community members be full members at Northwest without feeling pressured to edit their identity. The list of ideas was then formalized into the final action plan after considering the effort required for implementation and potential impact of each idea. The study of Galatians and our church context did lead to the creation of short-term and long-term action items, which were evaluated as both helpful and challenging by church leaders.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Share

COinS
 
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.