Date of Award
Richard A. Wright
Mark W. Hamilton
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.
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Brown, Kenton Reeves, "Creating an Action Plan to Increase Diversity and Inclusion at Northwest Church of Christ" (2022). Doctor of Ministry Theses. 46.
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