Bust-1-copy-as-HeadshotWelcome to Deep in the Burbs. My name is Steve Thomason and this is the digital/interactive version of my dissertation for Luther Seminary in the department of Congregational Mission and Leadership. I believe that academic research is a public affair and should be openly shared. I have blogged my way through the entire process of this research project (November, 2012 – May, 2015). Please find all of my book/article reviews, theological sketches, and research journals nestled in this site. My end goal was not only to complete a PhD but, more importantly, to contribute to the spiritual formation and wholeness of the church.

please note: this site is an historical artifact and is no longer being updated. All of it’s content has been merged with my personal website where I continue to blog, draw, and imagine my way through  the theological process.

Deep in the Burbs was a participatory action research project in which a group of upper-Midwestern members of three ELCA suburban congregations explored the following question:

How might an increased awareness and understanding of the social Trinity impact the ideation and praxis of spiritual formation in suburban ELCA congregations?

This website is laid out as if it were my dissertation. The main menu will take you to each of the major sections of the dissertation. The beauty of the digital dissertation is that you, the viewer, get to navigate the research through your own logic and exploration. If you would like to follow the linear logic of the written dissertation, click this link


This Prezi was used in the dissertation defense and provides a visual overview of the project.

6 thoughts on “Introduction”

  1. Steve, your site is educative and it has impacted me greatly. I will be following and praying with you.

  2. Dear Steve
    I have found your site for the first time today and have enjoyed a brief initial browse. I love the open approach you have taken and I pray that visitors have been graceful and helpful to you.

    I very much support your early (Dec 2012) exploration and understanding of the Gospel in the context of the Nazareth Manifesto of Luke 4 – ie the good news must be more than personal salvation, it is about the realization of the of the Kingdom in society now, through good news for the poor, justice, healing, freedom of the oppressed and forgiveness (the year of the Lord’s Favour. )

    No doubt you have engaged in this topic in far greater detail than I in the intervening years but I wanted to recommend an excellent short book to you that I have found quite fundamental to my theological reflection in this area: The Common Task by M. Thomas Thangaraj. published by Abingdon Press, 1999.

    In this he explores mission humanitatis as being rooted in ‘responsibility, solidarity and mutuality.’ The model he constructs is distinct and informative.

    I thought you might find it interesting.

    Every blessing
    Alan Combes

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