I started the last course in my program yesterday. It is called Dissertation Proposal Using Social Science Research. It is designed to help us craft a solid dissertation proposal that we can submit after we pass our comprehensive exams in the fall.
Our first assignment was to state our research questions and write three paragraphs describing its importance to us personally, to the academy, and to the church. Here is my response:
How would an increased awareness and understanding of the Social Trinity impact the ideation and praxis of spiritual formation in the suburban ELCA congregation?
I write this as the Deep in the Burbs Research Team comes to the half-way mark in our six-week series of conversations. I have been wrestling with how to get after the heart of the research question without using instrumental rationality. (By that, I mean that I am trying to avoid manipulating–whether consciously or unconsciously–the conversation in order to arrive at a desired outcome.) Participatory Action Research is designed to allow the group to create its own agenda. However, my research question demands some sort of interaction with the topic of Social Trinity. I am, after all, trying to see how an “increased awareness and understanding of the Social Trinity might impact the ideation and praxis of spiritual formation in suburban ELCA congregations.”
Toward a Missional Spirituality in the Suburbs