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The purpose of this project is to build resiliency—defined as the ability to hold a set of values and recover from challenges to that standard—in the Marines and Sailors of Second Battalion, Fifth Marines through a formation-based ethical training. A lived ethic produces resiliency in a way that theoretical ethics cannot. To support a practiced standard of ethics, a training that teaches the members of the unit how to interpret the messages they are hearing from the culture, to understand their value as honorable warriors, and to seek moral decision making for their own lives is presented. The instrumentality of this training is a series of presentations wherein cultural texts are used to explore the elements of personal ethical formation.

The pilot project for the six-session exploration of ethics took place throughout the work-up and deployment in support of the Thirty-First Marine Expeditionary Unit. Marines and Sailors attended this training focusing on five practices that facilitate an ethical standard becoming a matter of habitual character. These habits create greater ethical consistency in actions. In turn, this consistency builds resiliency. An initial and post assessment are provided to gauge participants’ engagement of these elements of personal transformation.

This project concludes that those Marines and Sailors who attended the training increased their ability to interpret cultural messages, to evaluate their personal ethical standards, and to recognize the value of the transformational practices in shaping ethical responses to life stressors. However, further research is needed to validate these findings. The ministry initiative can be modified in the future, while still retaining the foundational theology and practice, in order to establish best possible practices.

Content Reader: Alan Baker, DMin

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Baker, Alan T.

Document Type





Marine Corps; Marine Regiment, 5th; Values; Christian ethics; Church work with military personnel; Discipling (Christianity); Spiritual formation


Missions and World Christianity


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April 2018

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