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Publication Date

Fall 12-6-2018



The Interactive Decision-making Model Developed through

Integrating Three Christian Spiritualities

Jinchang Chen

Doctor of Ministry

School of Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary


As a generation of Millennials enters adulthood, it faces a more rapidly changing society than any previous generation. Often, Millennials have to make decisions among many complex choices. Through offering a decision-making model, this project hopes to bring divine reality into people’s routine and empower believers to discern God’s presence in their lives. Therefore, the purpose of this doctoral project is to develop a three-step decision-making model emphasizing the interaction between humans and the divine to promote an intimate walking with God among young professionals in Southern California.

To accomplish what is intended, this paper examines community needs in terms of ministry context, describes current issues and debates on divine guidance, and evaluates some of the pitfalls in contemporary decision-making practices. In addition, there is a literature review on three decision-making models: The Blueprint Model, The Wisdom Model, and The Relationship Model, presents the Evangelical views on this subject. Moreover, the spirituality of desert fathers, Ignatian spirituality, and the thoughts of Dallas Willard are studied for their contributions to divine guidance. Therefore, based on the integration of three Christian traditions, an alternative decision-making approach: The Interactive Model is proposed. This model lays out seven theological principles, provides practical guidelines, and explores different ways that God can be experienced in the decision-making process.

To implement this model into a decision-making practice, this project provides a six-week teaching seminar as well as a two-day retreat to help participants discern God’s guidance. During the retreat, each is guided through a three-step practice: preparation, reflection, and confirmation. A group of ten-to-fifteen people is recruited from the Hill Church at Irvine for a pilot study, and the findings are reported in this paper. In the end, this model is also evaluated to see if it is applicable to other Christian groups.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Keith Matthews

Document Type





Decision-making, Spiritual Direction, Discernment, Desert Spirituality, Ignatian Spirituality, Dallas Willard


Biblical Studies | Christianity | Practical Theology

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