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This project seeks to find ways for the church to engage with those who are mentally ill residing in mental health facilities. The goal is to provide residents with opportunities for spiritual formation and growth. To support this effort, I conducted worship services at two mental health facilities to determine whether taking church to the mentally ill can contribute to creating a Christ-centered community for the mentally ill. The project started with a planning phase emphasizing the specifics for developing an appropriate worship content and approach, including the length of the service, the message, music, and other attributes. Observations, comments, suggestions, and recommendations were collected during the worship services, and updates were incorporated to better serve the worshipers.
The findings suggest the majority of the residents who attended the worship services felt a sense of being in a Christ-centered community. The ability to participate during worship, have input on praise music, share prayer requests, and receive communion created significant value and contributed to the residents’ spiritual formation. One of the most significant findings and reflections is the notion of hospitality. The initial assumption is that the church is offering hospitality to those residing at mental health facilities. Instead, the hospitality is offered by those who are already in this community to the church. Going forward, the hope is to replicate this type of ministry at other mental health facilities and to approach behavioral health authorities to encourage incorporating spiritual components into their mental health programs.
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Mental Illness, Restoration, Healing, Spiritual Formation, Practical Theology, Hospitality, Worship, Marginalized, Community, Outreach, Royale Therapeutic Residential Center, Oceanview Adult Psychiatric Hospital, California
Material is subject to copyright.
Lu, Paul, "Taking Church to the Mentally Ill: Mental Health Ministry at the Royale Therapeutic Residential Center in Orange County, California and Oceanview Adult Psychiatric Hospital in Long Beach, California" (2020). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 413.