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The purpose of this doctoral project is to renew the mission of Our Savior’s Church. This was accomplished through teaching the loving kindness meditation and the little way of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. A retreat introduced these two spiritual practices as a way to enhance the congregation’s mission.

Part One details the setting of Our Savior’s Lutheran. After constant pastoral turnover for the past seven years, Our Savior’s lost its energy. Our Savior’s discerned a new mission statement in 2019 as a caring community called by Christ to live and serve in faith. Learning new spiritual practices including the loving kindness meditation and the little way, of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, provided a framework to live into this new mission.

Part Two describes the fruit of contemplation practices with the little way. Delighting in God through prayer and contemplation enables one to embrace others authentically. Experiencing God’s love directly through contemplative practices increases the capacity to extend hospitality. St. Thérèse of Lisieux is an example of this life of discipleship. St. Thérèse saw herself, and all of humanity, as unique souls belonging in God’s garden, all created in the image of God. From this anchoring in her identity as a child of God, St. Thérèse abundantly shared divine love through the little way.

Part Three relays the implications of transforming an environment through the daily implementation of the little way as a spiritual practice. In a retreat setting, active members of Our Savior’s engaged in spiritual practices including St. Thérèse’s model of compassion. After experiencing the little way in this retreat, participants were commissioned to practice this as a spiritual discipline and the loving kindness meditation for forty days. Assessments determined that the little way offered congregational renewal and equipped Our Savior’s members to renew in mission.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Beck, Richard

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Our Savior’s Church; St. Thérèse of Lisieux; Little Way, the; Mission of the church; Loving Kindness Meditation; Spiritual Formation; Church renewal


Catholic Studies | Christianity | Practical Theology


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