Realizing Global Intercultural Ecclesiology through the Cumberland Presbyterian Church

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This dissertation presents a change process within the Cumberland Presbyterian (CP) Church (a denomination) to help it better realize global intercultural ecclesiology. I look at features of intercultural ecclesiology, the relevance of the global intercultural experience on the CP Church’s participants, and aspects of ecclesial shared identity in the midst of cultural diversity. To better assist the CP Church in its vision to be globally connected as a denomination, I connect theoretical and practical concepts, as well as human subject field research to a change process that will guide the CP Church toward greater intercultural connectionalism. In Part I, I present important theoretical and practical features related to global ecclesiology. I examine theological concepts that enlighten global connecting, missiological concepts associated with cultural diversity and shared identity, and missiological concepts that explain how global connecting is relevant to participants. In Part II, I utilize focus groups, interviews, and a case study as the research methods. I explain how the data from participants in seven different countries was collected and analyzed and present key findings from CP leaders related to CP identity, cultural diversity, views on global ecclesiology, relevant experiences and concerns of participants about intercultural connectionalism. I then draw conclusions based on the findings and literature reviewed to better inform the change process. In Part III, I present a change process designed to help the CP church move toward greater global connectionalism using a taskforce to advance change. I outline a three-phase, multi-year change process leading to greater intercultural connectedness. Though this study is iii primarily to benefit the CP Church, its application is wider and provides ideas that can help Christian churches and mission organizations be more interculturally connected.

Degree Name

Doctor of Intercultural Studies (DIS)

First Advisor

Myers, Andy

Document Type





Christian Missions, Relational Connectedness, Global Church, Ecclesiology, Cumberland Presbyterian


Missions and World Christianity


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