Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Theology (MTh)

Department

Theology

Faculty/School

Seminary

First Advisor

Not Applicable

Advisor Role

Not Applicable

Abstract

Reports on consequences of parental divorce identify a crucial need for involvement with caring adults in recovery and healing. The literature review includes reports of research and anecdotal surveys of "adult children of divorce." The literature review stimulates questions for qualitative research with a pastoral care focus. The thesis incorporates discussion about the church's role in helping individuals recover from divorce pain. It addresses contemporary concerns in group function, particularly in issues of pastoral care. An underlying assumption is a personal understanding that providing a healing community and participating in healing process is at the core of Christian mission. The thesis addresses basic theological and pastoral care assumptions. The central organizing questions informing and shaping literary review and qualitative research for this thesis are: How has the church/community of faith provided a healing community and participated in the healing process for adult children of divorce? and, How do adult children of divorce want the church/community of faith to respond to their need for healing? The research component surveys respondents about their experience of parental divorce and needs for pastoral care. Participants in this project identified inner resources as primary coping resources. Abandonment, isolation and loss of trust recurred as themes in their responses. Each respondent articulated an ideal for pastoral care within the context of their experience. Drawing from their input, this project envisions and describes a responsive model for pastoral care within communities of faith. The responsive model for care is portrayed in images of "piece work quilts." A trampoline as symbol of a relational network of support conveys the communal aspect of relational healing. A "Slinky" depicts the dynamic cycle of change through CARE.

Convocation Year

1996

Convocation Season

Fall

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