The Integrative Project serves as a capstone for students in our theological programs as they look back on their training while discerning what it will look like for them to serve God and neighbor in their post-graduate contexts.
The Integrative Project is a capstone research project for students in our theology programs (Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theology & Culture) and is completed in their final year of the program. Students work with a faculty advisor to form a project that integrates the student’s passions and calling with the student’s unique embodiment of text, soul, and culture. Students draw from the fullness of their experience at The Seattle School and a robust research methodology to create a major project or paper.
The presentations below synthesize the project thesis along with the student’s experience and research in creating their final project. Final drafts of each Integrative Project are available in The Seattle School’s library.
When you watch these presentations, said Dr. Dwight Friesen, Associate Professor of Practical Theology, you are “bearing witness to the student’s best work to date—to what God is doing in them and through them.”
Look for session four soon.
View session one »
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“Feels Like Redemption: My Pilgrimage to Health and Healing,” Seth Taylor, MATC: Global & Social Partnership
When I was in my undergrad, I walked into the counseling center for students on the campus of my small Christian college with a huge problem. I had become addicted to pornography and was pretty sure I was the only one. I was hoping that a bona fide grad-student/counselor could help me see the err of my sinful ways and help me. Or, at least make me feel like I wasn’t alone.
An hour later I walked out with the answer—a best-selling book called Every Man’s Battle, by Steven Arterburn. It was in these pages that I learned that I had a 72-hour sexual cycle, which I was more than happy to tell my wife about, and that my best way to win the “war” against sexual temptation was to learn how to “bounce” my eyes. This is a technique that involves learning to move your gaze quickly away from all visual sexual stimulation when it enters your line of sight. One night at a 7-11, I had to bounce my eyes so hard at the checkout counter that the man behind the register asked me, “Are you ok?” Embarrassed, I walked out asking this question: Where’s the power that Jesus seemed to reveal?
Many pastor friends of mine describe pornography addiction not just as a crisis in the Christian church, but as thecrisis in the Christian church. My integrative project is the book telling the story of my journey to true freedom and teaching the things I have learned along the way. My hope is that people, rather than being taught to trade one prison for another, will be set free. And in that hope, that even the word freedom would know no boundaries.
“Missionary, Save Thyself: Why Your Soul Matters in Global Mission Work,” Ryan Kuja, MATC: Global & Social Partnership
The basis of this book proposal is a cross-discipline engagement in the area of global mission through a lens of psychology, theology, and anthropology. At the intersection of these disciplines lies a fledgling conversation just beginning to develop, with each field offering a substantive contribution to be voiced in the dialogue surrounding mission in a global context. More specifically, the purpose of this project is to enunciate the often disregarded psychological and anthropological categories which texture the predictable North American evangelical model of global mission by drawing these peripheral disciplines into the center of the conversation. In reimagining the contours of the North American evangelical paradigm of mission, there lies an opportunity to embody the gospel across cultures in a more beautiful way. I hope to illuminate why engaging deeply with our own pain and coming to know ourselves more fully is crucial in orienting ourselves toward a mutually beneficial paradigm regarding mission and development work—one that is transformative to the materially poor and non-poor alike.
In many ways, this book proposal is the result of a desire to bring my heart, rather than just my head, to the topic of global mission, an arena that has shaped the very contours of my life. This project is the apex of several years spent in a variety of contexts of profound poverty and injustice, from the raucous streets of Mother Teresa’s Calcutta to the desolate and conflict torn regions of South Sudan. The foundation of this project is my personal narrative of mission in a global context, with a lens particularly for the intrapsychic factors that informed how I participated missionally in difficult places around the globe.
“So I Keep Walking…,” Paul Quinlivan, MATC: Global & Social Partnership
Walking is central to a healthy hermeneutic. Without walking, Jesus never arrives in Jerusalem. Nor could the first humans wander the garden, sharing intimate moments with their creator. Our ancestors laid down a precedent that moving was integral to a rich, full relationship with the creator, and ultimately ourselves. Whether wrestling with an angel on the road and subsequently being blessed with a new name, encountering the holy in a burning bush, or on the road to Emmaus, the text tells us story after story of Godself being continually revealed to those willing to risk becoming unstuck in the world.
Yet many of us carry out stagnant lives that bear little resemblance. Our communities have become centers of convenience, mediated by a commitment to machines that facilitate our disembodied travel from place to place, granting us the ability to become disconnected with that which has the potential to give life. Without being personally united to the sights, sounds, smells and toil of the road, our souls have atrophied. Our bodies, however, know the intimate truth; we were made to move. For centuries, leaders, prophets, and pilgrims, knowing this truth, have taken to the trail in search of the ‘thin places’. Here life was found. A life of such immense beauty, grief, joy and peace that they could do little more than stand in awe and return home, hoping to bear authentic witness to their experience.
In the summer of 2013, I set out to walk through Oregon and Washington along the Pacific Crest Trail, a maintained hiking trail that spans from the Mexican border to the Canadian, in the hopes of encountering one of those thin places. My project is an attempt to bear witness to my experience.