Geist, Heike Barbara. “Re-entry and Belonging: Policy and Procedure Enhancement for Re-entry Based on Evaluating Experiences from Students in a Mennonite German-Speaking Short-Term Mission Program.” D. Min., Tyndale University College & Seminary, 2012.
Developing a sense of belonging plays a significant role in successful reentry. The sense of belonging is nurtured through accountable relationships, good communication, awareness and understanding of re-entry stress, and the ability to manage change. Research findings confirm statements in relevant literature about the impact of a meaningful cooperation of returnees, programs, families, friends and home churches. Investing discipleship resources in returning short-term mission participants enable returnees to re-structure their lives, to re-adjust and to implement what they learned from their international experience, and to more effectively contribute to their church's witness in a post-Christendom environment. A survey of a Mennonite German-speaking short-term mission program was created to acquire data from the various stake-holder groups in order to enhance the program's policies and procedures, and to see if and what Mennonite core beliefs and practices can contribute to a successful re-entry of participants into church and community life. The survey was conducted as an Appreciative Inquiry to identify the program's positive aspects and successful practices. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were used to interpret data and to develop a theory. Action research with students and their contact persons created room to share, to evaluate the program's procedures and to define helpful tools for reintegration. This research also fostered awareness of problems or obstacles encountered by each of the participating agents. Complex Adaptive Systems Theory was used to help define possible roles of returnees, programs, churches, families and friends for re-integration. The study generated an important insight: Mennonite-Anabaptist core beliefs and practices can be a key factor in both teaching and action related to successful re-entry.
Thesis (D. Min.)—Tyndale University College & Seminary, 2012
Table of Contents
Introduction – Theological Rationale – Selective Review of Relevant Literature – Methodology and Description of Project – Outcomes and Evaluation of Project – Conclusion
Tyndale University College & Seminary
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