Graduate Liberal Studies Program

Final Project Abstracts

David S. Vanderbilt -- "The Military Chapel as a Model for Spiritual Formation within the Protestant Worship Community"

The military chapel provides a unique environment for people to develop personal spirituality within a combination of other Protestant traditions. The Protestant military chapel provides military service members and families a venue to engage spiritual formation within other worship traditions whose differences stem from denominational distinctiveness. These faith-groups also have similarities due to beliefs held in common within the the Christian tradition and history.

This project addresses the issue of complexity within the Protestant worship traditions with emphasis on the partitions that exists between liturgical and non-liturgical faith-groups. The early Church presents a model that utilized an existing religious structure, the synagogue, to devise uniformity among the Jewish Christians. The early Church also demonstrated forthrightness so as to address and engage challenges that presented itself from the Greco-Roman culture and society.

The military chapel community affords a Christian diversity that draws together tradition and and spiritual authority that would not be attended to in most local churches. This opportunity to work within this Christian diversity has eluded most denominational congregations. By working within the structure of multiple Protestant faith-groups, a worshiping community is formed that becomes the guide for individual Christian wholeness within the community of spiritual tradition.

Last Update: February 7, 2005