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Vision of DMin Work


Healthy Touch Protocol & Practices

My research topic arises from a concern for those who receive pastoral care or interact with authoritative figures who may cause harm to others due to their lack of safe touch training. The goal is to create a heightened awareness within the service provider/leader around appropriate touch with a clear understanding of the intention for the touch.

We know that Jesus touched others, and they touched him for many reasons. There are other biblical accounts of when Jesus was in the presence of others without exchanging words or touch, which were just as profound. 

Socially, we touch for connection and comfort most of the time. This touch communication usually involves an authoritative role and a role with less power. Harm can result when an authoritative role does not practice self-control with the best intentions for those with less power.  

Practically, mutual consent should always precede touch. When there is no mutual consent, touch should not occur. When there is no clarity of consent, touch should not happen. There is a one-sided or selfish intention when a touch occurs without consent. I seek to heighten awareness of touch intentions by creating a film project that can be viewed by a novice or used for training purposes.  I plan to create workbooks to go with the film. The first workbook will be for the leader of the training and the second workbook will be for the training attendees. The leader’s workbook can stand alone as reading for the purpose of self-improvement.

I look forward to taking research classes within the DMin program to gain a more profound knowledge of the theology and practice of care to increase my awareness of seeing and responding as a pastoral theologian. I will seek out classes to help me name systemic issues in trauma to gain a greater knowledge of being and helping others to become trauma-informed. I will also seek leadership classes in preparation to utilize critical analysis to lead human subject studies and training workshops. I have already begun to compile a list of reading and reference materials for my project and begun to keep research notes in a digital folder in a cloud-based app that is accessible from each of my devices. I plan to request the independent reading of six books before requesting an independent study of human subjects utilizing a qualitative method to encourage discussion while interviewing and recording data. 

I filled out a DMin Program Worksheet to map and track my course progression. I plan to communicate regularly with Dean Jim Lawrence, my advisor, as I choose my committee members and begin to compile an annotated bibliography. I hope to navigate recording on my iPhone and editing on my iMac as I collect data for my final 30-minute film project.

Selected MDiv / MAST Work

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