Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Barnett College of Ministry & Theology


Department of Christian Ministries and Religion

Primary Advisor

Dr. Chris Corbett

Second Advisor

Dr. Samuel Perry

Third Advisor

Dr. Jim P Vigil


Compassionate care within the local community of a church is of vital essence to a thriving church ministry. For centuries church leaders have endeavored to make an impact in the lives of the people living in their vicinity through outreach efforts. The compassion of the local church is needed in the area of children in foster care. Through the analysis of two church programs focused on serving the spiritual, educational, and social needs of teens in the foster care system, this dissertation will examine how to assist local churches in establishing a program to serve the children in their local foster care system. The research of this project utilizes a theological study of biblical mandates and principles, a study of current literature, as well as surveys and interviews of the pastors, volunteer leaders, and church program volunteers of two churches to answer the question: How does a compassion organization best replicate itself within the ministry of today’s Christian Church? This study maintains its focus upon establishing a ministry to serve the children in the foster care system with an eye toward the population of children within the foster care system who have not nor will be adopted. With large numbers of children within the ranks of the foster care system, it is incumbent upon the church of Jesus Christ to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit to serve the need of those who are at-risk and unable to care for themselves. Should the church heed the word of God to love our neighbor as ourselves, compassion will emerge from its ranks. This project will inform the reader in methods to establish effective compassion for one of society’s most vulnerable generations.