Date of Award

Fall 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Barnett College of Ministry & Theology


Department of Christian Ministries and Religion

Primary Advisor

Dr. Mark Langler

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard Butman

Third Advisor

Dr. Alan J. Ehler


God spoke, and Logos created. Increased polarization and divisiveness in USAmerican society and the resulting social pain and even violence inspired this project to pursue a healthier and restorative dialogue. If God’s spoken and incarnate Word originated human life and was and is the means of redeeming humans to life with God and one another, how might such a dialogical Christology impact a theology of dialogue capable of addressing brokenness in a culture? As action research, this project tested the potential for a theology of dialogue to impact perceptions as a precursor to altering behaviors through a presentation at Calvary Church in Naperville, Illinois, a culturally diverse and multi-national congregation. Identifying both the theological roots of divisive issues and what it means for the Church to be the dialogical Body of the dialogical Christ are steps this project took toward healing racial, ideological, and political division. The broader aspiration was to develop a theology of dialogue capable of bringing health to broken cultural dialogue through a reimaging of Christ for incarnational discipleship in the ecumenical Church. This dissertation presents the research project’s biblical, theological, and literary study; applied intervention; quantitative study of the intervention’s post-survey; and evaluation and conclusions. The discoveries and implications for the ecumenical Church and cultural dialogue are decisive as the study showed the theology of dialogue did impact the participants’ perceptions. The combined findings of the literature review and quantitative study offer potential for broader application in religious and non-religious contexts to move USAmerican dialogue from devastation to restoration. Christ is God’s dialogue with humanity as the Divine Logos and in-flesh Word through whom God speaks, hears, touches, and is touched. He is a bi-directional “through-word.” God’s dialogue, in-through-as Christ, continues in and through the dialogical Church as the present, embodied Christ in the culture.