The Final Draft Has Been Approved

Posted on October 31, 2013 at 10:45 PM Comments comments ()

I received word from Dr. Kolb yesterday that the final draft of the "Becoming Lutheran" research project has been approved.  

Currently the manuscript is being bound into a research book, copyrighted, and published to RIM (i.e., Research in Ministry) and to TREN (i.e., Theological Research Exchange Network).  

Passed Oral Examination

Posted on October 17, 2013 at 3:35 PM Comments comments ()

I am happy to report that I passed the Oral Examination for the "Becoming Lutheran" Research Project.  The oral examination was the last step of Major Applied Research Project where I had to defend the research and findings of the study in front of several esteemed Concordia Seminary Professors. 

The Rough Draft Is Complete

Posted on August 27, 2013 at 3:15 PM Comments comments ()

Last week I finished the rough draft of the "Becoming Lutheran" manuscript.  The rough draft can be found here.

The document ended up being a bit shy of 200 pages.  

The next steps are:

-Get feedback from my adivors and readers

-Adjust the rough draft.

-Submit rough draft to my proof reader

-Develop the semi-draft

-Submit semi-draft to the oral examination board

-Conduct oral examination of the Major Applied Research Project

-Finalize semi-draft and publish the final draft.

Grace and Peace

Take The "Becoming Lutheran" Survey Here!

Posted on December 15, 2012 at 6:10 PM Comments comments ()



The moment that we have been waiting for is here. The survey is complete, online, and has been field tested. Therefore, it is ready for you to take!


Simply click on the following link and you will be redirected to the "Becoming Lutheran" Survey. It takes about 10-20 minutes to fill out.


Survey Link:

Click here to take survey


One final thought. Currently we have 219 participants in this study. From what I have studied on statistics, the magic number of participants needed for a study such as this is 377. Therefore, please continue to get the word out about needed participants. The following link would be the one that you can share with your friends:


Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns and/or comments. Thank you so much again for your participation and help in this manner! You are appreciated.


Rev. Matt Richard

Obtaining New Research Participants

Posted on December 6, 2012 at 2:10 AM Comments comments ()

Before we begin this research process by sending out surveys, I felt that it was necessary to try and obtain more research participants.  Last week this project had around 88 participants.  As of now I am happy to report that we have 198 people signed up.  

The additional participants came through the helpful efforts of the following communication venues:

Statistically speaking I am learning that an appropriate sample size for a study such as this would be around 377 participants.  Therefore, I hope to still acquire research participants until the end of December.  What this means for timing then, is that we will officially begin our research at the beginning of January with the release of the 1st Survey.   

If you know of anybody that is interested in participating in this study, please direct them to this link HERE.  

Grace and Peace,

-pastor matt

And We Are Off!

Posted on November 30, 2012 at 10:35 AM Comments comments ()

And we are off!  I just received the following news from Dr. Peter.  Therefore, I will be waiting to hear from Dr. Kolb on the adjustments and then the next step would be to get the research underway!



Good News! Your MAP proposal was approved by the DMin Committee yesterday. They were pleased with the direction you are going in, but there were some recommendations for further revision. You should now proceed to work on your MAP in collaboration with your advisor, Dr. Kolb, who will identify what the revisions are.

In order to register for DM-996 Major Applied Project, you will need to fill out and submit the “Application for Major Applied Project Topic” form, which is attached. Send it to your advisor, Dr. Kolb, then have him bring the signed copy to me for my signature. I’ll take care of the process from there.

Blessings as you finish the race for your DMin program!


David J. Peter, M.Div., D.Min.

Associate Professor of Practical Theology

Chairman of the Department of Practical Theology

Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program

MAP Proposal To Be Assessed On November 29th

Posted on November 14, 2012 at 10:35 PM Comments comments ()

The Major Applied Research Proposal Document is finished and has been sent off to St. Louis (see the email below). The MAP Committee will be meeting on November 29th to review the proposal. Following the committee meeting I will be given guidance/feedback on the direction of the project and then be hopefully cleared to pursue the research.


Dr. Peter and Dr. Kolb,


At the following link you will find a PDF copy of my Major Applied Project Proposal. I believe it is ready to be submitted to the committee for evaluation.


Dr. Kolb, as suggested by our prior conversation, I did the following:

I added the the category of worldview as one of the four main areas of struggle for Evangelicals journeying into Lutheran thought.

I expanded and expounded on the definition of Evangelicalism to not just include the influences of Pelagianism, but also Pietism, and the impacts of nineteenth-and twentieth-century pneumatology. Thus I defined Evangelicalism as the current national-cultural form of American Christianity.

I added a survey to the appendix in order to help the committee visualize the survey process.

Dr. Peter, I realize that this proposal is a little longer than the proposal format suggestion. It is longer because it includes a detailed example of the quantitative survey for the committee (9 pages) and it also has the entire bibliography included (6 pages). Please let me know if there are any concerns with this.


To my understanding, this proposal will be submitted to a committee for review. If there is anything further that I need to do with this, please don't hesitate to let me know.


I will eagerly await your feedback and/or the committee's feedback!


Thank you gentlemen. Grace and peace to you,


~matt richard

Welcome To New Research Participants

Posted on October 31, 2012 at 3:40 PM Comments comments ()

Several weeks ago Chris Rosebrough from the radio program Fighting for the Faith shared a post from my blog that highlighted my need for research participants. As a result, my email box became flooded with willing and excited participants.

So, at this point I have around 75 research participants that fit the criteria of being former evangelicals who have or are journeying into Lutheran thought.

From these willing and eager participants I have received the question, "So what is next? What are we going to do?" Well, to answer that question let me share a brief tentative timeline and also describe what is needed of participants.



Currently the Major Applied Research Project is a mere proposal. However, the idea has been formatted into a proposal document which has been reviewed by my advisor, Dr. Robert Kolb. Currently the document is being reviewed by my proof-reader and editor, Janelle. Once the proposal document is finalized I will be submitting it to Dr. Kolb and he will be bringing it to a committee at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO. Once the committee reviews the proposal document they will either make suggested changes or confirm the project as a whole. After the committee approves the Major Applied Research Project, we are off!

Following approval, the project then enters into its research and writing stages. In other words, after the proposal is approved I will be working diligently with Survey Monkey in preparing online surveys for all the research participants. The surveys will be sent out hopefully by January and I will then use the data to begin the research process.

Research Participants

I will need a couple of things from the research participants:

First, I am requesting that all current research participants contact any friends, relatives, and so forth that might also make a valuable contribution to this study. Due to the ability of technology, I can survey literally hundreds of people without a lot of additional work. Furthermore, the more research participants that we have for this study, the more accurate the research findings may be.  They can reach me at my email ( [email protected] )

Secondly, I will be sending out the surveys hopefully by January. Once the surveys are out, I will then need the participants to fill them out to the best of their abilities. I believe the surveys will take 15-25 minutes to fill out. Following the survey there will be a portion for all participants to enter their name and phone number if they wish to be contacted over the phone for more research.

Well, that is it for now.  If you want to learn more and keep informed, visit this research journal from time to time.  Also, I encourage you to check out my blog PM Notes and/or you can join in the conversation on Facebook by CLICKING HERE.


Individuals Are Volunteering For The Qualitative and Quantitative Research Group

Posted on August 23, 2012 at 11:15 PM Comments comments ()

Lord willing I will be received into candidicy status at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis next month. Once I am received, I will then be eligible to submit my Project Proposal and begin the research project this late fall or early winter.   

While I wait for the process, I have been very humbled by the positive responses that I have received thus far.  This project has been blessed to have 13 people already volunteer for the quantitative and qualitative research portion of the research.  In other words, they have agreed to be interviewed in order to share their experiences and insights.

Slowly, I am attempting to get the word out and build a group of people who will provide vital feedback for this study.  I am hoping for a research group of 50 former evangelicals who have or are journeying into Lutheran thought.  

If you are new to Lutheranism and have a background in evangelicalism, you might be a a great person to be interviewed for this study.  To learn more, examine the rough draft of the Major Applied Project Proposal by CLICKING HERE.

You can also email me at the following address: [email protected]

Grace and Peace, 

Pastor Matt

Project Proposal Document Nearing Completion

Posted on July 8, 2012 at 2:10 AM Comments comments ()

While I am waiting for my Candidacy acceptance (i.e. September) I have been working on the recommendations from Dr. Kolb on the project proposal document.  

At this point I am nearing completion of the project proposal document.  The project proposal document is the bird's eye view of the project.  You can click here to view the proposal. 

If accepted as a candidate, I will then be submitting the finalized project proposal to an evaluation committee.  The committe will either approve, modify or reject the proposal.  

Waiting For Candidacy

Posted on July 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM Comments comments ()

Here is a brief progress update.

I am officially elebigble to begin the dissertation process once I have achieved candidacy status in the Doctorate of Ministry Progrom at Concordia Seminary.  At this point I have submitted my candidacy application and will have to wait until September, when a committee reviews the application and makes their determination.  

The candidacy approval process is a screening process that Concordia Seminary has to evaluate students.  A committee reviews the student's application, visits with his professors and then makes a judgment call of whether or not the student can continue in their doctorate program.  

Upon approval (hopefully) by the committee I will then be able to submit my Major Applied Research Project proposal to another committee for approval.  The proposal will be presented to the committee and it will be either approved, rejected or modified.  Once the proposal is modified and/or accepted it is off to the races!  

Therefore, we are looking at candidacy acceptance in September and hopefully the research proposal being accepted sometime in October-November.  This means that research will officially begin this winter of 2012 and extend into the early portions of 2013.  

MAP Proposal Document In The Working

Posted on June 18, 2012 at 11:35 AM Comments comments ()

Every MAP (i.e. major applied project) needs to go through a screening process. In other words, the idea, process, etc.. for the MAP needs to be approved by a committee of Concordia Seminary before the research and writing may go forward.

I just finished my proposal draft and turned it in to Dr. Kolb, my advisor.  The MAP proposal is a bird eye view document that outlines the problem that will be addressed as well as the purpose and process of the research.  He has just returned some very helpful thoughts that will need to be addressed over the next several weeks.  After the corrections, additions and adjustments have been made I will need to get the document over to my proof reader, and then I can submit it to Concordia Seminary for approval.  My hope is to have it submitted by July/August so that I may begin my research this fall.  

Title, Problem Thesis & Purpose Thesis Have Been Developed

Posted on June 5, 2012 at 11:20 AM Comments comments ()
After several drafts and many conversations I have finally settled on a Title, Problem Thesis and a Purpose Thesis for the Major Applied Research Project (i.e. MAP).  They are:

Title: Becoming Lutheran: Exploring the Journey of American Evangelicals Into Confessional Lutheran Thought

Problem: The journey for American Evangelicals into Confessional Lutheranism thought is a long, difficult, and sometimes scary road. The shift from American Evangelicalism into Confessional Lutheranism is not something that just happens overnight, nor is it an easy shift. The shift has linguistic, emotional, worldview, and epistemological challenges that accompany it, thus producing a great deal of anxiety, stress, and uncertainty for the individual. This also presents a challenge for Lutheran pastors in knowing how to minister to parishioners coming out of American Evangelicalism into their parish.

Purpose: Purpose: The purpose of this Major Applied Project (MAP) is to learn about the linguistic challenges, emotional struggles, worldview changes, and epistemological shifts of American Evangelicals who have begun making this shift into Lutheran thought, as well as Evangelicals who have already made the shift. Furthermore, this MAP will attempt to identify patterns in the journey from Evangelicalism to Lutheranism. By diagnosing possible patterns and identifying common characteristics in the journey, I hope the findings will provide insights and comfort for those who are experiencing the journey. I also hope to glean from the study ways in which Lutheran pastors can more effectively care for and shepherd these individuals who are in the journey towards Lutheranism.

Thinking About My Own Journey

Posted on April 30, 2012 at 1:30 PM Comments comments ()
In thinking about the theme and topic of the Major Applied Research Project, I decided to chronicle my personal journey into Confessionalism.  I published both of the articles on my personal blog and another blog that I write for, "Brothers of John the Steadfast." 

These articles have been very helpful to me in formulating the Problem and Purpose Theses for the MAP.

Dr. Robert Kolb Has Agreed To Be My Advisor

Posted on January 11, 2012 at 10:10 AM Comments comments ()

Today I visited with Dr. Robert Kolb and he has agreed to be my advisor in this research adventure.  The following is a brief biography of Dr. Kolb taken from the Concordia Seminary Website.  

Dr. Robert Kolb was born and raised in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and attended Concordia College, St. Paul, Minn. (1959-1961); Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Ind. (1961-1963); and Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. (1963-1968, M.Div., S.T.M.). After completing his doctorate in history at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1973), he served as director of the Center for Reformation Research in St. Louis (1973-1977). Concordia College, St. Paul, called him in 1977 to teaching positions in the departments of religion and history; he also served as acting president (1989-1990). In 1993 Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, called him to be Missions Professor of systematic theology and director of the Institute for Mission Studies. From 1994 through 2010 he taught abroad, chiefly in post-Soviet Europe, for three months of the year.


Kolb served as associate editor (1973-1994) and co-editor (1995-1997) of The Sixteenth Century Journal and is still co-editor, with A.R. Victor Raj, of Missio Apostolica (since 1996). He was a member of the Commission on Theology and Church Relations of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (1984-1992) and its chair (1990-1992). He served as president of the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference (1981-1982) and the Society for Reformation Research (1994-1996). Since 1993 he has been a member of the Continuation Committee of the International Congress for Luther Research.


Kolb has lectured at more than 40 educational institutions on five continents and at many ecclesiastical gatherings. Since 1996 he has been Gastdozent at the Lutherische Theologische Hochschule in Oberursel, Germany.


Valparaiso University (2000), Concordia University Saint Paul (2005), and Concordia University Irvine (2008) have awarded him the Doctor of Letters honorary degree.