Developing this doctoral dissertation was a life-changing journey. Jesus shaped my heart in ways that I could have never imagined, and I love him more today than ever before because of being exposed to his story.

Here’s the link to download the dissertation, with the abstract (summary) of the project.

Neighborliness: A Call to Racial and Socioeconomic Equity in Charlotte, North Carolina

In Mark 12:28-34, Jesus is challenged by an expert in religious law to identify the most important commandment. He replies that loving God and neighbors is the most important of the over six hundred commandments. This research project investigates how healing can come to communities that have been racially and socioeconomically divided when a spirit of biblical neighborliness is present. The ubiquity of this call to neighborliness throughout Scripture highlights the importance of this topic, but special emphasis is given to Mark 12:28-34 and Isaiah 58:1-14 in order to focus the effort and scope of this dissertation.

Chapter One surveys the biblical call to neighborliness in Mark 12:28-34 and Isaiah 58:1-14. Chapter Two explains the influences that cause individuals born into poverty to likely remain in poverty their entire life. The framework of stabilizing education, employment, healthcare, and housing is introduced as a strategy to break the cyclical pattern of generational poverty. Chapter Three moves to describing a seminar, titled “Neighborliness: A Seminar on Race, Economics, and Friendship,” hosted at Center City Church in Charlotte, North Carolina. Chapter Four then offers a reflective summary and analysis of the feedback from participants of the seminar. Lastly, Chapter Five reveals the desire of the researcher to continue to progress toward the study and practical expression of biblical neighborliness in cities across the world.