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New Online Journal Bridges the Academic and the Practical

Feb. 3, 2014

Baylor University's Center for Family and Community Ministries has developed an online resource designed to assist and empower congregational and ministry leaders.

The Journal of Family and Community Ministries is a free, open-access, peer-reviewed online publication with a mission to "provide research-based articles to congregational and ministry leaders as they seek to serve others locally and globally," said Sam Oakley, associate director of the Center for Family and Community Ministries and the journal's managing editor.

"The journal is cross-disciplinary. It includes business, social work, psychology, nursing, seminary, etc.," said Dr. Diana Garland, dean of the School of Social Work. She and Dr. David Garland, dean of George W. Truett Theological Seminary, serve as co-editors of the journal.

"It addresses real challenges that congregational leaders face. The value that we bring to this is that everything we do is grounded in theory and research from the academy," Diana Garland added.

The journal currently features articles focused on 13 areas:

•Business as Mission

•Community Development

• Congregational Assessment

• Global Missions

• Grief and Mourning

• Healthy Congregations

• Marriage

• Mental Health

• Multicultural Congregations

• Physical Health and Wellness

• Practicing Faith

• Young Children

• 50+ Adult Ministries

Section editors for each focus area, many of whom are Truett faculty, are continually seeking article submissions to keep the content fresh and up-to-date.

"We accept articles written about primary research, reviews of research, or annotated bibliographies," said Oakley.

Each article contains a "Christian Leaders Summary" detailing the main points of the text while placing a heavy emphasis on how the contents can be applied to ministry.

"The church's ministry today has become ever more complex and challenging and this journal will include articles offering the best scholarship to provide help for the busy church leader to keep up with the latest research and helpful strategies," said David Garland. "My hope is that this journal will become a useful resource, easily accessed, for a wide variety of best practices in ministry."

Anyone interested in learning more about the journal can find it online at www.familyandcommunityministries.org.

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