God-Concept Through Deaf Eyes: Impact on Spiritual Formation and Implications for Counseling

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For centuries, the Deaf people group have fought through oppression and continuous adaption to the hearing world in which they are immersed. Amongst the Deaf Christians, two groups of Deaf people will become the focus of this study: Deaf people who attend Deaf church with Deaf leadership and Deaf people who attend interpreted/simultaneous communication services at a hearing church. Each group bear a distinct perception on God, based on the language used in their church (Ardila, Bernal, and Rosselli, 2016). Furthermore, their relationship with their pastor depends on the language modality within the church. An investigation will be placed upon whether both groups of Deaf people possesses a distinct God-concept. Also, a focus will be placed upon the pastoral leaders, both Deaf and hearing, to gain their perception of God and their role in counseling. A secondary goal for this research thesis is to provide a resource to the Deaf and hearing pastoral leaderships as well as counselors by providing insight into how Deaf people view God in their natural language as opposed to a hearing perspective.
Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology
Disabilities Studies, Theology, Counseling Ministry