Alternative Title

A Biblical and Historical Analysis of Contextualization and Indigenization in the African American Church towards the Practical Prevention of Spiritual Marginalization

Subject Area

Religion, Theology/Religious Education




Contextualization and indigenization have always been necessary and expected components of establishing Christian communities of faith and practice. Failed or obsolete attempts at contextualization and indigenization in evangelism and missions continue to harm the development of the African American Church. This results in the development of spiritually marginalized communities alienated from the very relationship with God that such communities need. Preventing such spiritual marginalization in communities requires a training curriculum that combines a working theology on appropriate contextualization and indigenization with a framework for practical implementation. The outcome would decrease the tendency to replicate non-contextual religious practice and increase the capacity to replicate the foundational concepts of the Christian faith, thus decreasing our development of spiritually marginalized people or groups.

The methodology used towards exploring this thesis combines a biblical and historical analysis of contextualization and indigenization, a biblical and historical analysis of anti-contextualization and anti-indigenization in African regions and the African American Church, and a biblical and historical analysis of foundational Christian concepts. This conceptual analysis leads to a practical approach to appropriate contextualization in the contemporary African American Church. This research will ultimately contribute to a curriculum that will establish an understanding of contextual theology combined with practical application, specifically toward preserving urban African American culture without compromising foundational Christian concepts. Pastors, churches, and conferences in African American communities and broader contexts may use this curriculum to train church leaders on contextualization and indigenization.

Degree Date

Winter 2023

Document Type


Degree Name





Dr. Harold Recinos

Second Advisor

Dr. Hugo Magallanes

Number of Pages




Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License