Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Practical Theology

First Advisor

Glenn Nielsen

Scripture References in this Resource

Luke 15:11–32; 1 Thess. 4:13–14; Acts 17:28


This thesis explores a phenomenon I first observed while working for The Walt Disney Company in Florida. Many people seem to be dedicated to Disney in a distinctly religious way, giving the company their time, money, abilities, and heart. Disney is one of the most successful organizations in America, and they have mastered the art of storytelling in their films and theme parks. These stories can be used for identity formation, as they teach people who they are, what the world is like, and how they ought to live. Disney uses religious means to help their fans feel as if they are a part of a bigger picture and narrative. When people do not see themselves as a part of God’s grand story, many times they look to the things of this world to find meaning and purpose. This thesis explores Disney as an example of what religion looks like in modern America, and why a religion centered around making one feel happy is so enticing. I consider what the church can responsibly learn from Disney, and how to utilize their wisdom to bring people to the true faith and lasting fulfillment in Christ Jesus.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.