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Come to the Table: The Lord's Supper as an Invitation to the Transformational Presence of Jesus

Paul J Yanchek D.Min.
This paper examines the impact of celebrating the Lord's Supper weekly on a small church in the Christian and Missionary Alliance. The church has endured years of decline and internal strife.

Incorporating data collected from congregational surveys, focus group feedback, and personal interviews, this study demonstrates that having the Lord’s Supper every week for twelve weeks resulted in a measurable improvement in the congregation’s sense of unity, as well as an increased sense of God’s presence in the worship services. It argues that the Christian and Missionary Alliance should seek to rediscover the meaning of the Lord’s Supper and its spiritual impact on the life of a congregation.


Marlene Reinhold Grandinetti D.Min.
The aim of this project is to examine how evangelical congregations in the Chicago area are carrying out missional discipleship. The main research question is, ‘What are best practices for a missional approach to discipleship for the local church?’ Two additional questions are used to answer the main research question: (1) What are some of the major challenges these local churches encountered in their discipleship efforts? and (2) What lessons can be learned from the experience of these congregations when formulating a missional disciple-making strategy?

To explore and answer the research question, a multiple case study methodology is employed. This method examines three evangelical churches in the Chicago area who embody a missional discipleship, using three different types of data collection. These include two focus groups at each church involving semi- structured qualitative interviews with small group leaders and participants, six participant observations of events these churches carried out for people in their communities, and a collection of documentary evidence.

The data from this study was organized into findings and concluded with three emphases that can be implemented by churches in their discipleship practices. These include a profile of an authentic follower of Christ, implementing four processes that lead to disciple-making, and the desired outcomes of an authentic, spiritually mature follower of Christ, all leading to a missional approach to disciple-making.


Russell Hart D.Min.
This Doctor of Ministry Project researched six pastors in Western North Carolina to see how they balance administrative duties and evangelistic efforts to produce a healthy church. The project began from my experience of pastoring three churches in the area and experiencing the struggles firsthand. It then looked into the Scriptures to understand the historical accounts and theology of administration and evangelism to comprehend the responsibilities of pastors. Further research was conducted from literature to evaluate what others say about the subject and if they have discovered this problem.

The data was collected through qualitative research of interviews with six pastors. The interviews were conducted with ten questions to discover how they balance administrative duties and evangelistic efforts as a pastor. The interviews were analyzed and synthesized from their experiences, theology, and literary viewpoints for the conclusions.

The research results showed a problem among pastors who have administrative demands on them because of the expectation of the congregation or the lack of others willing to take responsibility. The research also showed that evangelism efforts fail to reach the community because of the heavy administrative load of the pastor. The final results show, pastors that do have a balance, revamped or updated how administration is done, to simplify it for both him and the congregation. The process of updating the administration did require time for trust to build between the pastor and the congregation. The results prove a significant need for pastors and churches to work together to simplify the administration and intentionally reach the community with the gospel to produce a healthy church.

Healthy Church Planting in Mexico: An Analysis of Multiplication Network

Benjamin D. Meyer D.Min.
Through the ministry of the author in Mexico, over two thousand church planters were trained to start over one thousand new churches through the ministry of Resonate Global Mission in partnership with Multiplication Network and several denominations from 2010-2020. When these church planters were developed through the Multiplication Network’s recommended training program, the author desired to know to what extent can the new churches that were planted could be characterized as healthy congregations, kingdom communities, and reproducing organisms?

The author decided to study churches that had matured for approximately four years in order to answer this question. Starting with the total population of church planters who were trained and started new churches in 2016-2017, the author chose a random sample of them. He then surveyed and interviewed not only a percentage of those church planters, but also members of their four-year-old churches.

Factors were uncovered that often stood in the way of church realizing their full potential as healthy congregations, kingdom communities, and reproducing organisms, such as: antagonistic cultural forces in wider society and in the hearts of believers, navigating expectations with mother churches, getting derailed by daily pressures, and weak commitment. On the other hand, key beliefs, attitudes, and practices were unearthed that enabled some churches to become healthy congregations, kingdom communities, and—to a lesser extent—reproducing organisms, such as: seeing the local church as a family of faith, centering the life of the church on the Bible, praying for kingdom growth, desiring that non-believers receive salvation, serving sacrificially, and developing leadership potential in others.


Franklin A. Vander Meulen D.Min.
Changes in the world create new challenges and opportunities in the world of missions.

Globalization has many positive aspects but can lead to increasing anti-West, anti-Christian, and nationalistic attitudes which make it difficult for Western Christians to live and serve as traditional missionaries in many countries.But ease of travel and communication allows people with professional education and skills to work anywhere; this is an opportunity for Christians to live and work and be a dynamic witness to Jesus in urban centers and marketplaces, the ‘Agora,’ even in those same countries.

Many Christian professionals, not wanting to serve as traditional, donor-supported missionaries, are taking advantage of these opportunities and are reaching out to mission agencies for assistance.

The author investigated, through interviews with agency leaders in Canada, their perspectives regarding professionals’ readiness for cross-cultural, Christian witness in the Agora, and regarding the roles that the Agency, Assembly, and Academy might have in any equipping them for that. Two primary, broad, necessary characteristics of professionals are spiritual maturity and cultural awareness. Two means of developing these are experience and discipleship. Experience is needed in their professional field, cross-cultural interaction, and Christian ministry; discipleship is needed to integrate good theology into one’s life, work and ministry.

This project proposes a model for multi-faceted experience and integrated discipleship that moves professionals from self-awareness to Christ-like wholeness, and from cultural awareness to wise missiology. It summarizes roles for the Assembly, Agency, and Academy in general, and proposes specific action for Heritage Theological Seminary, in Cambridge, Ontario.

Pastoring Evolving Faiths: Faith Deconstruction and Reconstruction in a Post-Evangelical Church

Stephen David Schmidt D.Min.
Faith deconstruction and reconstruction have become a religious cultural phenomenon in 21st century America. It is an experience lamented by conservative evangelical and fundamentalist leaders as a step toward apostasy. But deconstruction is also a vital practice of those seeking to retain an authentic spirituality while challenging the authoritative and often regressive doctrines and practices of their traditional church. The goal of faith reconstruction is a revitalized, more compassionate, progressive, and inclusive belief system; one that rejects ancient perspectives of an angry God and embraces a perspective of a more loving and gracious God.
The act of ministry at the heart of this doctoral thesis project was implementing the “Evolving Faiths Discussion Group” in an inter-denominational church in Norman, Oklahoma. The goal was to provide a “safe space” where Christians from fundamentalist and evangelical backgrounds could openly discuss their questions and doubts about the faith they inherited, and explore more palatable alternative theologies. The intent was to provide a regular place and time, resources, and fellow deconstructors to explore those concerns. The desired outcome was that the participants would continue faith exploration as a life-long journey, become comfortable with questions as normative of spiritual health, and experience an enhanced connection with God and the world (3Cs).
The project engaged in action research, and employed adapted elements from heuristic phenomenology and ethnography. The thesis examines a recent social history of the “Fall of American evangelicalism,” and the “Rise of the Spiritual But Not Religious.” It constructs a biblical defense of deconstruction, describes the implementation of the Discussion Group, presents an analysis of five core evangelical themes as they affected the participants with a composite summary of the group experience as a whole, and concludes with some pastoral reflections.

Developing a Replant Strategy to Equip Living Hope Dunbar Cave to Reach the Unchurched in Central Clarksville, Tennessee.

Blake Cordaris Allen D.Min.
Replanting efforts fulfill God’s desire for spiritual flourishing and gospel advancement. The goal of church replanting is to go from dying to flourishing. There is no pleasure found in the closing of a church that bears the name of Christ. For this reason, dying churches need biblical solutions to address their current conditions. The purpose of this project was to develop a replanting strategy to equip Living Hope Dunbar Cave to reach the unchurched in Central Clarksville, Tennessee. Chapter 1 presents the history and ministry context of Living Hope Dunbar Cave and the goals of this project. Chapter 2 provides an exegesis of three passages of Scripture (Ezek. 37:1-6; Rev. 3:1–6; Acts 2:40–47) to show that replanting efforts fulfill God’s desire for spiritually flourishing churches and gospel advancement. Chapter 3 presents the practical reasons for church replanting, including biblical stewardship, encouragement, and community vibrancy through gospel advancement. Chapter 4 describes the details and descriptions of the project itself, recounting the project goals, content, and teaching methodology of the eight-week series. Chapter 5 evaluates the effectiveness of the project based on the completion of the project goals. Ultimately, this project intended to take the first step in equipping churches for church replanting.

Equipping Deacons of Iron City Baptist Church, Iron City, Georgia for Biblical Servant Leadership

David Allen Williams D.Min.
The purpose of this project was to equip deacons of Iron City Baptist Church, Iron City, Georgia to serve the church as servant leaders. The first chapter goes into great detail of the context of not only the church, but also the surrounding community. By way of understanding the context of the church and community, one can see the great need for biblical servant leaders as well as determine whether this project is helpful to you in your context. Chapter two intently researches the biblical foundation of the office of deacon, as well as argues for the role of the deacon to be one who leads, as well as one who serves. The third chapter narrows its scope to argue for a shared leadership model among the servant leader deacons of any given church. Chapter four is the implementing of the project itself. It includes all that is needed to duplicate the project at your church, such as the four-session training material, as well as how I recruited participants, developed the curriculum, and taught the curriculum. The final chapter is simply personal evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the project. I discuss things that I learned as a result of the project, things that went well as well as some things that I should have done differently. In the appendixes you find all the various aspects that you need to print and use for your own training, such as the training material itself, the recruitment letter, the pre-and post-test, etc. May the Lord bless you as you glean from this project for your own project or implement in your church.
David Allen Williams, Doctor of Ministry in Christian Leadership
Advisor: Dr. Shane Parker, Ph.D.
School Name: Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2022

Equipping Members of the First Assembly of God Church in the Cayman Islands to Minister to Unbelievers

Michael Christopher Gayle Dr. D.Ed.Min.
Matthew 28:18-20 records Jesus’s command to His disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations,” a passage of Scripture referred to as the Great Commission. This command is at the heart of what should be the life mission of Christians today. Christians have found it increasingly difficult to execute this mission successfully for a variety of reasons. In today’s cultural environment, a level of resistance to the Word of God often renders conventional methods of sharing the gospel ineffective. In the face of this resistance, it is necessary for approaches to be developed by which unbelievers can be reached. This project sought to identify some of the issues that create obstacles to having meaningful discussions with unbelievers, and develop a method to help Christians bridge the gap between misperceptions and scriptural reality.

Equipping Leaders for Missional Small Groups at Oak Grove Baptist Church Burleson, TX

Brady Logan Lock D.Min.
This project sought to equip leaders of Oak Grove Baptist Church in Burleson, Texas, (OGBC) to lead missional small groups. Chapter 1 presents the history and ministry context of OGBC and the goals of this project. Chapter 2 provides an exegesis of three passages of Scripture (Acts 2:42-47; Matt. 19:16-22; Col. 3:12-17) to show that discipleship occurs in the everyday missional living of the believer, not merely in the educational sphere of the church. Chapter 3 presents the historical/practical/theoretical ideas behind missional small groups. Chapter 4 describes the project itself, recounting the content and teaching methodology of the specific course curriculum. Chapter 5 evaluates the efficacy of the project based on the completion of the specified goals. Ultimately, this project sought to equip Christians with the confidence and competency to minister to fellow sinners and sufferers with the truth of the gospel and the love of Jesus Christ.
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