Five characteristics that make discipleship relevant and contextual

Full Title
Five characteristics that make discipleship relevant and contextual
Pedro Agudelo
This thesis called “Five Characteristics that Make Discipleship Relevant and Contextual” looks at the discipleship conundrum, which has become more complex with the challenging new realities of the twentieth-first century. Covid-19, global migration, urbanization, secularization, postmodernism, plus social and political uncertainty require relevant and contextual discipleship. This academic exercise uses the participant observation method as a tool to examine current discipleship realities through analyzing scholarly work on the topic and by exploring four discipleship practices in four pastoral networks. This thesis argues that relevant discipleship requires the presence of five characteristics: intimacy, purpose, value, security, and vulnerability.

Chapter one explores the problem of irrelevant discipleship and defines discipleship as a relational process instead of as a program or method to be used in churches and denominations. Discipleship is defined as enjoying God’s quality of life beyond doctrinal knowledge as individuals growth in Christ’s character and engage in making disciples. Chapter two explores the biblical framework of discipleship by identifying discipleship in the Old and New Testaments. It also looks at historical expressions of discipleship and theological discipleship models through history. Chapter three reviews discipleship literature, focusing on the work of nine authors across different contexts. Chapter four describes how the participant observant method is applied in this academic exercise among selected literature consulted and pastoral networks observed. Chosen literature fitted the twofold criteria used to select authors: scholarly authors who are pastors and who are involved in discipleship networks. Chapter five presents conclusions produced by this academic exercise; it also provides recommendations offered by the author on how to implement the five discipleships elements presented in this thesis.
Degree Granting Institution
United States
Degree Granted
Doctor of Ministry
Type of Work
D.Min. Project
Alvin Padilla Ph.D.
Number of Pages
Copyright Statement
Creative Commons-Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND)
Link to Copyright License