Vernell Ross
The purpose of this ministry research project is to increase the knowledge of transurban discipleship at Jordan Missionary Baptist Church of Lancaster, Texas (JMBC). Chapter 1 illuminates the history and the ministry context of JMBC’s African American membership and the goals of this project. Chapter 2 provides an exegesis of three passages of Scripture (Luke 14:25–35, 1 Kings 19:19–21, and Philippians 3:17–21) that examine biblical principles regarding personal Christian discipleship along with a brief overview of the usage of μαθητής (disciple) concerning Jesus’ command to “go make disciples” in the Great Commission. Chapter 3 examines relevant scholarship that presents a rationale for transurban discipleship by exposing racial discipleship while espousing and embracing Black evangelical theology. Chapter 4 describes the project itself, recounting the content and training method of the specific curriculum used as well as the measure utilized to determine if project goals were achieved. Chapter 5 evaluates the efficacy of the project based on the completion of specified goals. Ultimately, this project seeks to equip Christians with an understanding and praxis of vital spiritual disciplines that aid them in becoming more and more like Christ.

Vernell Ross, D.Min.
Supervisor: Carl Bradford, Ph.D.
The Jack D. Terry School of Educational Ministries
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2022


Brian Olson D.Min.
This project set out to examine and evaluate the use of first-person narrative as a possible alternative option to be included in a regular rotation for preaching in a public worship service. It also set out to examine the process of developing the sermon. It also set out to determine if it can be used to effectively communicate the biblical message to a post-Christian, entertainment-oriented culture without compromising its faithfulness to the message of Scripture?

The research was done on the Biblical and theological foundations of preaching to accomplish these goals. An evaluation of current literature on the subject was conducted. A system of evaluating existing sermons was developed and implemented. A sermon was produced and presented in the first-person narrative mode. Survey feedback was received from individuals who were present for the sermon. The surveys from the sermon produced for the project and the earlier evaluated sermons were processed to reach the goals and determine the proper steps for moving forward.

A key understanding derived from the study was that first-person narrative preaching is often mistakenly viewed as lightweight storytelling. The reality is that it is more work than a traditional sermon. It requires that same work for those sermons, but it also requires a heightened understanding of the Biblical story's cultural, sociological, and personal attributes.

Also learned was the importance of story as a means to communicate truth. We teach theology to children through stories, and these same stories can teach the truth to adults. In the west, we have become convinced that science and facts are the most important things and that these are the way to communicate truth. But in much of the world and history, story was the primary means of communicating truth.


Dawn Spies D.Min.
The time between pastors can be a season of renewed focus on God’s actions in the life of a congregation. Walking through this interim time can also be colored by stress, grief, and frustration. Intentional interim ministry (IIM) provides a congregation with a trained and experienced guide to help a congregation discern God’s leading and prepare well for their next pastor. Communicating the need for and benefits of IIM to Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ (LCMC) associated congregations provides targeted options for congregations addressing an upcoming pastoral vacancy.

LCMC’s congregational polity and mutual accountability calls association staff and pastors to provide resources, support, and best practices for congregations entering a time of pastoral transition. An introductory presentation and facilitator training were created, taught, and evaluated with the goal of equipped intentional interim pastors to facilitate the presentation for LCMC as requested.

The facilitator training and an example of the introductory presentation were evaluated using two questionnaires. To further refine these tools, LCMC leaders with experience working with congregations in pastoral transition were invited to participate in a semi-structured interviewed. The initial training, evaluations, and interviews identified strengths in the introductory presentation where common questions were addressed, clarifying the need for and benefits of IIM, and reminding congregations that transition is a natural part of life in the church. Unaddressed questions were also identified. While the facilitator training was useful, the erroneous assumption that a brief training session for facilitators would be sufficient preparation to meet any congregations, including conflicted and anxious congregations, was identified. Overall, training pastors to facilitation an introductory presentation was successful, and a refined version of these tools could be utilized within LCMC to communicate the need for and benefits of IIM to congregations entering a time of pastoral transition.

An Examination of Lee Rutland Scarborough's Influence on the Southern Baptist Convention From 1918-1925

Ronald D Rucker D.Min.
This dissertation examines the life and works of Lee Rutland Scarborough to determine his influence on the Southern Baptist Convention from 1918-1925.

Chapter 1 introduces the study and includes a thesis statement and an examination of the biographical factors, which influenced Scarborough’s life. This chapter includes Scarborough’s family background, call to ministry, education, pastoral experience, summary, and timeline.

Chapter 2 examines Scarborough’s influence as general director of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Seventy-Five Million Campaign, which was a program intended to raise 75 million dollars over a five-year period from 1919-1924, to help finance Baptist efforts in missions, education, and other benevolent work. This chapter presents his influence in development and implementation of a strategy to execute the campaign.

Chapter 3 examines Scarborough’s influence as a committee member of the Future Program Commission, which recommended adopting the Southern Baptist Convention’s Cooperative Program [CP] in 1925. This chapter presents his influence related to the theological convictions he maintained in the area of cooperation.

Chapter 4 examines Scarborough’s influence as a member of the Baptist Faith & Message committee, which framed the first Southern Baptist convention-wide confession, entitled the Baptist Faith & Message in 1925. Prior to the 1925 confession, they used the New Hampshire Confession of Faith (1833) and the Abstract of Principles (1858).

Chapter 5 provides a conclusion for the entire dissertation and centers on one of the most important concepts espoused by Scarborough during his lifetime. The concept of cooperation was redefined by Scarborough in a way for Southern Baptists that still marks a distinguishing feature of the denomination today. This chapter solidifies the thesis of the dissertation by an examination of how Scarborough utilized his influence to engineer a new direction for Southern Baptist through his efforts on the Seventy-Five Million Campaign, formation of the Cooperative Program and the Baptist Faith & Message.


John Michael Barefield D.Min.
This Doctor on Ministry project created a training program to train small group leaders to lead the emerging adults for Trinity Church of the Nazarene in Charlotte, North Carolina. This project shared the concerns of the church in losing emerging adults after they graduate from high school. The project explored the concerns of the emerging adult generation. The literature research included the writings of Chap Clark, Kara E. Powell, David Kinnaman, Corey Seemiller, Meghan Grace, Pew Research, and others.

This qualitative research project focused on how to train leaders to lead a small group of emerging adults. This project was conducted in three phases. The first phase presented in a six-part sermon series to the congregation. The second phase interviewed emerging adult participants. The third phase trained small group leaders to lead emerging adults.

This project helped the congregation, and small group leaders, to have a better understanding of emerging adults. The small group leaders gained confidence in leading emerging adults. The pastor learned to be sensitive to the needs, interests, and values of the emerging adults in his congregation.

Cultivating Healthy Marriages: The Juxtaposition of Preaching and Pastoral Care in a Retreat Setting

Naomi Annetta Mitchell D.Min.
This project focuses on the role of the delivery of pastoral care during the preaching moment as a means of cultivating, facilitating, and strengthening healthy marriages in the context of the Black church. The benefits of combining pastoral care, sermon preparation, and preaching in a retreat setting to several married couples are explored. Designed to help couples develop healthy relationship skills and competencies, the sermons provide biblical references, theological information, and practical tools of pastoral counselors. I show through contextual practice how couples learn skills and receive tools to assist them with cultivating a healthy marriage. I believe this type of pastoral care preaching is an essential homiletical practice to facilitate healthy marriages.

Using Luke's Slave Metaphor to Teach the Biblical Foundations for Financial Stewardship at First Baptist Church of Buffalo Gap, Texas

Charles Leon Gililland
This project evaluated whether a financial stewardship study built around Christ-centered stewardship principles (derived from Luke’s servant parables employing slavery metaphor) instead of practical financial planning could affect change in small group members' financial stewardship habits at First Baptist Church of Buffalo Gap, Texas.
Chapter 1 introduces the financial problem facing the Church today even in the midst of the American financial recovery, and the thesis of the project is presented. In addition, the theological background for the study with exegetical analysis of the Lukan parables is presented.
Chapter 2 outlines the project research plan and methodology. A weekly progress report is also included in this chapter.
Chapter 3 presents the qualitative and quantitative project analysis gathered from both a pre- and post-study survey and a pre- and post-study financial giving report. The chapter concludes with an executive summary that outlines the positive change in group members' habits and suggestions for further implementation of the project.

Video Church: The Effects of the Video Church Model on Christian Hospitality

Assad Mohammed Saif D.Min.
Hospitality is fundamental to human spiritual growth. Jesus knew this. Therefore, Jesus spent much time seeking to encounter people in the spaces they naturally congregated in. God sent Jesus to come from heaven to earth to show people the incarnate God and his desire to welcome them into his family. More specifically, God sent Jesus to a specific culture in the world where he believed the message of God’s love could be viewed through the lens of hospitality. By using a grounded theory approach, the researcher set out to discover the methods by which hospitality is impacted within the video church model of Sunday morning church worship services. The researcher identified 12 key hospitable qualities necessary for the development of a culture of hospitality in church services. The researcher identified seven principles of healthy hospitality and seven considerations toward sustaining healthy hospitality within the video venue church. The researcher identified how human spirituality benefits from acts of hospitality by specifically studying the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 and the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10. The researcher identified and analyzed data gathered from interviews with Senior church leaders, volunteers in video churches and small group leaders who attend video church services. This data was collected in order to help the researcher discover the effect of hospitality and how the lack thereof affects spiritual growth in the video church model. The researcher identified both the key qualities of hospitality which contribute toward healthy spiritual growth in video church services and the types of video church services that help to produce these qualities in Christ followers.

Prophetic Activism: Increasing the Academic Achievement Among Low Performing African-American Male Students at Mary B. Martin School

Danny Anthony Everett D.Min.
University Circle United Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio partnered with Mary B. Martin School to address academic achievement disparities for low performing African-American males. If students participate in faith and culturally based extended school programs, then their academic performance improves. Explorations from qualitative research during a church led after school program were expounded. The approach incorporated prophetic activism based on themes of spirituality, educational inequity, and social learning and critical race theories. The data suggests partnerships between churches and schools improve outcomes for African-American male students. A final project was submitted to the Doctoral Studies Committee at United Theological Seminary in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Ministry.

Indigenous African Demonic Deliverance and its Transference into Pentecostalism with Subsequent Refining: Ghana and its Diaspora as a Case Study

Duane Sterling Sims M.A.

This paper examines how the traditional Ghanaian worldview has been contextualized by grass-roots Christians in Ghana, and further by Ghanaian Pentecostals, and how this has been exported, adapted, and refined from Ghana across national and continental lines to its diaspora. I hope to address some key questions regarding Ghanaian deliverance practices (at home and abroad) and integrate my findings into ministry, whether to Africans or anyone. Some of these questions include: “What drives Ghanaians to seek deliverance? How have they, historically, sought to deal with the spirit realm? How do they currently seek to deal with it? What are some of the differences between a traditional Ghanaian understanding and that of a Ghanaian Pentecostal view?”
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