Brett Gleason D.Min.
This project focuses on the best practices of the Evangelical Free Church of America (EFCA) as it seeks to support the replanting or reestablishment of local churches that are considered “dying” because of their unsustainability and inevitably will close. The project thesis is that replants that implement these best practices have more conversions, more growth, and a higher survivability rate than those that do not. Both best practices of replanted churches and denominations that support them were identified in this study. The field work was completed using qualitative research methodology through a series of interviews, surveys, and document review.

Ten best practices of replanted churches were identified. (1) Replant pastor develops pastoral skills before replanting. (2) The church has a disciple making emphasis. (3) The pastor models evangelism. (4) The church serves the community. (5) The church prays evangelistically. (6) The church uses a holistic approach to evangelism training. (7) The church has evangelistic worship services. (8) The church has a vibrant small group ministry. (9) The church has a Connections Ministry Team. (10) The church is committed to Children’s Ministry.

Ten best practices of denominations were identified. (1) Clear distinctions between revitalization, replanting, and church planting. (2) Denominational staff designated for replanting. (3) There is a vision for replanting. (4) A clear process for replanting is developed. (5) The denomination adapts and modifies church planting systems for replanting. (6) The church has a replanting residency. (7) There is an assessment process for dying churches. (8) Interim pastors are utilized in the replanting process. (9) An oversight board oversees the replanting efforts. (10) There is a committed sending church for the replant.

Planning and Implementing Pastoral Succession at University Baptist Church Fairbanks, Alaska

Grady Alan Cox D.Min.
This Ministry Research Project aims to demonstrate a system for pastoral succession for congregationally governed Baptist Churches with by-laws requiring a pastor search committee system. Pastoral succession is a viable mechanism for pastoral selection in Baptist polity when certain factors are met, including predecessor’s tenure, successor’s qualifications and calling, and congregational understanding and support. Chapter 1 explains the opportunity for pastoral succession to create healthier churches and outlines the context, rationale, goals, and methodology used for this specific project. Chapter 2 examines biblical examples and exhortations from Scripture about succession of spiritual leaders in the Old and New Testaments (Moses/Joshua, Elijah/Elisha, Paul/Pastors, Jesus/Apostles). Chapter 3 argues for the advantages of pastoral succession through historical examples (St. Augustine, Gregory of Nazianzus, Charles Spurgeon, Andrew Fuller), and explores practical advantages supported by biblical leadership theory. Chapter 4 describes the planning, implementation, and results of a pastoral succession at University Baptist Church Fairbanks, AK. Chapter 5 evaluates the effectiveness of pastoral succession through set goals, defines theological principles supporting succession, and highlights best practices and common mistakes. Finally, it analyzes the possibility of using a similar process for healthy and intentional ministry leadership transitions.

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 Coaches to Develop Great Commission Leaders at Macarthur Blvd Baptist Church in Irving, Texas

Travis Ryan Benge D.Ed.Min.
This project sought to equip Great Commission leaders at MacArthur Blvd Baptist Church (MBBC), Irving, Texas. Chapter 1 presents the history and ministry context of MBBC. The chapter also explains the project’s goals, the need for equipping leaders, and how this project was conducted and measured. Definitions and delimitations specific to the project are also included.
Chapter 2 discusses the cycle of the disciple-making process. The chapter provides an exegesis of three passages of Scripture. The first is Matthew 28:18-20, the Great Commission. This passage shows that disciple-making begins with Jesus’s command to make disciples, demonstrating the entire process of discipleship, and states that disciple-making begins with evangelism and the conversion the Holy Spirit brings. The second section exegetes Matthew 4:18-22 to show upon conversion, and trusting and following Christ, believers are called to enter intentional discipleship relationships. The third section exegetes 2 Timothy 2:1-7 to demonstrate the importance of generational discipleship, which in this passage shows leaders being sent out. The final cycle of the Great Commission is the development, coaching, and deployment of disciple-makers.
Chapter 3 argues that developing faithful Christian leaders takes development in character and competencies. To have high character but not have the competencies to lead falls short of godly leadership. On the inverse, to have ungodly character and exceptional competencies falls short of the leadership to which God calls his leaders. This chapter is broken down into the necessity of leadership and the model for leadership. Both sections discuss character and competencies. Chapter 4 describes the project itself, recounting the content and teaching methodology of the specific course curriculum. Chapter 5 evaluates the project’s efficacy based on the completion of the specified goals. This project equipped coaches with the confidence and competency to develop shepherd leaders to lead groups with a Great Commission focus.

Teaching Their Biblical Role in Family Ministry to Parents of South Main Baptist Church – Pasadena, Texas

Kevin Richard D.Ed.Min.
Teaching Their Biblical Role in Family Ministry to Parents of South Main Baptist Church in Pasadena, Texas

Kevin Richard, Doctor of Educational Ministry
Advisor: Danny R. Bowen, Ph. D
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2022

This project was designed to educate and encourage adults to take to heart their call to be the primary disciple in the life of their own children. The goals are to find out where parents are and how they view their role in discipleship towards their children, to create a curriculum to help them in understating their role, then to implement the curriculum and see if it helps.

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.

Equipping Church Leaders of the Enon Baptist Association in Ardmore, Oklahoma to be More Effective in Volunteer Recruitment.

Derek Clinton Crawford D.Ed.Min.
This Ministry Research Project focused on equipping pastors and church leaders of the Enon Baptist Association (EBA) to be more effective in recruiting volunteers to serve in the local church. The need was based on concerns voiced by local church leaders. To fulfill this project, the Project Leader invited local pastors and church leaders from the EBA to participate in a six-session training.

The Project Leader designed this training to give participants a biblical basis for service in the church by studying three different passages in Scripture. The writer provided participants with current resources utilized in churches to integrate service through spiritual gifts and ministry descriptions into local congregations. Throughout the training, he gave attendees opportunities to apply concepts discussed to their current ministry settings, allowing for practical application.

The Project Leader administered a pre-and post-survey to each participant. He used the scores to determine the knowledge of each person before and after the training to determine if any increase in knowledge had occurred. In comparing the responses between the pre-and post-survey, he determined the training increased participants' knowledge of recruiting volunteers for service in the local church.

Re-imagining the Church through a missional life

Mark E Mast
For years I watched the missional movement unfold. From theological conversation to a spattering of writers around the world beginning to explore what the missional church might look like in the local church, I found few tools for the leaders of the local Christian communities to help people j oin this movement in practical ways. As I began to work in my own congregation trying to help the church move outward into the neighborhood, I realized the need to provide a resource to not change a church, but help followers of Jesus Christ begin exploring a missional life. Through the process of community storytelling, the foll owing project provides a path, through a Bible study format, for an individual and the Christian community to discover their personal God story, God's story, and the story of their neighborhoods. Where these stories overlap becomes a place for both the individual and their Christian community to start moving from "doing" the work of a missional church to living a missional life with Jesus Christ.

Being led by the Holy Spirit, the journey begins in the waters of Ezekiel 47:1-12 as individuals and communities discovers the different depths of their God story. They then travel into their neighborhood through Matthew 5:3-12 discovering where Jesus Christ is already at work in the emerging reign of God. Finally, through the exploration of 2 Corinthians 4, both the individual and community discover the life they are called to live as missionaries in their own land. I have spent the past years walking through this process in the lives of both individuals and communities to discover a practical means to move people out of the pews of their church into a life of joining Jesus Christ in the emerging reign of God.

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.

Developing a Pastor-Led Model Using a Text-Driven Invitation for the Effective Equipping of Decision Counselors at Living Water Church in Gladewater, Texas

Teddy Wayne Sorrells Jr D.Min.
This project seeks to train decision counselors at Living Water Church in Gladewater, TX to counsel church attenders who have responded to a text-driven invitation issued at the end of a sermon. Chapter 1 presents the history and ministry context of Living Water Church and the goals of this project. Chapter 2 provides the biblical precepts that call for a response to every sermon preached and the necessary need to recruit and equip others to help during this time of response. Chapter 3 explains why and how text-driven sermons call for a response and presents a model for text-driven preachers to equip decisions counselors. Chapter 4 presents the project and its methodology. Chapter 5 will evaluate the results of the project through a complete analysis of the specific goals completed. This project will develop a pastor-led model using a text-driven invitation for the effective equipping of decision counselors.
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