Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary


Jarred Pellegrin D.Min.
“But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons,” 1 Timothy 4:1. This is a clear warning that the enemy is working to deceive and cause people in the church to fall away. What if the church could better equip the laity to address the areas often used for the deceptive purposes talked about in this verse? This dissertation addresses the issue of people walking away from the church, particularly people who have grown up in the church and walked away after high school. I argue that in order to keep these individuals from walking away from their faith, they need to be equipped to better understand and rationally defend that faith through apologetic training. While other projects have had a similar goal and targeted teens, this project is targeted at parents with a goal of equipping them with the tools necessary to teach core apologetic concepts to their early elementary age students. This dissertation seeks to lay a foundation on which to build an apologetic and instill a Christocentric world view into students at the earliest possible age. Then the desire is for the parents to partner with the church to build a strong structure of apologetics and understanding well before they would be tempted to walk away from their faith.

The Role of the Family-Equipping Model in Church Planting and Replanting Training for the Calvary Family of Churches in Englewood, CO

Franklin Samuel Trimble D.Ed.Min.
This project focuses on the combined efforts of the family ministry movement and the replanting movement in equipping current and future planters and replanters in family ministry. In the project, the reader will be given biblical, theological, historical, and ecclesiological examples of what a healthy family ministry can look like. This project is meant to encourage and equip future and current ministers, especially those with few resources, as they seek to develop a healthy family ministry culture in their contexts. Churches can see healthy family ministry established in their midst regardless of the number of resources at their disposal.
Throughout the project, the reader is given biblical instruction regarding the primacy of parental discipleship in relation to the biblical instruction of children. This primacy is made even more specific when the project addresses the role of the husband and father in the home-discipleship process. The project then looks to Hebrews 3 & 10 to address the need for all ages of the church to meet regularly. Once the biblical and theological groundwork has been laid, the project then moves into a section in which the history of modern youth ministry is examined in contrast with the historical precedent of family worship. Ecclesiological matters are then discussed in detail such as the importance of intentionally limiting church calendars and the need for a plurality of elders that can lead a congregation in meaningful membership which then leads to accountable shepherding.


Zachary Andrew Tunnell D.Min.
This project argues that a correlation exists between healthy practices within the local church and the faithful preaching of biblically-sound doctrine. Evidence of this correlation is shown by focusing on the faithful interpretation and application of the Trustworthy Sayings of the Pastoral Epistles as modeled by the preaching of Herschel Hobbs.
Beginning with a consideration of God’s plan for preaching to be of first importance within the practices of a local church, this project establishes the importance of biblically-sound doctrine for church health and revitalization. Chapter 2 begins the project’s examination of the Trustworthy Sayings, with each chapter offering an analysis of a related sermon preached by Herschel Hobbs during his pastorate at First Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
The Trustworthy Sayings do not appear in the same order as they are in the Pastoral Epistles, but rather are placed so that one saying builds upon the next. First Timothy 1:15 (Chapter 2) addresses soteriological views in Southern Baptist history. First Timothy 4:8-10 (Chapter 3) considers the role of doctrinal preaching in discipling church members who will be devoted followers of Jesus Christ. Chapter 4 considers Titus 3:4-8 and how believers who are devoted to God will also be devoted to good works which honor God. Second Timothy 2:11-13 (Chapter 5) speaks of God’s faithfulness and the hope which His faithfulness provides for the local church. First Timothy 3:1 (Chapter 6) addresses the character of the called and considers the qualifications of a senior pastor.
The project concludes (Chapter 7) with a charge to the pulpit and the local church which, if implemented, will help protect the local church from suffering from doctrinal drift. Three recommendations for steering straight are provided.

Equipping the Korean-American Families for Family Worship at Orange Canaan Presbyterian Church in Santa Ana, CA

In the 120 years of Korean immigration to the United States, there has been a history of much hardship and loneliness associated with settling down in a strange land and living life as an immigrant. For many immigrants adjusting to life in the United States, in which their children have had to adjust to life in a whole new culture, it is often the case that they have not been able to pay much attention to their children's lives. Now, these parents face the problem of communicating to and discipling children that have grown up in a completely different language and culture—having been assimilated to the culture and having been educated in the United States growing up with a completely different set of values from their parents' generation. As such, problems and conflicts within Korean immigrant families in the United States continue to grow. For Christians, the problems they face often find their children leaving their homes and leaving their churches. Unfortunately, this is the reality of the Korean church in the United States.

Establishing a Biblical Marriage Mentorship Program at First Baptist Church in Midlothian, TX

Kevin Joseph Phillips D.Ed.Min.
The purpose of this project is to answer the question, “Would first-year married couples learn about and embrace a biblical foundation of marriage from a mentoring relationship built upon a curriculum focused on appropriate passages of Scripture?” The project will outline the biblical foundation of marriage and how first-year couples better can connect with that foundation through an intentional mentor relationship that leads them to a better understanding of four scriptural passages around marriage.
Chapter 1 introduces the problem, need, and purpose of the project. The thesis states that first-year married couples will show more commitment to the teachings of Scripture as a foundation to a lifetime of marriage after being mentored in a curriculum centered on those Scriptures.
Chapter 2 includes the biblical and theological foundations for developing a marriage mentor curriculum that will help first-year married couples understand why God established marriage. The theology of marriage, mentorship, and Christian education are treated in the chapter. This chapter also includes a review of related literature.
Chapter 3 details the writer’s goals, limitations, and plan for his project. The researcher will support the thesis statement and describe the process by which it was addressed through the project.
Chapter 4 explains in detail the writer’s formation of his workshop material. This chapter will give the reader an overview of the training material as well as the curriculum utilized in carrying out the couple-to-couple mentorship.
Chapter 5 provides a detailed evaluation demonstrating the results of the project implementation. The researcher related the research that supports the thesis statement through the results of the surveys taken by the newlywed couples.
Chapter 6 is a summary section. The researcher utilizes this chapter to give an overview of the project and gives examples of ways this project could be utilized in addition to the couple-to-couple mentorship.

Equipping Rural Pastors in Zimbabwe to Practice John Owen’s Discipline of Mortifying Sin in Their Daily Life

Stephen Douglas Skinner ThM
This project introduced John Owen’s biblical discipline of mortifying sin to twenty-five rural pastors in Zimbabwe. These pastors serve the Lord in regions that limit their access to training and biblical resources. Through the implementation of Owen’s, The Mortification of Sin in the Life of the Believer, these men learned the biblical discipline of daily fighting against the tendency of catering to their residual sin. After they thoroughly read Owen’s work, and signed an agreement to participate letter, an assessment of their spiritual health was made and evaluated through the completion of a spiritual health survey. This was followed by attending a 32-hour seminar, where each man received a conference book. The material had been abridged and edited into a ten-session format. The course was taught at the Peniel Training Center in Hope Fountain, Zimbabwe. At the conclusion of the course, each pastor was asked to summarize this experience in an essay, and each received a certificate of completion.


This project sets to implement a relational Serving Model at Gather in San Antonio, Texas, to motivate people to reach out to those within their relational circles towards the goal of being a positive influence on them by both living and sharing the Gospel. Chapter one presents the ministry context and the goals of this project. Chapter two provides an exegesis of four passages of Scripture (Matthew 5:13-16; Acts 17:26,27; 1 Corinthians 9:19-23; Ephesians 2:1-10) to show God’s plan for humanity to walk in a relationship with him. The chapter also explains that God empowers believers by his grace to serve him and calls believers to be a witness for him in both word and action. Chapter three identifies four of the most formal evangelism methods and explains how relational ways of reaching out are a seamless transition from evangelism to discipleship. Chapter four describes the project itself, describing the details of the preparation and implementation of the project. Chapter five evaluates the purpose and goals of the project. This chapter also addresses the strengths and weaknesses of the project. Ultimately, this project seeks to motivate people at Gather, to reach out to others in their social circles towards the goal of being a positive influence on them by both living and sharing the Gospel.

The Development of a Training Program to Equip Preschool Teachers to Teach from a Biblical Worldview

This dissertation designs an extensive training program for FCBC preschool teachers to help develop their teaching skills and their own biblical worldview so that they can influence students with biblical truth and provide godly education to the Christian community.
Chapter 1 introduces the problem and reason for training preschool teachers with a biblical worldview.
Chapter 2 describes biblical concepts and keywords which relate to biblical worldview training as well as theological issues that are important because they support a biblical worldview.
Chapter 3 offers an eight-week biblical worldview training course with lesson handouts for Christian preschool use.
Chapter 4 provides a summary of the conclusions drawn from the biblical worldview training project for preschool teachers, as well as suggestions for further research and use.

The Importance of Constructing a Bible-Based Ministry for Single Mothers Through the Local Church

Single moms’ ministries are essential for contemporary churches, due to the increase in single moms. Strong and Courageous is a ministry developed for implementation through the local church to encourage, equip, and empower single mothers. This ministry project focuses on the importance of and need for a Bible-based single moms’ ministry within the local church. It provides research to back up the need for a single moms’ ministry, as well as a ministry model for churches to utilize. Last, the ministry project provides instructions about how to start a single moms’ ministry within local congregations. Research for this project has produced alarming, eye-opening information crucial to the development of this ministry.
Chapter 1 covers the need for a single moms’ ministry within the local church by offering statistics as to the increase of single mothers within the United States and the percentage of those who are unchurched.
Chapter 2 covers the introduction and explanation of Strong and Courageous Ministry, explaining its purpose and what it offers. Chapter 2 unfolds the Strong and Courageous Ministry model as well as its outreaches. Last, it presents an example of one of the outreach models, a seven-week Bible study curriculum.
Chapter 3 documents the implementation as well as the assessment of the single moms’ ministry that was executed through First Baptist Dallas during the Fall of 2019. Chapter 3 provides step-by-step instructions for beginning a single moms’ ministry within a local church setting.
This research has proven the need and importance for a Bible-based single moms’ ministry within the local church setting. The project has provided not only evidence of the need, but also a model of how best to meet the need and to implement the ministry within the local church. Last, chapter 3 introduces additional outreach information from the Strong and Courageous Ministry, including an online presence to provide additional equipping and encouragement for single mothers and for church leaders who desire to implement a single moms’ ministry in their own churches.
Brenda O’Shea Lowery, D.Ed.Min.
Advisor: Deron Biles, Ph.D.
The Jack D. Terry School of Educational Ministries
Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2021

Determining the Impact of Covenant-Group Discipleship on Current Church Dropout Rates of Students Graduating from High School

Over the past two decades, there have been many studies conducted on the large number of teenagers leaving the local church after high school. Youth ministry leaders must re-evaluate their approach and disciple-making strategy in their local church if they want to create lifelong followers of Jesus.
In a recent study on church dropouts, Lifeway Research showed 66% of students stopped attending church after graduation. To further explore the findings from the 2017 Lifeway study, this ministry project examines the impact of intense biblical teaching and mentoring relationships within the context of covenant-group discipleship and its overall influence on church attendance of 116 high school seniors after graduation. The project director believed that students would demonstrate a minimum of a 15% decrease in the church dropout rate when compared to nationwide high school graduates who did not participate in an intentional covenant-group discipleship group.
Chapter 1 introduces the framework and need for this ministry project. The first chapter communicates the research methodology, purpose, and goals as well.
Chapter 2 of the ministry project presents biblical and theological support for disciple-making in the context of covenant-group discipleship. This ministry project purposed to demonstrate that covenant-group discipleship is firmly grounded in God’s Word and therefore a viable solution to create lifelong disciples of Christ in youth ministry.
In Chapter 3 of this project, the project director examines the current state of youth ministry, an overview of the Gen Z generation, and multiple studies indicating what may impact the current dropout rate of students from the local church. Finally, the project director explores the discipleship models of historical and contemporary figures.
Chapter 4 explores the findings from this ministry project in detail. The findings from this ministry project overwhelmingly support the project director’s initial proposition of church retention after graduation.
Chapter 5 evaluates the many elements and facets of the ministry project. The ministry project’s purpose, its corresponding goals, as well as its strengths and weaknesses are assessed. Lastly, both theological and personal reflections that were discovered as a result of the completion of this ministry project are considered and presented.
Subscribe to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary