Pfeiffer and Wesley Theological Seminary Partner for New Doctor of Ministry Program
Washington DC (WTS) As one of the first Christian entrepreneurial leaders, the Apostle Paul invented the house church, helping spread the Gospel far and wide. His work transformed new Christ followers until they embodied the love of God.
Modern-day pastors must be missional and entrepreneurial, just as Paul was. Being missional means we have a clear vision of who we are and what we are to do. It means we align our lives and our organizations with our fundamental purpose. As Christians, our primary mission is to be the love of God embodied and enacted.
In North and South Carolina, pastors have the opportunity to participate in such a Doctor of Ministry program. United Methodist-related Pfeiffer University’s business school has partnered with Wesley Theological Seminary to offer a new degree specifically designed for and located in the Carolinas. Classes begin in May 2015 for the inaugural cohort of the Leading as a Missional Entrepreneur in the Carolinas Doctor of Ministry degree. Learn more at www.wesleyseminary.edu/missionaldmin
Entrepreneurial church leadership is not unusual. In fact, Christianity has always spread by forming new communities of authentic spiritual vitality and greater missional effectiveness. Christian leaders have always innovated current practices to better meet the challenges of the day.
“Entrepreneurship expresses a drive essential to Christianity and to its mission,” says the Rev. Dr. Robert Martin. “Entrepreneurs start new organizations to solve today’s problems. An entrepreneur takes what is essential from the past and creates something new that has greater effect. Entrepreneurs innovate, thus creating new ways of addressing urgent problems.”
“We are living in a time when traditional forms of Christian life are becoming less meaningful. Fewer and fewer people find Christian doctrine and practices compelling. In this changing environment, Christians must plumb the depths of the Christian faith for its essentials. We also must rely upon the Holy Spirit to refashion us into the image and likeness of God, appropriate to our time and place. We need to be the visible face, hands, and heart of God to a world desperately needing to hear and experience life-changing Good News.”
Modern-day congregations must be missional and entrepreneurial, just as the early church was. This means church members individually and collectively do what Jesus did. They love and care for each other. The gifts and graces of each person are valued and contribute to the wellbeing of the whole. And it means we follow Jesus in extending our communion to the least and the lost everywhere.
“While the Christian faith must be true to its essentials, it must also reinvent itself in every age,” says Martin, who serves as dean of Wesley Theological Seminary. “Christianity spread throughout the world in part because its followers embodying God’s love and serving as the hands of feet of Christ. To address each specific context, the Christian faith takes on forms indigenous to that context, so that it can speak to and transform it.” This is incarnational: the invisible truth of the Christian faith is enfleshed anew in each place and time.
Being missional helps congregations become more like God and better participate in what God is doing in the world. “That’s what we are created for,” says Martin, a longtime elder in The United Methodist Church and theologian. “By this, we become our truest selves and best selves, redeemed and sanctified as we have surrendered ourselves wholly to God’s transformative work.
Application deadline: February 1, 2015
View the curriculum
Contact their admissions team for more information
Resources for Vital Congregations
Lewis Center for Church Leadership
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor
GBHEM Leadership Resources
Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church
Englewood Book Review
Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations
Ted Talks: The Golden Circle
Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability
Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability
Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians
Be A Disciple
A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network
Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations
Living As United Methodist Christians
Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials
Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today
John Wesley Sermons: Anthology
Get Their Name
Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit
Canoeing the Mountains
Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples
Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People
Community: The Structure of Belonging
RESOURCES TO CONNECT WITH THE COMMUNITY:
Institute for Emerging Issues
Congregations 4 Children
The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants
The Duke Endowment
The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:
- Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
- Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.
We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at firstname.lastname@example.org.