D.Min. Focus Groups

Contact: admissions@united.edu

Below is a list of D.Min. focus groups:

21st Century Church

A 21st Century Model for Church Administration and Preaching
in a Multi-Cultural Context

Dr. Ralph E. Williamson
See Mentors Directory

In today’s ever-changing environment a minister must be multi-faceted; an astute administrator and dynamic preacher. This Focus Group is an in-depth study of biblical and theological principles, church administration and the process to build and sustain the 21st century church. Participants will research and analyze current ecclesiastical issues and various leadership styles to plan, implement, and execute church programs. Special emphasis will be placed on understanding and applying biblical concepts and models to successfully manage effective and efficient ministries and church finances.

The group will also challenge participants to research theological themes that particularly resonate with congregations and address the sovereignty and providence of God in a covenant community. To enhance the participant’s research on the study and origin of preaching with a special emphasis on preaching in a multi-cultural context, various tools will be utilized: lectures and selected assigned readings will help enhance the student’s knowledge base. The combination of these two facets, church administration and preaching in a diverse multi-cultural context, will prepare the student for building the kingdom of God in the 21st Century.

Collaborative Leadership in the 21st Century

Drs. Daryl Hairston and Lucius M. Dalton
See Mentors Directory

Collaborative leadership is defined as allowing people to utilize their potential to create community through teamwork. This Focus Group will explore ways to be creative and innovative in meeting the needs of the congregation and community through synergistic means; a “Relational Collaborative model,” that will allow church leaders to work with other entities to achieve greater effectiveness and efficiency in creating community (w)holeness.

Effective Church Leadership and Prophetic Preaching in the
21st Century

Dr. Keith D. Lawrence and Dr. Kenneth Marcus
See Mentors Directory

This Focus Group is designed for pastors and church leaders who want to answer the question of how to retain members/partners after the Word of God has been preached or pronounced. It is a known fact that prophetic preaching will attract people, but effective church leadership will keep them. We will explore effective discipleship, evangelism and hospitality as ways in which churches retain members/partners and stop the revolving door syndrome. This group will also examine the reality of abuse and oppression and how to eradicate it from the life of the church.

Futuring: Effective Change and Transition for the 21st Century Church

Drs. Millicent Hunter and J. Derrick Johnson
See Mentors Directory

Futuring leaders understand that all growing organisms must change and adapt to sustain viability. This group will focus on how church leaders can facilitate, foster and manage change and transition in the 21st Century church. Futuring leaders recognize that we live in a constant transition. Change readiness means that future faith leaders must prepare, promote and lead change. Going beyond the recognition of change to the actualization of change, this Focus Group will explore ways the local church can remain Christ-centered and relevant in a changing world environment.

Prophetic Congregational Development Using 21st Century Methods, Establishing Strong Leadership

Drs. Angela Washington and Donnell J. Moore
See Mentors Directory

This Focus Group is designed to create contagious excitement for today’s congregations by tailoring their ministries based on some of the leading congregations throughout the country. Our goal is to equip and provide transformative tools for empowerment, development and redevelopment toward prophetic ministry engagement. We will concentrate on healthy and vital church growth while looking at a variety of administrative models and systems that bring measurable results. Simultaneously, we will elevate and illuminate the voice of women who have shaped and are shaping the topography and context of how vital and effective congregational life is conceived, nurtured and developed from divergent women’s perspectives. Over a three-year period, we will visit leading men and women ministry leaders in their contexts and ascertain key methodologies for ministry success in the 21st Century. Ministry participants will be equipped with hands-on models of ministry that radically change the way ministry is practiced today. This program promises to prepare the participant to be a more prophetic servant leader for the 21st Century church.


Church Renewal and Evangelization

Christian Education and Urban Ministry Development

Dr. Michael Neil, Mentor
See Mentors Directory

This purpose of this focus group is to equip students for leadership in the areas of Christian Education and Urban Ministry. This includes the roles of teaching, preaching, worship design, leadership development, and ministry development. The focus group will use Christian Education and Ministry Development to accomplish spiritual formation and effective leadership in all areas of the local church. Students will engage in reading and dialog that reflect global awareness, cultural diversity, gender inclusiveness, ministerial relevance and varied viewpoints on Christian Education and Urban Ministry as recorded in the significant literature on both the subject matter and the specific research topics selected by students. This group ultimately seeks to fully equip those who preach, teach, and lead ministry in the local church, within a denomination, or in the larger community.

Church Health/Growth and Media Ministry

Dr. Stephen Swisher
Dr. J. Randy Grimes
See Mentors Directory

This group will provide tools that will enable leaders to build healthy growing churches in the 21st Century. It will help leaders to examine and monitor the vital signs and growing pains in an active church setting. As ministry objectives change, so must a church learn to makes changes to be relevant and reach the growing demands of the local church. This includes developing tools to share your ministry via live streaming and social media based platforms. You’ll discover practical ways to reach beyond the walls of your Church or ministry to further impact your region for Christ. As one uses a GPS (Global Position System) to help guide one to the proper destination, so will the church need tools for guidance, to stay healthy, and to grow in order to reach their community with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Church Renewal and New Wineskins

Dr. Peter Bellini
See Mentors Directory

Be involved in this cutting-edge community for Church Renewal through the development of new apostolic wineskins for ministry and mission. Post-Christendom has settled in and the church is challenged to put aside building our own kingdoms and to be about Kingdom building. This Focus Group will instruct postmodern leaders in the ancient craft of birthing, that is new congregations, new ministries, and new mission, and in Ezekiel’s ministry of breathing and prophesying on dry bones. The global West is filled with vacuous and cavernous museums that were once called churches, but are now motionless bodies on life-support. Interact with leaders who have academic and practical experience in turning around and reigniting dying churches, planting vital new congregations and developing new contextual ministries for the renewal and equipping of the church for mission.

Growing the Church without Walls / Effective Preaching and Stewardship in the 21st Century
Growing the Church without Walls

Dr. G. Martin Young
See Mentors Directory

This Focus Group will address the possibility of creating an ethical and spiritual Church without walls. It will consist of pastors and leaders who are willing to wrestle with, both conceptually and practically, the issues that confront prisoners of hope in every community and examine ways in which the Church can move beyond the discussion of salvation to the act of rescuing the perishing and saving the lost. Participants will explore biblical prototypes like Rizphah, Zechariah, and of course, Jesus the Christ as models for transformative action.

Effective Preaching and Stewardship in the 21st Century

Dr. Alfred Thompson, Mentor
See Mentors Directory

The primary objective of this focus group is to challenge each student to explore the various ramifications of effective communication through preaching, along with emphasizing the importance of strong financial stewardship. The communicative aspect of preaching is important to the development of each student’s leadership ability, as the goal of each doctoral candidate will be to disclose their personal unique style of oration. A working definition of preaching will be disclosed by each student, as evaluations will be issued to critique the strength of audible delivery. This course will study legendary preaching styles, along with the present-day prognosticators of the Word. On-site visitations will be made to analyze live-presentations accordingly. Additionally, this course will include discussions on the critical stewardship element of church business, as it relates to the significantly large millennial generation. Expert financial consultants will periodically provide insightful fiscal presentations to the group. The financial component of stewardship will be investigated to strengthen each student to be both competent and resourceful assets to their respective churches and communities at-large.

Missional Leadership: Cohort for Mavericks
Mentors: Dr. Duane Anders
Pastor, Cathedral of the Rockies, Boise, ID
See Mentors Directory

There is the normal way and there is the way that is outside of the box, always on the edge. Leadership is required to move the church forward. Leadership that dares vision, thinks missionally and goes beyond the norm of the church honors God. The missional leader not only grows the church, but changes the communities’ landscape. Join these out-of-the-box leaders for this three-year journey.

Stephen Swisher Scholars: Church Growth and Evangelization
through Preaching and Media Impact Ministries
Dr. Stephen Swisher, Dr. Harold Hudson, Dr. Randy Grimes, Dr. Lori Reiber, (Dr. Tom Dozeman, faculty consultant)

In this program students will have “hands on” experience in learning tools for powerful preaching, dynamic social media and Church growth to impact their Church and community from one of the most dynamic ministers in the United Methodist Church today and his talented Co-mentors.

Dr. Swisher hosted his own syndicated television program, “Positive Living” which became the second largest in coverage area within the United Methodist Denomination reaching millions each week.

In addition, Dr. Swisher has pastored congregations of various sizes including small, medium, county seat, urban, regional and large membership Churches, where significant growth was experienced in membership, attendance, mission and stewardship. The last Church he pastored more than doubled in size within a year and a half. Dr. Swisher currently has over 100,000 followers on FB, Twitter, Instagram and his ministry website. He is a frequent resource person for Districts and Conferences within the United Methodist Churches in the areas of clergy effectiveness, Church growth and media ministry. Dr. Swisher is currently the Senior Pastor of Epiphany UMC in Cincinnati, one of the top 10 largest Churches in the West Ohio Conference.

He holds several advanced theological degrees including two doctorates, was named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Americans by the U.S. Jaycees, and is a frequent Chaplain for the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives. Dr. Swisher also currently sits on advisory boards for the Libraries of two U.S. Presidents.

From whatever denomination or ministry background you represent, you will find ways in this program to rise higher, be even more effective for God in your community and gain valuable insights into reaching the next generation for the Lord.


Holy Spirit / Supernatural Ministry

Randy Clark Scholars: Presenting the Gospel as Jesus Intended —
In Love, Authority and Signs and Wonders

Drs. Paul King, Thomas Litteer, Jon Ruthven, and Tom Jones
See Mentors Directory

This Focus Group will prepare leaders both biblically and practically to understand the place of, and move in, the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit in proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. We will survey the biblical evidence concerning the relationship of miraculous healing to preaching the gospel in the ministry of Jesus recorded in the Gospels, as well as tracing the same relationship reflected in the New Testament epistles. We will also survey antecedents to healing ministry found in the Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament. The New Testament evidence clearly suggests that healing miracles are actually demonstrations of the gospel in action and are symbolic demonstrations of God’s forgiveness of sins through Christ. This group will also participate in prayer clinics involving practical equipping, training, and impartation of the Holy Spirit’s gifts and power, so that we can obey Jesus’ commands to his disciples to preach and to heal and to teach all believers to obey all that he commanded them.

Supernatural Ministry
Dr. Frank H. Billman
See Mentors Directory

This Focus Group will prepare leaders to live naturally supernatural and enable them to encourage the people in their ministries to do the same. This group will examine Spirit directed and empowered ministry in church history and in the church today. We will look at the biblical evidence for why signs, wonders and miracles are important. Being filled with the Spirit, intimacy with God, gifts of the Spirit, hearing God, prophecy, healing, deliverance, angelic encounters, raising the dead, “extraordinary miracles” [Acts 19:11], and impartation are some of the topics that will be considered. We expect participants to be released into supernatural ministry and equipped to impart that ministry into the lives of others. Through Aldersgate Renewal Ministries, participants will have the opportunity to be ministered to and minister at sessions of the Methodist School for Supernatural Ministry and the national Aldersgate conference.


Pastoral Leadership and Church Administration

Developing Leadership for Effective Programming in the
Post-Modern Generation

Drs. Sir Walter Lee Mack, Jr. and Dr. Herbert Miller
See Mentors Directory

This Focus Group will equip pastors and leaders in the local church who are seeking to take their understanding of preaching and leadership to a new level. Students will discover new and relevant models of preaching that speak to the total person. Within this group students will be given tools to effectively communicate the gospel to changing communities and address and empower participants to become creative and innovative leaders who will transform the workplace and the world. It will ultimately prepare students to become effective servant-leaders who are willing to take risks to radically impact the Kingdom.

Leadership Coaching: A Healthy Approach to Pastoral, Professional and Personal Development
Dr. Raymond A Bell, Jr.

This Focus Group is a balanced combination of peer group discussions on Coaching Education, Leadership, clergy renewal/self-care and research writing. Lectures will introduce the foundations of coaching as an alternative approach in pastoral leadership styles. Therefore, preaching, teaching, vision casting, small groups, etc., involves elements of the coaching process. Focus Group readings structure additional contributions for critical analysis, exploration, and reflection in this field of study. Peer discussions are regularly used in order to question, teach, and transform ones perspectives on coaching and leadership development. The course concludes with the development and implementation of an effective ministry model for pastors/clergy, a future story and a dissertation for review.

Leadership Development and Organization Dynamics for Kingdom Empowerment and Spiritual Transformation

Drs. J. Elvin Sadler and T. Anthony Spearman
See Mentors Directory

The purpose of this Focus Group is to assist leaders of apostolic reformations and religious denominational professionals (bishops, presiding elders, district superintendents, pastors, etc.) with developing the skill sets, tools and resources necessary to create, promote and sustain models for greater congregational leadership and organization development within their respective denominations/reformation movements.

The group will cover the following topics ranging from: leadership trait development, vision casting and strategic planning, organization dynamics and team building, denomination/reformation structural design/development/revision/refinement and ecclesiastical mentoring, administration and supervision.

Leadership in the Wesleyan Spirit
Rev. Dr. Andrew D. Kinsey
317.736.7962 | pastorandy@frankingrace.org

This Focus Group will explore the nature of “Leadership in the Wesleyan Spirit,” with special attention given to the importance of the General Rules in the practice of leadership. The Group will work on examining leadership within the Wesleyan theological tradition and explore ways of developing a critical framework for understanding the purpose of that leadership in the participants’ respective ministry settings. Members of the Group will also study key works from the field of leadership studies, within and without the Christian tradition, as well as ask questions about crafting the skills and habits of practical theologians in the Wesleyan tradition.

Ministerial Leadership Development with ICF Coaching Certification
Rev. Dr. HiRho Park, Faculty Mentor; Rev. Dr. Val Hastings, Faculty Consultant
See Mentors Directory

Get a D. Min. degree and an ICF Coach Certificate at the same time!

United Theological Seminary is offering an exciting Doctor of Ministry degree program in conjunction with an opportunity to become an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) through the International Coach Federation (ICF).

With the ICF accredited curriculum, students will learn an interdisciplinary approach of theological reflections on leadership in a global context that is biblical, multicultural, multiracial and multigenerational. It is our intent that those who participate in this program will be equipped to be more efficient Christian leaders with in-depth theological understandings as well as ICF core coaching competencies.

The program will use a comprehensive method of teaching, which will include an in-class learning opportunity, small group meetings and online learning.

Pastoral Care and Counseling

Drs. Jerome Stevenson and Thomas Francis
See Mentors Directory

This unique Focus Group is designed to empower and inform clergy who want to focus their ministry on pastoral care and/or counseling. It will have two foci: Student will participate in the appropriate session for either pastoral or counseling certification. The overall objective of this program is to help the student focus on a project conducive to his/her context of ministry.

Program Requirements

• Each student must have completed one unit of CPE or be enrolled in an accredited program to be completed within the next 24 months.
• Each student must have completed the required coursework in an accredited program with a M.Div. degree or equivalent in Pastoral Care and Counseling.
• All fees for these requirements will be paid by the student in addition to United tuition and fees. Federal student loans are available through our Financial Aid office.

Transformative Pastoral Leadership in a Millennial Generation
Dr. Lisa Weah
See Mentors Directory

The challenges of ministry in a millennial generation are numerous; therefore, ministry must be relevant and contextual if it is to be transformative. The objective of this focus group is to develop highly effective transformative preachers/leaders by exploring various leadership models which can be effectively utilized to transform churches and communities. Participants will engage in peer group discussions and research/analysis of biblical, traditional, contemporary and emerging models of transformative pastoral leadership, including preaching/teaching styles, that have affected positive church and community shifts. Tools of study will include lectures, readings, interviews, and on-site visitations with pastors/preachers who have successfully engaged transformative tools and methods. Upon completion of the course, students will be informed and equipped to develop new leadership models unique to their specific focuses and ministry contexts.

Transformative Leadership for Holistic Ministry in the 21st Century
Drs. Nicholas A. Meade and Angela B. Smith-Peeples
See Mentors Directory

This focus group is founded on the premise that effective preaching and transformative leadership embrace a theology of holistic ministry. Holistic ministry is undergirded by practical theology designed to reach people where they are spiritually, financially, emotionally, physically and socially. Because “holistic ministry” is a vast subject area, potential projects which may emanate from this doctoral focus group could include work in preaching, age or gender-specific ministries, survivor or recovery ministries, financial literacy, leadership/ministerial training and development, women in ministry, health and wellness, congregational care, etc. The objective of this group is to couple intentional leadership development with resources so as to lead participants to consider ministry from a holistic point of view.


Preaching

The Charles E. Booth Preaching Scholars: Maintaining the Prophetic Voice

Dr. Victor M. Davis
Email: vmdavis@united.edu
Phone: 614-332-8577

Dr. Harry L. White, Jr.
Phone: 919-274-9844

See Mentors Directory

The Rev. Dr. Charles E. Booth is one of the leading prophetic voices of the 21st century. Although he has been in the preaching ministry for 50 years, his preaching still maintains a relevant message for a changing generation. This group will empower the preacher to fulfill and maintain the prophetic voice through examination of the prophetic preaching tradition of Dr. Booth in light of scripture, theology, history and socio-culture. Dr. Booth will serve as a resource in personal sessions and through the Charles E. Booth Preaching Conference. Participants will develop preaching skills by exploring the study of the craft, skills, habits and the art of preaching.

Preaching and Leadership

Dr. Terry Thomas
See Mentors Directory

This Focus Group is designed to help pastors and clergy who want to focus on preaching to the present and next generation of people. It is designed to help pastors explore present day issues for communicating the gospel in the new century by engaging colleagues, examining resources, and involving the laity. The overall objective of the program is to produce the next generation of highly effective preachers/leaders.

Prophetic Preaching and Praxis

Drs. Robert Walker and Kenneth Cummings
See Mentors Directory

This Focus Group is designed to enable clergy and faith-based leaders to enhance their ministry effectiveness by becoming more intentional in linking proclamation and praxis. We will focus on all aspects of preaching with a particular emphasis on addressing the relationship between hermeneutics and Practical Theology. The group will function with the understanding that “Praxis” is central to the proclamation and its manifestation of God’s justice in the local church context and the community at large. It is a metaphor for the church’s engagement in the world beyond its walls, the civic society where decisions affecting our common lives are made through government, culture, business, entertainment, etc.

Students will develop projects that demonstrate congruency between proclamation and action/practice in their contexts. The projects will also be informed by prophetic preachers and models from the past and contemporaries (i.e. Harry Hoosier, Samuel DeWitt Proctor, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King, Jr., Gardner Taylor, Leonard Sweet).

This group will share a common bibliography, engage the principles of hermeneutical interpretation, systemic and institutional analysis and covenant with one another for mutual learning and support. Each student will identify a particular point of convergence where he/she will engage research and project development.


Social Justice

Biblical and Ethical Engagement for Social and Moral Imperatives

Dr. Sharon Ellis Davis
See Mentors Directory

The weight of apathy and feelings of hopelessness surround and engulf many members of our faith community. People attend church and ask, “Is there a word from the Lord that speaks to what I am going through?” The social and moral imperative of pastors and leaders is to develop ministries of teaching, preaching, and pastoral practices that critically and ethically engage Biblical text and theological assumptions toward developing new paradigms in ministry that will address the social ills and moral dilemmas people are challenged with today.

Enacting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Beloved Community

Dr. C. Anthony Hunt

Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of the leading theologians and church leaders of the 20th century. This cohort/course offers an historical, theological and socio-cultural analysis of the life and writings of Martin Luther King, Jr., with particular focus on the implications of King’s work on the contemporary church and society. The cohort/course will provide a foundation for the academic study of Martin Luther King, Jr. with particular focus on the historical and contemporary implications of his work and ministry within the context of congregational leadership, social justice and community building, and the development of models for realizing “Beloved Community.”

The Gardner C. Taylor Scholars: Prophetic Leadership — Social Justice
and Political Action

Drs. Jamison Hunter and Lester McCorn
See Mentors Directory

The purpose of this Focus Group is to empower preachers and pastors to fulfill the prophetic mantle placed upon them by way of their ministerial calling. This will be done through an examination of the prophetic preaching tradition within the Scriptures as well as within the history of the African American Church. Focus will be given to the historical background and contemporary relevance of both preaching and ministry that address the social and political realities of our time.