Fresh Expressions and the Future Church
A fresh expression is a missional, contextual, formational, and ecclesial form of church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of those who are not yet part of any church. Thousands of fresh expressions are emerging across the globe. Inherited congregations involved in their cultivation are experiencing forms of revitalization, in what has been called a “blended ecology of church.” This cohort, led by leading practitioners, the first of its kind in the US, is created for entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs passionate about leading local churches in mission on the edge.
Graduates of the Fresh Expressions and Church Renewal Doctor of Ministry program will:
- Demonstrate an advanced understanding and integration of fresh expressions/pioneer ministry in relation to leadership and post-Christendom culture
- Formulate a comprehensive understanding of the missional church movement, while developing and acquiring skills in research methods, critical thinking, and academic voice
- Foster competencies in contextual intelligence, missional church planting, and the anticipation of trends for local ministry application through the completion of a doctoral-level project
- Engage with diverse cultural, religious, and linguistic contexts of ministry through an immersive cross-cultural field experience
- Learn adaptive skills for a new missional frontier, including navigating the relationship between “caring for the center, experimentation on the edge” or re-missioning traditional congregations to become fresh expressions incubators
- Hone practical renewal skills like cultivating healthy/holy teams, having crystal clear focus, establishing thoughtful, biblical, Wesleyan strategies, and practicing continually getting better
- D.Min., Portland Seminary, George Fox University (2019)
- M.Div., Asbury Theological Seminary (2016)
Rev. Dr. Michael Beck is Director of Re-Missioning for Fresh Expressions US and Cultivator of Fresh Expressions for the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church. He serves as the co-pastor of Wildwood UMC and St. Marks UMC with his wife Jill, where they direct addiction recovery programs, an interracial unity movement, and house inpatient treatment centers. Wildwood and St. Marks are traditional congregations and a network of thirteen fresh expressions that gather in tattoo parlors, dog parks, salons, running tracks, community centers, burrito joints, and digital spaces.
Michael earned a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary and a Doctorate in Semiotics and Future Studies at Portland Seminary with his mentor Dr. Leonard Sweet. He’s the author of eight books, including Deep Roots, Wild Branches: Revitalizing the Church in the Blended Ecology, Deep & Wild: Remissioning Your Church from the Outside In, and Painting with Ashes, and co-author of A Field Guide to Methodist Fresh Expressions with Jorge Acevedo, Contextual Intelligence: Unlocking the Ancient Secret to Mission on the Front Lines with Leonard Sweet, Fresh Expressions in a Digital Age: How the Church Can Prepare for a Post-Pandemic World with Rosario Picardo, and The 21st Century Christian: Following Jesus Where Life Happens with Michael Moynagh.
Luke Edwards is the Associate Director of Church Development for the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church.