Doctor of Ministry

Year Approved


First Advisor

Reed, Rod


The Peninsula-Delaware Conference of the United Methodist Church covers the Eastern Shore of Maryland and the State of Delaware. The area, known as the “Birthplace of Methodism,” has 451 churches. Many churches are older, small membership congregations and are not able to afford their own pastor. Many pastors serve multiple congregations as part of a United Methodist Charge. As issues in surrounding communities become more complex, attendance declines, and resources diminish, congregations must work together in order to make a significant impact on their communities and fulfil the Great Commission. Throughout biblical history there are examples of God calling His people to work together. Through the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, God models collaboration. Secular fields, including healthcare and education, have discovered the need for collaboration. Many congregations in the Peninsula-Delaware Conference of the United Methodist Church are working together effectively in ministry and mission. For this project case studies were conducted on three United Methodist Charges. Each Charge was comprised of multiple congregations under the supervision of one pastor and was considered by Conference leadership to be effective in collaborative ministry and mission. Information was gathered through face-to-face interviews with pastors and key representatives from the laity, multiple site-visits and personal observations, church-produced documents, and open-ended questionnaires. Through grounded theory and coding of the data, key elements necessary for building an effective collaborative relationship between multiple congregations were identified. The project was designed to help pastors on multi-point Charges yield effective collaborative ministry and mission. These key elements could also help congregations from different denominations in the same geographical area begin to work together. Furthermore, these practices might be applied within a large congregation where multiple groups, each with their own unique personality, would be more effective if they worked together collaboratively.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

Document Type

Doctoral thesis