Doctor of Ministry

Year Approved


First Advisor

McNeff, Mike


This research project focused on the development of a unified theological vision for the missional movement with specific attention given to the United States. The researcher conducted a thorough investigation of Scripture and current biblical material in order to discern the barriers existing within the missional movement. The researcher looked at key areas that shape the missional church planting movement: leadership development, theological interpretation of the early church, church planting methods and practice, ecclesiology, and the application and interpretation of Ephesians 4:11. Four church planting organizations participated: North American Mission Board (NAMB), Acts 29 Network, Association of Related Churches (ARC), and Converge Worldwide. The researcher developed a questionnaire of eight questions. Each leader from the four movements was asked the same eight questions. The questionnaire revealed that there is indeed a disconnect from one movement to the next in terms of areas mentioned above. For example, all four interviewees offered little knowledge or discussion of the Ephesians 4:11 passage nor the Acts 2:42-47 passage. The data also revealed that leadership development was focused more on curriculum outcomes as opposed to relational health; yet each interviewee mentioned the importance of raising healthy leaders. As a result of the findings from this project, the researcher offered four recommendations for creating a unified theological vison for the missional church movement. Recommendation 1: that missional church planters should be fully engaged in the life of the community. Recommendation 2: that church planters focus more on the Kingdom of God than on issues of individual churches. Recommendation 3: that missional church planting movements develop a theological interpretation for key missional verses such as Acts 2:42-47 for an organic relational approach for a missional ecclesiology. Recommendation 4: that missional church planting movements move toward a theological understanding on cultivating an apostolic ethos from Ephesians 4:11.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

Document Type

Doctoral thesis