Doctor of Ministry

Year Approved


First Advisor

Friesen Smith, Katie


This thesis presented a case for sustainable, post-baptismal discipleship in small, mostly African American Seventh-day Adventist churches in North America. By examining the prophetic tandem of Elijah and Elisha and the ministry of Jesus and the Seventy (two), the researcher looked to the Bible as the foundation for sustained discipleship. Building on that foundation, the researcher explored the resources of several scholars in the field of discipleship, particularly those who are African American, to assess their approach to sustainable discipleship. The researcher also reviewed a few sources in education and mentorship due to limited scholarship in the field. Next, he presented surveys and interviews that revealed principles of discipleship in the Adventist African American demographic. In synthesizing the biblical, theoretical, and practical resources, the five key factors that presented themselves were: purpose and passion, manageability for consistency, flexibility, personal spiritual growth, and daily commitment to Jesus Christ. The researcher then introduced a model of discipleship believed to be applicable to the said target group. Lastly, the research concluded with personal applications to ministry. The research findings indicate that: discipleship is sustainable, the model is simple, and the principles in the model are both biblical and necessary for sustainability.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

Document Type

Doctoral thesis