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The purpose of this paper, with attached training manual, is to offer a personalized approach to growth in Christian discipleship for adults of the Lenape Valley Presbyterian Church through the development of a personal growth plan around five faith practices: worship regularly, pray daily, learn and apply God’s Word, participate in a ministry, and give financially to the ministry of the church.

Lenape Valley Presbyterian Church, located in New Britain, Pennsylvania, sees its spiritual vitality diminished by the absence of a clear pathway for spiritual growth. Growing into true disciples committed to the missional character of the church has captivated the church’s current leadership, and direction for accomplishing this is being sought. This paper’s strategy is expected to result in self-reproducing disciples of Jesus Christ.

The paper includes three major parts. The first part addresses the contextual factors of the church, resulting in a nominal practice and experience of the Christian faith. Three chapters examine the context for ministry, the symptoms of the discipleship deficit, an assessment of underlying causes, and the consequences to congregational health and vitality.

The second part, divided into four chapters, provides a theological foundation for the local church to locate the center of its activity in raising up self-reproducing disciples of Jesus Christ. This part examines the missional impulse of the Scriptures and the call to form disciples through spiritual disciplines. It also illuminates learning goals, pedagogy, learning design, implementation, and assessment of the adult formation program.

The third section (appendix) contains the training and resource manual used by participants in the personalized approach to Christian discipleship. This manual consists of eight small-group-based experiences that precede the development of a personal growth plan for discipleship growth. An assessment tool identifies for participants both present strengths and opportunities for growth in personal discipleship. Three points of engagement shape the process of discipleship growth, recognizing the value of time alone, time in community, and time sharing with others.

Theological Mentor: Kurt Fredrickson, PhD

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Fredrickson, Kurt

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Lenape Valley Presbyterian Church (New Britain, Pa.); Discipling (Christianity); Spiritual formation


Missions and World Christianity


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