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Publication Date

Summer 7-12-2018


The purpose of this doctoral project is to develop new ways of thinking about missional strategies for church planting in the urban context. It considers how a robust missional theology, rooted in the best of the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition, can take shape in a rapidly growing urban context. Additionally, it examines how these theological practices can nourish and promote a vibrant church planting movement for the Church of the Nazarene.

Part One examines the urban history of the Church of the Nazarene, with a particular focus on the missional strategies of first generation Nazarene leaders. There are sociological and ecclesial reasons why the second generation of Nazarene leaders began to disengage from the great urban areas. These include the influence of the evangelical mainstream’s move away from cities known as the “Great Reversal.” This regression removed the Church of the Nazarene from elemental facets of Wesleyan-Holiness theology, especially pertaining to the spiritual formation of Christlike disciples and efficacy of the means of grace.

Part Two defines particular aspects of Wesleyan-Holiness theology that contribute to the shaping of a Nazarene urban ecclesiology, concentrating on the importance of small groups, the means of grace, and compassion in the formation of Christian character. A biblical philosophy of Christian community is explored as a paradigm for urban churches.

Part Three summarizes the vision, strategy, and goals for urban church planting in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition. The strategy reviews three current models of Nazarene work in urban areas: renewal of established churches, immigrant churches, and compassionate ministries-based churches. With the practical implications of Wesleyan- Holiness ecclesiology as a guide, this project proposes a fourth developmental parish model evident in emerging expressions of Nazarene urban congregations. This parish church model presents transferrable methods and processes for diverse urban contexts.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Benefiel, Ron

Document Type





Church Planting, Wesleyan-Holiness, Church of the Nazarene



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