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The Christianisation of Papua New Guinea is a remarkable achievement in world mission. It has resulted in the vast majority of the population identifying themselves as Christians. There is, however, widespread recognition that many if not most of these believers have not progressed in their Christian journey since conversion and many have lapsed back into traditional beliefs and practices.

This project arises out of an invitation from the Melanesian Evangelical Churches of Christ to develop training that assists pastors and church leaders to improve discipleship outcomes for their people. In response to this invitation, the goal of the project was to equip church leaders in Papua New Guinea to develop disciples by providing a simple discipleship model that can be adapted for their local context.

Discipleship in the Gospels takes the form of a progressive journey to maturity rather than a single moment of conversion. Studies by Engel and Norton, and Willow Creek Community Church have reflected this through the creation of spiritual growth continua that describe several progressive stages on the journey to Christian maturity. This project examines such models and, coupled with biblical reflection and cultural insight, seeks to utilise them to create a spiritual growth continuum that is relevant for Melanesian believers.

This continuum forms the basis of a training experience that utilises stories, diagrams, and other oral learning methodologies. A transcript of the training experience including diagrams forms the final part of the project. An evaluation of the project and reflections on its effectiveness is also provided.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

First Advisor

Shaw, R. Daniel

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Papua New Guinea, Training, Discipleship, Melanesian


Christianity | Missions and World Christianity | Religious Education


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