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Publication Date

Winter 1-2019


This study explores and addresses the self-identified needs of people who long for intimacy with God with spiritual companions in community. The target audience is the dispersed constituency of Renovaré. The Fellowship of the Burning Heart, a religious order, was designed to meet this need.

Fellowship of the Burning Heart’s intent is to fan into flames participants’ love for God, each other, and the world through regional gatherings of a sustained community of Christocentric fellowship around a shared rule of life and shared experiences with God. This will happen both annually at a retreat and in small groups throughout the year. The potential impact can be transformational, reaching deep into relationships and culture.

The practice of community is argued to be intrinsic to humanity’s creation and vital to the wholeness and freedom God offers each Christ-follower. This need is not always met in a local congregation. Renovaré’s origin, core values, and beliefs are examined, as well as cultural and subcultural influences contributing to perceived isolation. Additionally, the benefits of a religious order in modern culture are highlighted.

Through an examination of Scripture, a theological rationale for this ministry initiative is developed. Theological contributions to the design of the order are drawn from the spirituality of the desert fathers and mothers, early Orthodox theologians, Ignatius of Loyola, and Dallas Willard.

Core values, goals, strategies, and structures are created for the order, and the first local pilot is chronicled, including the implementation timeline, the process, and the evaluation of the initial phase. Outcomes were rated highly in participant surveys. A plan for future ongoing implementation and evaluation is provided for the subsequent development of additional sustainable local chapters.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Gary W. Moon, PhD

Document Type





Renovaré, Companions, Communities, Order, Dallas Willard, Ignatius of Loyola, Listening, Fostering


Christianity | New Religious Movements


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