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The goal of this study was to expose personal and systemic fear as a significant contributor to individual and institutional compromise. Fear has been a subtle and deceptive influence on all societies since the beginning of humankind. Its paralyzing affect on individuals, living self-validating and self-sanctifying lives, translates into compromised relationships and fear-driven behavior. Leaders carry this damaging predisposition into professional roles and as a result their associated institutions suffer great compromise and risk irrelevancy.

Scriptural study indicates that since the earliest of times a fear-based “duck and cover” response has defined personal behavior. A pretentious outer shell is the tool used to self-protect. This charade limits authentic relationships and hampers significant influence. Ironically, this deceptive pattern almost always goes unnoticed and unaddressed.

King College is one institution addressing personal and institutional fear. It is renegotiating its long-standing operational and ideological patterns while implementing significant institutional changes. While the process is a challenging one, and the change substantial, the results are overwhelmingly positive. Along with many other significant growth initiatives, The King College School of Medicine is a dramatic and missional influence in the region and around the world.

Organizations with challenges similar to King College’s would do well to execute a process of missional change. Community partnering is a visionary expression of inclusive theology. This theological paradigm shift is grounded in the historic attributes of God’s love, freedom and acceptance. With this truth, individuals and organizations can abandon their fear-driven practices and experience honest, authentic relationships with God and others. Abundant living is then possible, creating genuine opportunities for love, growth, and enhanced influence.

Theological Mentor: Kurt Fredrickson, DMin

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Fredrickson, Kurt

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King College (Bristol, Tenn.); Fear; Change; Presbyterian universities and colleges; Christian universities and colleges


Missions and World Christianity


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