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This project implemented and analyzed a strategy using coaching and instruction to equip participants in Brookwood Community Church in Shakopee, Minnesota to approach work as a facet of their vocation. Shakopee is a suburban community on the edge of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area filled with middle-class families working in professional capacities yet struggling to find meaning in their work. This project sought to help participants think theologically about their calling, vocation, and work.

This project defines vocation as the unique task God naturally and supernaturally shapes every follower of Jesus to do that shares his mission. It utilizes instruction and coaching to help participants discover the assets and experiences that inform their vocation within the context of God’s mission and work. Finally, coaches help participants create personal development plans designed to use their refined vocational understanding to guide future decisions and actions.

Part One gives detailed consideration to the character of Shakopee and the identity of Brookwood Community Church. Specifically, it identifies historical trends that have shaped Shakopee and led to persistent values concerning work. Then it examines the church’s ministry philosophy and specific ministries that already address work and vocation. Part Two delves into the theology undergirding vocation, its relationship to work and the Church’s place in discerning both. First, key books present and challenge a schema for understanding vocation. Then Part Two examines both the challenges and resources free-church ecclesiology poses for relating work and vocation. Finally, Part Two outlines a theology of work and vocation. Part Three reviews the experiences of a test group that worked through a process to understand and identify their God-given vocation. Part Three analyzes and evaluates the effectiveness of this strategy and draws conclusions about steps to improve the process and implement it on a broader scale.

Content Reader: Tom Sine, PhD

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Sine, Tom

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Brookwood Community Church (Shakopee, Minn.); Vocation; Protestant churches; Work


Missions and World Christianity


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April 2018

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