Developing Spiritually Healthy Leaders for the Vineyard Churches in Russia

Publication Date



The purpose of this study is to explore and address the spiritual formation needs of Russian Vineyard leaders. This study arose from the author's observation of the moral and/or spiritual failure of many Russian Christian leaders and recognition of the need for contextualized leadership training in Russia. Part I establishes that optimal spiritual formation occurs via the intentional practice of spiritual disciplines in the context of authentic community, and that pursuit of spiritual formation is crucial for leaders hoping to finish well. Obstacles to spiritual formation at the intersection of the Vineyard and post-Soviet Russian contexts are examined. An instructional design model based on Dialogue Education is proposed for designing spiritual formation training. Part II outlines the author's twenty-one semistructured, in-depth interviews with current and former Russian Vineyard leaders revealing their spiritual formation needs. Analysis of the data yielded four findings: (1) the Russian Vineyard leaders suffer from a lack of spiritual vitality; (2) their lack of spiritual vitality corresponds with lack of relational intimacy; (3) the predominant leadership paradigm practiced in the Vineyard likely fosters lack of relational intimacy; and (4) the Russian Vineyard has a gap in their leadership-training curriculum regarding spiritual formation. Part III describes the design of a spiritual-formation retreat and proposes a long-term strategy for improving the health of the Russian Vineyard. The expectation is that this study will help to improve the spiritual vitality of the Russian Vineyard leaders and, subsequently, their churches.

Degree Name

Doctor of Intercultural Studies (DIS)

First Advisor

Myers, Andrew

Document Type





Christian leadership, Spiritual formation, Spiritual life, Spiritual direction, Missions, Russia


Christian Denominations and Sects | Christianity | Missions and World Christianity


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