Here is the list of the professors who influenced me in my doctor of ministry course work. I do not recall all of the course titles. Apparently, receiving an unofficial transcript from the seminary is a laborious process, so I gave up trying. In any event, here they are in this concise list.
Eddie Gibbs: Missiology, Postmodernism. What I appreciated about Eddie is his scholarly curiosity co-mingled with his missionary heart. He is the first to introduce me to concepts of post-modernity and the different ways that many are doing church in the Western hemisphere. Frankly, it was refreshing to see that it is possible to break out of the confining molds of certain ways of doing church so that we may be more missionally sensitive in the locations where God has placed us.
Leith Anderson: Administrator Extraordinaire, leadership principles. Leith definitely lives and breaths in the modern mold of ministry, at least he did when I met him. This is not a bad thing. He obviously ministers very effectively in his context in Minnesota. I especially appreciated a chapel talk he gave, cogently analyzing the culture from a biblical worldview. He is a gifted communicator and marvelous administrator, especially in terms of organizing ministry and marketing it to his culture.
John Armstrong: Spiritual Formation; Lectio Divina, accountability and spiritual leadership. I appreciate John’s vulnerability and his passion for Jesus Christ. He lives on the sharp edge of difficult church and spiritual formation issues. I liked how he gave practical tools for spiritual formation and reminded us that moral failure can happen to anyone when we cease to be vigilant and accountable.
Brian McLaren: Postmodernism, Emergent Church, Missional Living, paradigm shifts. Brian blew open the pandora’s box of postmoderism for me. Yet I am surviving the ride. I am not emergent in terms of being involved in his or any other emergent movement. But I am different from what I was once was in my thinking and attitudes. Those who are emergent likely would be frustrated with some of my challenges to their thinking. Those who are evangelical, like me, and also modern, likely would be frustrated by some of my challenges to the way they frame dialogue between followers of Jesus and the lost. In fact, I have had some become angry at me for calling myself a follower of Jesus, rather than identifying with a specific denomination (yes, I am a part of a denomination, but I do not follow it in the same sense I follow Jesus!). Brian’s weeklong course precipitated a cascade of thinking, writing, praying, struggling in me. It truly was instrumental in changing the course of my doctor of ministry program for the better, especially as it pertains to my dissertation. This is partly due to the fact I had a life-altering employment loss experience not long after the course. But that is a discussion for another post.
Todd Hunter: Segue between Evangelicals and Emergent. Todd is a strong voice of moderation between evangelicals and emergent, which I appreciate. He understands the complexities between varying worldviews, especially when they interact.
Randy Frazee: Creating Margin in Life And Family. Randy makes a lot of sense and deserves to be heard and read. But be prepared to be discomfitted when he prods you, pokes you, and challenges the way you now live. Curious? Then read his books. You won’t be the same. I do not agree with everything he says. I do think we need to take him seriously as we move forward with our ridiculously complex lives. We cannot afford not to do so. His teaching and writing has been instrumental in informing the direction of my dissertation.