Date of Award


Document Type

Project Portfolio

Degree Name

Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives (DLd)



First Advisor

Diane Zemke, PhD

Second Advisor

Rebecca Jeong, PhD

Third Advisor

Jason Swan Clark, DMin, PhD


Through the discovery, design, and delivery stages of the doctoral project, I centered my work on the following NPO: Churches can thrive when they understand, navigate, and leverage the liminality existing between people, the community, and where God is leading. Despite the myriad of different contexts among local churches, whether polity, worship style, belief statements, and geographical locality, congregations are still composed of people living in relationship to one another and the community around them. Relationships, no matter their nature, are complicated. For the relationships within a local church to thrive, they require intentionality, coaching, effort, openness, and vulnerability. My vocational calling drives my research and project to serve Christ’s church. For over two decades, I have served as a local church pastor, congregational consultant/coach, and denominational leader within the Cooperative Baptist tradition. I cultivated an interactive book to address my NPO. The book is The Liminal Church: Why Navigating the Thresholds Between Us Leads to Thriving. The book examines social and cognitive science through a theological lens to enhance the church’s capacity for thriving. The book's goal is not to provide an anthological background of each topic but a starting place for healthy dialogue and exploration of how to navigate these challenges together as a local church. The book currently consists of seven completed chapters, with a strategic plan to write ten more. There are four main facets of each chapter: (1) Primary learning content; (2) Chapter recap; (3) Personal introspection; (4) Group design exercise. The remaining ten chapters will examine the role of differentiation, the psychology of fear and othering, the challenges that arise with personality types within a church, the social science of political tribalism, various communication and conflict management styles, understanding intergenerational gaps, the power of presence, and the essential ingredient of fun within a congregation.