Date of Award


Document Type

Project Portfolio

Degree Name

Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives (DLd)



First Advisor

Kristin Hamilton, DLd

Second Advisor

Christine Roush, DMin

Third Advisor

Jason Swan Clark, DMin, PhD


The Western American Evangelical theological tradition has been marred by expressions of homophobia, misogyny, racism, and a problematic alignment with political power. This prevailing theological stance, lacking in inclusivity and imagination, has hindered a holistic understanding of faith and justice, precipitating a crisis within many evangelical churches. This project proposes a novel pathway for those disillusioned with or departed from the evangelical church, commonly referred to as ex-evangelicals.

Central to this project is the exploratory question: “What was in God’s imagination in the beginning?” While not claiming to discern God's intentions definitively, this inquiry has yielded insights valuable to the ex-evangelical community and those on the fringes of evangelicalism. My perspective stems from an 18-year pastoral career that spanned across various churches and roles. The genesis of this research occurred during my tenure as a pastor in a congregation of which I remain part. However, I have since stepped down from my pastoral role, partially influenced by the findings of this study. This doctoral project culminates in a theological framework with six pillars named "The Holy Imagination of God."

This concept, theologically anchored in Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:26-27, broadens these foundational verses to emphasize God’s dynamic, inclusive, and transformative nature. It advocates for integrating diverse perspectives into theological discourse, aligning with the themes of creation, the divine image, justice, and responsible dominion present in these biblical passages. "

The Holy Imagination of God" seeks to reinvigorate theological thought, offering a fresh lens through which to view the divine narrative and its implications for contemporary faith practices. It challenges traditional interpretations, inviting believers to engage in a deeper, more nuanced understanding of the divine. This framework not only enriches personal faith but also encourages constructive dialogues within diverse faith communities, fostering a more compassionate and inclusive approach to spirituality.