Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)




The times in which we live in the West grow more complex from year to year. This presents a problem, as church and para-church leaders find themselves increasingly less prepared to meet the demands of "missional leadership," that is, leadership that exemplifies and passes on the passion, practices and perspectives conducive to fostering growth in God and fruitful missionary engagement with his world.

In chapter one I identify this problem both from the vantage point of my own leadership journey and also from that of Christian leaders in general. I then propose my thesis: Amid the complexities, distractions and pressures of these times, missional Orders offer church and para-church leaders unique formational environments that can impart the leadership perspectives, capacities and practices they need to sustain their growth in God, their fruitfulness in ministry, and their faithful participation in God's mission to the world.

In chapter two I examine the monastic roots of missional Orders, looking in particular at various historic and contemporary Orders that had or now have a strong accent on mission. I also explore how missional Orders relate to local churches and the broader Body of Christ, including how they contribute to enhancing discipleship.

In chapter three I explore the biblical and theological underpinnings for the "Order-ed" life oriented around mission, highlighting four biblically grounded dynamics that when operative in unison provide the ethos conducive to forming missional Orders among leaders.

In chapter four I show how missional Orders specifically address the needs of church and para-church leaders, interweaving practical examples of how such Orders operate (and ending with a brief case study). I also explore some dynamics that help enhance and preserve the transformational edge of Orders.

In chapter five I seek to address the limitations and challenges of missional Orders, suggesting ways some of those real and perceived obstacles might be alleviated.

In my concluding chapter I provide a brief synopsis of the previous chapters, followed by a short account of how I am attempting to apply the missional Order concept among various leaders in my Portland context. I then close with some concluding reflections and thoughts on the place of missional Orders among leaders in the future.