Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Phil Newell

Second Advisor

Jared Roth


The Salvation Army in the southeastern United States is currently facing challenges with retention of its ordained leaders called Officers. Causes for post- commissioning defection center around the need for changes in the context in which training and learning occurs. This study examines the need for Biblical Hospitality as an environment that hosts transformational opportunities and creates the context needed for leadership development across the system and within individuals in the U. S. A. Southern Territory.

There is a return to Biblical Hospitality, which is finding its place in multiple areas of life with life-transforming opportunities and results. For the purposes of this paper, the definition and practice is expanded from the most widely used definition of welcoming the other to using Christine Valters Paintner’s definition of biblical hospitality as, “both an inner and outer spiritual practice that not only welcomes the other external to ourselves but welcomes in all of the exiled pieces of ourselves, essential for the healing of the world.”

This definition deepens the work of biblical hospitality, creating an environment that is foundational to spiritual leadership. The practice and environment of Biblical Hospitality retains leader development in the domains of relationships, spiritual life, emotional life, and community rather than the more secular based training offered post- commissioning.

Unless Biblical Hospitality is an intentionally cultivated environment, disconnects in the meaning of knowledge, service, and love will occur, and leader development will be skewed in favor of information, skills, and personal attributes, leading to performance based ministry rather than intentional practices that cultivate the spiritual, emotional, and relational life of the leader

This study considers the hypothesis that the environment of Biblical Hospitality offers space, place, and resources to develop the internal personal foundations and external proficiencies that will positively impact retention, well-being, joy, and effectiveness of leaders.

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Christianity Commons