Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Anderson Campbell, DMin

Second Advisor

Kevin Bates, DMin

Third Advisor

MaryKate Morse, PhD


Digital Natives (those who have grown up with technology) are not just a new generation, they are a new culture which learns in a different way than the literate culture of preceding generations, but with significant similarities to oral cultures. Because of this, storytelling training models effectively working within oral culture can be utilized with Digital Natives for the successful training of emerging leaders within the Church. Section 1 describes the problem: Digital Natives differ greatly from the generations before them, including the way they learn. This creates a challenge to the Church in developing new generations of Christian leaders. Section 2 examines a variety of methods that the Church is using to train Digital Natives for leadership, and asks whether or not they are fully connecting with this new culture. Section 3 examines primary oral cultures, and how they differ from literate culture, then makes the case that digital culture and oral cultures have much in common, and therefore what is being learned about effective training in oral cultures in the developing world can be utilized with Digital Natives. Sections 4 and 5 lay out the non-fiction book proposal that arises from this thesis: a series of workbooks, plus additional online companion material, for training Digital Native leaders using biblical storytelling. Section 6 lists out the many possibilities for future research in this area. The artifact is the first three workbooks in a series called The Story Leadership Initiative, plus the online companion material.