Date of Award


Document Type

Project Portfolio

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Holley Clough, DMin

Second Advisor

Dominic Abaria, DMin


This project was born in response to the following NPO: Because the church often has difficulty talking about divisive issues in a healthy or constructive way, there is an opportunity to create new patterns of relating, which could lead to greater listening and understanding, deepened community, being more formed in Jesus’ likeness, and becoming compelling witnesses for Him.

A key insight emerging from research was how there is a true need for God’s people to come together in order to be vulnerable and truly hear one another. This takes a fair amount of trust and self-awareness. Another insight which arose was how there are strong tenets which help from a Wesleyan ethos to be able to bridge some of these divides in practical ways.

My ministry context is that I am the Lead Pastor of a mid-size Free Methodist church in Southern California. This local congregation is fairly healthy and committed to growing in what it means to follow Christ, as well as living out an authentic expression of God’s love in the community. I also serve in the larger denomination, where I hope this project may also be of help.

In order to bridge the gaps, to continue to grow spiritually, and to seek the truth of God, this project presents a model of a twelve-week discussion group entitled, “That We May Be One.” This will serve to create new spaces for dialogue and listening, both to one another and to the Holy Spirit. Through research-based elements such as pre-gathering conversations, questions to help break vulnerability barriers, teaching new tools, an emphasis on Wesleyan constructs, spiritual formation practices, and the opportunity to talk about difficult topics together, this offers a life-giving method for deepening the common unity Christians can truly live into.

Included in

Christianity Commons