Date of Award


Document Type

Project Portfolio

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Luisa Gallagher Stevens, PhD

Second Advisor

Kathy Noling, DMin


Although there are various learning offerings within the context of the church, women can experience a disconnect between the head and the heart, between knowing about God and knowing God. The women involved in this study hunger for greater intimacy with God. They attend weekend worship services and weekly church Bible studies. Yet, they say they know there is more of God, desire to know Him more profoundly, and are searching for a deeper relationship with Him.

The roots of the practices used for spiritual formation today are found in the ancient rhythms of the desert mothers and fathers of the third and fourth centuries. While they lived in a cultural, social, and relational setting vastly different from today, they sought to live out their faith and deepen their transformation into Christlikeness. These practices have ushered people into the presence of God and helped them create deeper intimacy with Him for centuries. Allowing for the culture of today, much can be learned by returning to the ancient practices of the desert mothers and fathers. Those practices can teach women to allow space to be present before Him; to be quiet, contemplative, and prayerful; and to provide experiences for these women they have not yet had.

This study focuses on women’s ministry groups within large, conservative, evangelical churches. These churches typically provide small group Bible studies, periodic serving opportunities, and yearly conferences where women enjoy fellowship and learning yet still search for more depth in their relationship with God.

The Doctoral Project is a small group curriculum that introduces women to spiritual practices and rhythms and emphasizes that spiritual formation is an ongoing process that occurs when our lives are centered on Jesus. The curriculum contains teaching, individual practice, reflection, group sharing, and suggestions for continuing to use these spiritual practices.

Included in

Christianity Commons