Date of Award


Document Type

Project Portfolio

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Luisa Gallagher Stevens, PhD

Second Advisor

Kathy Noling, DMin

Third Advisor

MaryKate Morse, PhD


My NPO statement is that at Menlo Church, Menlo Park Campus there is a lack of applied knowledge for adults in how to listen to God. My ministry context is at Menlo Church which is a historic presbyterian church set in the highly educated and affluent town of Menlo Park, which is in the San Francisco Bay Area. I began working at Menlo Church in 2019 and found there was a general intellectual knowledge of prayer and spiritual formation. This intellectual knowledge of spiritual formation has been influenced by leadership of John Ortberg as senior pastor, and other voices such as Dallas Willard being able to speak at the church. However, in my research in my workshops, general observations of being a pastor, and talking with congregants about their lives, it became clear there was a lack of spiritual formation structures for people to gain experience in applying this knowledge to their daily lives. This is why I began to seek how to help in this area of applied knowledge, where I could springboard from the intellectual knowledge of formation as a foundation for congregants to create structures where they could gain new applied skills in listening to God, which I see as the base foundation to growing in spiritual formation.

My project is called Thin Places and is a 6-week Prayer Guide designed to help people build new rhythms of prayer with the support of community. The guide will lead participants in daily meditations and prayer practices which are designed to help expand their personal experience of prayer. There are six themes that I saw within my research as key topics for people to focus on to help them move closer to God in their everyday life. The themes help them address their views of God, self, other people, and their everyday circumstances. Having this guide interact in a group structure at my church is part of the project and each week has a listening group exercise for the participants to meet with a small group or a pastor. This focus on integrating the guide into a group structure is to help the participants to process in community how they are learning to interact with God. The combined components of this project should enable someone to have more applied knowledge in how to listen to God, listen to themselves, and to listen to others.

Included in

Christianity Commons