Starting a Doctoral Program in Spiritual Formation and Leadership | Team Approach to Teaching

Hey fam,

Good news! My Dad, Mike Harrison, will be teaching the next two Sundays on "The Future Age Part 1" (teaser for the close of the series) and "The Present Age."

I am in the last few weeks of my Master of Arts in Church Ministry degree, and it's a bit rigorous. So, I asked my Dad to teach these two sermons in our series, which I know will be a treat for you.

I am also starting my Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Formation and Leadership degree at Richmont Graduate University next month. It will be two years of classes and one year for writing a dissertation. I will be in Georgia this August, absent for a few weeks. Read about the degree here. You will notice how it fits the vision I have laid out at Church 212, which is why I applied for the program.

In light of this, we will have a team approach to the Sunday teaching schedule when needed. I'll be honest with you about the main reason. I want to be healthy personally, have a healthy marriage, raise Godly children, and still be a successful leader for you. To do that and get the most out of this D.Min. program, I will share the pulpit with the staff a little more.

To clarify: I am still primarily teaching Sundays and leading/shepherding the staff and church culture. You can read about how I lead the staff in this blog post.

I am excited about the doctoral program and doing it to better shepherd your spiritual growth. A thesis idea I've had in my mind for some time is this: how do personal spiritual formation and congregational formation lead to effective cultural engagement? (i.e., serving our city, pursuing a better social order, sharing the gospel, etc.).

The Dean of my college was getting emotional as he reflected on some of the people God is orchestrating to pour into our lives during this program. I will have the opportunity to sit under N.T. Wright, a well-known New Testament theologian today. Also, you have heard me quote Dallas Willard often. He was a professor of philosophy at USC for 40 years but was also a tremendous spiritual writer and Christ follower.

He is famously known for exuding a presence of contentment and friendship with Jesus. Our staff is starting his book, Renovation of the Heart, if you want to read it with us. There is also a student edition for easier reading. August's reading for the staff is Chapter 1. Please, I invite you to join us!! Shout out to Angie and Joe Bazan for buying these books and already begun reading!

Dallas Willard has mentored contemporary pastors such as John Ortberg, who mentored John Mark Comer. Although Willard has passed now, a few of my professors have been personally mentored by him. So, I am delighted to be part of the spiritual formation family tree.

I am learning and growing that I may bring more value to you.

Thanks for your patience this season.

Daniel Harrison
Lead Pastor

No Comments