When experience and passion for ministry combine with the depth of academic study and immersion in current thinking, rich resources can emerge for the church to address the needs of its people.

Doctor of Ministry Colloquium


The Doctor of Ministry Colloquium organized biannually features the work of selected program graduates and serves as a platform for other ministry leaders to hear and discuss the results of their dissertation findings. The free and fully online event will take place on Friday, January 21, 2022, at 9:30 am ET. Find a schedule of events, details of each presentation, and the registration form below. 


Program Schedule:

  • 9:30 am: Welcome & Introductions
  • 9:40: Unlocking Women's Leadership with Dr. Carrie Starr
  • 10:10: Q&A with Dr. Carrie Starr
  • 10:20: Break
  • 10:25: Overcoming Barriers to Leadership Equality for Women with Dr. Tunya Griffin
  • 10:55: Q&A with Dr. Tunya Griffin
  • 11:05: Break
  • 11:10: Training Deacons to Preach: Current and Best Practices with Dr. Dennis E. Lohouse
  • 11:40: Q&A with Dr. Dennis E. Lohouse
  • 11:50: Closing

Descriptions of Presentations

Unlocking Women's Leadership: The Theology, Identity, and Community Benefitting Women Leaders in Christian Higher Education
Dr. Carrie Starr

Societal challenges make it difficult for women to lead. These obstacles are even more profoundly felt in the Christian subcultures, including churches, Christian non-profit organizations, and Christian higher education due to complementarian theology. Women are encouraged to pursue leadership roles far less frequently than men which limits the growth of their leadership identity. They also receive little support once they obtain leadership positions, making an encouraging community essential for women’s leadership success.

Women have much to offer society as leaders yet they are significantly underrepresented in executive positions, especially in Christian higher education. This dissertation describes the experiences of women in two distinct leadership development programs within the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU). The following questions are explored: What are the important personal attributes women identify as effective for Christian higher education leadership today? What elements of leadership development programs do women identify as helping them grow as effective leaders in Christian higher education?

Empowering women to unlock their leadership potential requires an investigation of women’s theology, identity, and community as supportive elements of their leadership development.

Overcoming Barriers to Leadership Equality for Women in the Church of God in Christ and African Methodist Episcopal Churches
Dr. Tunya Griffin

Slavery would not be abolished until the Black man has the Ballot. Beginning in 1865, legal and constitutional protections sought to secure the future of the Black community, as the fifteenth amendment, gave Black men the right to vote. However, the problem with the fifteenth amendment is that it left out half of the Black population, women. Once ratified in 1870, the amendment opens the door for Black men to exercise their political power nationwide. The Black churches and the historical trajectory in America have been rather strained. In response, the Black church became the site that not only Black men and women would be able to come and worship, but debate and discuss issues that were important to Black people. Get out to vote.

Throughout the Reconstruction era over 2000 men held political office and many of those were ministers. The moment that all things seemed possible, in particular for the Black church, however, all things did not seem possible for Black women. In this instance, the Black Church, in particular, has two identities: it has the identity of being oppressive of women and is also the savior for Black women. When women demand empowerment, they call out this dual contradiction for men to give up some power to women.

This dissertation will explore the duality of the Black church on issues of gender justice. Specifically, barriers to leadership equality for women in the Church of God in Christ, and African Methodist Episcopal Churches. The following questions are explored: What history, culture, and traditions have framed the conversation regarding women’s roles and have limited women’s ability to exercise their God-given gifts and ability, particularly as leaders, in these historical Black denominations? How is the social and theological framework in the twenty-first century changing the power dynamics between genders? What strategies, educational methods, and tools are useful in creating gender reconciliation and ensuring full equality of women in the historic Black Church?

Training Deacons to Preach: Current and Best Practices
Dr. Dennis E. Lohouse

One of the areas of diaconal ministry is proclaiming the Gospel and preaching the Word of God. Much has been written about the need for better preaching in the Catholic church, especially at Sunday Mass. This project considers the manner in which the United States diocese trains their deacons to preach reasoning that by evaluating these programs, a best practices approach can be developed leading to better outcomes.

As background, the project traces the development of liturgical preaching in the Christian church, back to the early days of Sunday home gatherings. The history of the diaconate is also traced back to the days of St. Paul, through the early days of the institutional church to the point where the diaconate ceased to be a separate order of the clergy. The project then reviews the emergence of the permanent deacon in the wake of Vatican II. The background material includes a survey of homiletics and its various component disciplines including hermeneutics, exegesis, rhetoric, and oratory.

Having established a historical context, the project evaluates current diaconal preaching formation practices and curricula. A survey of all 175 dioceses in the United States was conducted and analyzed. This information, along with other research and church documents was then used to assess these programs. In general, among those programs that responded, there was a very large variation in content, resources, classroom hours, opportunities for practice, and delivery schedules, ranging from full five-year programs to highly condensed ‘boot camp’ approaches to homiletic training. The project concludes with a set of specific recommendations, schedules, coursework and texts for use in diocesan formation programs.