Professor of Practical Theology and Christian Discipleship
I came to teaching later in my adult life after working as a videographer in broadcast journalism. Through God’s call to ministry, I developed a deep passion for teaching, whether in Sunday School, undergraduate teaching, ministry seminars, and now here at NTS as Professor of Practical Theology and Christian Discipleship. Teaching describes both a daily craft and a research field, so I have spent a lot of my time also serving as a consultant with the Church of the Nazarene for my work in youth, children and family ministry as well as guiding a number of efforts in general Christian discipleship. My love for academics and ministry find expression through my editorship of Didache: Faithful Teaching, an on-line academic journal in the Wesleyan tradition, as well as guiding clergy development in the USA/Canada for the Church of the Nazarene. Beyond my denominational commitments, I found myself fortunate to serve as president of the Religious Education Association, an ecumenical, interfaith, organization that has been in existence for more than 100 years, and also to serve as board chair of Youthfront a Kansas City based national youth ministry training organization. Those relationships allow me to maintain a broad network of ecumenical and evangelical professionals working on the front edge of ministry and education.
I grew up on science fiction stories, and still have a love for science, technology, and media (I guess that makes me a well educated sci-fi geek) as well as an unending curiosity and desire to explore new fields, like neuroscience, and their potential for theology and ministry. Recently I have begun to explore the relationship between work, innovation, and economics as a gateway into new forms of ministry. My “vocation” may be that of an explorer, always seeking new horizons of study that will ultimately serve the Kingdom of God.
John Wesley and the Means of Grace: An Approach to Christian Religious Education, Ph.D. Diss., Claremont School of Theology, May 1999. Ann Arbor, Mich.: UMI, 1999.
Contributor: "Chapter Five: Narrative Teaching: Learning how to teach the Story of God" in Worship Centered Teaching. Eds. Rick Edwards and Jim Hampton. Kansas City, Mo.: Beacon Hill of Kansas City, 2001.
Contributor: "Homogeneity," "Heterogeneity," "Laissez Faire," "Learning Theory," and "Management by Objectives." Evangelical Dictionary of Christian Education. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 2001
Contributor: Dorm Room Devotions. Kansas City: Beacon Hill of Kansas City, 2003.
Contributor: "Faithful Discipleship: A Conjoined Catechesis of Truth and Love." In Considering the Great Commission: Explorations for a Wesleyan Praxis of Mission and Evangelism. Eds. W. Stephen Gunter and Elaine A. Robinson. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2005
Contributor: Wesley Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2009
Contributor: “What Is the Emerging and Emergent Church?” In Postmodern AND Wesleyan: Exploring the Boundaries and the Possibilities. Eds. Jay Akkerman and Brent Peterson. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 2009. 101-105.
• Contributor: “Emergence as Transformation: Exploring Personal Religious Experience as Promise in Open and Relational Theology.” In Creation Made Free: Open Theology Engaging Science. Edited by Thomas J. Oord. Eugene, Ore. Pickwick Publications, Summer 2009, 237- 60.
Co-author with Mark A Maddix. Discovering Discipleship: The Dynamics of Christian Education. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 2010
Contributor: “Living Wesleyan Theology in Today’s World.” In Wesleyan Theology and Social Science: The Dance of Practical Divinity and Discovery. Edited by M. Kathryn Armistead, Brad Strawn, and Ron Wright. Cambridge University Books 2010, 161-176.
Contributor: “Faithful Discipleship: A Missional Catechesis” In Missio Dei Edited by Keith Schwanz and Joseph Coleson. Kansas City: NTS/Beacon Hill Press, 2011, 141-148.
Contributor: “What Has Happened to Sin: Re-conceptualizing Childhood Depravity in an Alternative Theological Anthropology” In Children’s Spirituality: New Perspectives edited by Kevin Lawson. Eugene: OR: Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2012, 60-83.
Contributor: “Relational Theology and Means of Grace” In Relational Theology: A Contemporary Introduction edited by Brint Montgomery, Tom Oord, and Karen Winslow. Eugene OR: Point Loma Press/Wipf & Stock 2012, 70-72.
Contributor: “The Church as Formational Fellowship” in Essential Church: A Wesleyan Paradigm edited by Diane LeClerc and Mark A. Maddix. Kansas City, MO: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2013.
Contributor (12 articles) Encyclopedia of Christian Education, 3 Volumes. Edited by George Thomas Kurian and Mark A. Lamport, Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2015
Co-Author with Doug Hardy, Prayer: Sharing Intimate Space with God. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City, 2015
Co-Editor and Author, “Technology and the Brain,” and “Neuroscience and Christian Worship: Practices that Change the Brain” in Neuroscience and Christian Formation: The intersection of Science and Faith, edited by Mark A. Maddix and Dean G. Blevins. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, 2016.
Contributor, “When Neuroscientists Speak Religiously: Navigating Neuroscientific
Metaphysical Claims,” Metaphysicians” in Connecting Faith and Science: Philosophical and
Theological Inquiries, edited by Matthey Nelson Hill and Curitis Holtzen. Claremont, CA:
Claremont School of Theology, forthcoming
Editor: Didache Faithful Teaching (2002-present)
"Means of Grace: Toward a Wesleyan Praxis of Spiritual Formation" Wesleyan Theological Journal, 32, n. 1 (Spring 1997) 69-84
"Particularity, Community and Society: A Dialogue Between Formation and Border Crossing as Postmodern Education" Religion and Education 24, n. 2 (Fall 1997) 14-27
"Worship: Formation and Discernment" Wesleyan Theological Journal 33, n. 1 (Spring 1998) 11-27
"Denominational Identity and Higher Education," Christian Education Journal 32, n. 2 (Fall 1998) 11-22
"David Kolb and Connected Knowing: Re-Visioning Experiential Dialectics Through a Women's Epistemological Framework" Religion and Education 26, n.1 (Summer 1999) 73-82
"Resident Aliens and the Exercise of Power," Wesleyan Theological Journal 34, n. 2 (Fall 1999) 175-95
"The Means of Grace and Ways of Knowing: A Wesleyan Approach to Sacramental Learning" Christian Education Journal 4NS, n. 1 (Spring 2000) 7-40
"Contagion Christians and Resident Clones: Discernment and Power in the Marketplace of Ministry" Journal of the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education Vol. 16 (2000-2001) 50-65
"The Means of Grace and the Trinity: A Sacramental Interrelationship" Wesleyan Theological Journal 36, no. 1 (Spring 2001) 231-55
"Practical Christian Thinking: Youth and Revivals" Journal for Youth Ministry 2, no. 1 (Spring 2001)
"Empowering Students for Learning and Ministry" Didache: Faithful Teaching 1, no. 1 (Summer 2001)
"The Intellectual Ascetic: Scholarship, Pedagogy and the Recovery of Collegiality" ARC: A Journal of Religious Studies, McGill University (Fall 2001) 123-38
"We are the Church: The Liturgical Construction of the Self" Doxology: A Journal of Worship Vol. 18 (2001) 95-112
"Healing Grace and Leadership: Analytic Psychology and Community" Wesleyan Theological Journal 37, no. 2 (Fall 2002). 153-71
"Educating the Liturgical Self: A Sacramental View of Pedagogy" Journal of Christian Education: Australian Christian Forum on Education 45, no. 3 (Dec. 2002) 7-20
"Practicing the New Creation: Wesley’s Eschatological Community Formed by the Means of Grace" Asbury Theological Journal 57, no. 2 and 58, no. 1 (Fall 2002/Spring 2003). 81-104
"A Wesleyan View of the Liturgical Construction of the Self," Wesleyan Theological Journal 38, no. 2 (Fall 2003) 7-29
" Holy Church, Holy People: A Wesleyan Exploration in Congregational Holiness and Personal Testament" Wesleyan Theological Journal 39, no 2 (Fall 2004) 54-73
"Global Pedagogy: A Table Conversation" Christian Education Journal Series 3, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Fall 2004) 140-51
"On Earth as (if) It Were in Heaven: Practicing a Liturgical Eschatology" Wesleyan Theological Journal 40, no 1 (Spring 2005) 69-92
“Renovating Christian Education in the 21st Century: A Wesleyan Contribution” Christian Education Journal Series 3, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Spring 2005) 6-29.
“The Practicing Self” Asbury Theological Journal 60, no. 1 (Spring 2005), 23-42
“Virtual Publications or Virtually Publishing?” Education in Action Vol. 3 (Fall 2005), 11-31.
“Communities of Holiness, Communities of the Spirit” Asbury Theological Journal 60, no. 2 (Fall 2005), 97-110.
“Emerging Ecclesiology: Preliminary observations of horizon churches in a postmodern world,” Didache: Faithful Teaching 6, no. 1 (Summer 2006)
“Empowering Students for Learning and Ministry” Journal of Christian Education & Information Technology: Korea Society for Christian Education & Information Technology 10 (October 30, 2006), 19-34.
“Between Athens and Berlin... and Myspace: Wesleyan Reflections on Theological Education in a Digital Era” Allelon Publishing (February 2007)
“What is Wesleyan Theological Education?” (with Ramon Sierra) Didache: Faithful Teaching 6, no. 2 (Winter 2007)
“Story Telling or Storied Telling?” Media's Pedagogical Ability to Shape Narrative as a Form of "Knowing" Religious Education 102, no. 3 (Summer 2007), 250-63
“Paul Irwin” Christian Educators of the 21st Century Research Project, The Lilly Endowment and Talbot School of Theology
“Technology and the Transformation of Persons” Christian Education Journal Series 3, vol. 5, no. 1 (Spring 2008), 138-53.
“To Be a Means of Grace: A Wesleyan Perspective on Christian Practices and the Lives of Children” Wesleyan Theological Journal 43, no. 1 (Spring 2008) 47-67.
“The Catechesis of Politics: How Polity Shapes Personhood” Didache: Faithful Teaching 8, no. 1 (Summer 2008)
“Mischief or Mayhem? A Theology of Childhood Misdeeds and the Church” Journal of Christian Education & Information Technology: Korea Society for Christian Education & Information Technology 14 (October 30 2008), 25-40.
“Neuroscience, Wesley and the Christian Life” Wesleyan Theological Journal 44, no 1 (Spring 2009), 219-247.
“At the Center of the Kingdom: Congregational Practices in the Presence of Children.” Journal of Christian Education & Information Technology: Korea Society for Christian Education & Information Technology 16 (October 2009), 9-32
“Brain Matters: A Journey With Neuroscience and Religious Education” Religious Education 106:3 (June 2011), 246-251.
Response to Rick Yount’s “The Role of Scripture in Christian Education” Christian Education Journal (Spring2012) Supplement, 9:S3
Brain Matters: Neuroscience and Creativity.” Religious Education (August 2012) 107:4 324-338.
‘Transformational Insights from Neuroscience” Christian Education Journal Series 3 (Fall 2013) 10:2, 407-423.
“Brains on Fire: Neuroscience and the Gift of Youth” The Journal of Youth Ministry (Spring 2014) 12:2, 7-25.
“Our Craft, Our Call: The Spiritual Practice of Teaching and Learning. Insights: The Faculty Journal for Austin Seminary 131:1 (Fall 2015), 28-31
Writings in Service to the Church
"Practical Christian Thinking: About Children's Ministry." The Preacher's Magazine, (Sept-Nov., 1996)
"Are You an 'At Risk' Youth Worker?" Youthworker (Jan-Feb, 1997)
"Practical Christian Thinking: The Importance of Ministry Covenants," The Preacher's Magazine, (Sept-Nov., 1998)
"Global Pedagogy: A Table Conversation" Guatemala 2002 Global Nazarene Theology Conference
"On the Horizon" Article Series Church of the Nazarene Children's Ministry/ Nazarene Children's Pastors Association Kidtricity
“Take Five: Jumpstarting your Child Safety program” Children’s Teacher, Vol 14. no.1 (Fall 2006) 33-4.
“How Big a Mouse Ear? Retaining a Balanced, ‘Family-Like,’ Children’s Ministry” Children’s Ministries Connection, Church of the Nazarene, Winter 2007
“Youth Ethics,” Barefoot Publishing Spring 2008
“Playful Mischief and Worship” Worship Connection electronic newsletter. United Methodist Publishing House Fall 2008
Compiler/ Editor Exploring Youth Ministry Ministerial Education Module Clergy Development/Nazarene Youth International, Summer 2009.
Writer/Editor Exploring Youth Ministry Continuing Lay Training Module (Fall 2009)
Writer/Editor Exploring Children’s Ministry Continuing Lay Training Module (Fall 2012)
“A Transformed Mind: Preteens, Conversion and the Brain” in Youthworker Journal (May/June 2014) 49-54.
“Educating the Laity: The Crucial Need for Discipleship” Holiness Today (August 2015)
“A Promised Privilege” Holiness Today (March 2016)
Curator: Faithful Homes SDMI/NTS Spring 2012- present.
PH.D. Personality and Theology (Religious Education), Claremont School of Theology, 1999
Masters in Religious Education, Nazarene Theological Seminary, 1991
Diploma in Bible, John Wesley College, 1988
BA Speech Communications, North Carolina State University, 1978
Religious Education Association (REA)
Wesleyan Theological Association (WTS)
North American Professors of Christian Education (NAPCE)
Christian Discipleship; Practical Theology; Neuroscience/Neuroeducation; Wesley Studies; Missional Theology; Family Spirituality and Formation; Child Spirituality; Youth Culture; Media Studies; Emerging Adulthood; Faith, Work, and Entrepreneurship
Persons Along the LifeCourse
Readings in Missional Theology
Foundations of Christian Education
Contemporary Youth Issues
Family Spiritual Journeys
Elder, Church of the Nazarene
Local Church Involvement
Minister of Discipleship, Kansas City First Church of the Nazarene
USA/Canada Regional Education Coordinator Church of the Nazarene
Chair, Manual Editing Committee