Faculty Member Michael A. Mata

Michael Mata

DMin Track Professor of Urban Studies and Theology

Faculty Member Michael A. Mata

Michael Mata

DMin Track Professor of Urban Studies and Theology
[email protected]

I love cities and as such for over 30 years have designed and administered community and faith-based urban programs and have integrated those experiences into my training and facilitated learning contexts, particularly in the areas of community development, congregational redevelopment, intercultural programs, organizational and leadership development, ministry/nonprofit management and community youth development. Currently, I direct the Transformational Urban Leadership MA program at Azusa Pacific Seminary and served as the Community Transformation Specialist with Compassion Creates Change, Inc.. I have also served with World Vision U.S. Program and on the faculty at the Claremont School of Theology where I was the Director of the Urban Leadership Institute after serving fifteens years as part of the pastoral team at Los Angeles First Church of the Nazarene (a multi-ethnic/multi-congregation church with a highly regarded community program and prominent youth program). I have recently returned after a hiatus of 20 years to once again serve as part of the pastoral team of the English-speaking congregation.

My wife, Tina, balances my admiration of the built environment by creating a sustainable environment where were live (a certified urban habitat)— growing much of the vegetables and fruit we eat and at one time cared for our chickens. She is also the president of a community land trust committed to sustainable living.

Forthcoming “The New Urbanism and its Challenge to the Church” in Urban Ministry Reconsidered: Contexts and Approaches. Westminster John Knox Press, (Fall) 2018, R.D. Smith, S. C. Bodie and R. E. Peters, editors

“Promoting Health from the Pulpit: A Process Evaluation of HIV Sermons to Reduce HIV Stigma and Promote Testing in African American and Latino Churches.” Health Communication (online) 20 Oct 2017, et. al.

“The New Urban Village & Its Challenge to the Church,” in Urban Shalom & the Cities We Need. Urban Shalom Publishing, UK, 2017.

“Achieving Broad Participation in Congregational Health Surveys at African American and Latino Churches.” Field Methods 2017 Vol. 29(1) 79-94, et. al.

“Effects of a Pilot Church-based Intervention to Reduce HIV Stigma and Promote HIV Testing Among African Americans and Latinos” AIDS and Behavior (online) 21 March, 2016, et. al.

“Facilitators and Barriers to HIV Activities in Religious Congregations: Perspectives of Clergy and Laity Leaders from a Diverse Urban Sample.” Journal of Religion and Health (August 2013), et. al.

“Religious Congregations’ Collaborations: With Whom Do They Work and What Resources Do They Share in Addressing HIV and Other Health Issues?” Health Education & Behavior (39 Issue 6, December 2012), et. al.

“Religious Congregations’ Involvement in HIV: A Case Study Approach” in AIDS and Behavior (17 October, 2010), et. al.

“Learning about Urban Congregations and HIV/AIDS: Community-Based Foundations for Developing Congregational Health Interventions” in the Journal of Urban Health,(2010) vol 87, no.4, 617-630, et.al.

“The Challenge of Contextualized Education,” in Reframing Urban Theological Education published by Jossey-Bass Publishers, 2000.

“A Reading of the Urban /Text: Challenges and Possibilities of Diversity for Pastoral Care” in the Journal for the Society of Intercultural Pastoral Care and Counseling (August, 2000).


PhD (abd), University of Southern California
MCRP University of California at Berkeley
MDiv, Nazarene Theological Seminary
MA, Point Loma Nazarene University
BA, Point Loma Nazarene University

Academic Affiliations

American Planning Association
Christian Community Development Association
Urban Shalom Society

Teaching/Research Interests

Community Transformation, Built Environment & Theology, Peacebuilding, The Church & Health Disparities, Transformational Urban Leadership, Gender Equity in the Pulpit, Community Youth Development

Classes Taught

Urban Reality and Theology
Community Transformation
Ministry Management and Development
City as Text: Exegeting Your Community
Community Conflict Transformation
Urban Leadership Seminar
Community Analysis and Organizing for Ministry for Transformation
Organizing Urban Communities for Transformation
Multiculturalism and Ministry in the City
Foundations of Urban Ministry
Transforming the City: Paradigms and Theologies for Doing Ministry in the City
The Urban Context of Theology and Ministry
Faith, Politics, Culture: Critical Social Issues and Civic Life
Transformational Urban Youth Ministry
Sustainable Societies
Religion, Ecumenics & Culture


Elder, Church of the Nazarene

Local Church Involvement

Los Angeles First Church of the Nazarene

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