Date of Award

Spring 5-2011

Document Type


Primary Advisor

Dr. Charles Siburt

Secondary Advisor

Dr. Ken Cukrowski

Committee Reader

Dr. Tim Sensing


This doctor of ministry thesis presents the results of a project that implemented a discernment phase for those nominated in the shepherd selection process at the Cinco Ranch Church of Christ. Occurring in the fall of 2010, this project involved nominees in a series of six one-hour, thirty-minute sessions designed to establish the theological foundations for shepherding and to explore its practical expression at Cinco Ranch. For the theological component, this project primarily utilized Ephesians 4:11-16, and for the practical side, it incorporated group interactions with those serving as shepherds along with the review of guiding leadership documents. The project‟s design took into account the need to extend discernment practices to include the spouses as well and facilitated the development of shepherd mentoring relationships in which a shepherding couple provided pastoral care to a nominee couple during the course of the discernment phase.

Evaluation of the project revealed several key insights. First, nominees indeed desire an intentional time of reflection. Furthermore, the shared experience of discernment creates a natural camaraderie among those nominated. Due to the broad nature of the discernment experience, nominees assessed the theological, practical, and mentoring components as having varying degrees of effectiveness. However, both the nominees and the shepherds affirmed the value of the discernment process, attesting to the significance of a model of leadership rooted in the awareness that Christ gives the gift of leaders to his church.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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