My Professional Project/Dissertation Missional Spirituality: Practices for Developing Missional Disciples Among Emerging Adult University Students is finally fully wrapped up. The defense has been passed, edits have been made, and the final copies are submitted to the library. It has been quite a journey—years of thinking and research followed by many months of intense writing. Though I’m the one who receives the title “Doctor,” I could not have completed this process on my own. I am so grateful to those who have supported me along the way. I thought it fitting to publicly share the acknowledgements section of this work.
The Christian life is not a solo endeavor. The triune God who is an eternal community calls His people to the shared life of community that reflects His nature. This Professional Project develops the missional importance of Christian community. But even more, this project was written as an expression of Christian community. As this project progressed, I became more and more aware that this project would never be completed without the support and encouragement of the Body of Christ. For that I am thankful.
To each of the pastors interviewed as part of this project—thank you for making time in the busyness of ministry to share your knowledge with me. Your missional hearts continue to inspire me. It is a privilege to count you as colleagues in ministry. May God continue to lead you and your congregations as you incarnate the Kingdom in your neighborhood.
To the members of my Professional Project Committee, Dr. Juanita Leonard, Dr. Guy Brewer, and Dr. Bruce Mac Murray—thank you for investing in me. Your partnership in this project will further its benefit for the Kingdom. Dr. Leonard, this project would not have been completed without your patience and support as Committee Chair. I am grateful for all of your well timed encouragement.
To the members of Faith Community Church, Grayson, GA—you will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you for granting a young pastor a place to grow in ministry. It was as your pastor that I first became aware of many of the ideas presented here. You were always a deeply supportive community through the learning process. “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”
To my current ministry community, Indiana Wesleyan University—I am so blessed to be part of this community. Dr. Jim Lo and the Dean of the Chapel staff, your support during the last months of writing is greatly appreciated. You regularly encouraged me to spend time writing despite all the other needs of ministry. It is a privilege to share ministry with you. Thanks also to each student who shared a book or resource you discovered that was relevant to my research. The sources you shared have greatly shaped this project. Those of you who expressed excitement to someday read this work often brought encouragement when it was most needed. Thank you. Students, it is a joy to see Christ being formed in you daily.
To my family, Alison, Eliana, Ashlyn, and Ian—sharing life with you is the best part of my life. This project could not have been completed without your support. Thank you for believing in me and the importance of Daddy’s “big paper.” This has truly been a family effort. May our lives together reflect the fullness of the triune God.
To the triune God, Father, Son, and Spirit—it is beyond comprehension that You choose to invite us into the divine life as partners in Your mission. May my life, and this project, bring glory to Your Kingdom.