Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Steve Vandegriff


Discipleship, Disciple, Church History, Edict of Milan


Christianity | Religion


George Barna has researched the state of discipleship in the American church. His results reveal that "Most believers say their faith matters, but few invest much energy in the pursuit of spiritual growth." The spiritual growth he is referring to requires effective discipleship. His research indicates that most church members agree with the tenants of the Christian faith, but very few are applying those truths to their daily lives. If the current discipleship process is not producing mature disciples (as it appears it is not), there are two possible explanations. Either the process itself is flawed, or those leading the process fail to follow the process correctly. The premise of this research is that the leadership is flawed because they are not following the model Jesus provided in Scripture. The research will be accomplished by examining the progression of the discipleship process, beginning with the record of the model Jesus provided in scripture up to modern texts and research on the topic. There have been many eras of the church throughout history, and each era had a specific emphasis. This research will attempt to discover whether there was a consistent emphasis on the model of discipleship emulated by Jesus Christ through those eras.

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