Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Jacob Dunlow


Disunity, Ideologies, Mission, Congregation, Pastor, Leadership, Organizational health


Leadership Studies


Pastors and church leaders within the Rocky Mountain Church Network, an association of 48 churches, face difficulty caused by ideologically driven disunity (IDD). Current polling shows IDD's negative effect on pastors, church leaders, and congregations. Due to the foundational nature of ideologies, attempts to alleviate IDD have typically worsened the situation. This action research project seeks to identify the presence and impact of IDD as well as provide a strategy and tools to address IDD in a congregation. Using surveys, focus groups, and personal interviews, the researcher acquired quantitative and qualitative data from 22 project participants that affirmed the data revealed and discussed in the current literature. The researcher created three primary tools for addressing IDD: a three-week devotional detailing the relationship between the Great Commission and congregational unity, a three-week sermon series, and a presentation that gave research results, conclusions from the data, and the strategy for addressing IDD. As ideologically driven disunity is present in many churches and other scenarios, this research project has the potential to assist leaders in various settings address IDD. By understanding the nature of ideologies, possessing tools to address IDD, and focusing on the mission of the organization, organizational leaders in churches inside and outside the Rocky Mountain Church Network, as well as in secular settings, can help the groups they lead to be more effective and minimize stress in their own lives.