Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Jeffrey Shane Mayfield


biblical, Christian Education, discipleship, missional, spiritual


Christianity | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


One of the greatest needs for the church today is to equip believers to become biblically informed, fully developed disciples so that they are prepared to carry out the mission of Christ. Without fully understanding mature discipleship practices, believers cannot fulfill the Great Commission to “go, teach and baptize” to make other disciples. The failure to understand and teach these practices has led to complacency, lack of interest, and the inability to become disciples among long-term church laity. This dissertation implemented biblical discipleship teachings and practices in a local church through a Sunday School curriculum and was evaluated through participant surveys and observations. The intervention comprised teaching three-two part biblically based Sunday school lessons for six weeks, one hour each, that covered biblical, spiritual, and missional foundations for discipleship. Quantitative data was collected from pre–, and post–study focus group interviews. The study showed how teaching a theology of discipleship as a biblical mandate supported by both the Old and New Testaments that emphasizes spiritual growth as a priority for a Christian lead to an increase in knowledge and desire to participate in missional practices. It affirms the need for local churches to develop a similar theology of discipleship to be integrated into their Christian education curriculum based on biblical, spiritual, and missional principles for congregants to be equipped with disciples making disciples.