Professional Dissertations DMin

Date of Award


Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Russell Burrill

Second Advisor

Erich W. Baumgartner

Third Advisor

Jane Thayer


The Topic. Natural Church Development is a church paradigm that is gaining acceptance in a large number of Adventist churches. Two issues have arisen due to this interest in NCD: (I) a need to study NCD from an Adventist theological perspective, and (2) a large number o f the churches that are interested in implementing NCD are having a difficult time doing so.

The Purpose. The purpose of this dissertation, therefore, is to answer some o f the theological questions posed by the whole NCD, healthy church paradigm while at the same time developing a user-friendly, practical, Seventh-day-Adventist-sensitive implementation guide for use by local churches and coaches.

The Sources. A thorough study o f already-published NCD materials serves as an appropriate backdrop for the development of a future Adventist implementation guide. In addition, other authors who have written on church health are surveyed to better understand the relationship o f NCD to the related genre available to the church. Also, books and resources on planned congregational change dynamics are reviewed, as change is at the heart of any implementation process. Finally, the Bible and the writings of Ellen White serve to illuminate the theological discussions on NCD.

Conclusions. The principles and quality characteristics as espoused by NCD are not only relevant to the Adventist church but also in harmony with their doctrinal understanding of the church and its role in the world. In addition, the conclusion to this dissertation is the development of a practical implementation guide for Adventist churches (see Appendix B).

Subject Area

Church growth--Seventh-day Adventists, Church renewal--Seventh-day Adventists

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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