Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Mixed methods (simple exploratory and participatory action research) study explored ways congregations can draw upon both the United Methodist heritage and the missional approach to foster spiritual formation using small groups that make sense to the postmodern culture and lead to behavior changes.

Three crucial attributes of vital, faith-forming small groups are: creating authentic community (belonging – engaging one another), engaging the Holy Spirit (believing – engaging God), and helping participants make applications to their daily lives (behaving – engaging real life). Congregations must do the hard work of contextualizing these and hold all three together for small groups to empower spiritual growth.