Notes from the leadership journey!

Category Archives: Doctor of Ministry

Doing Life Together

Joleen and I met in 1992. We were both students at the Church of God Theological Seminary, following God and preparing for God’s call on our lives. We began dating at the end of 1992 and were married in January 1994.

Before we committed to marriage, though, we talked about what it would look like for us to both be in full-time ministry (we grew up with few, if any, clergy couple models). We graduated in 1995 (see photo below), a year and a half into our marriage, but not before co-writing our Master’s thesis on husband and wife co-pastoring, “Covenanted Together in Marriage and Ministry” (by the way, this project focused on Priscilla and Aquila; see our post on Priscilla and Aquila, which tells a little more about our story and includes the chapter on this biblical clergy couple).

We transitioned to the UMC in 1998, seeking a better denominational fit, including one that ordains women. We began co-pastoring (part-time) one, then two, small rural churches while beginning work on the long ordination process.

We hit a wall in 2003, which would add five years to the ordination process. During this delay, we began D.Min. programs at Asbury Theological Seminary in late 2003. In January 2004, we spent our first week on campus. Ironically, we celebrated our tenth anniversary that week (fellow students helped us celebrate with a cake in class that morning). At the time, it somehow seemed appropriate that we return to a seminary campus to celebrate our tenth anniversary!

After four and a half years of hard work, we graduated in 2008 (see photo below).

After we graduated from Asbury, we picked up where we left off six years before with the ordination process. We were commissioned together in 2009, and just over a week ago, we were both ordained (a year earlier than originally expected thanks to a change in the process at the 2008 General Conference).

We don’t know what the future holds, of course, but up to this point, we have lived out (with God’s help!) our covenant to be together in marriage and ministry!

Pair o’ Docs

It may be a corny play on words, but it’s one we’ve heard a couple times already — by one of the members of my dissertation committee and also a fellow student at the doctor of ministry dinner last night — both saying that we’d be a “pair o’ docs.” The weekend began with a…Continue →

Done!

Wow. It’s been a long journey, but we’re finally reaching the finish line! The home stretch of the dissertation-writing process involved preparing the final draft of our dissertations after we received the last edit from the editor at Asbury (see The Rest of the (Dissertation) Story and One Step Closer to see recent lists of…Continue →

Successful Defenses

Good news: we both successfully defended our dissertations! Over the course of 84 hours, we drove to and from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, KY (nearly 20 hours roundtrip), and met with our dissertation committees: Randy met with Russell West (mentor), Chris Kiesling (second reader), and Milton Lowe (D.Min. team representative). Joleen met Russell West…Continue →

Setback

Ever since we brought Ethan home 9 weeks ago, we’ve wondered how this trip to Kentucky would go, mainly because Ethan doesn’t always handle the car seat very well. But Ethan traveled surprisingly well. He got a little tired and fussy toward the end, but that was understandable — it was a long trip, and…Continue →

Road Trip!

During our first two months with Ethan, we’ve experienced a number of firsts. This week, we will experience another first — a road trip. Tomorrow morning after breakfast, we will drive to Asbury in Wilmore, KY where we are scheduled to defend our dissertations Thursday afternoon (Randy) and Friday morning (Joleen) before driving back Friday…Continue →

One Step Closer

Just before the local post office closed this afternoon, we mailed our defense drafts — 3 copies from each of us — to the doctor of ministry office for the members of our dissertation committees. Every step is one step closer to the finish line. Throughout this program, which we began more than 4 years…Continue →

Seeing Red 2.0

On Friday, we received our second round of edits from the editor at Asbury. And just like the last time (Seeing Red), there’s a lot of red marks on the pages of our drafts! The edited drafts came about a week late, leaving us only a week to return three cleaned up copies to the…Continue →