I had a great education at Dallas Seminary. In my Masters of Theology program I had over 120 credit hours of Bible, Greek, Hebrew, Church History, Apologetics, Systematic Theology, and just a smattering of practical theology. The classes that I took in the Doctor of Ministry program were also excellent.
It wasn’t until I did my doctoral dissertation that I got into “church case studies.” Yet, that is what most pastors and church leaders need. We need to know the basics and advanced aspects of running a church ministry in the 21st century–things like Operations, Ministry Strategy and Executive Function.
For over ten years, people would say, “David, will you please teach us how to lead and manage our churches?” That is such a daunting task! How can one person cover so much ground and be an expert on finances, law, audits, youth ministry, missions, board functions, fiduciary responsibility, and so much more? Yet I was reminded of what I wrote in my dissertation in 2004:
Currently, there is little training for leading and managing the church. No courses are known at the Masters or Doctoral level on being an Executive Pastor. Generally, seminaries are concerned with training individuals to preach and teach. Where will Executive Pastors be trained? In many seminaries, there are few or none with the requisite expertise to train the next generation of Executive Pastors. Will that training be left to business schools and hands-on experience? There ought to be the integration of theological training and management principles to educate the next generation of church leaders, including Executive Pastors.
The solution was that instead of teaching all these subject by myself, we would bring scores and scores of church leaders in to be our guest lecturers. Through XPastor’s extensive network, we had great relationships with so many talented people! They could speak from their areas of expertise, sharing “the latest and greatest,” lessons learned and current challenges.
Come and learn with us. The classes are both online in a live discussion setting or you can watch the recording. Further, the XPastor classes can earn credit toward your Masters degree through Crown College.
The Director of the program is Dr. David Fletcher. As a pastor for over thirty years in some of America’s largest churches, he has a wealth of experience in the practical and conceptual issues for churches of all sizes. David has been an Adjunct Professor in the Doctor of Ministry program at Dallas Theological Seminary since 2005. He was on the board of the Evangelical Theological Seminary of India from 1991-2015, and founded the ETS India Doctor of Ministry program in 2006. Dr. Fletcher has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.