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Drew’s Doctor of Ministry Graduates Rise to the Challenge

The pandemic didn’t stop Drew students from earning their Doctor of Ministry degrees.

June 2021 – Earning a Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree is a challenging undertaking that requires determination, drive, and dedication. Drew Theological School Class of 2021 DMin candidates did just that, while in the midst of a global pandemic.

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Shannon Daley-Harris T’21

The students were faced with unforeseen challenges academically, professionally, and personally. While pivoting their lives and congregations to a virtual world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many students had the added burden of repurposing their projects in order to stay current and relevant with the evolving global crises.

“The unprecedented convergence of the global pandemic and heightened reckoning with racism in our nation throughout 2020 and up through our 2021 graduation underscored the central commitment that called my cohort together—to discuss, discern, read, research, practice, reflect, and write about what courageous leadership looks like, demands, calls for in this dramatically changing culture,” said Shannon Daley-Harris T’21, director of the Children’s Defense Fund’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry and graduate of Drew’s Courageous Leadership in a Changing Culture DMin program.Our responses were, appropriately, refracted through our divergent experiences and perspectives, but bound by conviction that the question is one ministry in all its forms calls us to answer.”

“I learned to see the signs of change and adapted new ways of thinking to bring clarity to my call and new energy to my ministry."

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The Rev. Dr. David Brawley T’21

The Theological School’s 30-credit DMin offers multiple concentrations—Courageous Leadership in a Changing Culture; Bible, Theology, and Leadership in the Korean Context; Faith, Health, and Social Equity; Pilgrimage and Spirituality; and Women’s Religious Leadership—through a mix of online and in-person learning. The program is designed to meet the vocational goals of today’s progressive religious leaders as they prepare to confront the challenges of our ever-changing landscape. Students become better equipped to respond with innovative and courageous leadership that will inspire others and foster change in their communities and beyond.

“The Pastoral Identity and Prophetic Fire DMin cohort mentored by Dr. Gary Simpson and Dr. Leonard Sweet has become the learning community I needed in an unprecedented moment,” said the Rev. Dr. David Brawley T’21, pastor at St. Paul Community Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY. “I learned to see the signs of change and adapted new ways of thinking to bring clarity to my call and new energy to my ministry. During the challenges of a once in a lifetime pandemic, I realized a greater appreciation of my vocation.”

"To be a faith leader into the 22nd century necessitates a nimbleness and adaptivity. We were proud to watch those skills birthed and activated in our shared learning.”

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Associate Professor of Homiletics Dr. Gary Simpson

“When we started our cohort, we intentionally included the concept of fluidity into the shared learning,” said Gary V. Simpson, associate professor of homiletics and co-leader of the graduating Pastoral Identity and Prophetic Fire concentration. “Little did we know that this cohort would embody that concept as the world shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To be a faith leader into the 22nd century necessitates a nimbleness and adaptivity. We were proud to watch those skills birthed and activated in our shared learning.” 

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Director of Doctoral Studies Meredith Hoxie Schol

“To say that we are impressed by the scholarly accomplishments of these practitioners would be an understatement,” said Director of Doctoral Studies Meredith Hoxie Schol. “These DMin alums and candidates navigated a myriad of challenges during this pandemic—in their ministry contexts and in their research—and they all have produced excellent projects that, in their own ways, exemplify Drew’s mission to empower creative thought and courageous action for the common good.”

Join us in celebrating Drew’s 2021 DMin graduates. Students of the Public Theology cohort will graduate in August 2021.

Nathan Addo-Nartey, Founding Pastor, Ghana Calvary Methodist Church, Irvington, NJ
Project: “Developing a Church-based and Laity-led Bereavement Ministry for Integrated and Sustainable Sozo-healing”

James Henry Alexander, Senior Pastor, Sycamore Hill Missionary Baptist Church, Greenville, NC
Project: “Beginning a Good Work”: Embracing the Model of Nehemiah for Pastoral Transitions”

David K. Brawley, Pastor, St. Paul Community Baptist Church, Brooklyn, NY
Project: “Where Do We Go From Here? Sacred Memory in a Black Church Context”

Elizabeth Munro Breakey, Priest in Charge, Bellarine Gateway Anglican Parish, Victoria, Australia
Project: “Journeying through Transition: A Case Study in the Application of Bowen Family Systems Theory for Parish Ministry”

Shannon P. Daley-Harris, Director, Children’s Defense Fund’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor Institute for Child Advocacy Ministry
Project: “Sustaining Sisterhood: The Power of Spiritual Retreats for Women Leaders in the Children’s Movement”

Alton Craig Dunn, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Madison, Madison, NJ
Project: “Moving From Transactional Action to Relational Gathering: Towards Mobilizing Communities for the Common Good”

sela ‘emalata finau, Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Taylor, TX
Project: “A Moana Navigator On a Voyage: Following Jesus and Creating Third Space Faith Communities”

Jamel Javon Flag, Pastor, Emmanuel Congregational Church, UCC, Watertown, NY
Project: “Turning Away from Ableism: Journeying Toward a More Radically Inclusive Church for People with Disabilities”

Junwoo Jang, Pastor, Peace Church, Aonang, Krabi, Thailand
Project: “Pursuing a Missional Church in a Mission Field: A Study of a Relational/Spiritual Church at Krabi in Thailand”

Sungbong Jin, Pastor, Gwangyeong Jungang Church, Gwangyang-si, Korea
Project: “A Study of the Bible Tongdok during Feast of Tabernacles”

Harold R. Jolley, Pastor, Second Macedonia Baptist Church, Philadelphia, PA
Project: “Developing a Matthew 25 Church”

Kyung Chan Jun, Pastor, Okahandja Park Church, Windhoek, Namibia
Project: “Tong Story Sermon for Faith Growth: A Case Study of Okahandja Park Church, Namibia”

Hyun Joon Kim, Pastor, Ilsan Sekwang Church, Goyang City, Geonggi, Korea
Project: “A Model of Teaching Ministry for Missional Church: A Case Study of Building the Gospel Project at Sekwang Church in Ilsan, Korea”

Seongmoo Kim, Pastor, Healing Church, Seoul, Korea
Project: “An Empathic Ministry for 3040 Newly-Wed Couples: A Case Study of Healing Church, Seoul, Korea”

Jimmy Amarnauth Lalljie, Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church, New Hyde Park, NY
Project: “Return to Missio Dei: Initiating Missional Transition in a Small Church”

Pamela Jean Masten, Associate Pastor for Congregational Care, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Project: “Defining and Developing a Congregational Care Plan in a Large Urban Church”

Brandon D. McLauchlin, Pastor, Saint Charles AME Zion Church, Sparkill, NY
Project: “More Than Sunday Service: The Flow of an Incarnational Life”

Sonya McMillan, Associate Minister, Seminary Baptist Church, Paterson, NJ
Project: “Impact of Societal Changes on a Traditional Church”

Jeffrey Moore, Chaplain, Federal Bureau of Prisons and Navy Reserves, Northern IL
Project: “The Practice of Polydoxy in Polyrepresentational Parishes”

Youngsuk Nam, Pastor, Banseok Church, Daejeon, Korea
Project: “Tong Sermon for Children at a Military Church: A Case Study of Sunday School in Korean Army Training Center Church”

Daekyu Oh, Pastor, Eunpha Church, Yeosu, Korea
Project: “Church Growth through Evangelism and Alpha Course: A Case Study of Kwangyoung Joongang Church, Kwangyang, Jeonnam, Korea”

Diane C . Pacione, Pastor, Seaville United Methodist Church, Seaville, NJ
Project: “Holy Disruption”

Daniel D. Park, Senior Pastor, Chesterbrook United Methodist Church, McLean, VA
Project: “Training and Empowering Laity for Divine Healing Prayer”

Jason Lawrence Robinson, Pastor, Brooks Church, Saint Leonard, MD
Project: “Transitioning and Transforming a Ministry Through Effective and Efficient Leadership”

Kwang Soo Song, Pastor, Korean Church of Atlanta UMC, Duluth, GA
Project: “Bible Tongdok as a Curriculum of Teaching Ministry: A Case Study of the One Year Bible Tongdok at Korean Church of Atlanta UMC”

Frances Snelling Teabout, Pastor, Open Door Worship Center, Jersey City, NJ
Project: “Preparing for Battle: Equipping Pastors and Lay Leaders to Identify and Mediate the Symptoms of Urban Trauma, Specifically Suicide”

Elaine Ellis Thomas, Rector, All Saints Episcopal Parish, Hoboken, NJ
Project: “The Mile Square Cathedral: The Church as Community Healer”

Marisa Tabizon Thompson, Rector, All Saints Episcopal Church, Omaha, NE
Project: “That We All May Be One: Toward a Deeper Understanding of Ethics in Ecumenism in The Episcopal Church”

John H. Vaughn, Executive Pastor, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA
Project: “Faith, Activism, and Sports: Black Athletes of Faith Engaged in United States Professional Team Sports”

Angel L. Vélez Oyola, Director of the Department of Theology and Professor of Theology and History, Inter-American University of Puerto Rico
Project: “La Teología como propedéutica para el desarrollo de un modelo de Justicia Social Penitenciaria”

Anita R. Wright, Pastor, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Montclair, NJ
Project: “The Quilt: Preaching, Teaching, and Testimony as Storytelling”

Taekyoung You, Miraero Church, Kwang-myeong, Gyeonggi, Korea
Project: “Reorientation of the Church with EPIC for Evangelism Project: EPIC Open House Sunday of Miraero Church, Kyounggi, Korea”

Taekwang Yu, Pastor, Healing Church, Seoul, Korea
Project: “Designing a Healing Praise Worship: A Case Study of Healing Church, Seoul, Korea”

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