Missional Church Program

The Missional Church specialization is designed to equip church leaders to focus on the church's mission of being sent into the world to create disciples for Jesus Christ. The program does this by focusing on both the nature of the church to be missional and the leadership and practices of fruitful missional churches.

The Missional Church program functions as a specialization within any of Wesley's master-level programs. M.Div. and M.T.S. students must declare their intent to participate in the Missional Church specialization prior to completing one-third of the credit hours required for their degree and M.A. students must declare their intent within their first semester by submitting the form to the Registrar's Office.

Missional Church Specialization Program Design

Core CoursesIn the core courses, students are introduced to understandings of missional ecclesiology—the nature of the church as Christ's Body sent into the world to carry on the mission of making disciples and caring for one another—and the practices of fruitful missional churches. Students are required to select one of the two  core courses for the specialization. If students take both core courses, the second core course may be counted toward the elective requirement for the specialization.

  • CM-150: Leadership and Practices of the Missional Church
  • CM-205: Mission of the Church in the Contemporary World
  • CM-440: Missional Engagement Project (CM-150 or CM-205 is a prerequisite). Students are required to complete a capstone missional church project that allows them to undertake and reflect upon an engaged missional ministry project. This should be scheduled for the final or second-to-last semester of the student’s course of study.

Electives: Students must complete 8 additional hours of electives that assist in understanding the missional church in the world and/or the practices of the missional church. Courses may be chosen from the following list or selected from among other seminary (or consortium) courses pending prior approval of the program director:

  • ST-225: Gospel in Consumer Culture
  • CM-242: Emerging Church
  • CM-277: New Congregational Development
  • ST-294: Globalization, Mission and the Church
  • CM-203: Emergent Gathering I
  • CM204: Emergent Gathering II
  • CM-222: Evangelism in Contemporary Church & World
  • CM-226: Encountering Ministries
  • CM-230: Foundations of Urban Ministry I
  • CM-231: Foundations of Urban Ministry III
  • CM-235: Faith and Health
  • CM-270: Praxis of Missional Evangelism
  • CM-271: Wesley and Methodist Evangelism
  • CM-273: Evangelism and Emerging Generations
  • CM-470: The Praxis of New Congregational Development
  • WR-294: Religion, Violence and Peace
  • CF-240: Foundations of Youth Ministry
  • CF-253: Pop Culture and Christian Formation
  • CF-255: Youth, Young Adults, Church and Culture
  • ES-237: Public Theology for Congregations
  • ES-304: Christian Ethics and the Polis
  • ES-491: National Capital Semester for Seminarians (NCSS)—Seminar
  • ES-495: National Capital Semester for Seminarians (NCSS)—Research Project
  • ES-497: National Capital Semester for Seminarians (NCSS)—Internship

PM&M: Missional Church M.Div. students are required to complete an 8 hour PMM placement (as per degree requirement), while M.A. and M.T.S. students must complete a 4 hour PMM placement.The Practice in Ministry and Mission Office will work with Missional Church students to secure an appropriate ministry setting. All field placement settings include mentoring, spiritual formation and missional service along with the classroom learning and peer colloquy experience you will gain at the Seminary.

Missional Fellows

The Missional Fellows Program supports Wesley students who seek engagement in God’s transforming work in the world. Specially designed to support young adults with experience in service-corps organizations—such as Americorps, City Year, Teach for America, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, United Methodist US-2 or Young Adult Missionaries—the Missional Fellows Program offers additional funding support for those interested in pursuing theological education. Based at Wesley Downtown, located in the Mount Vernon Square neighborhood of Washington, D.C., Wesley's Missional Fellows are equipped for leadership in churches or nonprofit organizations committed to social justice, service, community development, organizing and advocacy work with those in need.  Missional Fellows may select a specialization in missional church as part of their degree studies for either the Master of Divinity or Master of Theological Studies programs.

Wesley's Missional Fellows are seeking faithful solutions to the challenges of service and social justice leadership within the growing number of missional churches, nonprofit organizations, and other emerging ministries.  Missional Fellows receive a $10,000 stipend for educational and living expenses in addition to consideration for merit-based financial aid.  Missional Fellows participate in a weekly seminar to read and discuss missional church theology and leadership and to reflect on how this applies to their own engagement in missional ministry. During their first year, Missional Fellows are able to engage in the Center for the Missional Church’s Heal the Sick program, designed to support congregations’ health ministry development.  During their second and third years, Fellows may continue to work on the Heal the Sick program or they may develop their own missional engagement project in collaboration with ministry or community partners.

How can I apply? Students who are interested in becoming a Missional Fellow in 2015-2016 can apply to the program as part of their admissions process to Wesley Theological Seminary. Applications for admission and an additional Missional Fellows essay are due by February 1, 2015.  Missional Fellows are required to be full-time Master of Divinity or Master of Theological Studies students taking a minimum of nine credit hours each semester. Applicants must submit an essay of 1500 or fewer words addressing the following questions:

  • How have you experienced a call to mission and service?
  • What qualifications or experiences support your calling (include service hours, social justice/mercy ministry experiences, etc)?
  • In what type of ministry setting do you see yourself serving in the future?

Essays may be submitted by email to admissions@wesleyseminary.edu, by fax to attention: Admissions at (202) 885-8585 or by mail to Admissions Office, Wesley Theological Seminary, 4500 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20016. Finalists for the Missional Fellows program will be invited to interviews in Washington, D.C., in early March 2015. Fellowships will be announced in late March of 2015.

Missional Fellows Program Design

Missional Fellows

Core Courses: The Missional Fellow program seeks to enhance the academic, theological, formational, and leadship development of the fellows to best prepare them for positions as missional leaders in the church and world. Required core courses include:

  • Three years of Missional Fellows Seminars (2 credit hours each, 12 credits total)
    • CM-274: MF Seminar 1/1
    • CM-275: MF Seminar 1/2
    • CM-276: MF Seminar 2/1
    • CM-277: MF Seminar 2/2
    • CM-278: MF Seminar 3/1
    • CM-279: MF Seminar 3/2

PM&M: Missional Fellow M.Div. students are required to complete an 8 hour PMM placement (as per degree requirement), while M.T.S. students must complete a 4 hour PMM placement.The Practice in Ministry and Mission Office will work with Missional Fellows to secure placements in a missional ministry setting. All field placement settings include mentoring, spiritual formation and missional service along with the classroom learning and peer colloquy experience you will gain at the Seminary.

Missional Fellows with Missional Church Specialization

Missonal Fellows are not required to pursue the Missional Church specialization, but may do so if they choose. The following courses are required for Missional Fellows pursuing the Missional Church specialization

  • Three years of Missional Fellows Seminars (please see above)
  • 8 additional hours of Missional Church Electives. All approved MCP electives are listed on this page under Missional Church Program Design.

For more information on Missional Fellow requirements, please see the 2014-2015 Academic Catalog.

Meet the Missional Fellows!

JANE ADAMS is a Masters of Theological Studies student and Missional Fellow at Wesley. She received her BA in History from Harding University and was the first female spiritual life director of the campus. For the past two years Jane has been working at the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance. At the Alliance she directed the campaign to expand summer feeding programs and after school meals programs. Last year Arkansas had the largest increase in the nation of free summer meals served to children. Jane enjoys politics and working towards equality in America. Jane lives with her husband Thomas, their dog Mallard, and her mid-century artwork. 

SCOTT BOSTIC is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and has served in the U.S. Army as a health care administrator.  He worked in Iraq to provide shoes and footwear for local youth in the desert east of Baghdad.  He has also worked with the Watertown Urban Mission, in Watertown, NY, and served with the Hospitality House in Black River, NY on various local service projects. 

EMILY PICKENS-JONES has had a calling into social justice and international affairs from a very early age. She is a native of the Bay Area of California and the daughter of two clergy. She graduated from UC Davis with a degree in International Relations, focusing on cultures and religions of Africa. Through her university, she studied abroad in Tanzania and served on the staff and lived at the university’s campus ministry, CA House, which is also home to a Multifaith Living Community where she experienced an interreligious intentional and inclusive living environment.  She has a strong sense of passion for working with others to make a stronger and more vibrant community and hopes to do so through the Missional Fellows Program!

SARAH MCKAY is from Apex, North Carolina and graduated in May of 2012 from Appalachian State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Minors in Anthropology and Religious Studies. It was during this time that her passions towards social justice developed and she felt a call to service. For the past two years, Sarah has been serving as a US-2 Young Adult Missionary in Miami, Florida and will begin studying at Wesley Theological Seminary in August 2014 as a part of their Missional Fellows program. Sarah is eager to continue pursuing social justice and social change throughout her time at Wesley as she discerns how it will fit into her life and profession beyond her years in Seminary. 

MALLORY NAAKE hails from Loomis, California, a beautiful town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains outside Sacramento. Mallory has been a member of the United Methodist Church for 16 years. Since graduating from the University of California, San Diego with a B.A. in International Studies - Anthropology she has lived in Scotland, served as Youth Director of Loomis FUMC, worked in various positions for Sierra Service Project and currently works at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Sacramento. She served as a Jesuit Volunteer for two years in Andahuaylillas, Peru, where she taught English, co-led the children’s choir and ran an after-school food program. Mallory is excited to pursue her MDiv at Wesley as a Missional Fellow and explore further how accompaniment and mutual exchange among communities can spur social change. In addition to appreciating quality time with kindred spirits, Mallory enjoys dancing, singing, reading, movies, yoga and Peruvian cuisine.

RACHEL KELLER has served as a Mission Intern with the General Board of Global Ministries for 3 years in Johannesburg, South Africa and Seattle, WA. In Johannesburg, she served with  community centers based on HIV/AIDS education and counseling. In Seattle, she served as volunteer coordinator with Mary's Place, a day center for homeless women and children.  In both of these experiences, she saw people working with a passion in their own community, breaking down the barriers that keep people apart. 

 LAURA KIGWEBA is a political science major from the University of Tennessee of Chattanooga.  Growing up, she was influenced by her father’s story of survival from the political unrest in Burundi, Africa in the early 1970s. This led her to seek justice and serve in many different aspects both locally and globally, specifically with the local and global mission of the Church. Before coming to seminary, she served in a local campus ministry in Chattanooga, TN, where she was a full-time student ministry coordinator. 

AISLINN KOPP began her journey to service and social justice ministry at a very young age under the influence of very active parents.  This early influence led her to be a lead activist in a small community for international issues while she was in high school.  She continued to be involved throughout college in service and justice ministries, reaching its peak with an internship with Hope International during the summer of 2011.  

KATIE MONFORTTE has served as a US-2 with the General Board of Global Ministries.  In that position, she partnered with domestic organizations on social justice work.  Her placement site, Susannah Wesley Community Center, led her to work with positive youth development.  At Susannah Wesley, she was involved with truancy, competency-based high school diploma, and after school programs.

CHRISTOPHER STEWART is passionate about improving the disparities in his hometown of Washington, DC.  In addition to serving in DC, he has served abroad in Haiti and Ethiopia.  He is currently a Public Services Librarian with the Charles County Public Library and fellowships at First Baptist Church of Glenarden, Pastor John K. Jenkins.  

LISA BANKS-WILLIAMS was born in Wilberforce, Ohio but came to the Washington Metropolitan area in the early sixties. Lisa works as a board certified Clinical Nurse Specialist at Walter Reed Military Medical Center with the soldiers that have PTSD and other war related psychiatric injuries. Her specific areas of interest are trauma recovery and family re-unification. She has held faculty positions in nursing at Georgetown University, the Johns Hopkins University, the United States Health Services University and the University of the District of Columbia. She serves as an Associate Minister Sharon Bible Fellowship Church, and Director of Adult Sunday school. As a Missional Fellow she has a strong desire to help those who are broken turn to, or back to the Lord, and to help them rediscover the hand of God in their lives.


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