Discipleship to Jesus is a wonderful privilege! But is discipleship in the 21st century as revolutionary and transformational as it was in the 1st century? Scripture says emphatically, “Yes!” But how is this to be realized in your personal and ministry lives? The many formulaic, program-driven agendas that arrive in your mailbox are often not the answer. How can you experience, and how can you help your people to grow in, authentic discipleship to Jesus Christ? Talbot can help.
Discipleship to Jesus for the 21st Century is a Doctor of Ministry track designed to make authentic discipleship to Jesus Christ a present-day reality. With Michael Wilkins as your faculty-mentor, and with a host of highly esteemed guest lecturers, you will explore the first century world of biblical discipleship to Jesus, and discover how to encourage your people to become a community of disciples committed to living radically in the church and the world as 21st century disciples of Jesus.
Year One: Personal Discipleship to Jesus (June 3-14, 2013)
During the first week you will explore your own background in discipleship in light of the historical and biblical context of discipleship. We will seek to understand Jesus’ form of discipleship as distinct from other forms found in the ancient world. This will lead to an understanding of discipleship as Jesus intended it to be developed in the early church, as well as how Paul, Peter, and other biblical authors developed discipleship and spiritual formation in their writings.
During the second week, you will examine and apply these biblical principles of discipleship in your personal life. You will develop a strategy of personal growth in your own discipleship to Jesus, and how that can be implemented in the lives of those within your ministry.
Year Two: The Church in Discipleship to Jesus (June 2-13, 2014)
During the first week of this residency you will explore God’s plan for the church and how discipleship can be understood as the wholistic ministry of the church in the first and 21st centuries. You will be assisted by guest lecturers and Michael Wilkins in understanding the nature of the church and its relation to discipleship. We will also visit the cutting-edge ministries of local churches to see how they work to flesh-out the church as a family.
In the second week of this residency we will visit with other veteran church leaders in their ministry locations to help examine specific practices of discipleship within the church. This will include visiting other churches where we will look at various aspects of discipleship: mentoring, leadership development, small groups, etc. Considering discipleship as the ministry of the church allows each of these subcategories to be placed within a workable strategy for wholisistic development of individuals and the church.
Year Three: Discipleship to Jesus Lived in the World (June 1-12, 2015)
The third year builds upon the prior studies to focus upon how discipleship is lived in our everyday world. During the first week you will explore with Dr. Wilkins the relationship of the biological family to the spiritual community—the church. Church and family experts will guide you to elaborate the working relationship between family and church discipleship. We will discuss women and men in discipleship to Jesus, and how they can support and promote each other.
The second week expands the study to include developing a discipleship strategy in evangelism, in the marketplace and in our current global culture. Veteran Christian leaders will guide you through an examination of strategies to build a local discipleship community that reaches into your family, neighborhood, school, workplace, and the world.
The Faculty Mentor
Dr. Michael J. Wilkins — With more than thirty years of experience in both academic and church ministry, Dr. Michael Wilkins (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary, New Testament) is currently Distinguished Professor of New Testament Language and Literature and also Dean of the Faculty at Talbot/Biola. His expertise has resulted in authoring many books and articles on biblical discipleship for the academy and the church, including a technical monograph entitled The Concept of Disciple in Matthew’s Gospel as Reflected in the Use of the Term Mathetes, NovTSup LIX, a mid-range book for students and people in ministry entitled Following the Master: A Biblical Theology of Discipleship, and a popular-level book entitled In His Image: Reflecting Christ in Everyday Life. He has authored or co-edited several other books, including the award-winning commentary on Matthew in the NIV Application Commentary. Dr. Wilkins’ broad experience will be used to assist you in understanding the nature of discipleship to Jesus, and how that can transform your personal and family life, and ministry for Jesus in the church, the marketplace, and in the world.