Doctor of Ministry Faculty

Dr. Frederick D. Aquino, Professor of Systematic Theology

M.Div., Abilene Christian University, 1993; M.A., Abilene Christian University, 1994; Ph.D., Southern Methodist University, 2000.

Fred brings his strong experience as a philosophical theologian into active conversation with preaching and ministry. Known for his thoughtful questions and his deep intellect, he enjoys his experiences with D.Min. students at the intersection of faith, knowledge, and practice.

Dr. Jonathan Camp, Assistant Professor of Communication; Director, Organizational Development Program

B.A., Harding University, 1995; M.Div., Harding Graduate School of Religion, 1999; D.Min., Abilene Christian University, 2007; Ph.D., The University of Memphis, 2008.

As a graduate of ACU's D.Min. program, Jon served as a minister for several years. He completed a Ph.D. in Communication and now directs ACU's master’s program in Organizational Development. His primary focus is on leadership in "helping" professions such as healthcare and ministry. Jon conducts research on communication habits of leaders who practice healthy self-differentiation amid conflict. As a qualitative researcher, he prepares congregational leaders in methods which cultivate deep attentiveness to underlying organizational structures, especially as they relate to uncovering and addressing conditions of marginality and exclusion.

Dr. Jeff Childers, Professor; Carmichael-Walling Chair of New Testament and Early Christianity

B.A., Abilene Christian University, 1989; M.A., M.Div., ACU, 1992; M.St., University of Oxford, 1993; D.Phil., University of Oxford, 1996.

Jeff has been teaching in the D.Min. program for over ten years, utilizing his gifted scholarship to inform Christian spiritual formation and congregational vitality. These commitments are reflected in his own publishing, which includes: Crux of the Matter, Unveiling Glory: Visions of Christ’s Transforming Presence, At the River’s Edge, "When Worlds Collide: Clashing Spiritual Styles in Church," and "Moving to the Rhythms of Christian Life: Baptism for Children Raised in the Church." Jeff finds it especially gratifying to work with ministerial leaders in the D.Min. program, learning about their contexts and coaching them as they imagine new and richer ways to apply the wisdom of the Christian tradition in their own ministries.

Dr. Chris Flanders, Associate Professor of Missions; Director, Halbert Institute for Missions

B.A., Abilene Christian University; M.S., Abilene Christian University; M.Div., Abilene Christian University; Ph.D., Fuller Theological Seminary

Chris brings eleven years of mission work and church planting to his ongoing consultation practice with church leaders, ministers, and missionaries. His newly published book, About Face: Rethinking Face for 21st Century Mission, reflects his commitments to reading culture to inform ministry and mission. Chris loves to engage ministers and leaders in the ongoing conversation about how missional theology shapes North American ecclesial practices.


Dr. David Fleer, Professor of Bible and Communication at Lipscomb University; Adjunct Professor at ACU

B.A., Washington State University, 1976; M.Div., Abilene Christian University, 1981; D.Min., Fuller Seminary, 1987; M.S., Portland State University, 1991; Ph.D., University of Washington, 1995.

David’s excellence as a preacher and a teacher of preaching makes him a popular and sought-after instructor. Creativity and imagination, coupled with a deep passion for preaching, serve David’s capacity to engage practitioners of preaching in learning environments with wonder and delight. David also directs the Christian Scholar’s Conference, an annual gathering of scholars that focuses on the integration of faith and learning.

Dr. Jaime Goff, Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy; Chair, Department of Marriage and Family Studies

B.A., Ohio Valley University, 1999; B.S., Ohio Valley University, 1999; M.MFT, Abilene Christian University, 2001; Ph.D, Michigan State University, 2004.

Jaime’s experience in marriage and family therapy and her strong pastoral gifts serve her well in the course she teaches in the ACU D.Min. program. Well acquainted with both clinical and congregational contexts, she offers D.Min. students a strong resource in understanding the multi-faceted dynamics of home and family contexts.

Dr. Mark Hamilton, Professor of Old Testament

B.A., Freed-Hardeman College; M.A., Abilene Christian University; M.Div., Abilene Christian University; Ph.D., Harvard University.

After ministering several years in congregations in Connecticut and Massachusetts and studying at Harvard University, Mark moved to ACU in 2000. Through his teaching of Hebrew and Old Testament, he tries to convey to students in both graduate and undergraduate classes a passion for the "strange world of Scripture," and to draw anyone who will listen into the stories, rituals, poems, and prayers that make up Israel's texts. To that end, he speaks often in churches and schools in the United States and has taught in colleges in New Zealand, Croatia, Ghana, and Russia. The author of numerous books and articles, he seeks above all to love his family—Samjung, Nathan, and Hannah—and to use his gifts to bring glory to God. 


Dr. Elaine Heath, McCreless Professor of Evangelism, Southern Methodist University; Adjunct Professor at ACU

B.A. Oakland University, 1990; M.Div., Ashland Theological Seminary, 1995; Ph.D., Duquesne University, 2002.

From The Mystic Way of Evangelism to her forthcoming title, Gospel Bearing: The Theory and Practice of Apostolic Life, Elaine demonstrates her commitment to the integration of theology and congregational practices. Elaine is deeply involved in both intentional, missional communities and established congregations. As a noted lecturer, teacher, and learning facilitator, her work creates a marvelous backdrop for ministers and D.Min. students to expand their facility for leadership, discipleship, and evangelism.


Dr. Thomas Long, Brady Professor of Preaching at Candler School of Theology (Emory), Adjunct Professor at ACU

B.A., Erksine College, 1968; M.Div.; Erksine Theological Seminary, 1971; Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary, 1980

Renowned as teacher of homiletics and as a powerful preacher, Tom Long brings both scholarship and practice together in the classroom. His textbooks on preaching and his commitment to congregational vitality make him an excellent resource for our D.Min. program. But what students and preachers may appreciate more than anything else is Tom's pastoral insight and his capacity to help preachers develop the art of preaching in ways that serve the church's mission.


Dr. John Ogren, Adjunct Professor at ACU

B.A., Harding University, 1990; M.Div., Abilene Christian University, 1995; D.Min., Abilene Christian University, 2006; Ph.D., Luther Seminary, in progress.

As a staff minister and church planter, John has developed strong skills in thinking about context, culture, and the nature of the church. His own studies in ACU’s D.Min. program and Luther Seminary’s Ph.D. program have sharpened his commitments to local discernment, hermeneutics, and the practices of congregations.

Dr. Carson E. Reed, Assistant Professor of Practical Theology; Director, Doctor of Ministry and CBS Continuing Education Programs

B.A. Oklahoma Christian University; M.Div., Harding School of Theology; D.Min., Abilene Christian University.

Carson brings 30 years of congregational ministry into conversation with the renewed discipline of practical theology. Recognized as a minister to ministers, he sees his task as bringing the many resources of ACU and of the academy to revitalize congregational leaders in partnering with God’s mission in the world.

Dr. Timothy R. Sensing, Professor of Ministry; Associate Dean, Graduate School of Theology

M.Th., Harding Graduate School of Religion, 1984; D.Min., HGSR, 1992; Th.M., Duke Divinity School, 1994; Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1998.

Tim’s involvement with the D.Min. program began in 1999. Emerging from that work are two books, Qualitative Research: A Multi-Methods Approach to Projects for Doctor of Ministry Theses and The Effective Practice of Ministry: Essays in Memory of Charles Siburt. Tim's primary area of research is in homiletics, narrative research models, and ethnographic based congregational studies.

Dr. Jerry Taylor, Associate Professor, Department of Bible, Missions, and Ministry

B.A., Southwestern Christian College, 1984; M.Div., Southern Methodist University, 1988; D.Min., Southern Methodist University, 1995.

Jerry’s passion is preaching, but what fuels that passion is his relentless commitment to be in the presence of God. Highly sought after as a preacher across the country, Jerry travels widely. Yet the thing that keeps Jerry grounded is his disciplined commitment to the practices of silence and solitude. In the D.Min. program, Jerry helps preachers manage the practices of engagement with multicultural social contexts while listening to the voice of God.
Dr. John B. Weaver, Dean, Library Services and Educational Technology

B.A., University of Arkansas, 1995; M.A., University of Chicago Divinity School, 1998; M.L.I.S., University of South Carolina, 2004; Ph.D., Emory University, 2004.

A New Testament scholar, John has served as a pulpit minister and deacon in a number of different states and continents for over 15 years. He has worked as a leader in the two largest theological libraries in North America (at Emory University and Columbia University), and is past president of the American Theological Library Association. His current teaching and research occurs at the intersection of technology and theology—especially the use and misuse of digital media in Christian practices of spiritual discipline and community formation. In addition to leading academic initiatives in online and blended learning at ACU, John is authoring a book on Christian theology and digital culture, which explores the emerging transformation of the classical theological disciplines by new media, and the potential for counter-formation of digital technologies through critical theological reflection and practice.
Dr. David Wray, Faculty Emeritus, College of Biblical Studies

B.S., Abilene Christian College, 1967; M.S., Abilene Christian University, 1970; D.R.E., Temple Baptist Theological Seminary, 1995.

David Wray is an elder at the Highland Church of Christ in Abilene. He served for 20 years in congregational ministry before transitioning to teaching and aD.Min.istering in the College of Biblical Studies at ACU. During his tenure at ACU, some of David’s roles included Associate Professor of Ministry and Christian Education; Chair of the Department of Bible, Missions, and Ministry; and Associate Dean for Spiritual Life and Co-Curriculum. After retiring from ACU, David has continued to consult with church leaders and teach in ACU’s D.Min. program.
    Application Deadline:
 Summer 2016
  • January 15, 2016

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Featured Spotlight

For some, the journey to victory can be pretty grueling. Such was the case for Danny Mercer, preaching minister for Friendswood Church of Christ near Houston. After suffering from a cancerous brain tumor, he beat the disease and completed his Doctor of Ministry degree at ACU in 2013.


Read more about 
Danny's journey


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