Church Rising: A New Season for the Church

April 20-24, 2020

Pasadena, CA


This class will explore a biblical and historical framework for the renewal of the church in order to imagine and develop emerging forms for local congregations. Paying attention to current realities, cultural contexts, and the work of the Spirit, students will seek to anticipate what the future church might look like, in order to equip current ministries, and provoke congregations towards new shapes and forms. The course is a collaborative project with XEALOTS, a creative human development organization (learn more at


After taking this course, students will:

  • Have a greater understanding of patterns of renewal in the church
  • Recognize the value of creativity and imagination for emerging movements
  • Uncover patterns of revitalization that provoke a future church
  • Discern new imaginations for trajectories of the church
  • Develop skills in congregational study
  • Strategize how renewal principles might impact emerging local ministry contexts.
  • Develop an action plan for their ministry context


"It was refreshing to be encouraged in a school of theology and ministry to think and bear fruit artfully, passionately and with joy. It was good to be reminded of the need for soul care and balance and to consider adaptive change process rather than the technical change process that we are so capable of falling back upon as a solution that may actually be a hindrance to the change the Spirit of God is leading us to."

Kurt Fredrickson is the Associate Dean of Doctor of Ministry and Continuing Education and Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry at Fuller. Prior to this assignment, he was part of the pastoral team at Simi Covenant Church in Simi Valley, CA for twenty-four years (eighteen of those years he was senior pastor). Kurt has served at the regional and national level with his denomination, the Evangelical Covenant Church, as well as in his community as a member of the Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise, a board member of the Free Clinic of Simi Valley, a member of the City of Simi Valley’s Task Force on Homelessness, and as the supervising chaplain with the Simi Valley Police Department. Kurt received his MDiv and DMin degrees from Fuller, and he earned his PhD with Fuller’s School of Intercultural Studies in the area of missional church structures for North America. He co-authored with Cameron Lee That Their Work Will Be a Joy: Understanding and Coping With the Challenges of Ministry(Cascade). His areas of research include the missional church in local contexts with emphasis on the role of pastors, the church and religion in American culture, and the history and future of renewal movements, especially American evangelicalism. He is currently working on a book on the pastor as missionary and shepherd.

Efrem Smith is an internationally recognized leader who uses motivational speaking and preaching to equip people for a life of transformation. He also consults on issues of multi-ethnicity, leadership, and community development for churches, educational institutions, and other organizations.

Efrem has held positions with church and parachurch organizations as well as community foundations. He has also served as Founding Pastor of The Sanctuary Covenant Church and President of The Sanctuary Community Development Corporation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Efrem served as the Superintendent of the Pacific Southwest Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church. Currently, he serves as the President and CEO of World Impact, a urban missions organization committed to the empowerment of the urban poor through the facilitation of church planting movements and leadership development. Efrem is also an Itinerant Speaker with Kingdom Building Ministries. He is the author of the books, Raising-up Young Heroes, The Hip Hop Church, Jump, and The Post-Black and Post-White Church.

Efrem is a graduate of Saint John’s University and Luther Theological Seminary.

Efrem is married to Donecia and has two daughters; Jaeda and Mireya. They reside in the Bay Area of Northern California.

For more information about this course, please email the DMIN office at