New Olivet resource brings students, pastors and church leaders together for transformational ministry

Equipping, inspiring, and empowering creative, missional, collaborative leadership in a theological framework.

February 8, 2019 Uncategorized

The Center for Theological Leadership (CTL) at Olivet Nazarene University is creating a theologically rich environment for innovative, missional leaders to collaborate and journey together into the future of ministry in the 21st century. 


“In a rapidly changing world filled with opportunities to explore a holistic approach to communal and personal transformation, the Church needs leaders who are willing to imagine, dream, explore, risk, and hope,” says Dr. Jeff Stark, director of Olivet’s Center for Theological Leadership and associate professor in the School of Theology and Christian Ministry.

The mission of the CTL is to encourage Church leaders to engage with the mission of God through events, residencies, collaborative learning environments, and innovative experiential opportunities. Olivet founded the CTL to leverage the passion of Christian leaders to bring ministry into a meaningful theological framework. 

The CTL operates with three primary objectives:
•    To equip leaders to assess the context of ministry and develop strategies to ensure a robust theological framework for practice and measurement of significance. 
•    To inspire leaders to imagine their participation in the redemptive purposes of God, taking into account a holistic approach to ministry that leverages their expertise across academic disciplines for both communal and individual transformation. 
•    To empower leaders to start new endeavors, network with community organizations, and address the systemic ills that can prevent communities and individuals from stepping into God’s desired future for them.


“The Church is a community of hope, bearing witness to God’s good purposes in this world,” says Dr. Stark. “When followers of Christ offer hope in meaningful ways, they partner with God to transform conflicts, communities, churches, and individuals. That drives who I am in ministry, what I’m about, and CTL’s purpose.” 

Describing himself as a catalyst, equipper, and connector, Dr. Stark will lead a team of ministry professionals in the CTL’s work. As a pastor for 16 years, Dr. Stark talks openly about the Christian leader’s responsibility to faithfully and theologically stand where the world and the Church intersect. “The world has changed around us,” he says. “Ministry doesn’t look like it did in the past. Significant themes in our culture demand a theological voice and creative, practical application.”

Two special public events mark the launch of the CTL. In October 2018, the Multiplication Summit was held at Olivet, bringing together 35 pastors, district superintendents, and church planters from all over the United States to discuss the priority of creating a culture of multiplication. 

On September 5, 2019, Olivet will host the 2019 Theological Leadership Conference, featuring noted contemporary theologian N.T. Wright. Dr. Ron Dalton of the School of Theology and Christian Ministry is taking the lead for planning, organizing and managing the conference.

To learn more about Olivet’s School of Theology and Christian Ministry, contact the Office of Admissions at or 800-648-1463.

Published: 2/8/2019

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