Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Doctor of Ministry Thesis-Project
Abstract: The purpose of this research project was (1) to clarify the common identity and shared features of gospel city movements (GCMs) in the U.S., and (2) to discern the perceived applicability and usefulness of the collective impact (CI) model to current largescale movements. This study was grounded in a theology of the city which was constructed through a biblical survey of the metanarrative of Scripture. A phenomenological qualitative research method was used, and a purposeful sample procedure identified seven major GCMs in the U.S. that were included in this project.
Individual in-depth interviews were conducted with the executive leaders of each GCM, and inductive analysis revealed five themes most pertinent to the research objectives: (a) GCMs practice local orientation within particular city contexts, (b) GCMs share purposeful unity for city transformation, (c) GCMs engage their cities with a holistic gospel, (d) GCMs incorporate the laity as integral to the movement, and (e) GCMs express central operating characteristics.
Based on this research project, five areas of implications were suggested for present-day GCMs: (1) understanding GCMs as supernatural and natural response, (2) considering GCMs as revitalization movements, (3) appreciating the diversity and commonality of GCMs, (4) assessing what is currently needed in GCMs, and (5) advancing intentional conversation among GCMs. Limitations of the current study and recommendations for future research are also presented.