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Kevin O'Coin

Admissions as Transformation Process: Expanding the Role of Seminary Admissions Personnel in Prospective Students' Enrolment Discernment Process
Kevin is the Associate Director of Enrolment with ACTS Seminaires. He has a passion for spiritual formation and in his spare time loves to bike, run and spend time outdoors with his family.

This project proposes that Christian higher education institutions should shift their marketing approach toward facilitating caring, spiritual formation conversations that help prospective students discern their enrolment in seminary. The primary question is whether incorporating recognized spiritual care practices into these conversations increases the likelihood that research participants describe the conversations as being helpful in determining enrolment in seminary. The results show a marked increase among the experimental group in overall satisfaction with their enrolment discernment conversation experience in general.

Kenneth Goh

Association of Emotional Intelligence and Small Group Leader Job Satisfaction
Kenneth Goh, Senior Pastor, Educator, lecturer and life skill consultant with a Master's Degree in Theology and Education. He is a certified Gallup-Certified Strengths Coach, DISC Behavioural Analyst and EQ Consultant with Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Network.

The purpose of this project is to investigate the correlation or influence of Emotional Intelligence (EI), or the lack thereof, has on the job satisfaction of small group leaders who serve in Chinese churches and whose effectiveness may be reduced due to a lack of essential life skills leadership training in EI. The results yielded from this study bring significant value to the planning, designing, developing, implementing, and evaluating of church leadership programs, especially in small group ministry.

Rob Dyck

Christian Millennials and Their Spiritual Formation: Utilizing Expository Preaching to Impact British Columbian Mennonite Brethren Millennials
Rob Dyck is the Lead Pastor at Westwood Church in Prince George, BC and has served in pastoral ministry for twenty eight years. In pastoral ministry, he finds great joy in utilizing preaching as one transformative tool in the discipleship process. Together with his wife Leanne, a clinical counsellor, he enjoys spending time with his three young adult children and new son in law, competitive curling, coaching his son volleyball, camping, running, and driving highway semis when he has the opportunity.

This research project argues that expository preaching which is shaped around insightful biblical exegesis and applied with relevance, and which always points the listener to Jesus, while being embodied by authentic messengers, will contribute to the spiritual formation of British Columbian Mennonite Brethren (BCMB) Christian millennials. The results reveal that while only slightly more than half of the survey participants indicate that a sermon is a primary source of their spiritual formation, key aspects of sermon communication that contribute to their spiritual formation include exegetical depth, the centrality of Jesus, unapologetic engagement with culturally and morally divisive issues, and authenticity demonstrated by the preacher.

Victor Chan

Coaching Emerging Leaders in Chinese Christian and Missionary Alliance Churches in Canada
Victor Chan is the Senior Pastor at Toronto Swatow Baptist Church in Toronto, Ontario and has served in pastoral ministry for 25 years. In pastoral ministry, he has a passion through asking thought-provoking questions to empower Christians to think deeper with personal reflection in Bible study.

This research project studies how the three core factors of coaching, namely, empowering others, active listening and asking thought-provoking questions, would affect the effectiveness of coaching to develop emerging leaders in the multicultural setting of Chinese Alliance churches in Canada (hereafter called CAC). The results of the qualitative analysis of participants’ responses suggested a positive evaluation of these three factors. The research findings revealed not only the strength of asking a series of questions but also some challenges in coaching emerging Chinese leaders. To unpack these challenges, the situations of people of diverse cultures in CAC, namely, high versus low power distance, individualism versus collectivism, and postmodernism versus modernism, become the foci of studying the implications of the research findings as they apply to coach emerging leaders in CAC. The research findings support the notion that coaching is a useful leadership development tool, worthy of being promoted for the development of emerging leaders in CAC.

Barton Priebe

Belonging to God's Family: Measuring the Effect of Sermons on Paul's Doctrine of Adoption in the Lives of Believers
Barton Priebe completed his Doctor of Ministry from ACTS Seminaries in 2020 and holds a Master of Arts in Christian Studies also from ACTS and a Bachelor of Arts in Missions from Columbia Bible College. Dr. Priebe was appointed President of Northwest Seminary and College in 2022.

This project argues that the apostle Paul’s doctrine of adoption has been neglected in the creeds, confessions, and writings of Church history and has been overshadowed by
other soteriological metaphors such as justification and regeneration. Following a historical review of adoption, a presentation of new research on the neglect of adoption within Canadian evangelical statements of faith, and a fresh exposition of Paul’s doctrine of adoption, this researcher designed an experiment whereby Christians could encounter Paul’s doctrine of adoption in order to measure its effect in their lives.

Amy Yu

A Phenomenological Study on the Impact of Intergenerational Ministry on Adults' and Children's Spiritual Formation, Especially in Light of Language and Cultural Barriers of Scarborough Chinese Baptist Church
Rev. Dr. Amy Yu has served in English Ministry, Youth Ministry, and Children and Family ministry for almost thirty years. Her Bachelor's degree in Psychology has prepared her to teach in a Christian High School and served as a chaplain and counsellor for students for several years. She later obtained her Master of Divinity in Youth and Family Ministry at Tyndale Seminary and entered pastoral church ministry. Amy graduated with a Doctor of Ministry at Trinity Western Seminary. Her research study was about the impact of intergenerational ministry on adults' and children's spiritual formation. Her ten years of pastoral experience in English Ministry in a Chinese church created a new vision for cultivating faith in children and families. Currently, she is serving at Scarborough Chinese Baptist Church as Charge Pastor for Children's Ministry.

虞黃美蘭牧師博士至力於英語、青年、兒童及家庭事工事奉近三十年。其中曾在基督敎中學任教及擔任宗教輔導,畢業於約克大學心理學系學士,天道神學院主修青年及家庭事工道學碩士, 及三一西方神學院 Trinity Western Seminary 敎牧學博士。虞牧師對研讀跨代事工對成人與兒童的屬靈生命成長特別有興趣。虞牧師曾為英語事工牧者十年,最近十四年致力栽培兒童及家庭工作,現任士嘉堡華人浸信會兒童事工主任。虞牧師除了是許多教會的研討會講員外, 她曾經在 2016 甦靈男人事工周研討會年上就家庭事工其中一位講員。最近她也在銳意門徒訓練教會IDMC 2019中擔任家庭門徒生活操練為研討講員。此外,她受邀在2023 在Nashville舉行的年InterGenerate大會上分享跨代牧養的研究。虞牧師對下一代及家庭事工牧養有特別負擔。與丈夫育有一子一女,喜愛室內設計及欣賞話劇。

After almost 30 years of full-time pastoral ministry at churches and Christian organizations, the researcher realizes that the age-specific model is well-liked by many Chinese immigrant churches. However, issues like generational fragmentation, disconnection between ministries, further segregation of language groups, and a lack of connection with the children are all still prevalent in the churches. Not many churches have previously explored alternatives, and it seems that the age-specific model is a convenient and a common practice in society as well. Nevertheless, the researcher is particularly interested in the impact of intergenerational ministry on children’s and adults’ faith formation.

Teresa Lam

Spiritual Autobiography: A Means of Mediating God’s Faithful Presence
Teresa Lam completed her Master Degree in Christian Studies with ACTS Seminaries in 2009 and served as a family and children pastor in a MB church in Vancouver for a few years. She returned to ACTS Seminaries in 2014 to pursue the Post-Master Certificate in Chaplaincy with ACTS Seminaries. She was inspired by her own experiences in suffering and the studies in ACTS Seminaries to embark on a new adventure - the Doctor of Ministry Research Study with ACTS in 2017. She experienced the joy and hope in Christ through truly experiencing the healing power of the Triune God in all circumstances and by sharing the ups and downs in life with others.


The goal of this project study is to explore the effectiveness of remembering, narrating, and sharing our life stories of loss and grief experiences theologically as a means to empower suffering people to discover or affirm God’s faithful presence, to receive God’s comfort and to extend this healing comfort to others.

A six-weeks curriculum was designed to teach believers how to narrate their spiritual autobiography, to reflect systematically and theologically based on Christian doctrines, theories of other disciplines and personal stories of application.

The research findings support the idea of a timeline autobiographical approach of remembering, systematic recording, and reflecting theologically, especially the loss and grief stories, and the sharing of these stories is effective in helping believers to experience God’s healing presence in their lives and, their personal ongoing spiritual transformation and participation in God’s mission.

T Anderson

Building & Leading Transformational Community in Online Theological Education
T is the Director of Online Learning for MB Seminary, the Associate Director of the ACTS World Campus for ACTS Seminaries, and an Adjunct Professor of Leadership for both MB Seminary and ACTS. T has a passion for online learning, particularly for pedagogical advancement that increases student outcomes and experience. For fun, she enjoys officiating hockey, biking, and cheering on the Canucks.


This project proposes that online theological education emphasize higher faculty engagement with students to enhance the sense of community and transformational growth experienced by online learners in graduate study.

The primary question was whether increasing faculty engagement, primarily through discussion forums and the development of “learning communities” in ACTS World Campus (AWC) online courses, increased the potential for AWC students to deepen their personal and ministry learning.

Based on current literature and best practices in online education, faculty were asked to increase their virtual dialogue with each student throughout the course and contextualize discussion questions and assignments to the student’s person and ministry. Together, these changes were designed to expand students’ sense of community, improve learning outcomes, and help achieve greater personal and ministry growth.

The existing student evaluation process was leveraged to assess the effectiveness of these new practices, and seven new community-oriented questions were added. In part, the 2021/22 evaluation results were compared with baseline testing done through evaluations completed in the previous academic year. The results of the baseline comparison, as well as those from new questions aimed directly at measuring students’ sense of growth, showed a significant increase in both the students’ perceived sense of community and their sense of the faculty’s role in helping to create that community through intentional faculty engagement.

Eric Fehr

How Theological Students use Digital Media in Learning: Preparing for Future Generation Z Graduate Students
Eric Fehr is the Nursing Graduate Programs Coordinator at Trinity Western University. He graduated with his Doctor of Ministry in 2023, and his Master of Theological Studies (New Testament) in 2009. He is also an academic mentor for Northwest Immerse graduate students. In his spare time, he enjoys outdoor adventures with his family, playing and collecting boardgames, and volunteering at swim meets in the summer when his daughter is competing.


The purpose of this project is to help Northwest Seminary prepare to teach these tech-savvy students in an effective and meaningful way that will equip them for powerful work in pastoral ministry and beyond.

The main goal of the research is to discover if the use of digital media and technology adds value and increases satisfaction for graduate Competency Based Theological Education (CBTE) students across several learning competencies, such as personal spiritual formation and leadership capacity. A review of the current literature on digital media and Gen Z students, reveals implications of how they learn, the role of technology in learning, and the use of technology in graduate CBTE programs.

Following the literature review, the project presents the results of a mixed-method sequential explanatory research process. Also, the scholarship shows gaps in the research that have not been explored yet. These gaps include DM and graduate CBTE, and the role of self-directed learning in CBTE. These results give insight into the strengths of the Northwest CBTE degree programs and suggest improvements for teaching and mentoring the next generation of learners.

The results indicate that digital media use for learning increased satisfaction and added value to a student’s CBTE program areas of personal spiritual formation, exegetical competency, theological acumen, cultural competence, and leadership capacity.

Jeff Kuhn

Best Practices for Teaching Contemplative Disciplines in the Local Church for Spiritual Formation in Christlikeness
Jeff Kuhn is the Teaching and Administrative Pastor at Grace Baptist Church in Hope, BC, where he has served for the past 24 years. He is also an adjunct professor with Carey Theological College in Vancouver, teaching in the area of Spiritual Formation. He and his wife Angela have four adult daughters and one son-in-law who bring incredible amounts of joy into their lives.

His ministry passion is centred around the question of personal transformation, more specifically, how can churches help people work with the Holy Spirit in their transformation into the image of Christ. He also enjoys watching NCAA college basketball and barbecuing and/or smoking large chunks of meat to share with the people he loves.


“What are the best practices for teaching contemplative disciplines in the local church as a method for spiritual formation in Christlikeness?"

Results of the project suggest that one element needed to renew discipleship practices in the North American church context is a return to a focus on contemplative spiritual disciplines.

The project surveys the current state of discipleship in the North American church, highlighting the growing trend of those who no longer declare themselves with any religious affiliation and moral and relational failures within the church as examples pointing to a need for a renewal of discipleship practice. It then explores cultural, contextual, and philosophical ideas that have impacted the church and the culture around it, affecting the practice of discipleship.

Teaching of contemplative practices can counter these trajectories. Seven churches actively pursuing contemplative practice were studied. Seven best practices for teaching contemplative disciplines in the local church were identified as a means of spiritual formation in Christlikeness.

The project examines the cultural considerations that make an embrace of contemplative practice suspect in some churches and develops a Biblical and theological foundation that directs the use of these practices. The project concludes with a discussion of the practical implications of the research, which would be helpful as churches seek to redesign and renew the practice of discipleship in their context.

Siu Lai (Gwen) Lam

The "AHA" Moments: Spiritual Interventions and Memories of God in Dementia Care
Gwen graduated from ACTS Seminaries in 2023 with a Doctor of Ministry degree. She also holds a Master of Arts in Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Texas, USA) and a Master of Divinity from Presbyterian College and McGill University (Montreal, Quebec).

She is an ordained minister, serving in three churches for 17 years before responding to God’s call to extend her ministry to the healthcare community. She is now at her 12th year as a full-time chaplain at the Heights at Mt. View long-term care home with Baptist Housing Society. Since graduating from the DMin. program, she has been sharing her research findings at multiple settings, which include orientation with healthcare students, team members meetings, church groups discussion and individual support. Memory Café and Puppetry are the new programs added to spiritual care at her workplace.

Gwen finds peace and enjoyment on regular weekend hikes with her husband. She also considers harp music to be the most sacred sound and continues to learn and play the instrument in her spare time. Gwen and her husband have two adult daughters, with whom they build memories through Gulf Islands hops and overseas travels. She feels blessed for her family’s support and service in her ministries.


The purpose of the research project is to bring awareness of the relationship among three aspects: the “AHA” moments of memories of God, spiritual care interventions and dementia care. The “AHA”, God moments are present and can occur within dementia care communities.

Throughout investigation of this research project, learning experiences of the “AHA” moments, effective care practices and approaches, and proper/ appropriate spiritual care interventions that foster quality of life and well-being of people with dementia will be indicated.

The intent of the research project is never an attempt to out-play God’s intervention in the midst of human life journey. By recognizing the possibility of the occurrence of the “AHA” moments, and witnessing the truth of the existence, it supports the assumption that proper/appropriate spiritual care practices and interventions contribute to the quality of life and well-being of dementia care residents.

The research findings have yielded valuable insights and practical suggestions to support the subject matter. “Best ways”, meaning proper/ appropriate spiritual care practices and interventions, have been identified and tested (evidence based), and thus, answered the research question,

What are the best ways to effectively implement spiritual interventions for the benefit of people with dementia in connection with the “AHA” moments?

Joshua Smith

An Investigation into Best Leadership Practices for Introverted Pastors Working Within a Team Context
Joshua Smith is an introverted pastor in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Josh has been in at the Link Church since 2011, in youth ministry professionally since 2003 and as a volunteer since 1996. Josh has been married since 1999 and has seven daughters with his wife, Beckee and has been a Saskatchewan Roughriders fan since 1976.


This project examines the most common challenges facing introverted pastors working with a team of four staff members or greater. Leaders with extroverted personality types are more likely to be energetic and gregarious, giving them an advantage in networking and self-promotion. Extroverted types are celebrated in Western culture and highly desired for leadership roles. Introverts are reflective and have less social energy than their extroverted colleagues, giving them a disadvantage in certain aspects of pastoral ministry. This project answers the question, “What are best leadership practices for introverted pastors working within a team context?”

Examining the history and evolution of personality theory, this project accurately defines what introversion is and is not. While the majority adults in Western culture have an idea of what introversion and extroversion are, many misconceptions are prevalent in the conversation around personality types. This project also examines the intersection between biblical and theological themes with introverted pastoral leadership.

I identified twelve introverted leaders and five extroverted leaders to participate in this study. Structured interviews were conducted with the seventeen leaders to determine the most common challenges that introverted pastors experience and what perceptions extroverted leaders have of introverted staff members.

The most common challenges for introverted pastors are organized into nine major themes, four minor themes, and one outlier. The goal of this research is not to help introverted leaders become less introverted but to help them become the most effective leaders they can be while embracing their personality type. Based on the interviews with introverted and extroverted leaders, as well as current available research, I give practical suggestions to empower introverted pastors to celebrate their personality traits and lead in the church effectively.