Module Narrative

Module Code: MIN3000
Module Title: Church Growth Perspectives
Level: 6
Credit points: 30
Module Leader: Marvin Sanguinetti

This module aims to enhance students’ understanding of various models for church growth, historically and currently, against the background of cultural needs and diversity. It develops students’ understanding of the factors that help or hinder the church growth, and further develops skills in analyzing and applying those factors in specific church situations. Students will proffer possible solutions to issues identified.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, the successful student will be able to:

1. critically evaluate the biblical foundations for the major principles of Church growth (B1)

2. critically assess historic revivals within various countries (D3)

3. analyse the place of mentoring in church leadership and evaluate its impact on church growth (B3)

4. evaluate the importance of worship styles in relation to church growth and the extent of their impact in different situations

5. evaluate the variety of cell group models within the church worldwide and their effectiveness in promoting church growth (D4)

This module will call for the successful student to demonstrate:

6. the ability to analyse current attitudes and activities relating to growth in a local church setting and develop strategies for achieving future growth

7. the ability to cope with the practical and administrative problems associated with change and church growth

The biblical base for church growth; revivals e.g. the Welsh Revival the Argentinean Revival and revival in other parts of the world; historic and current models for church growth; the role of leadership in Church Growth; the role of music and evangelism in church growth; use of the media in church growth with both the positive and negative elements; seeker friendly churches; Saddleback Community Church; the Alpha Course, its history and development; the place of mentoring; the Church Service, The Celebration, The Congregation and The Cell Group. Diagnosing the health of a local church.

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

Staff-led lectures examine the biblical foundations and various models for church growth and factors that help or hinder. Further lectures examine various historic revivals and their impact on church growth.

Issues arising from lectures will form the basis for student-led small group discussion during seminars in week 8. Formative feedback enables students to further develop written and analytical skills, which form a foundation for further study in preparation for a summative essay in week 16.

Student-led discussion groups act as a focus for further development of topics concerning the Pastoral issues arising from various case studies.

Students are required to undertake 2 months placement in a Pastoral situation, e.g. Church or charity, and write a reflective journal on their evaluation of the growth of that organisation, its health and future direction (summative assessment week 22). Their work supervisor will also write a report of their contribution to the organisation.

This placement must not be taken in the student’s home church or an organisation where they have previously been an employee, volunteer or member. The placement must be agreed with your module leader. Students will be given a letter of introduction for the Pastor or Leader of the organisation where they will undertake this placement.

Tutorial time enables Tutors to give formative feedback on draft essays, guidance to students on developing their presentations and constructive feedback on summative work.

Independent study to supplement these activities is an essential element of the programme, including reading and producing the module assignments.

Assessment Scheme

  • Student-led small group discussion (formative assessment) in week 8 [outcomes 1 and 2]
  • Individual essay 2000 words (summative assessment) in week 20 [outcomes 1 and 2]
  • Reflective journal of work experience 3000 words and Supervisor’s report (summative assessment) in week 24 [outcomes 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7]

Assessment Weighting
Essay                                                                                            40%
Work experience journal and supervisors report               60%

Learning materials


Ammerman, N. et al. eds. 1998. Studying Congregations: A New Handbook. Nashville: Abingdon.

Beckham, W. A. 2001. Redefining Revival: Preparing Your Church for 21st Century Expansion. Houston: Touch.

Chadwick, W. 2001. Stealing Sheep: The Church’s Hidden Problem with Transfer Growth.Downers Grove, IL: Inter Varsity.

Greenway, J. E. 2007. Make Room to Grow: Transform the Church Without Killing the Congregation. Nashville: Abingdon.

McGavran, D. A.1981. Back to Basics in Church Growth. Wheaton: Tyndale.

McGavran, D. edited by Wagner, C. 1990. Understanding Church Growth. 3rd ed., revised by Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. (Core Text)


Adedibu, B. 2009. Storytelling: an effective communication appeal in preaching. UK: Wisdom Summit.

Gibbs, E. and Bolger, R. 2006. Emerging Churches: Creating Christian Communities in Postmodern Cultures. London: SPCK.

Harris, J. H. 1991. Pastoral Theology: A Black Church Perspective. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress.

Kerridge, R. 1995. The Storm is Passing Over: A Look at Black Churches in Britain. London: Thames and Hudson.

Sturge, M. 2005. Look what the Lord has done! An exploration of black Christian Faith in Britain. London: SU.

Robinson, M. and Smith, D. 2003. Invading Secular Space: Strategies for Tomorrow’s Church. London: Monarch.

Tomlin, G. 2008. The Provocative Church. London: SPCK.

Ward, P. 2008. Participation and Mediation: a practical theology for the liquid church. London: SCM.

Weber, R. E. 1999. Ancient-Future Faith: Rethinking Evangelicalism for a Postmodern World. Grand Rapids: Baker Books.

Wilkinson, J. L. 1993. Church in Black and White: The Black Christian Tradition in ‘Mainstream’ Churches in England: A White Response and Testimony. Edinburgh: St Andrew Press.

Williams, R. 2004. Mission-Shaped Church: Church Planting and Fresh Expressions of Church in a Changing Context. London: Church House Publishing.


International review of mission

Reflective Practice: Formation & Supervision in Ministry

The International Bulletin of Missionary research

Students MUST purchase core text for respective modules.