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Meet the Faculty

Dwight Zscheile

Dwight Zscheile

Associate Professor of Congregational Mission and Leadership

  • Ph.D. (Luther Seminary)
  • M.Div. (Yale University)

Biography

Dwight Zscheile joined the Luther Seminary faculty in 2008 as assistant professor of Congregational Mission and Leadership and was promoted to associate professor in 2014. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction from Stanford University, Calif., in 1995, having also attended Oxford University, and a Master of Divinity degree from Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Conn., in 1998. He completed the Doctor of Philosophy degree at Luther Seminary with a focus on congregational mission and leadership in 2008.

Zscheile is the author of The Agile Church: Spirit-Led Innovation in an Uncertain Age (Morehouse Publishing, 2014), People of the Way: Renewing Episcopal Identity (Morehouse Publishing, 2012) and The Missional Church in Perspective (with Craig Van Gelder; Baker Academic, 2011). He is the editor of Cultivating Sent Communities: Missional Spiritual Formation (Eerdmans, 2012).

His essays and articles include “Disruptive Innovations and the Deinstitutionalization of Religion.” Journal of Religious Leadership, 14, no. 2 (Fall 2015), “From Establishment to Innovation: Rethinking Structure in a New Apostolic Age” in What Shall We Become: The Future and Structure of the Episcopal Church (Church Publishing, 2013), “Christian Biblical Understandings of Leadership” in The Sage Handbook of Religious Leadership (Sage, 2013), "A More True 'Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society': Toward a Missional Polity for the Episcopal Church" in The Missional Church and Denominations (Eerdmans 2008), "The Trinity, Leadership, and Power" (Journal of Religious Leadership 6, no. 2 (Fall 2007)), "Beyond Benevolence: Toward a Reframing of Mission in the Episcopal Church" (Journal of Anglican Studies 8, no. 1, 2010), and "Social Networking and Church Systems," Word and World Summer 2010. He has also contributed to WorkingPreacher.org and Leading Ideas, an online publication of Wesley Theological Seminary. Zscheile's doctoral thesis, "Reframing Mission," focused on a large-scale action-research intervention into a mainline denominational judicatory that mobilized grassroots members to address challenges of decline, crisis, and renewal.

Zscheile was ordained in The Episcopal Church in 2005 and has served on mission and leadership task forces in the Dioceses of Minnesota and Virginia. He served on the Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church. Before coming to Luther, Zscheile was executive pastor at St. David's Episcopal Church, Ashburn, Va. He currently serves part-time as associate priest at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in St. Paul, alongside his wife, Blair Pogue, the rector. Zscheile has been involved in leadership roles in congregations in Connecticut, Virginia, and Minnesota.

Zscheile is a past editor of the Journal of Religious Leadership, where he continues to serve on the editorial board. He is a board member of the American Society of Missiology and Word and World journal.

He was named a Marquand Scholar at Yale Divinity School (1995-8), a Lewis Fellow at Wesley Theological Seminary (2005-6) and was awarded the David and Martha Tiede Fellowship from Luther Seminary (2006-7).

Featured Work

The Agile Church: Spirit-Led Innovation in an Uncertain Age

The Agile Church: Spirit-Led Innovation in an Uncertain Age

Morehouse Publishing (November, 2014)

In today’s dynamic cultural environment, churches have to be more than faithful—they have to be agile. That means embracing processes of trial, failure, and adaptation as they form Christian community with new neighbors. And that means a whole new way of being church. Taking one page from the Bible and another from Silicon Valley, priest and scholar Dwight Zscheile brings theological insights together with cutting-edge thinking on organizational innovation to help churches flourish in a time of profound uncertainty and spiritual opportunity. Picking up where his recent bestseller, People of the Way left off, Zscheile answers urgent and practical questions around how churches become agile and adaptive to meet cultural change.

The Agile Church: Spirit-Led Innovation in an Uncertain Age

Courses

CL 0540 01TRANSFORMING CHR COMM FOR MISSION Spring Semester 2016-2017

This course focuses on critical theological reflection on practices and strategies for doing missional ministry within specific contexts. Working through case studies of particular communities, students deepen their imagination around mission and expand their capacity for leading communities in participating in God's mission in the world, including fostering innovation and cultivating new forms of Christian community.

CL 0520 01CHURCH ORGANIZATION AND LEADERSHIP Fall Semester 2016-2017

This course focuses on church organization, polity, and missional leadership. It explores theological and theoretical definitions of leadership, cultivating congregational identity and vision, gifts discernment in the body of Christ, leading teams, overseeing finances and facilities, leading change, addressing conflict, and creating a culture of leadership multiplication. Students engage in self-reflection on their own gifts and ongoing leadership development.

SG 0405 01LEADING CHRISTIAN COMM IN MISSION Fall Semester 2016-2017

This course introduces students to the complex realities of forming and leading Christian communities in a pluralist era. Students engage biblical and theological traditions for understanding the triune God's mission in the world and how this shapes the church's missional identity and leadership. Insights from sociology help students interpret persons and communities similar to and different from them for the sake of witness and service. Through attending carefully to specific Christian communities and their contexts, students develop imagination, practices, habits, and skills for faithful and innovative public leadership. IN J-TERM / SPRING - MUST REGISTER FOR BOTH 0.5 COURSES TO EQUAL 1.0 FULL COURSE.

CL 7512 01PASTORAL IDENTITY LDRSP SPIRITUAL DMIN Session II - CML 2016-2017

This seminar focuses on forming and renewing pastoral identity in relationship to the leadership of the Holy Spirit in local churches. Students explore adaptive leadership, organizational learning, and communal discernment in light of the Spirit’s work of forming and reforming community. Students are introduced more deeply to action research as a paradigm for participatory, collaborative change.

CL 7512 01PASTORAL IDENTITY LDRSP SPIRITUAL DMIN Session II - CML 2015-2016

This seminar focuses on forming and renewing pastoral identity in relationship to the leadership of the Holy Spirit in local churches. Students explore adaptive leadership, organizational learning, and communal discernment in light of the Spirit’s work of forming and reforming community. Students are introduced more deeply to action research as a paradigm for participatory, collaborative change.

CL 7511 01INTEGRATION OF THEOL AND MINISTRY DMIN Session I - CML 2015-2016

This seminar provides participants with an opportunity to reflect on their ministry experiences by utilizing a variety of methods for doing theology. They engage in theological reflection in relation to the practice of ministry and integrate their previous theological training with their ongoing learning and experience. Attention is focused on building capacity for doing theology in context, while also orienting them to utilizing action research for engaging in change processes. COURSE MEETS JULY 25-29, 2016

CL 0510 50EVANGELISM IN CONTEMPORARY CONTEXTSSpring Semester 2014-2015

What does it mean for the body of Christ to bear faithful witness in today's diverse contexts? In this course students explore evangelism biblically and theologically as a contextual phenomenon. They gain insights into proclaiming the gospel holistically through deep listening and compassionate dialogue and service. A variety of sociological and cultural lenses help students interpret audiences for the gospel. The course culminates in a creative project that invites students to articulate their own working theology of evangelism for a specific situation.

SG 0405 01LEADING CHRISTIAN COMM IN MISSION Spring Semester 2014-2015

This course introduces students to the complex realities of forming and leading Christian communities in a pluralist era. Students engage biblical and theological traditions for understanding the triune God's mission in the world and how this shapes the church's missional identity and leadership. Insights from sociology help students interpret persons and communities similar to and different from them for the sake of witness and service. Through attending carefully to specific Christian communities and their contexts, students develop imagination, practices, habits, and skills for faithful and innovative public leadership.

CL 0520 01CHURCH ORGANIZATION AND LEADERSHIP Fall Semester 2014-2015

This course focuses on church organization, polity, and missional leadership. It explores theological and theoretical definitions of leadership, cultivating congregational identity and vision, gifts discernment in the body of Christ, leading teams, overseeing finances and facilities, leading change, addressing conflict, and creating a culture of leadership multiplication. Students engage in self-reflection on their own gifts and ongoing leadership development.

SG 0405 50LEADING CHRISTIAN COMM IN MISSION Fall Semester 2014-2015

This course introduces students to the complex realities of forming and leading Christian communities in a pluralist era. Students engage biblical and theological traditions for understanding the triune God's mission in the world and how this shapes the church's missional identity and leadership. Insights from sociology help students interpret persons and communities similar to and different from them for the sake of witness and service. Through attending carefully to specific Christian communities and their contexts, students develop imagination, practices, habits, and skills for faithful and innovative public leadership.

CL 7512 02PASTORAL IDENTITY LDRSP SPIRITUAL DMIN Session II - CML 2014-2015

This seminar focuses on forming and renewing pastoral identity in relationship to the leadership of the Holy Spirit in local churches. Students explore adaptive leadership, organizational learning, and communal discernment in light of the Spirit’s work of forming and reforming community. Students are introduced more deeply to action research as a paradigm for participatory, collaborative change.

CL 7532 02THEOL FOUNDATIONS CONG VIT PART II DMIN Session II - CML 2014-2015

This seminar helps participants implement the thesis proposal that was developed in the previous seminar, a thesis proposal that incorporates a theologically-informed use of social science research. Participants are also guided through the writing process of drafting the first four chapters of their eventual thesis—introduction, literature review and theoretical perspectives, biblical and theological perspectives, and research methodology.

CL 7511 01INTEGRATION OF THEOL AND MINISTRY DMIN Session I - CML 2014-2015

This seminar provides participants with an opportunity to reflect on their ministry experiences by utilizing a variety of methods for doing theology. They engage in theological reflection in relation to the practice of ministry and integrate their previous theological training with their ongoing learning and experience. Attention is focused on building capacity for doing theology in context, while also orienting them to utilizing action research for engaging in change processes.

View new and notable publications from our faculty.

Faculty Publications