Date of Award

Spring 2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Barnett College of Ministry & Theology


Department of Christian Ministries and Religion

Primary Advisor

Dr. William Hackett

Second Advisor

Dr. Terry Raburn

Third Advisor

Dr. Jeremy Sims


The importance and impact of having a father in the home is undisputable. Statistics dictate that the effect of fatherlessness on children is devastating. Could it be that having a spiritual father or mother involved in a believer’s life makes a verifiable difference as well? This dissertation will investigate the effects of spiritual fathering as evidenced by the spiritual disciplines of those who identify as having a strong spiritual father or mother. The Apostle Paul said, “Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel” (I Cor 5:14, NLT). Mal 4:5-6 says, “Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the LORD arrives. His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse” (NLT). There is a call in the Body of Christ today for spiritual fathers to rise and take their place. This dissertation will apply qualitative and quantitative studies to demonstrate the important roles that spiritual fathers play in the spiritual lives of those who look to them. It will also provide some best practices for spiritual fathers as observed in the lives of those who are currently serving in this role. Lastly, it will confirm that spiritual fathers provide connection, validation, direction, provision, and commission to their sons and daughters, which greatly enhances their lives and ministries.