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The Department of the Church's Ministry

The Department of the Church's Ministry engages in practical theology, which consists of critical and constructive theological reflection on the practices of the community of faith. God calls people through the church to engage in a number of diverse practices in the course of Christian ministry. This department organizes these practices into the following areas: Christian Education, Leadership and Administration, Mission and Evangelism, Pastoral Care, and Preaching and Worship. Each of these areas of theological inquiry finds its roots in scripture, its foundational doctrines articulated within the tradition, its practices changing throughout history, and its methods in conversation with the social sciences. Consequently through biblical and historical study, theological analysis, and interdisplinary dialogue, this department assists students to gain the understanding and skills necessary to being faithful participants in the ministry of the church.


To view videos from each of the professors in the department, click on their "profiles" below.

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Rev. Dr. David White

Faculty Information
Location(s) Trull Administration Building
Department(s) Church's Ministry Department, Faculty
Title(s) C. Ellis and Nancy Gribble Nelson Professor of Christian Education, Professor in Methodist Studies
Contact Information
School Phone
Other Information

Downlad hi-res photo

Listen to Dr.White's sermons here



BA, Mississippi State University

MDiv, Asbury Theological Seminary

MA, Claremont School of Theology, 1996, Religious Education

PhD, Claremont School of Theology, 1996, Religious Education, Dissertation: “Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice of Youth: A Liberative Pedagogy for Youth”


Dr. David F. White joined the faculty of Austin Seminary in 2005. Prior to his appointment, he was visiting assistant professor of youth and education and associate director of research for the Youth Theological Initiative at Candler School of Theology, Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. From 1997-2002 he was executive director of the Youth Discipleship Project at Claremont School of Theology, a research project exploring alternative approaches to work with youth and with congregational discernment. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Bethany Theological Seminary, the Claremont School of Theology, and Columbia Theological Seminary. Ordained in the United Methodist Church, White served the church in positions including minister of youth, Upland United Methodist Church, Upland, California; co-pastor, Anchor Park United Methodist Church, Anchorage, Alaska; conference coordinator of youth ministries, Alaska Missionary Conference of the United Methodist Church; and associate pastor, Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church, Jackson, Mississippi, and First United Methodist Church, Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Dr. White has garnered grants for his research on youth and spiritual discernment, including "Shared Mission Focus on Young People," a one-year research grant to explore practices of drama at the campus ministry of Vanderbilt University in 2003; the Valparaiso Project one-year research grant to explore the practice of discernment among local congregations in 2001; and a three-year Lilly Endowment research grant to explore alternate youth ministry. His publications include Dreamcare: A Theology of Youth, Spirit, and Vocation (Cascade, 2013), Awakening Youth Discipleship in a Consumer Culture(Cascade, 2007, coauthored with Brian Mahan and Michael Warren), Practicing Discernment with Youth(Pilgrim Press, 2005), and a number of journal articles.


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