BELOVED DISCIPLESHIP is a discipleship development opportunity to help congregations design and implement a contextually relevant discipleship process and an executable discipleship plan to grow disciples  – in the congregation and in the increasingly diverse communities- with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

News & Updates

Scriptural foundation

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

(Matthew 28:18-20, NRSV)

Vision Statement

BELOVED DISCIPLESHIP is a discipleship training experience at the intersection of the mission of Jesus Christ to go into all the world, from our front door and beyond and to make disciples, irrespective of ethnicity, class, culture or background. It is an opportunity to create the beloved community and develop the body of Christ.


BELOVED DISCIPLESHIP is a discipleship development opportunity to help congregations design and implement contextually relevant discipleship process and executable discipleship plan to grow disciples both in the congregation and in the increasingly diverse communities, with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Design Team

The design team is responsible for developing the learning goals and practicums and will also facilitate the monthly engagements. The Team members are:


  • Michelle Holmes Chaney, Team Lead (Clergy)
  • Heather Cogdell (Lay)
  • Nilse Furtado-Gilliam (Lay)
  • Hugh McIntosh (Lay)
  • James Paige (Clergy)

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)


What church should consider this leadership development opportunity?

Churches that are ready to engage in developing discipleship process and a plan to disciple members in the congregation and neighbors in the community who may or may not look like them


What are the expectations?

  • The Church will have a discipleship ministry team which includes the pastor and 4-5 laity
  • The ministry team will be expected to attend all sessions, and commit to the practicum work
  • The ministry team will complete required assignments prior to each session
  • The ministry team will be assigned a coach who will attend the sessions and provide accountability coaching
  • The ministry team will be accountable to the district and district through regular reporting.

How is this training organized?

Ministry teams will meet on a Saturday morning every other month (January, March, May, July, September and November) for a four-hour session that includes learning, engaging and processing new content in the development of discipleship process and a plan.  In the alternate months (February April June, August, October, December) the teams will participate in completing assignments that will engage them with their congregation or community around the new learning. Each assignment will be able to stand on its own as a potential activity to conduct with the congregation. The learning will include a cadre of content experts, potentially in person, via zoom and/or videotaped, followed by facilitated discussion. The one year experience fits the model of other leadership development opportunities in the Bi-District like SHIFT Plus and Neighborhood Seminary and has shown to increase potential fruit within the congregation.


The learning includes:

  • Building and reliance on UM polity, theology and doctrine and other proven resources to create the pool of meaning for the understanding of words and key concepts
  • An intentional focus on discipleship with a lens toward the community that does not reflect the ethnic makeup of the church.
  • Content experts, preferable UM, who will lay a theological, biblical and or social foundation for the discipleship teams to contextualize their work for their congregation.
  • Bi-monthly content structured to support the building the foundation for the activity and is in alignment with the annual rhythms of the church.

What is the timeframe and cost for BELOVED DISCIPLESHIP?

BELOVED DISCIPLESHIP begins in January 2022 and ends in December 2022. The cost for each church team will be $1000, which includes all materials, billed in two installments, January and June 2022.

(Partial scholarships are available. For more information contact Michelle Holmes Chaney,


How can my church apply for this discipleship development opportunity?

To apply a church must complete an application.

  • The application must demonstrate a readiness for engagement around diversity and discipleship.
  • The deadline for application submission is October 15, 2021. Churches will be notified of their acceptance by November 1, 2021.
  • Acceptance will require the DS approval of the application.
  • Scholarships are available.



September 8, 2021 BD Interest Zoom Meeting #1 
September 23, 2021 BD Interest Zoom Meeting #2
January 22, 2022 Introduction/Discipleship 101/Diversity & Cultural Competency 101
March 26, 2022 Embracing Stories as a tool to connecting with others
May 21, 2022 Engaging the Community /Mission Insite/Evangelism/Implicit Bias
July 23, 2022 Modeling Discipleship/Alignment with missions and ministries
September 24, 2022 Beloved Community/community assessments
January 2023 Discipleship Plan Implementation


Beloved Discipleship News & Updates

Beloved Discipleship Postponed

Beloved Discipleship Postponed to January to 2022 At our November District Conference, the Bi-District introduced Beloved Discipleship as a new initiative. Beloved Discipleship (BD) is a development opportunity to help congregations design and implement a contextually...

For more Information

Contact Michelle Holmes Chaney

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