Doctor Of Ministry Dissertation Editors

Laura Plybon, PhD entered the field of research as an arts major, becoming fascinated with studies on children’s art while an undergraduate and later, when obtaining her MA in child development from Sarah Lawrence College. She went on to receive an MS and PhD in experimental developmental psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University, where her interest in childhood disabilities led to a certification in developmental disabilities from the Medical College of Virginia. Laura has spent the majority of the past 15 years in academia, where she has held the positions of tenure-track assistant professor of psychology, a visiting assistant professor of research, and most recently, director of assessment. Her unique approach to understanding statistics as a language and a visual art led to a love of statistics and resulted in an extensive knowledge of advanced statistical analyses (i.e., ANOVA/MANOVA, logistic regression, exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, SEM), complimented by her qualitative research skill set, especially regarding the various types of phenomenological research methods. Her research interests are diverse and span the disciplines of psychology, counseling, public health, epidemiology, nursing, education, and business. She holds a special interest in the behavioral health and health promotion of ethnic minority populations; socioeconomic, ethnic, and gender disparities as they relate to education, health, and mental health; and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) across the lifespan. She currently works as a full time consultant for The Dissertation Coach, a position that allows her to assist clients at all stages of their dissertation with compassion, humor, patience, and understanding.

Tricia Gates Brown

Position: Dissertation and Expert Advisor

Academic and Professional Background: BA, George Fox University; MA, George Fox University; PhD University of St. Andrews. Owner of TGB Editing Services. Licensed Oregon Landscape Construction Professional/Garden Designer.

Expertise and Research Interests: New Testament Studies; Practical theology; Spiritual formation and emotional wellness; Writing/Editing. Current interests: Evolutionary Christianity; Depth psychology; Spiritual care (chaplaincy). Books include: Jesus Loves Women: A Memoir of Body and Spirit (2011); Season of Wonder: Losing and Finding (2016); Free People: A Christian Response to Global Economics (2004). Novel in progress.


Office: 503.322.3725


Colleen Butcher

Position: Faculty and Dissertation Advisor

Academic and Professional Background: Bachelor of Music (BMus), University of Western Ontario; Masters in Business Administration (MBA), Schulich School of Business, York University; Doctor of Ministry, Semiotics and Future Studies (DMin). George Fox University. Certifications in Business Analysis and Agile Software Development. Adjunct Faculty at Clark College, WA. Academic and Business Editor.

Expertise and Research Interests: Professional expertise in Business Process ReEngineering and Change Management. Research interests/expertise in creativity and innovation, especially as it relates to teaching and learning, design thinking, semiotics, and cultural engagement.


Phillip G. Carnes

Position: Faculty and Dissertation Advisor

Academic and Professional Background: DMin, George Fox Evangelical Seminary, Portland, OR; MAR, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, NC; MAEd, University of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ; BA, English Lit., Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA; Postgraduate Studies in Coaching, Western Seminary, Portland, OR. Professional Investor;Executive & Organizational Coach; Board Chair, LifePoint Church.

Expertise and Research Interests: Spiritual Formation, Executive & Organizational Coaching, Ministry strategy & development, Leadership, Christian Education, Board Governance, Church/Ministry renewal.


Office: 1-775-782-0800

Ron Clark

Position: Faculty and Dissertation Advisor; Minister/Lead Church Planter, Agape Church of Christ

Academic and Professional Background:BA, Biology and Chemistry, University of Central Missouri;. MDiv and D.Min, Harding School of Theolgy.

Expertise and Research Interests:Evangelism, abuse/sex trafficking, Prophets, Luke/Acts. Lead church planter for the Agape Church of Christ in downtown Portland; author page:



Tim Dolan

Position: Faculty Advisor; DMin Thesis Coordinator/Advisor, Denver Seminary

Academic and Professional Background: BA in Education, Western Washington University; MDiv, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; DMin, Fuller; PhD, Gonzaga University.  

Expertise and Research Interests: Leadership and organizational leadership, new and innovative ways of doing theological education; equipping lay people for ministry. 


Office: 509-465-0826

David McDonald

Position: Faculty Advisor; Lead Pastor, Westwinds Community Church, Jackson, MI

Academic and Professional Background: Dr. David McDonald is the teaching pastor at Westwinds Community Church in Jackson, Michigan and the founder of Fossores Global Ministry development, a training network for creative pastors. His work has been been featured on and in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Time Magazine. David lives in Jackson with his wife, Carmel, and their two kids. 

Expertise and Research Interests:


Derek Voorhees

Position: Dissertation Advisor; President & Bible Professor, Boise Bible College, Boise, ID; recently: Spiritual Development and LifeGroups Minister, LifeBridge Christian Church, Longmont, CO; Online instructor, Dallas Christian College.

Academic and Professional Background: BA, Ozark Christian College; MA in New Testament and MDiv, Lincoln Christian Seminary; DMin, Dallas Theological Seminary.

Expertise and Research Interests: New Testament studies focusing especially on Pauline literature, the book of Ephesians; spiritual formation and discipleship of church leaders.


Office: 208-376-7731

Twitter: @derekvoorhees

Facebook: derekvoorhees

Lori Wagner

Position: Faculty Advisor (Portland Seminary); Adjunct Professor (Wesley Seminary); Senior Pastor (Salem UMC); Weekly Sermon Writer (; Author (Books, Bible Studies, Lectionary).

Academic and Professional Background: BA Lebanon Valley College; MA/PhD University of Pennsylvania; MDiv Drew Theological Seminary; DMin pending completion.

Expertise and Research Interests: Hebrew scripture stories and how they inform our understanding of Jesus; metaphorical preaching; practical theology; John Wesley; church and culture; relational theology; creativity and field thinking.


Office: 360-298-8327

Facebook: lori.wagner.9279


Expert Advisors

Linda Clare

Position: Expert Advisor; Linda has worked almost ten years as a writing instructor for Lane Community College, teaching Essay, Memoir and Novel writing, as well as a class focusing on publishing, platform building and social networking for authors. She often presents workshops at writing conferences such as Willamette Writers and Oregon Christian Writers. She has done freelance editing for Multnomah Publishers; ghostwriting, mentoring and editing for private writing clients. In addition to her books, she has published many essays, articles, stories and poems in anthologies and publications such as The Philadephia Inquirer, The Denver Post, The Oregonian and The Christian Reader. In 2004 one of her short stories was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Academic and Professional Background: Graduated with a BA in Art Education from Arizona State University. She earned a Special Education teaching credential from San Diego State University. She has taught art and elementary education for public and private schools in Arizona and California and has directed a Christian preschool program. She also taught at Lane Community College for more than a dozen years, in fiction and nonfiction as well as platform and social media techniques for authors. Currently teaches fiction for Wordcrafters ( and coaches and mentors writers in every stage of the writing journey. Frequent presenter at conferences such as Willamette Writers, Oregon Christian Writers and Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference (San Jose, CA). Linda has published The Fence My Father BuiltMaking Peace With a Dangerous God, Revealed: Spiritual Reality in a Makeover World, Lost Boys and the Moms Who Love Them, A Sky without Stars, and Five Editors Tackle the 12 Fatal Flaws of Fiction Writing (The Writer's Toolbox Series).

Expertise and Research Interests: Manuscript evaluation and concept development for fiction and nonfiction, organization and structural analysis, proposal writing, market research and platform building. Personal interests include reading, gardening, singing and her family.


Home: 541-689-4210

Mobile: 541-606-5563

Web: Linda Clare's Writers Tips

Facebook: lindaclare

Twitter: @Lindasclare

Expert advisors

Hope Lyda

Position: Expert Advisor; Substantive editor for Harvest House Publishers and the author of more than 20 fiction and non-fiction books, including her popular One-Minute Prayers and One Minute with God series.

Academic and Professional Background:BS in Journalism and Telecommunications and Film, University of Oregon; she has a publicity and editorial background in publishing and higher education. Hope is also a trained spiritual director, graduating from Stillpoint: The Center for Christian Spirituality through its program based at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico.

Expertise and Research Interests: Professional emphases include manuscript evaluation and structure assessment, concept and content development, writing coaching, and marketing writing; personal interests include written prayer, spiritual memoir, and faith/life/creativity development through journaling. Hope's books have sold more than 1.3 million copies. Included in her releases are: Life as a Prayer, One-Minute with Jesus for Women, and her top-selling One-Minute Prayers for Women.



Instagram: @hopelydawrites

David Merwin

Position: Expert Advisor; Senior Designer, Oregon Center for Applied Science. Chief Creative, Pure Blue Design

Academic and Professional Background: BA, Painting with an Independent Study in Media Installation, Purchase College

Expertise and Professional Interests: Web design, user experience, mobile application design, web application design, and game design

Kimberly Shumate

Position: Expert Advisor; owner/operator of Living Word Literary Agency with 12 years of publishing experience.  Her ability to identify and polish talent provides first-time authors with the guidance and encouragement needed to fit easily within quality standards of the publishing industry. 

Academic and Professional Background: Discovering numerous new authors for Harvest House Publishers with sales topping 750,000 copies, several of them have gone on to find success with various book deals, Christy nominations and awards, and PW star ratings. As a member of ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association), the ACFW  (American Christian Fiction Writers), the Willamette Writers, and 12 years of publishing experience, Kimberly teaches proposal writing at various west coast writers conferences. She is also the owner and operator of Living Word Literary Agency where she pursues her passion for helping new and hungry authors find a home within the publishing community.  

Expertise and Research Interests: Book proposal construction; fiction—character development, plot pace, storyline, and overall manuscript coherency; non-fiction—theme, organization, markets, and platform building guidance.


Phone: 541.870.1614


Twitter: @LivingWordLiter


Tricia Gates Brown

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