Todd Scoles (center), senior associate pastor at Northwest Chapel Grace Brethren Fellowship in Dublin, OH, yesterday successfully defended his dissertation for the Doctor of Ministry degree at Ashland Theological Seminary, Ashland, OH. At left is Pastor Jim Custer and at right is Dr. David Plaster, members of the examining team.
Scoles’ dissertation is entitled “The Power of Ordinances to Strengthen a Common Identity and Mission for the FGBC.” It focuses on the historical, sociological, theological, and unity-building aspects of the two primary ordinances of the Grace Brethren movement–believer’s baptism by trine immersion and the threefold communion service (feetwashing, Love Feast, and bread and cup).
Dr. Lee Solomon of the Ashland Seminary faculty, director of the D.Min. program, moderated the exam. Also participating was Dr. Dale Stoffer, Scoles’ advisor and the dean of the seminary.
Additional members of the exam team included Terry Hofecker, pastor of Northwest Chapel; James Custer, field consultant for Scoles and pastor of the Grace Brethren Church of Columbus, OH; Dr. David Plaster, vice president of academic affairs for Grace College and Seminary; and Terry White, executive director and publisher of Brethren Missionary Herald Co.
Scoles is a member and incoming chair of the board of Brethren Missionary Herald Co., which will be publishing a version of the dissertation for the general Christian market. Members of the committee had high praise for Scoles’ scholarship and writing and voted unanimously to approve the dissertation and award him the degree.
Another Grace Brethren pastor, Kary Oberbrunner from the Powell, OH, church, will be defending his D.Min. dissertation in the same room this Friday.