Church Planting


One semester, 4 credit points.
32 Credit points of core foundation units.
Ken Morgan

“The vigorous, continual planting of new congregations is the single most crucial strategy for … the numerical growth of the Body of Christ in any city, and … the continual corporate renewal and revival of the existing churches in a city.  Tim Keller

Church planting is an exercise in local mission.  This unit is designed to help students think missiologically and practically about church planting: including history, methodology and qualities of planters.  With regular live case studies from actual church planters, this subject is useful for anyone interested in planting a new church or congregation and for those hoping to grow an existing church through mission to people outside the church.


Section A: Planting, Plants and Planters

  1. What is church planting and why would you do it?
  2. Church planting – Historical and contemporary practice
  3. Contemporary Models: How and Why they work I
  4. Contemporary Models: How and Why they work II
  5. The calling characteristics and competencies of church planters

Part 2: Local Mission

6.Understanding and Engaging a receptor culture
7. Missional Responses: Embodying the good news
8. Translating the gospel into the receptor culture

Part 3: Structure and Process

9.Organisation, structure and leadership
10.Going Public – launching a worship service
11.Multiplying: Church planting movements
12. Evaluating church planting

Indicative Unit Outline

Week Topic
Week 1
  • Introduction
  • Biblical, theological and Missiological Basis for Church Planting
Week 2
  • Church Planting – historical and contemporary practice – overview
Week 3
  • Contemporary Church planting models and strategies their suitability to various contexts, with evaluation of strengths and weaknesses
Week 4
  • Contemporary Church planting models and strategies their suitability to various contexts, with evaluation of strengths and weaknesses (cont)
Week 5
  • Church Parenting and Church Planting Movements
Week 6
  • The Planter – call and competencies
Week 7
  • The Receptor Culture – Contextual exegesis
Week 8
  • Missional Responses – Embodying the good news
Week 9
  • Proclaim the Kingdom – Translating the gospel into the receptor culture
Week 10
  • Organisation, structure and leadership of new churches
Week 11
  • Visible expression – Public worship
Week 12
  • Evaluating Church Planting

Subject Expectations

1.  Prayer
Students are asked to pray for the class, and especially for the lecturer on at least one occasion during the week.  God will teach us and guide us through this prayer, both individually and corporately.

2.  Openness to Learning
Each of us has a responsibility to support the learning environment through our attitude and willingness to participate. Students who have an openness to learning will benefit most from the class. Learning can sometimes be painful, especially when deeply held ideas are challenged or when we become aware of areas of personal weakness.

3.  Mutual Respect
All participants in the course (students, lecturers and visitors) are expected to evidence a high standard of godly love, courtesy and respect for the other participants.  Some examples of this include focusing on the class when we meet together (i.e. not using mobile phones, internet or texting), honouring other’s opinions as they mature and work through issues, and speaking to and about others with respect.  Mutual respect is also extended by arriving at class on time, having completed any preparation

4.  Confidentiality
There may be occasions when individuals reveal information about themselves. It is vital that anything shared in the class is not repeated to anyone else.  This includes the identification of any people who may be referred to by the lecturer in examples or illustrations that are given.

5.  Attendance
If you are unable to attend a class, please text or email me. You must attend 10 of the 12 lecturers to pass the course.


Assessment is designed to help you integrate your thinking and begin to develop plans for a church plant, demonstrating your grasp of the theory and capacity to apply it.

Assignments are to be submitted to the registry prior to the commencement of class on the due date.
Requests for extensions are to be made to the Registry.
Assignments may not be emailed.
Assignments are to be presented in A4 paper, single sided and single-spaced, with one staple in the top left corner. No other binding is to be used. A coversheet must be provided.
The use of headings and/or subheadings is encouraged.

Assessment 1: Book Review

Word Length: 1,500 words (undergrad), 2,000 words (MDiv)|
Weight: 40%
Due date: Week 5

A book review is a description, critical analysis, and an evaluation on the quality, meaning, and significance of a book, not a retelling. It should focus on the book’s purpose, content, and authority. A critical book review is not a book report or a summary. It is a reaction paper in which strengths and weaknesses of the material are analysed. It should include a statement of what the author has tried to do, evaluate how well (in the opinion of the reviewer) the author succeeds, and presents evidence to support this evaluation.

Assessment 2: Project

Words: 3,500 (undergrad), 4,000 (MDiv)
Weight: 60%
Due date: Week 11
Assignment: Choose ONE of the following:

  1. Develop a strategy for planting a church for a particular context. The following areas should be addressed: Your theology of church planting, ecclesiastical model to be implemented, and leadership development model. Include personnel issues and some assessment of your own leadership style, a description of the context/people, including demographic research, your proposed vision and values of the church plant, evangelistic methods to be used, church planting model to be adopted and why, developmental time line, and recruitment process.
  2. Church Planting Case Study: attend a church plant and interview the church planter/s using questions such as those found in Malphurs (Planting Growing Churches for the 21st Century, pgs. 130 & 149) and others. Write a paper summarising the interview and include a thorough analysis of the theology methodology, process and principles implemented by the church planter/s. Your Case Study must not merely be descriptive. It integrates your theology of church planting, and other theoretical concepts discussed in the literature and class. The church/pastor cannot include any of the lecturers for this unit.

Lecturer Information
Ken Morgan is co-ordinator for implementation of Archbishop Freier’s Vision and Strategic Directions for the Diocese, “Making the Word of God fully known”.


We respectfully acknowledge the Wurundjeri People, who are the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Ridley College campus is built. Ridley College is an affiliated college with the Australian College of Theology, CRICOS Provider Code 02650E. © 2019 Copyright. All Rights Reserved.