Rev. Dr. M. John Nissley presently serves as the Professor of Spiritual Formation & Pastoral Theology at Winebrenner Theological Seminary located in Findlay, Ohio, where he has taught since 2000. He also serves as the Director of the Doctor of Ministry degree program. Originally from Morgantown, PA, Dr. Nissley has served in various ministry capacities including: youth counselor, camp director, street ministry leader, director of evangelism and church growth, and ordained minister in the Mennonite Church-USA.
His undergraduate training, B.S. in Human Development (Individual & Family Counseling), was at Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA (1974). He continued his education at the following seminaries: M.R.E. in Christian Education (Campus Ministry) and a master’s thesis on the Integration of Counseling & Evangelism at Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary, Grand Rapids, MI (1983); post-graduate studies at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA; Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Harrisonburg, VA; Lancaster Theological Seminary, Lancaster, PA; and Bethel Theological Seminary, St. Paul, MN. He completed a D.Min. (Spiritual Formation) at Bethel Theological Seminary (2000). His doctoral research project focused upon the analysis and lack of the spiritual/emotional/social support systems of pastors within their congregational context. As a life-long learner he also completed an M.Div. (Specializations in Biblical Studies & Pastoral Counseling) at Winebrenner Theological Seminary in (2010). Dr. Nissley is also certified by several Christian counseling institutes.
In 1993, he developed a resource manual, Congregational Planning Model, in conjunction with his church consultation ministry, to guide congregations through a 12-phase process to implement their vision. At the present time, he teaches graduate courses in spiritual formation, pastoral care & counseling, and research & writing seminars in the doctoral program. Dr. Nissley's teaching focus is to integrate spiritual formation in Christ (teleios, wholeness & maturity in Christ, James 1:4) into one’s life, family, relationships, and ministry. His primary area of research, reflection, and writing continues to be on Celtic Spirituality (Recovering Our Future in process) as it relates to the missio Dei with his spiritual roots in the Amish culture and simplicity.
On a personal level, his hobbies include gardening, history, genealogy, tinkering (1974 Jacobsen lawn mower & 1972 John Deere 110 lawn tractor), Penn State & Pittsburgh Steelers football, and cycling as an avid member of the Hancock Handlebars Bicycle Club. He has been married to Lois (Musselman) for 45 years, and they have two married adult daughters and four grandchildren. His life verse (John 10:10) provides a perspective and promise fulfilled in everyday life!
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