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) at Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary Grand Rapids, MI (1983) completing a master’s thesis on the integration of counseling & evangelism; post-graduate studies at Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA; Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Harrisonburg, VA; Lancaster Theological Seminary, Lancaster, PA; and completion of an M.Div. at Winebrenner Theological Seminary (2010); and 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. 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, church development, and research & writing seminars in the doctoral program. Dr. Nissley's teaching focus is to integrate spiritual formation in Christ (teleios : whole, mature, & complete 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 the following areas: spiritual formation with specific interests in theologies that reflect Creation, Anabaptist, Celtic, Evangelical, Charismatic, and Messianic spiritual streams. Neo-monastic Community as it relates to the missio Dei with insights from the spirituality of Amish culture and simplicity. Dr. Nissley’s roots lie in five centuries of Anabaptist/Amish background and values.
On a personal level, his hobbies include gardening, history, genealogy, tinkering with cars and lawn mowers, 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 40 years, and they have two married adult daughters Monica (Mondo) with two grandchildren (Olivia Ruth and AJ), and Lara (Brian). His life verse (John 10:10) provides perspective and promise that is fulfilled in everyday life!
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