Student in Church Planting and Revitalization Certificate Program Begins Doctor of Ministry

In 2003, after 13 years at two of the world’s premier leadership development firms, Lee Kricher returned to the senior pastorate of Pittsburgh’s non-denominational Amplify Church, which he co-founded with his wife, Linda, in 1976. In the 15 years after Lee resumed pastoral leadership at Amplify, it saw significant growth and transformation into a thriving, multigenerational church. Lee and Linda recently founded Future Forward Churches to provide coaching that helps churches “fully engage the next generation.” And in 2016, Zondervan/HarperCollins published Lee’s first book, For A New Generation: A Practical Guide for Revitalizing Your Church.

While already in the process of earning a Certificate in Church Planting and Revitalization at PTS, this summer Lee embarked on a new goal here: pursuing his D.Min. in the Parish Ministry: Risking Faithfully Focus. Having led Amplify back to a position of strength for reaching into a new generation and recently stepped back from the role of lead pastor, he now wants to extend his understanding and unique perspective on how to apply proven leadership principles to ensure the thriving of the contemporary church at large. The distinctive professor-mentor structure of our D.Min. program, coupled with the opportunity to exchange ideas with fellow students in a 15-member cohort, attracted Lee to enroll.

Reflecting on his return to Amplify, Lee notes, “Initially, I didn’t have a good reason to leave the corporate world to revive a dying church—other than that I sensed God’s call and had a passion to see others develop their potential.” Certainly reason enough!  He couldn’t accept the thought that younger generations may be rejecting core truths about Christianity simply “because we expected and assumed they would accept our preferred approach to church.”

Lee explains, “It wasn’t about changing our statement of faith or core beliefs—it was about evaluating and changing, as needed, our programs, ministries and practices to make sure the best days are still ahead.”

How do you accomplish that goal? Amplify followed five key steps, which Lee expounds in his book. “And the first step is the most important: Adopt a New Mindset. Observing a steady decrease in the number of children and young adults attending Amplify, our leaders and members had to shed the mindset, ‘If it was good enough for me, it’s good enough for them,’ and ask, ‘What will it take to reach the next generation?’” That simple change sparked the dramatic turnaround at Amplify.

Lee anticipates deepening his God-given insights through the D.Min. program at PTS—and sharing them widely. “I’ve felt warmly welcomed at PTS—and I hope other non-denominational Christian leaders will join me as students here.”

nondenominational student church planting certificate and doctor of ministry Lee Kricher