Doctor of Ministry recipients

Doctor of Ministry Recipients 2020

During the 2020 Commencement exercises, Maranatha gladly bestowed two Doctor of Ministry Degrees. Both candidates worked tirelessly to earn a degree that would grow their knowledge and ability to minister to others.

Pastor Brent Baughman

Brent Baughman is currently the pastor of Stanley Heights Baptist Church in Chattanooga, TN. He has served there for the last 20 years. Before taking his current position, Baughman served as assistant pastor under at Faith Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL for 12 years.

In addition to his work in the pastorate, he serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Chattanooga Rescue Mission, sits on a variety of boards in missions and community organizations, and acted as a founding committee member of the Tennessee Independent Baptists for Religious Liberty organization. He also works as a faculty member of Veritas Baptist College.

Academic Excellence for Ministry

Doctor of Ministry Recipient Brent BaughmanBaughman was working toward a seminary professional degree from another institution when the program was discontinued. Soon after, Maranatha introduced the Doctor of Ministry degree, so Baughman jumped right in.

“Maranatha has excellent academic credentials. The program fit well with my ministry interests, and the format is very helpful,” he says. Through the program, Baughman was able to pursue his ministry interests in depth for his dissertation.

The subject of Baughman’s doctoral project was, MAP Ministry (Ministry Apprenticeship Program): A Local Church Residency Training Ministry Bridging Men From Theological Student To Ministry Practitioner.

Baughman says, “The broadening of my own vision and the challenge from the faculty, reading, writing, and fellow students has enriched me. Having completed a dissertation project in my field of interest has been helpful for exacting my own focus and has afforded an opportunity to pass on to others what I have learned.”

But Baughman took away more than a greater passion for this ministry focus.

“One significant reality has struck me in this educational endeavor: the more I learn, the more I need to learn. This step in the journey has challenged me to continue a life of growth personally and in the ministry God has given me to fulfill.”

Missionary Matt Jones

Matt Jones grew up in rural Tennessee and accepted Christ at 17-years-old. A few months later, during a mission trip to Mexico, he felt God calling him to full-time vocational missions. For the next 8 years, he trained for the ministry, earning his Bachelor’s and Master of Divinity degrees. Instead of pursuing his doctorate at that time, he focused on his responsibilities to his growing family. He also continued ministering at Amazing Grace Baptist Camp in Ottawa.

Over the next 13 years, God led Matt and the Jones family from camp work in Kansas to Church planting in rural Thailand. During that time, Jones continued to dream of earning a doctoral degree. Jones says, “I feel that the lingering desire to pursue higher education was a prompting of the Holy Spirit and was confirmation that the Lord would indeed someday open the doors for me to continue my post graduate studies.”

Connecting Education and Ministry

In 2016, the Jones family moved to a rural district of Thailand to found Prasat Baptist Church. In addition, Matt and a team of missionaries in Thailand started Southeast Asia Missionary Kid Camp. During the transition, Matt enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry program at MBU and began working through the program online.

Doctor of Ministry recipient Matt JonesPrasat Baptist Church and Southeast Asia Missionary Kid Camp continued to grow. Meanwhile, Jones found that his doctoral work directly impacted his service in Thailand. He used the camp as the target of his dissertation entitled A Description Of The Need For And Practical Impact Of Camps For Missionary Kids Growing Up Overseas.

Matt says, “The dissertation project was more than just theory and required that I take my materials and create an actual program to put the theory into practice.” To put the theory into practice, Matt traveled to Peru with a team of missionaries in 2019. There he began the first annual South America MK camp, and the ministry has exploded.

These men graduate as true examples of the Maranatha mission. They used the Doctor of Ministry Program to grow their leadership knowledge and capabilities in their own unique spheres of influence. Maranatha is glad to welcome Doctor Baughman and Doctor Jones to the fast growing ranks of nearly 6,000 MBU alumni.

For more information about the Doctor of Ministry program, click here