Asbury Theological Seminary has a rich heritage in church planting. The Seminary was born out of the Wesleyan revival, which was one of the greatest church planting movements the world has ever known.

With over 1,500 students, representing more than 90 denominations and 29 countries, and 10,000 alumni in nearly 70 countries, Asbury Seminary is positioned to be a catalyst for global church planting! We estimate that in the next 10 years, 40 percent of our student body will be involved in church planting.

The vision of the Church Planting Initiative is to equip church leaders for planting new churches and re-missioning existing congregations so they can become reproducing disciple-making movements that bring the gospel to lesser reached peoples through training, praxis, networking and research.


DR. WINFIELD BEVINS, Director of Church Planting Initiative 

Dr. Winfield Bevins serves as the Director of Church Planting at Asbury Seminary. He has a passion for equipping others to spread the gospel in their own context. As a seasoned practitioner, he has used his experience to train leaders from diverse backgrounds on four different continents. He frequently speaks at conferences, churches, seminaries and retreats on a variety of topics. He is the author of several books and his writings have appeared in numerous places such as Christianity Today and Exponential. You can find out more about him at his website winfieldbevins.com.

 DR. TOM TUMBLIN, Professor of Leadership and Associate Provost for Global Initiatives and Academic Affairs

Dr. Thomas Tumblin served seventeen years in parish ministry before joining the Asbury Theological Seminary faculty in 1999. He has pastored churches as small as 30 and as large as 3000 in attendance. His appointments in the West Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church have included ten years on staff at Ginghamsburg UMC and five years as District Superintendent of the Findlay and Northwest Plains Districts. Dr. Tumblin helped direct Asbury’s Doctor of Ministry program for eleven years prior to assuming the associate provost role. He serves widely as a consultant to local congregations and as a leader in the academy.

Dr. GREGG A. OKESSON, Dean, E. Stanley Jones School of World Mission and Evangelism and Professor of Leadership and Development

Before coming to Asbury in July 2011, Dr. Okesson was a faculty member at Scott Christian University, Kenya, East Africa for 10 years where he served as Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Prior to this, he was a pastor in upstate New York, worked in Student Development at Wheaton College, and was a church-planter amongst a Muslim people-group in north-central Tanzania. He and his family lived in East Africa for 13 years. Dr. Okesson has authored numerous articles and serves on the editorial committee for the Africa Journal of Evangelical Theology and the Africa Study Bible. He is the author of Re-Imaging Modernity (Wipf & Stock, 2012) and co-author of Advocating for Justice (Baker Academic, 2016). He is currently writing a book on Public Missiology, under contract with Baker Academic. More broadly, Dr. Okesson is interested in attending to linkages between theology, missiology, and global realities, particularly those dealing with poverty, development, power, institutions, and societal engagement. He is married to Kimberly Okesson and they have two teenage children.

DR. BRYAN SIMS, Associate Professor of Leadership and Lay Development
Director for the Center of Lay Mobilization

Dr. Bryan Sims has worked since 2001 as a Leadership and Organizational Change Coach with Spiritual Leadership, Inc. (SLI) where he has trained and coached leaders, teams, churches, and organizations over extended periods of time to bring spiritual awakening and missional effectiveness. In his work with SLI, he has worked in several United Methodist Conferences including Northwest Texas, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Alabama-West Florida. In each of these places significant transformation is occurring in leaders, churches, and communities, as well as in the conferences. Bryan has also led groups of business leaders through WorkLife Incubators in which leaders are growing in Christ and learning new ways to integrate their faith and work. His most rewarding work has come through coaching three dying congregations in West Virginia to become a united, new community of faith (SLI ReStart). This new church has discovered the power of team leadership in covenant, lay mobilization, and intentionally effective disciple making and mission.

DR. JAY MOON, Professor of Church Planting and Evangelism

Dr. Jay Moon and his family were missionaries for thirteen years, with nine of those years in Ghana, West Africa. During this time, they focused on doing church planting and water development. In addition to international church planting, Jay was part of a church plant in South Dakota that has become one of the fastest growing UM churches in the U.S. He is presently an Associate Professor of Church Planting and Evangelism at Asbury Theological Seminary.