Craig Van Gelder has 35 years of experience working as a consultant with congregations, regional church bodies, denominations, and not-for-profit organizations across the US. The emphases he brings to this consulting work is to help the leaders of church systems frame their ministries from biblical and theological perspectives as they seek to discern God’s working in the midst of the communities they serve and then develop creative approaches for engaging their changing contexts. The focus is on cultivating adaptive change and transformation.
Craig holds an MDiv (1978), a Ph.D. in Missiology (1982), and a Ph.D. in Administration in Urban Affairs/Public Policy (1985). He served for sixteen years as Professor of Congregational Mission at Luther Seminary after serving for ten years as Professor of Domestic Missiology at Calvin Theological Seminary. Ordained initially as a minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 1984, he transferred this ordination to the Christian Reformed Church in 1990.
He is author of The Essence of the Church: A Community Created by the Spirit (2000), The Ministry of the Missional Church: A Community Led by the Spirit (2007); is co-author with Rick Rouse of A Field Guide for the Missional Congregation (2008), and co-author with Dwight Zscheile of The Missional Church in Perspective (2011); is editor of Confident Witness-Changing World (1999), The Missional Church in Context (2007), The Missional Church and Denominations (2008), and The Missional Church and Leadership Formation (2009); is co-editor with Richard Bliese of The Evangelizing Church (2005) and with George Hunsberger of The Church Between Gospel and Culture (1996); and is a contributing author to Missional Church (1998).