Assistant Professor of Christian Ministry and Congregational Formation Professor
Colleen Derr serves as Professor of Christian Ministry and Congregational Formation. Her responsibilities include teaching the Congregational Spiritual Formation core requirement course in the M.Div. program, the Spiritual Life and Leadership course and Ministry to the 21st Century Family in the M.A. program. She provides oversight to the M.Div. spiritual formation courses and the MA in Child, Youth and Family Ministry program.
Ministerial and Professional Background
Dr. Derr served as Director of Children’s Ministry for The Wesleyan Church. She served within the spiritual formation department, which offered resources and training for the local church in the area of children, youth, and adult spiritual formation. She also served as Assistant Pastor of Fall Creek Wesleyan Church in Fishers, Indiana, and has been involved in local church Christian education for over 30 years. In addition, Colleen has taught in public and private schools. Colleen developed a children’s catechism program for The Wesleyan Church, Building Faith Kids, and a preteen discipleship tool, Explore. In addition, she developed a host of training materials for local church ministry leaders and has provided training and consultation for local churches across the country.
Colleen describes her testimony, “I was privileged to be raised in a Christian home, immersed in the love of God and worship of Him from birth. Mine is a testimony of protection and providence. I can see the hand of God on my life through the lives of people who cared for me, invested in my spiritual development, and lived examples of holiness before me. My passion for ministry to children is a result of godly women who understood the spiritual potential of a little girl and shared with me incredible stories of God’s grace. Because of their investment in my life, I had the opportunity to ask Jesus into my heart at the age of five and through their tutelage “grew in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and man”.Being a pastor’s kid, the church literally was my playground and my favorite pastime was playing church. Although loving God and worshipping Him was common and typical for me, I remember clearly the service when an evangelist asked if I was willing to surrender all to the Lordship of Christ. It was the scariest (confident God would call me to serve Him in a way or place I feared) and the most freeing moment of my life. When I look back at the over thirty years of fully committed service to Him, I am amazed at the work the Lord has done in my life and the opportunities He has provided. My life has been an incredible journey of growth in Christ; I can’t wait to see what else He has in store!”
Colleen has been married to Wayne since May 1981 and they have four children Jerica, Zachary, Tyler, and Anna. They are both passionate about Christian Education and have seen seven of their eight immediate family members graduate from a Wesleyan college (including two in-laws) and look forward to Anna’s attendance in the future. They enjoy spending time with their family, laughing over the dinner table. Colleen’s favorite destination is a warm beach with a good book.
The Wesleyan Church, 2005, Indiana Central
B.S., Christian Education, United Wesleyan College
State teaching Licensure, Coursework, M.Ed., Ashland University
M.A., Ministry, Indiana Wesleyan University.
Ed.D in Christian Education Leadership, Regent University, “John Wesley and the Faith Formation of Children: Insights for The Church”