Michael J. Christensen, Ph.D.

Michael (M.A., Yale; Ph.D., Drew), is a professor of practical theology affiliated with Drew University, Point Loma Nazarene University, and Northwind Institute. He is ordained in the Church of the Nazarene and a Clergy Member of The United Methodist Church,


While at Drew he was the Director of The Communities of Shalom. In this role, he facilitated the Shalom Zone Training in Macon-Bibb County of Georgia

Neighborhoods Complete Shalom Zone Training

Staff Report From Middle Georgia CEO

Monday, August 17th, 2015

On Saturday, August 15, residents from 10 neighborhoods will gather from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Macon-Bibb County’s Government Center (700 Poplar Street) to complete their Shalom Zone training, present plans for improving their communities, and be recognized for efforts to revitalize Macon-Bibb. Neighborhood Shalom Zones participating in this year’s training include Lynmore Estates, Hillcrest, Village Green, Pleasant Hill, East Macon, Beall’s Hill, Unionville, Bellevue, South Macon, and Kings Park.
“We are hoping to form leadership within the communities so the residents become part of the solutions needed in their neighborhood and can better access outside resources,” says Frank Austin with the Austin Center for Development, the organization that is helping coordinate the Shalom Zone efforts.
In the morning, participants will review the previous six training sessions before presenting their neighborhood plans and what they will be doing to bring communities together, engage people to improve neighborhoods, and build groups to support each other. A celebration will be held at 1:00 p.m. in Commission Chambers for the 44 people that will be recognized for completing the training, which involved seven in-person and seven online sessions. 
“Those who live and work in the community become the experts who provide the information, design the plan, and carry out the actions,” says Travis Blackwell with Community Partnerships.  
The seven-part training is an asset-based planning process that helps identify the vision, mission, resources, needs, strategies, and action steps needed to revitalize a neighborhood. Each session was focused on the threads of Shalom, and are designed to organize and mobilize people and resources to carry out the development strategies in their communities.
Threads of Shalom
S – Systemic and Sustainable Change
H – Healing, Health, Harmony, and Wholeness
A – Asset-based Community Development
L – Love for God, Self, and Neighbor
O – Organizing for Community Transformation
M – Multicultural, Multi-faith Collaboration