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Thank you for visiting my crowdfunding page and considering this mission!!!!

Here's the short story...
 
I need your help.  Yes you!  Only with the help of friends will this be possible.  Okay, here’s the story: I'm a pastor in Los Angeles, with an exciting opportunity to do cutting-edge research as a part of my doctoral work at Middlesex University in England and the London School of Theology, focusing on the city of Los Angeles and its racialized past, specifically digging into the theological presuppositions of faith communities involved in postwar white-flight in the city.  This research project needs financial help and intercession, so I am crowdfunding in prayerful hopes God will provide for this effort.  On my own, I simply cannot fund this important work, but with your generosity it can happen.  Would you prayerfully considering making a gift to help?
 
Here’s the slightly longer story…
 
Churches in urban centers are notoriously divided by race and have tragic racialized histories.  As the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. famously observed, "It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o'clock on Sunday morning."  While sociologists have explored various facets of racism’s impact on communities, as of date, there is little to no theological assessments of ecclesial data and narratives unpacking the doctrinal presuppositions and also the impacts of white-flight on church communities and more broadly the city.  Specifically, my work aims to explore the destructive phenomenon of white-flight in Los Angeles and the role churches played directly or indirectly through either implicit or explicit ecclesiological theologies.  Human beings are religious creatures in many ways, so we should not be surprised to find that under our social stratifications and personal perspectives of race there are certain theological notions that drive the above.  We desperately need to investigate these and weigh the social science against a robust biblical theology of church in our hurting racialized world.
 
The prestigious London School of Theology has given me a position as a PhD student to complete this needed study for the city, the church, and more broadly for academic research and global missions in urban contexts.  I was honored to be accepted and invited into the London School of Theology, as it is the largest evangelical theological college in Europe.  In partnership with Middlesex University in England, I have access to world renowned British libraries and scholars in theology.  Locally, I have been assigned a doctoral/research mentor-theologian, Dr. Jason Sexton, who is s Research Associate at USC's Center for Religion and Civic Culture and lecturer at California State University, who has published in the realm of theology and California studies, giving me a perfect team (also along with Dr. Graham McFarlane in London as my secondary reader) to explore the city of Los Angeles, it’s racialized past and the theology of churches within the city.

Since I pastor a church in an urban context (in Los Angeles, see www.delreychurch.com for more about us), the university wants me to be stationed in my pastoral ministry, while I conduct the research in the urban center of Los Angeles.  To aide this work, the aforementioned local scholar (Dr. Sexton), who is also an ordained pastor, is truly a godsend to oversee the research.  There is no way I would leave LA at this time in my life or this precious church (DEL REY CHURCH) for school work.  The only reason this project is being embarked upon is because it serves the church and the city I love.  Added, it seems to be a thing that the Lord is guiding and blessing, so here I am.  The entire project (a London based PhD on race in the city I love and serve, Los Angeles), seems simple to be an act of God’s providence, because it allows me to maintain gospel work in the city where the Lord has raised me up, while doing work on something that is much bigger than our own context—racialized ecclesiologies in urban centers. 

Currently my effort to embark on this research faces one remaining hurdle: funding.  I need to raise $15k to begin this project (for the first year of tuition and research expenses) and an estimated $50k to complete it (over the course of 3-5 years of research).  With that said, I have created this crowdfunding page as a vehicle for those who would like to partner and help in giving to the cause of this research financially and also spiritually interceding for this work, because it is going to require hard work and sacrifice. 
 

A word about donations and donors...
 
I am a firm believer in giving to one's local church.  With that said, we trust our donors will be first and foremost charitable givers in their local churches.  After such generosity, we welcome donors to partner with us.  In the context of my own local church, I am blessed by a wonderful community with a growing witness in the city, so with financial needs of our own in Los Angeles, we did not want to burden to our church's fiscal budget and hence we hope this crowdfunding reaches beyond and to those already giving to gospel work locally in churches.   As far as donations go, they are not tax deductible, because we are not a non-profit. All donations offered will be received simple as gifts.  They are generous gifts in friendship used for the above mission.  Donors do not receive tangible things in return (e.g. there is no exchange for goods, labor, or equity): however, of course there is much to be said about the intangible blessings we receive by partnering together on mission and helping others accomplish work for our Lord.  In this case, work that involves academic research to serve the church and to open further doors for witness abroad in the UK.    
 
A word about the United Kingdom…
 
Some have asked me, why I did not pursue doing research with a local institution and why my work is going through the UK.  For starters, there are not many schools in LA doing this sort of theological work in the social sciences.  In fact, there is only one accredited school of theology in the LA area that would be able to do such work, Fuller Theological Seminary, and I did not puruse institution because I am already an alma mater there and desired to do research in a new setting.  Added, they simply did not have the faculty with the caliber that I found at LST, specifically Dr. Sexton whose expertise is in theology and California studies.  In sum, much of the decision (as anyone with experience in doctoral research knows) was driven by faculty and hence I found myself in the UK.  The UK has a much longer history of doing theology as well.  As you may know, the universities of Europe were strategic places for the historic Reformation of the church, training ministers and reaching the lost, so the universities there (unlike the US) have a long history of doing theology that still remains intact today (most US universities have moved from theology to religious studies or philosophy of religion).  Added to the factors of faculty and history, was mission.  Last year in 2015 I was invited to speak in churches in London and Wales, and there I sensed a great need to be missionally connected.  Added, I was invited to speak in an academic setting in Cambridge at the historic Tyndale Fellowship and this experience set a fire in me to bear witness in the UK academic world (along with the UK church world).  The fact is, the urban centers of the UK are in many ways ahead of ours, so being in two worlds allows my research to have crosscultural dimensions that I would not be available in an American context.  On a straightforward note, the London School of Theology is simply a superior academic institution that is globally renowned, so the open door to do research with them was humbling.  As noted earlier, London School of Theology is the largest evangelical theological college in Europe.  It is an amazing opportunity.  To be able to pastor in Los Angeles and be a researcher at a top notch theological institution in the UK is an honor and the project they have granted me stands to make an impact around the world.  Again, I am humbled.
 

Other ways to help...

My biggest need is the crowdfunding for the university reasearch costs.  Aside from that, I need help buying books for research.  I have created an Amazon wish lists of books I need to study, but currently do not have the means to buy.  If you would like to buy me a book(s), please check out my wishlist on Ethnic Migration Research and send it to me (mail to: Matt Jones, 8505 Saran Drive, Playa del Rey, CA. 90293, United States of America).  I greatly appreciate any book on the topic I can read and study.  There are many critical books on that list, I desperately need to read that libraries simply do not have.  If you could donate books, that would be wonderful.  And beyond the giving to university research and books, I truly need giving in terms of prayer.  Truth is, I am in way over my head and it will only be by God's grace that this mission is finished.  Please pray for me and for my precious bride Erika who is a constant support in the ministry.  

 
A word about this website...
 
GiveSendGo is a Christian crowdfunding site that operates FREE of charge. Donations made to campaigns are not subject to the typical 5%-10% “usage fee” of many crowdfunding sites.  GiveSendGo views itself a ministry, so they offer this online resource to encourage Christians to fund projects of hope, and to pray and connect with believers worldwide.


Question: Don't you already have a doctorate?

Yes, I have an earned doctorate from Biola University.  I graduated a few years back and that research project focused on modern global human trafficking.  In that project, a common theme that kept surfacing was race and the church.  With that, I realized more work needed to be done.  Added, that doctorate was a "Doctor of Ministry (DM)" which is a bit different from a PhD, which is what this project entails with London School of Theology.  The DM is a more practical professional degree, like a law degree, whereas the PhD is a higher accolade that gives me the opportunity to do more work and open more doors for mission.  If you know me well, you know that I don't care about degrees, so this is not about getting yet another degree.  No, it is about serving God's people and advancing His mission.  As well, it is about the flourishing of humanity and helping us all to understand the impacts of our racialized past and how the church needs to bring healing to our urban centers.  Research and degrees are a means to the end of that work and the glory of God. 
 
























 

Anonymous

2019-01-17 23:27:52

From CFBC. We appreciate you brother. You are a special gift to the church. Now finish that paper.

Anonymous

2018-12-25 23:26:19

Merry Christmas, Pastor Matt! Go get that Ph.D.! With love from the Shen family

Anonymous

2018-11-14 17:51:52

Happy (belated) Pastor Appreciation month! We appreciate you!

Anonymous

2018-06-17 23:21:05

Happy Father's Day son.

Anonymous

2018-05-21 05:38:16

Patterson Family Love Offering

Anonymous

2018-04-17 18:41:48

Happy Belated B Day from our Community Group

Anonymous

2018-03-22 23:24:08

Happy birthday Matthew. God bless you as you serve Him all your days.

Anonymous

2018-03-22 15:35:24

Happy Birthday from Raya, Selah, and Wayne! We love and appreciate you!

Anonymous

2018-03-22 04:16:58

Happy Birthday

Anonymous

2018-03-21 06:07:20

Happy birthday and THANK YOU from the DRC in Israel 2018 crew. We appreciate your generosity of time and spirit, and loving leadership, and hard work. We wish you many, many more years of fruitful ministry. May the Lord be glorified in all that He causes to result from your efforts.

Anonymous

2018-03-21 02:39:55

Happy 40th birthday, Pastor Matt! Good luck in your research. We will be praying for you. We are so blessed by your support and service to Del Rey!

Anonymous

2018-03-20 23:29:51

Love you and believe in you bro. Go get that degree!

Anonymous

2018-03-20 19:03:15

Happy Birthday from the Derbys. We are so touched by all that you do for us and the church. Your love for our church is endless and we are so thankful for your teaching, counsel, and friendship!

Anonymous

2018-03-17 03:20:17

For the Great Commission. Keep it goin fam!

Teresa Tampubolon

2018-01-07 23:38:34

Happy New Year from the Tampubolons, we truly appreciate you and Del Rey Church

Anthony Li Shen

2017-12-22 06:54:59

Merry Christmas, Pastor Matt! Thank you for blessing the church local and the church universal with your knowledge.

Deanna G Jernigan

2017-12-18 18:57:55

Merry Christmas, brother!

Chris Suitt

2017-12-13 16:48:30

We need more scholars like you my friend!

Anonymous

2017-12-12 04:08:11

Keep strong bro!

barbara e barnes

2017-12-11 22:23:39

Go, Matt... Take my most awesome & valuable Venice-girl interview and rock the world! Love you, and appreciate you... Please use 1/2 of this gift towards a date-night with your better half... ( the only one who would trump you - if this world gave out "degrees" for awsomest wives/mothers/pastorswives!!!!!!!!

Tavis Bohlinger

2017-09-22 09:59:55

We are being saved in hope!

Dustin E. Pratt

2017-04-29 14:30:13

By God's grace, you have been a tremendous blessing to the Pratt family and our church family. Hopefully, this blesses you and your family.

Melanie Miller

2017-04-17 20:31:24

Thank you for all you do! GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS!

Anthony Li Shen

2016-12-24 07:13:47

Merry Christmas, Pastor Matt!

Anonymous

2016-09-11 01:03:43

We are blessed in how God is using you to feed His sheep and thankful that though we have moved away, you are still a blessing to us! Shannon and I thank you with all our heart and May God continue to use you for His Glory!!

Thomas Vo

2016-07-30 06:19:59

Thank you Pastor Matt for all that you do.

Anonymous

2016-07-03 00:40:27

Safe travels and praying for you Pastor Matt.

Holly DeJoy

2016-07-02 07:52:18

Blessings in your trip. We will keep you in our prayers

Loya Langston

2016-07-01 19:08:23

God Bless you!

Anonymous

2016-05-31 20:50:24

Summit

Abner Aguilar

2016-05-30 07:17:54

May this produce good fruit for the Lord's Kingdom!

Sharon L. Cunningham

2016-05-15 06:03:25

So sad for the times I wasn't there when you needed me. Thank you for letting me be there now. Your ministry blesses us every week. Keep the faith.

Ryan and Madison Richards

2016-05-03 04:02:27

Here are my quarters brother. Your studies will be a blessing to the church.

Saumon and Emily Tabari

2016-03-05 01:33:04

We're praying for you to meet your goal!

Tony and Jenni Shen

2016-03-03 22:36:29

We are blessed by your commitment to Del Rey Church and to the mission field of Los Angeles!

John Mark Stanley

2016-02-13 22:22:59

Praying you hit the total, and quickly! Study hard!

Melissa Ralph

2016-02-09 18:07:49

It's a blessing to contribute to something like this!

April N Schuss

2016-02-01 16:00:26

We are so thankful for the faithful teaching and shepherding of Pastor Matt. Even though we have since moved away, we still see the fruit of how God has used his shepherding in our lives. May the Lord bless this new mission! The Schuss Family

Melody rassouli

2016-01-29 17:52:52

Del Rey is truly blessed to have you as our pastor. The Rassouli's would like to share God's blessings on our life to yours. Love you Matt Jones!!!!

Christopher E Luthi

2016-01-25 04:29:18

Matt, Thank you for touching our lives. Best of luck to you in your theological studies abroad! God bless you and your family. --Christopher

Jennifer Irwin

2016-01-22 07:51:14

Blessings upon blessings

Anonymous

2016-01-18 16:11:43

"If you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God." Proverbs 2:3-5

Elizabeth Backstrom

2016-01-09 16:57:28

We are blessed by your teaching!

Anonymous

2016-01-04 20:24:04

PtL

Monica L Carter

2016-01-01 00:00:33

Blessings!

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Matthew Jones Inglewood, CA Follow

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Anonymous Donor

2 day(s), 02 hr 6 min ago

From CFBC. We appreciate you brother. You are a special gift to the church. Now finish that paper.

$100

Anonymous Donor

25 day(s), 02 hr 8 min ago

Merry Christmas, Pastor Matt! Go get that Ph.D.! With love from the Shen family

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Anonymous Donor

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Happy (belated) Pastor Appreciation month! We appreciate you!

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Happy Father's Day son.

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Patterson Family Love Offering

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Happy Belated B Day from our Community Group

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Happy birthday Matthew. God bless you as you serve Him all your days.

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Happy Birthday from Raya, Selah, and Wayne! We love and appreciate you!

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Happy Birthday

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304 day(s), 18 hr 27 min ago

Happy birthday and THANK YOU from the DRC in Israel 2018 crew. We appreciate your generosity of time and spirit, and loving leadership, and hard work. We wish you many, many more years of fruitful ministry. May the Lord be glorified in all that He causes to result from your efforts.

$40

Anonymous Donor

304 day(s), 21 hr 54 min ago

Happy 40th birthday, Pastor Matt! Good luck in your research. We will be praying for you. We are so blessed by your support and service to Del Rey!

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305 day(s), 01 hr 4 min ago

Love you and believe in you bro. Go get that degree!

$100

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Happy Birthday from the Derbys. We are so touched by all that you do for us and the church. Your love for our church is endless and we are so thankful for your teaching, counsel, and friendship!

$250

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308 day(s), 21 hr 14 min ago

For the Great Commission. Keep it goin fam!

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michael j lind

378 day(s), 21 hr 39 min ago


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393 day(s), 18 hr 39 min ago

Merry Christmas, Pastor Matt! Thank you for blessing the church local and the church universal with your knowledge.

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Deanna G Jernigan

397 day(s), 06 hr 36 min ago

Merry Christmas, brother!

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We need more scholars like you my friend!

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Anonymous Donor

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Keep strong bro!

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barbara e barnes

404 day(s), 03 hr 11 min ago

Go, Matt... Take my most awesome & valuable Venice-girl interview and rock the world! Love you, and appreciate you... Please use 1/2 of this gift towards a date-night with your better half... ( the only one who would trump you - if this world gave out "degrees" for awsomest wives/mothers/pastorswives!!!!!!!!

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We are being saved in hope!

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630 day(s), 10 hr 4 min ago

By God's grace, you have been a tremendous blessing to the Pratt family and our church family. Hopefully, this blesses you and your family.

$100

Melanie Miller

642 day(s), 04 hr 3 min ago

Thank you for all you do! GOD BLESS YOU ALWAYS!

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Anthony Li Shen

756 day(s), 18 hr 21 min ago

Merry Christmas, Pastor Matt!

$250

Anonymous Donor

860 day(s), -1 hr 31 min ago

We are blessed in how God is using you to feed His sheep and thankful that though we have moved away, you are still a blessing to us! Shannon and I thank you with all our heart and May God continue to use you for His Glory!!

$625

Thomas Vo

903 day(s), 18 hr 14 min ago

Thank you Pastor Matt for all that you do.

$100

Anonymous Donor

930 day(s), -1 hr 54 min ago

Safe travels and praying for you Pastor Matt.

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Holly DeJoy

931 day(s), 16 hr 42 min ago

Blessings in your trip. We will keep you in our prayers

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George Gaskin

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Loya Langston

932 day(s), 05 hr 26 min ago

God Bless you!

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963 day(s), 03 hr 44 min ago

Summit

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Abner Aguilar

964 day(s), 17 hr 16 min ago

May this produce good fruit for the Lord's Kingdom!

$1000

Sharon L. Cunningham

979 day(s), 18 hr 31 min ago

So sad for the times I wasn't there when you needed me. Thank you for letting me be there now. Your ministry blesses us every week. Keep the faith.

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Ryan and Madison Richards

991 day(s), 20 hr 32 min ago

Here are my quarters brother. Your studies will be a blessing to the church.

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Saumon and Emily Tabari

1051 day(s), 00 hr 1 min ago

We're praying for you to meet your goal!

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Tony and Jenni Shen

1052 day(s), 02 hr 58 min ago

We are blessed by your commitment to Del Rey Church and to the mission field of Los Angeles!

$25

Martin Yeung

1059 day(s), 02 hr 10 min ago


$100

John Mark Stanley

1071 day(s), 03 hr 11 min ago

Praying you hit the total, and quickly! Study hard!

$19

Melissa Ralph

1075 day(s), 07 hr 26 min ago

It's a blessing to contribute to something like this!

$94

Dwan Johnson

1081 day(s), 20 hr 14 min ago


$100

April N Schuss

1083 day(s), 09 hr 34 min ago

We are so thankful for the faithful teaching and shepherding of Pastor Matt. Even though we have since moved away, we still see the fruit of how God has used his shepherding in our lives. May the Lord bless this new mission! The Schuss Family

$500

Melody rassouli

1086 day(s), 07 hr 41 min ago

Del Rey is truly blessed to have you as our pastor. The Rassouli's would like to share God's blessings on our life to yours. Love you Matt Jones!!!!

$100

Paul D Larson

1086 day(s), 08 hr 3 min ago


$100

Christopher E Luthi

1090 day(s), 21 hr 5 min ago

Matt, Thank you for touching our lives. Best of luck to you in your theological studies abroad! God bless you and your family. --Christopher

$500

Jennifer Irwin

1093 day(s), 17 hr 43 min ago

Blessings upon blessings

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We are blessed by your teaching!

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Blessings!

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