Derek Taylor, Ph.D.

Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Center for Pastoral Leadership

Dr. Derek Taylor works for the Center for Pastoral Leadership at Point Loma Nazarene University where he spends most of his time supporting the work of pastors through training, coaching, and research. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy and Theology, a Master of Divinity, and a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies. Derek is a keynote speaker, trainer, and certified coach (ICF ACC) and directs the Ministerial Coaching Initiative, a Lilly Endowment-funded program that helps pastors thrive. Derek brings with him extensive experience working with education-focused and faith-based nonprofits as well as an expansive network of professional coaches, trainers, and consultants. Derek's passion is to develop healthy leaders willing to confront today's complex challenges and support them as learn to be adaptive, develop cultural sensitivity, and think systemically.


Ph.D. Leadership Studies, 2022, University of San Diego (San Diego, CA)

M.Div., Cum Laude, 2008, Nazarene Theological Seminary (Kansas City, MO)

B.A. Philosophy and Theology, 2004, Point Loma Nazarene University (San Diego, CA)


Board Certified Coach (Executive/Corporate/Business/Leadership Coach), 2022

International Coaching Federation Associate Certified Coach, 2022

Cultural Intelligence & Unconscious Bias Trainer, 2022

Courses Taught

Emerging Leaders

Personal Leadership and Self-Inquiry

Leadership and Ministry

Leadership, Organizational Change & Self-Inquiry

Foundations for the Practice of Youth Ministry

Leadership Studies Capstone

Introduction to Changemaking

Professional and Community Involvement

The Church of the Nazarene, ordained Elder, June 2, 2011

PLNU Board of Trustees Member, 2011-2014

Nazarene Theological Seminary Alumni Board Member, 2013-2016

Executive Pastor, El Cajon Church of the Nazarene, 2008-2016

Interim Senior Pastor, Freeman Presbyterian Church, 2006-2008

Associate Director of Strategic Initiatives, PLNU Center for Pastoral Leadership, 2015-Present

Field Youth Coordinator, Southwest Nazarene Youth International, 2017-Present

Awards and Honors

Grants Received

Thriving in Ministry Planning Grant, $50,000, 2020

Thriving in Ministry Implementation Grant, $1,000,000, 2020