Discipleship Small Groups at Wheaton College

Discipleship Small Groups

The Discipleship Small Groups ministry is uniquely designed to provide Wheaton College students a consistent Bible-based discipleship setting where faith can be explored, struggles can be expressed, and personal needs can be shared as they journey together with and towards Christ.


Discipleship Small Groups, or DSG, is a small group ministry on campus, which aims to cultivate lifelong followers of Jesus Christ through the communal reading of God’s Word, both prayerfully and contemplatively. Typically, students help other students to walk as Jesus walked.

Wheaton College Discipleship Small Group (DSG) leaders, coaches, and cabinet

2016-2017 DSG leaders, coaches, and cabinet


Every DSG is marked by 7 pillars, which define each gathering:

  1. Read the Bible
  2. Pray for One Another
  3. Apply the Gospel
  4. Listen in Love
  5. Confess Sin and Share Struggle
  6. Celebrate Ethnic and Cultural Diversity
  7. Meet on a Committed and Consistent Basis

The goal for each group is to foster what matters most in life: understanding of the Bible, honesty, prayer, accountability, ministry to others, support, spiritual growth, encouragement, and friendship.

DSG is overseen by Ray Chang, Ministry Associate for Discipleship for the Chaplain's office.

Types of DSG Involvement

Each student-led group consists of 4-6 members. There are two types of groups: underclass and upperclass.

If you are an underclassman and living in one of the Residence Halls (Smith-Traber, Fischer, Williston, or McManis-Evans) you can sign up on your floors at the beginning of the year.

Upperclassman groups consist of juniors and seniors and are usually self-led, with some being graduate student, staff, or faculty led. If you are an upperclassman, you can reach out to Ray Chang in the Chaplain's Office or gather a group of friends to form a group and contact the Chaplain's Office for resources, training, and support.

Below are the various levels of undergraduate student involvement:

  Participant Leader   Coach   Cabinet   Chair  
Freshman X

Sophomore  X X

Junior X X X X
Senior X X X X X


Apply to be a DSG Leader

DSG also emphasizes leadership development. One of the ways we grow most is when we lead. Leadership stretches us, helps us see our gifts and our weaknesses, and pushes us to become more dependent on God's strength. We provide mentoring and training for all DSG leaders with the aim of developing them as future spiritual leaders in the church.

All leaders and coaches are in a group as they lead one. This provides opportunities to receive feedback, learn small group ministry skills, and grow through experience.

  • DSG Small Group Leader: Each underclass group has two leaders who facilitate the group conversation each week. Upperclass groups are usually self-led or facilitated by a fellow student, a graduate student, or a staff/faculty member. (Online application)
  • DSG Coaches: Coaches are juniors and seniors who oversee all the small groups on one floor, offering support, coaching, and encouragement to leaders. Coaches lead a small group with DSG Leaders while participating in a small group with a DSG Graduate Assistant or Ray Chang. (Online application)
  • DSG Cabinet: The DSG Cabinet is a group of six Coaches who also help cast vision and help train other leaders on campus. Much of their work is to ensure a high quality of small groups in the dorms they oversee. If coaches oversee floors, cabinet members oversee entire dorms. They work closely with Ray Chang and the DSG GRA. (Online application)
  • DSG Chair: The DSG Chair is typically a senior who has exemplified the gifting of ministry, which includes aspects of administration, organization, compassion, and teaching. This person works closely with the Ministry Associate for Discipleship to plan the trainings, improve the ministry, and ensure the ministry runs effectively. (Invitation only)
  • DSG Council: The DSG Council is a special group of student leaders who have participated in senior level leadership – as coaches and/or cabinet members – for two years during their time at Wheaton. They are an advisory group, contributing their experience to the growth of the ministry. They typically serve as small group leaders for a year, then as coaches or cabinet members for two years. This exemplary group has participated in the cultivation of Christlikeness in themselves and others through Discipleship Small Groups at Wheaton. (Invitation only)

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