About Us


Who is Dr. David M. Oliver? Dr. David Oliver earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Syracuse University in Family and Community Services, a Master of Divinity from Duke University Divinity School and his Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Formation from Asbury Theological Seminary.

He joyfully uses his spiritual gifts of teaching, pastor, administration, leadership, and apostleship to help others become more faithful and effective disciples of Jesus Christ.

For over thirty years, Dr. Oliver has acted as a Spiritual Director for clergy and lay leaders. He is a Mentor and Coach in the Pastors of Excellence program of Ashland Seminary. Dr. Oliver is an adjunct professor at the graduate level at both Malone University and Ashland University in Ohio teaching in the areas of Spiritual Formation and Practical Theology. He has been a participant and leader in many spiritual renewal events. He is the author of three books.

Dr. Oliver has expertise in personality types, spiritual gifts discovery, inner healing, spiritual warfare and deliverance, leadership development, team building and congregational renewal. He is qualified to administer and interpret the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis, Prepare/Enrich and several 360º leadership assessments.

Dr. Oliver grew up in a pastoral family and was a pastor for nearly thirty years until God called him to full time Transformational Coaching and Spiritual Direction. He is a certified Christian Leadership Coach with Coach Approach Ministries in North Carolina and is also a certified Coach with CoachNet in Ohio.

Dr. Oliver is very familiar with the deserts as well as the delights of ministry. He knows how to help leaders maximize their effectiveness, grow through difficulties and challenges, and is gifted in helping leaders find an oasis in the desert times of life and work.

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Areas of Specialization

  • Transformational Coaching–individuals, groups, businesses and churches
  • Spiritual Direction–individuals and small groups
  • Inner healing—traumas, memories, wounding experiences
  • Freedom Encounter Deliverance
  • Teaching–Coaching, Spiritual Direction, Inner Healing, Spiritual Warfare, Personality Types
  • Understanding personality differences and making them work effectively-for individuals, supervisors, pastors and staff
  • Spiritual Gifts Discovery Seminars
  • Spiritual Renewal Retreats
  • Prayer Seminars
  • Spiritual Warfare Seminars
  • Empowered Prayer–healing for the body, soul and spirit
  • Seminar Design/Leadership
  • Premarital Planning
  • Marriage Renewal

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Dr. David Oliver served as my spiritual director for seven years. During that time, he challenged me in my thinking, encouraged the development of a disciplined spiritual life and helped me to find peace in my spirit during many chaotic life events. David saw me through the first year of my pastoral ministry and without his support I would have given up! David never allowed me to wallow in my own self-pity but constantly asked me what God might be trying to show me in the storms and strains of life. His counsel was wise, his promptings, Spirit-directed and his presence, one of hospitality to me and to the Holy Spirit. I would gladly recommend David as a coach/mentor/spiritual director. Shared by Rev. Dr. Linda S.
David Oliver has been my spiritual adviser, counselor since February, 2008. We began with a face-to-face meeting and continued with weekly meetings by phone for one month. Since then, we stay in contact monthly by phone. David has been a wonderful help to me. He never told me where I needed to be – but he asked where I wanted to go and has gently and expertly helped me on my journey towards that destination. His knowledge of resources and spiritual matters is wonderful. He listens, shares, and advises. He is patient and non-judgmental yet firm enough to keep me moving along my life’s journey. After 25 years in the full-time ministry, I really needed to refresh and renew my commitment to serving. David has become a fellow traveler as well as an adviser. Shared by Rev. Bruce K
One of the greatest blessings of my life has been to sit under the guidance and prayers of Dr. David Oliver, who has served as my spiritual director for the past three years. He listens with an attentive heart, he speaks with wise counsel, and he prays with Holy Spirit power. He has journeyed with me through the devastation of church conflict, the trials of cancer, the pain of marital turmoil, and the challenges of doctoral work. He has been compassionate, yet firm; encouraging, yet challenging; vulnerable, yet strong. God heard my cries for guidance and direction, and sent Dr. Oliver to be God’s agent of grace. I am whole, strong, and healthy today because God choose David to come along side of me to offer spiritual direction and hope. To God be the glory! Shared by Rev. Dr. Diana D.
David Oliver has the rare ability to mentor and challenge pastors. In 2006 I attended Pastor’s of Excellence at Ashland Seminary, and was one of those pastors. He took six of us, total strangers, brought us together and mentored us. David brought out the some of the hurt that pastors experience and facilitated healing in each of our lives. Shared by Rev. Evan N.
I met David Oliver in 1984 when he was appointed as our associate pastor at Church of the Savior UMC in Canton. Throughout the last 23 years he has challenged me, encouraged me, taught me, supported me in tough times, and loved me with the love of Christ. His teaching of Disciple Bible Study put my faith journey on “fast forward.” If there is a human being responsible for my call to ministry (or making me receptive to that) it would be David. I have taken my most challenging theological questions to David and always received a well-thought out answer. Shared by Rev. Dr. Nancy C.
David Oliver served as my mentor in the 2006-2007 Pastors of Excellence cohort. David created a safe environment for us to be real with each other. He guided us into deeper insight into ourselves through the Spirit-guided expertise he brought to the various assessment tools. David was a flexible leader in our group work responding to the needs of the moment while still keeping us on track with the assignments. But the highlight for me was his prayer leadership, as he prayed for us and with us, modeling formational prayer and bringing us into the healing presence of Christ. Shared by Rev. Gary N.
Rev. David Oliver was our church pastor for three years. I cannot speak highly enough of the Christian commitment he gave to us during this time. He was involved in all aspects of the church. His messages where well considered, biblically-based; they instructed and challenged us in our Christian lives. He encouraged all of the congregation’s involvement and commitment to the work of the church. We had new programs and services, and we had growth. When there were difficulties, he sought forgiveness and understanding and compassion for one another. We were encouraged to always look to God’s plan and to keep our trust there. He was always available when help was needed and for individual or family counseling. On a personal note, when my family was having problems because of my nephew’s drug use, he readily agreed to meet with my sister and me. He listened, advised, and prayed with us. And when my nephew was ready, he gave this same attention to him. I cannot tell you how meaningful this has been to my family and me. Shared by Leila A.
Dr. David Oliver has been a spiritual giant to me since I first met him over 10 years ago. I have always used him as an example of someone who is truly trying to do what God asks. He has a passion for studying the Word and seeking divine revelation. Despite his great knowledge, he is someone that anybody can talk with about any subject. The only thing greater than his knowledge is his compassion for anybody needing a helping or encouraging word. I will always value the times that I have spent talking to him about various Biblical topics. He is a true friend and brother in Christ. Shared by Sam S.
I was on staff during Dr. Oliver’s tenure at our church. I was witness to his steadfast faith in the midst of both the joyous and painful times of ministry. He was a good supervisor and encourager to our staff of eight persons. David has a passion for the spiritual life and the gift of leading others closer to Christ. He challenges others to walk more closely with the Lord by his own example. Rev. Oliver is also administratively gifted, calling forth excellence from staff and church leaders. Working with this man of God was truly inspirational and life changing for me. He was a tremendous source for spiritual, intellectual, personal support and renewal. Shared by Debbie V.
As a pastor, David is an outstanding representative of Christ. His sole mission while Pastor was to enable all members to realize the power Christ can have on our lives and to build relationships that lead to greater faith. I feel that David is a true believer not only by his words, but by his actions. I was at a crossroads when I first met him after leaving the only church I attended my entire life. I had just experienced a series of events that caused me to leave the church. The hurt I felt by the way I was treated had to be worked thru, so that I could heal and move on to a better position in my faith. David embraced me with the love of Christ, with sincere compassion of how hurt I felt. We spent many an hour talking and working thru the hurt and resentment I felt toward the other party. The sincerity and caring that he showed me was simply overwhelming. I was at a pretty low place for a long time. He never wavered in his support for me. This has led to a friendship and brotherhood. We have developed a friendship through the last couple years that has meaningful depth. David is sincere, straightforward and truthful to the tee! There is no hidden meaning or agenda with him, just the true love that he has for Christ Jesus! He is an honorable man on a mission to serve humanity through Jesus Christ. After working through this crisis and then joining the church, David always encouraged me to stretch myself and to be a leader in the church. I am the Chairman of the Board of Trustees and also lead a Men’s Ministry. A large part of my life is lived through the Church. My Spiritual life is rich with meaning and constantly growing. I give much credit to David for keeping the faith in me and for the encouragement he provided. He is an outstanding Pastor and an even better friend. Shared by Daniel Y.
I have known David Oliver for over 20 years. David loves God the Father, is humbled by His presence in the Spirit and is amazed pondering the magnitude of Jesus’ love for us. As a leader, he is kind and pragmatic; each encounter will involve a call to action. David is focused and efficient. He is kind and compassionate, allowing God’s love to flow through him. He is an excellent listener and will base his advice, like his life, on the Truth. This is a truly remarkable man with a heart for God. I have been blessed by God because he was willing to show me the way to Christ, and I am proud to be his friend. Shared by Timothy H.
It is my deep pleasure to recommend Dr. David Oliver to ministry professionals who are seeking a coach or a spiritual director. David has been my coach over the past several months and he continues in that capacity. He has been of invaluable support and assistance to me as I have evaluated my present position and am developing long term goals and objectives for my future service to the body of Christ. David is a consummate professional and my valued brother in the Lord. Anyone taking advantage of the services he offers through Living Waters Ministries will be very blessed. Shared by Pastor Jim H.
I have known David since 1984. I did not always understand him as my faith journey was slow in starting. I did hear him but did not understand because I was living a worldly life. I now know that David has a genuine faith and knowledge of Christ. I think back many times about what he said and the truth he gave. I hold him in the highest regard among clergy. Thanks be to God for David. Shared by Mike C.
Dr. Oliver is a great teacher and preacher and I have experienced the Holy Spirit working in him! I have great confidence in his abilities and values. I have witnessed the ways in which he is able to move through painful experiences and believe that he reflects deep faith in and love for Jesus, even in very dark times. He rises to new challenges with enthusiasm. He is a prayer warrior with a testimony. I feel blessed to have had him as my Pastor. Shared by Isabel K.

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