The program has three parts: five courses, two independent projects and a final project or thesis. Participants move together through the course work as a cohort of 6-8 members over 5 semesters. These courses will be conducted online using live, interactive video conferencing. No travel is required for this program, though students may choose to travel as part of their independent projects or final project or thesis.

The Program

Doctor of
| D.Min.

Program Summary

  • DM 601: A Secular World

  • DM 602: Models of Engagement

  • DM 603: Independent Project I

  • DM 604: Proclamation in the Twenty-first Century

  • DM 605: Catechesis

  • DM 606: Independent Project II

  • EPR 750: Methodology and Approaches to Graduate Study

  • DM 607: Doctor of Ministry Project/Thesis


Total credits: 30


Doctor Of Ministry (D.Min.) Course Descriptions

Year 1: Fall Semester - DM 601: A Secular World (3 credits)
This course is an analysis of our twenty-first century North American context. It examines the development of modernity, centering on the question of how it became an option, and even the default option, to imagine the world without God. The course examines the contours of belief and unbelief in today’s world and their implications for gospel proclamation. Participants will use what they have learned to present an analysis of their own communities. Open to STM or PhD students. (Bielfeldt) 


Year 1: Spring Semester - DM 602: Models of Engagement (3 credits)
This course explores how concentration on the church’s Christological center opens up ways for the church to empty itself and engage with secular people for the gospel. It begins with an examination of the profound this-worldliness of the gospel and listens to various authors who open out for the church a kenotic being-in-and-for-the-world. The goal is to re-imagine the apologetic task from the point of view of the cross, as positive engagement rather than conflict, and to reflect on how students might configure the ministry of their congregations for such engagement, leading to opportunities for proclamation. Open to STM or PhD students. (Sorum)


Year 2: Fall Semester - DM 604: Proclamation in the Twenty-first Century (3 credits)
This course brings the participants’ learning to bear on the task of proclamation. How do we proclaim so that we persuasively make the case for Christ and present him as pure good news? This course explores three pastoral tasks in reaching the unreached: public preaching, pastoral care of individuals and families, and equipping Christians to bear witness to Christ in their daily callings. Participants will hone their skills as preachers who rightly distinguish law and gospel. They will consider and present case studies of evangelizing in the context of pastoral care. And they will examine ways that pastors have taught people to be evangelists in daily life, each using his or her own gifts. (Woodford)


Year 2: Spring Semester - DM 605: Catechesis (3 credits)
Catechesis is the church’s name for the task of teaching. Those who come to faith in Christ need to be integrated into the life of the church and into the life of following Jesus. They need to learn the gospel narrative, along with the basic doctrines that guard that narrative as good news. And they need to grow in their skill in distinguishing law and gospel, so that they are continually renewed in the gospel and walk by the Spirit. This is the task of catechesis. This course will focus on the catechesis of children, life-long catechesis, and especially the catechesis of new adult Christians. The course will examine the history of catechesis, the theological basis of catechesis, and models for catechesis today, with an exploration of the renewal of the ancient institution of the catechumenate. Participants will present an analysis of their congregations’ ministry of catechesis and how it might be improved.(Hein)


Year 3: Fall Semester - EPR 580: Methodology and Approaches to Graduate Study (3 credits)
This course introduces graduate students to the standard critical approaches and issues relevant to doing successful and informed work in historical theology, contemporary theology, and the philosophy of religion. Students will read primary sources from both the continental and analytical traditions. Historical, phenomenological, existential, hermeneutical, analytical, and social-scientific and post-structuralist approaches are examined. (Bielfeldt)


Year 3: Spring Semester- DM 607: Final Project (9 credits)
Students will work individually, with the guidance of their advisors, to develop a proposal for their final project and carry it out. The project will normally be completed by the end of the Spring Semester of the fourth year in the program. 

Independent Projects

  • DM 603: Independent Project  I (3 credits)

  • DM 606: Independent Project  II (3 credits)

During the course of their studies, students complete two Independent Projects. Students design their own projects in consultation with an ILT faculty member and present their proposals to the Director of the Doctor of Ministry program for approval before embarking on them. Independent Projects must meet the following criteria:


  • The project must fulfill at least one of the first three Program Learning

  • Outcomes of the Doctor of Ministry Program, as well as the fourth Program Learning Outcome.

  • The project must be at a graduate level of academic rigor and require at least 125 hours of work.

  • The project is evaluated and graded by the ILT faculty member who has agreed to be the instructor for the project.

  • An independent project may consist of one of the following:

  • A ministry practicum, including preparatory readings, a plan for the practicum with theological and pastoral rationales, carrying out of the plan and preparation of a final report with reflections on learnings from the practicum.

  • An independent study under the supervision of an ILT faculty member, culminating in a research paper and including reflection on implications for outreach in the student’s context.

  • A missionary journey, either as an individual or as part of a group of Doctor of Ministry students, with a program of reading and a final paper.

  • A 500-level (S.T.M.) course offered by ILT.

DM 607: Final Project (9 credits)
Participants conclude the program by completing a major research project on a specific aspect of reaching the unreached. This project may be a research paper or it may involve the design, implementation, and evaluation of an initiative in the participant’s congregation. Participants will do initial research, compilea bibliography and write an 8-10 page proposal for approval by their faculty committee before the end of the Spring Semester. The faculty committee will include a faculty advisor, one or two faculty members, and one or two external members. They will then have one year to complete the project. (Extensions will be granted by petition to the faculty.)

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