Advanced Pastoral Studies (APS) Programs

Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)

Since 1970, San Francisco Theological Seminary has been offering a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree administered by the office of Advanced Pastoral Studies (A.P.S.).

The DMin is a graduate theological degree, usually undertaken after the completion of a Master of Divinity (MDiv), or equivalent, and at least three years in professional ministry. It gives religious professionals the opportunity to sharpen their pastoral skills and to do specialized work in an area that will strengthen their ministry. The curriculum focuses on contextual, interdisciplinary study, research and innovation in the practice of ministry. The heart of each student’s research is their field project—designed and implemented in their own context of ministry.

Requirements & Program Options 
The Doctor of Ministry degree at SFTS requires six resource seminars (3 units each) including courses determined by concentration and elective options. Additionally, all students are required to take the Dissertation/ Project (D/P) Orientation Seminar, D/P Proposal seminar, DMin Supervision and the completion of a Dissertation/Project. (Note the words “course” and “seminar” are used interchangeably.)

Most courses are offered during the January Intersession and Summer June term in a hybrid format that includes an intensive, 1 week in-person class, a pre-intensive period where students work independently to prepare for the intensive week, and post-intensive final assignment. Core courses for the Chaplaincy/Spiritual Care Research Literacy concentration and select elective courses are taught in the Fall and Spring semester, typically in an online format.

Each degree concentration1 requires a combination of two foundational seminars and four electives2. At least three electives should be chosen from the courses listed for that concentration.

The SFTS DMin degree is designed for students to complete the degree requirements, including the Dissertation/Project, in a 5-year period.

The two foundational courses

• DM-6017: Pastor as Person
• DM-6039: Theology, Culture & Mission


• DM-6014: Dissertation/Project Orientation Seminar
• DM-6001: Dissertation/Project Proposal Seminar
• Four elective three-unit (tuition bearing) resource seminars
• DMin Supervision I and II (post-coursework)

1 With the exception of Chaplaincy/Spiritual Care Research Literacy Concentration which has unique requirements
2 Students who enter the program prior to January 2019 may be exempt from this requirement if they have already taken DM 6018 – Theology of Ministry and DM 6019 – Cultural Milieu and Mission.


The D.Min. offers the following five concentrations:

Chaplaincy/Spiritual Care Research Literacy Concentration
The Chaplaincy/Spiritual Care Research Literacy concentration is designed for Clinical Pastoral Educators, Board Certified Chaplains, and those seeking professional chaplaincy vocations. This concentration integrates the critical theological discourse of advanced theological education with pastoral practice using an informed research method of inquiry. Chaplains and spiritual care providers will develop and master rigorous data collection methodologies appropriate for their ministry setting. (Four units of CPE are a pre-requisite.)

The three required seminars provide a framework for evaluating existing research, understanding methods of data collection, quality, and usage that might be used within various chaplaincy contexts, and theological reflection on the history and politics of research.

Executive Leadership
The Executive Leadership course offerings are designed to enhance the multi-faceted intelligence (emotional, sociological, biblical, and theological) and leadership skills required in congregational, denominational or other faith-based ministries. Focused on the unique dynamics of leadership in communities of faith, courses in this concentration explore current theory in adaptive leadership, organizational change, and spiritual discernment and visioning.

Interdisciplinary Studies in Ministry Concentration
The interdisciplinary and contextual focus of the DMin degree enables students to explore their own leadership style and ministry context, develop skills for critical reflection on ministry-based issues, explore current research in the social sciences, and engage in critical theological reflection to seek creative responses to the challenges of ministry today.

Pastor as Spiritual Leader Concentration
The Pastor as Spiritual Leader (PSL) concentration, offered in conjunction with the Program in Spirituality, is designed to assist religious professionals with pastoral responsibility for congregations, chaplaincies, and religious non-profits, in expanding their understanding and competence to serve as spiritual leaders of their settings. This emphasis will integrate prayer, contemplative listening, discernment, and biblical and theological reflection to nourish transformative pastoral leadership and spiritual formation of themselves and their communities.

Pastoral Care and Counseling
The Pastoral Care and Counseling (PCC) concentration is designed for professionals who serve or plan to serve in a context of specialized ministry such as chaplain, pastoral care specialist, pastoral counselor, or pastors with a special focus on pastoral care. While rooted in the Christian tradition, this program is open to religious professionals across the spectrum of spiritual traditions. Please note that some courses may have one-unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) as a pre-requisite.

Dissertation/Project (D/P)
The Dissertation/Project is the post-coursework signature assignment for the DMin degree. The purpose of the D/P is to give the student the opportunity to explore one aspect of their practice of ministry in depth. As the name suggests, the D/P can be thought of as a combination of a research dissertation and a practical project relevant to the student’s particular ministry. During this period, students are enrolled in DMin Supervision.

The sequence for development of the D/P is (typically) as follows:
• Problem/Opportunity Statement
• Topic Proposal, appointment of advisor and Candidacy Interview
• Design Proposal, including full bibliography 
• Manuscript and project writing/implementation
• For the final manuscript, complete and send in a “Notice of Intent to Submit” form with Advisor approval at least 60 days prior to submission but no later than October 1st of the year prior to anticipated graduation date.

Comprehensive details of this process are available in a separate document called the “D/P Guide.” Note that an Advisor must be identified and approved by the APS Committee before a design proposal can be submitted.

Dissertation/Project Guide
The D/P Guide is a manual for students which outlines the requirements and processes necessary to complete the Topic Proposal, Design Proposal and D/P manuscript. It includes templates, samples, resources, and guidance. The D/P Guide is given to students in the D/P Seminar and is posted in the Moodle sites for DM 6010, DM 6013, and DM 6014.

Foundational Seminars
Each of the seminars listed below is a required course for all students.

  • DM-6014 Dissertation/Project Orientation Seminar (no tuition required)
  • DM-6001 Dissertation/Project Proposal Seminar
  • DM-6017 Pastor as Person (Note: Students with four units of Clinical Pastoral Education, or Chaplaincy Board Certification may substitute an elective course for DM-6017 Pastor as Person.)
  • DM-6039 Theology, Culture and Mission

Core Seminars
Normally 3 seminars, determined by the concentration. Some concentrations may specify a particular sequence for the core courses. Students in the Interdisciplinary Studies concentration may choose courses from the general program electives and other program concentrations, determined by their research interests and needs. All concentration/course prerequisites apply.

Chaplaincy/Spiritual Care Research Literacy

  • DM-6164 Research Methods 1: Action Research and Evidence-Based Research Methods
  • DM-6165 Research Methods 2: Quantitative vs Qualitative Research Methods (Prerequisite – Research Methods 1)
  • DM- 6045 The Politics of Research: Ethical, Epistemological, and Ontological Issues (Prerequisite – Research Methods 1)

Executive Leadership

  • DM- 6023 Leading Adaptive Action Leadership
  • DM- 6055 Gospel and Global Media Culture
  • DM-6051 Culturally Attentive Conflict Ministry

Interdisciplinary Studies in Ministries
Students in this concentration build on the foundational seminars by selecting courses from general electives and core courses in other program concentrations to design a curriculum that supports their research interests.

Pastoral Care and Counseling

  • DMPS-6040 How People Change: Theology and Theories of Pastoral Care and Counseling
  • DMPS-6041 Dynamics of Loss, Grief, Trauma in Pastoral Care and Counseling
  • DMPS-6052 Interfaith/Intercultural Care and Counseling

Pastor as Spiritual Leader

  • DMSP-6465 The Art of Contemplative Listening
  • DMSP-6047 Spiritual Formation for Spiritual Practice
  • DM-6065 Prayer and Discernment in Pastoral Ministry

Independent Study Plan 
Based on their curricular needs and research interests, a student may petition to do an independent study course or take a graduate level elective course in another school within the University of Redlands. Ordinarily, students are limited to one independent study course or elective from outside the GST.

D.Min Supervision 
DMin supervision is reserved for students who have completed their required coursework and are working on their topic or design proposals, or completion of the Dissertation/Project. Students at this stage are registered with either of the two following course numbers until they are approved for graduation.

  • DM-6010 DMin Supervision I: Proposal
  • DM-6013 DMin Supervision II: Dissertation/Project

Doctor of Ministry Degree Timeline 
The standard timeline for completion of the DMin degree is 5 years. Students move through three stages: coursework, Candidacy or the proposal stage, and the Dissertation/Project stage. Students have some flexibility in the length of time they spend in each stage, particularly in the initial coursework phase. The program is designed for students to start in the Summer session. Students may opt to only take classes in the Summer Session, but it may take longer to complete their coursework. Students who start in January or Fall should consult with the APS Director to develop a course plan that ensures they will get the courses they need for both general degree requirements and their concentration.

See DMin Handbook for additional information for course planning.

Final Review Timeline for May Graduation
The final D/P manuscript may be submitted at any time. Students seeking to graduate in a given academic year should plan to submit the final manuscript in the Fall semester of that academic year. The following timeline identifies the critical steps in the process.

September 1
-- Submit completed manuscript to advisor for review and approval for submission.

October 1
−− Send Notice of Intent to Submit D/P to the APS Office.
−− If needed, submit Updated Bibliography to APS Office.
−− Edit D/P as directed by your advisor.

December 1
−− Submit completed manuscript to APS Office, including signature page with Advisor’s signature, or other confirmation from your advisor.
−− Request your advisor to send their comments to the APS Office.
−− Your manuscript is sent to 2 anonymous readers for review. They are given your approved Design Proposal and a copy of the Program Learning Objectives to guide their assessment.

−− APS Committee, using advisor and readers’ comments, makes decision which may:
−− Approve (with no changes)
−− Approve, Minor changes
−− Approve, Specified changes
−− Return for major changes

  • Manuscripts requiring minor or specified changes are returned to the Director for final review and do not require a second vote by the APS Committee.
  • Manuscripts requiring major changes go to a third reader for review and then to the APS Committee for approval. (These changes may delay graduation.)

−− Complete any final editing and/or revisions, resubmit for final approval;
−− Submit 2 copies of your manuscript (with Advisor signature) printed on archival paper. These copies are bound and placed in the library.

May Commencement
−− Commencement for all GST degrees is held in San Anselmo.

For additional program information, including concentration requirements, please see the DMin Student Handbook, D/P Guide, and visit the DMin program page


Foundational Seminars

DM 6017 Pastor as Person (3 Credits)

This foundational seminar engages students’ experiences as spiritual leaders in their ministry settings—their unique personal traits, relationships, talents and limitations—as they confront the expectations, tensions, and other complex realities that accompany the practice of ministry. Serving as an opportunity to share personal and professional issues with ministry peers, the course focuses on the themes of calling, spiritual leadership, and awareness of self in the intersections of multiple contexts. Recognizing the wisdom, limitations, and possibilities each carries into ministry, students will enter the conversation about spiritual leadership from her/his unique location.

DM 6018 Theology of Ministry (3 Credits)

This foundational seminar explores the challenges of and opportunities for ministry in the 21st century, and encourages students to develop the art and skill of critical theological reflection. Students assess their ministerial role by examining their own experiences with the content of Christian ministry within the contexts in which they serve. A central focus of the course will be the exploration of how theology is shaped by socio-historical context and human experience. It seeks to honor the increased awareness of the variety of perspectives held by various social groups, thus providing an enriched understanding of the activity of God in the lives of human beings. (Students entering the program in January 2019 or later are not required to take this course.)

DM 6019 Cultural Milieu and Church Mission (3 Credits)

This foundational seminar engages students in exploring a contextually attentive approach to ministry by examining the interface between culture and mission, the issues and challenges of doing ministry in a multicultural environment and, in particular, their own social location and how that position shapes their understanding and practice of ministry. Students will learn ways to use the concepts and tools of the social sciences to: - develop an understanding of a particular ministry issue through critical analysis of its social and cultural context, - place the issue in a larger theological context, - reflect upon and respond to such ministry issues as an actively collaborative colleague in a community of practitioners in ministry, and - apply such research and reflection to develop innovative practices of ministry attentive to that issue and appropriate to their context. (Students who entered the program in January 2019 or later are not required to take this course.)

DM 6039 Theology, Culture and Mission (3 Credits)

As the second of two foundational seminars in the Doctor of Ministry program, this course engages students in exploring a contextual approach to theological reflection and ministry by examining the interface between culture and mission, the issues and challenges of understanding their own social location, and the possibilities and limits of understanding their ministry setting in terms of its structural dynamics. Students will explore the emergence of contextual theologies as a way of examining how theology is shaped by socio-historical context and human experience. Students will explore the pastoral/praxis circle as a method of pastoral planning, examine various methods of social analysis, and engage both in social analysis and theological reflection on their ministry setting or a subset of it. (Students who entered the program prior to January 2019 may be exempt from this requirement if they have taken DM-6018 Theology of Ministry and DM-6019 Cultural Milieu and Church Mission.)

Pastoral Care & Counseling

DMPS 6040 How People Change: Theology and Theories of Pastoral Care and Counseling (3 Credits)

This course examines contemporary theoretical models of pastoral care and counseling. Two questions will guide us. One, how do people change and grow, and how do we understand change both psychologically and theologically. Psychotherapy and religion both claim to be systems that help people change. Secondly, what is pastoral counseling today? Through this course, each student will be able to build their personal theory of pastoral counseling, including a theory of change. Our eye will be toward building an integrative theory of pastoral care and counseling that fits the context of today’s pastoral counselor and the needs of today’s parishioner. The class will provide opportunities for students to both learn the theory and practice skills in each respective theory.

DMPS 6041 Trauma, Loss and Grief (3 Credits)

This course consists of an in-depth practical-theological exploration of spiritual care ministry in trauma situations. It includes principles (dependable guides to practice) and tools (special resources for practice) for prevention, early intervention and recovery, in light of a vision of spiritual wisdom and of faith communities as ecologies of care, healing and wholeness. Those whose service or ministry focuses on the spiritual nature and care of God’s people in a variety of settings, including church, para-church, community organizations, and health centers, will find the course useful in terms of their ongoing personal-spiritual, academic, and professional-ministerial formation.

DMPS 6052 Interfaith/ Intercultural Care and Counseling (3 Credits)

This course focuses on cultural and spiritual factors and the dynamics of difference in caring and counseling processes. It offers students a way to sensitively and flexibly understand and care for and with people in light of their cultural context. Context is viewed as including gender, age, class, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, and religious/spiritual tradition. By identifying and working with those factors operative in the caregiving relationship, students will be better equipped to serve in multicultural and multifaith settings. They will be introduced to a psycho-spiritual, wisdom-focused model, and guided to develop competency in three interrelated dimensions: personal-spiritual, academic-interdisciplinary, and clinical-ministerial. Thus the emphasis of the course will be on methodology rather than on comprehensive cultural knowledge.

DMST 6070 God and Human Suffering (3 Credits)

If God loves us like a mother or father loves their child, why do horrific things happen to us or to those we love? Where is God when these horrific things happen? This course looks at four Christian views of God’s relation to human suffering and allows students to develop their own understandings of God and human pain. Please see department for course alpha and number.

Executive Leadership

DM 6051 Culturally Attentive Conflict Ministry. (3 Credits)

The purpose of this seminar is to encourage and enable the continued cultivation of wisdom and agility in the conflict management practices of ministry. Participants will explore approaches to the detection of conflict, the diagnosis of conflict situations, the discernment, and development of ways to address conflict with the goal of providing leadership that is innovative in attending to the ethnic and organizational culture of their ministry contexts and alert to dangers of iatrogenesis in ministry practices through an examination of the following postures: "environmental" (conflict ministry as management of environment), "ecological" (conflict ministry as maintenance of relationships in a cultural system), and "evocational" (conflict ministry as mobilizing for discernment of organizational call).

DM 6023 Leading Adaptive Action in Communities of Faith (3 Credits)

What does adaptive action look like in communities of faith? Identifying the differences between technical and adaptive challenges only goes so far. This course will support the framing of effective community adaptive action, nourish students’ personal resources for navigating systemic change, and draw on the deep theological resources of specific congregations. Students will work with case studies, explore various “art of hosting” techniques for open source change, and engage in a variety of contemplative practices to sustain their faith in the midst of dynamic change.

DM 6055 Gospel and Global Media Cultures (3 Credits)

This course explores the emerging discussion at the intersection of biblical studies, cultural studies, public theology and digital media environments. Students explore how Christian faith informs the narrative identities and practices of missional congregations as they engage their communities and the world. Students use at least two digital tools to create their own interpretation and confession of Christian witness.

DM 6026 Jazz, Traditions, Leadership: Complex Systems and Open Histories (3 Credits)

What are the critical, theoretical foundations of effective spiritual leadership? How does a spiritual leader know oneself as a participant in a dynamic system? How do theological, sacramental, mystical, and ethical traditions relate to dynamic systems? And how is leadership like jazz, whose dynamic method of improvisation arises out of a particular African-American historical context? This seminar examines religions and religious communities as complex systems, and will introduce students to the rise of the science of complex systems in the twentieth century; the impact of this field on economics, political science, sociology, and theology; and its implications for organizational leadership today.

Pastor as Spiritual Leader

DMSP 6502 Contemplative Listening (3 Credits)

Contemplative Listening is a meditative discipline that helps us listen closely to what is said and not said. It is listening from the heart to the heart of another. In larger and smaller groups, we will engage a variety of listening and other contemplative practices that help us drop into an open space where another can be listened into speech. This session is offered as the pre-requisite for further work in the Certificate in Spiritual Direction, Formation, and World-Engagement as well as for the Diploma in the Art of Spiritual Direction. This session has the option of 1.5 credit hours additional academic study for those who are working toward a diploma. This session is also open to the wider community as a Spiritual Retreat.

DMSP 6047 Spiritual Formation and Practice (3 Credits)

The ancient practice of spiritual direction is rooted not only in what one learns in a classroom but in on-going commitment to spiritual practice and formation. This class will provide opportunities to encounter several classical and contemporary models of spiritual practice while also engaging in different forms of meditation, art, chant, and body prayers. By deepening our personal practice we will learn to “guard the heart,” inspire the spirit, welcome diversity, and remain more vibrantly present to others. So you will be prepared at the beginning of the course, readings will be sent out in advance. This is an elective option for DMin students in the PSL concentration. Please see department for course alpha and number.

DM 6044 Embodying a Spirituality for Beloved Community (3 Credits)

The course focuses on beloved community as God’s dream for our service with and experience of one another. Our enacting and sustaining beloved community relies upon spiritual practices that shape our character, commitment, and skills. Contributing to the creative impulses of beloved community (i.e., hospitality, courage, truth-telling, love) involves more than what we do, it entails who we are becoming. Understanding how these spiritual practices of personal formation and community transformation are embodied will occur through readings, lectures, in-class exercises and student presentations. Please see department for course alpha and number.

DMSP 6042 Contemporary Topics: The Mysticism of Activism (3 Credits)

This course will draw on the work of authors such as: Howard Thurman, Jesus and the Disinherited; Kelly Brown Douglas, Stand Your Ground; Shawn Copeland, Enfleshing Freedom; Rachel & Rosemarie Freeney Harding, Remnants; Natasha Trethewey, Thrall; Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, Resisting Structural Evil: Love as Ecological and Economic Vocation; Alvin Ailey (video); Rhianon Giddens (video).

DM 6065 Prayer and Discernment in Ministry (3 Credits)

This course concentrates on the biblical and theological foundations for spirituality in one’s personal formation, congregational leadership, and other expressions of ministry. The significance of prayer and discernment in the practice of ministry and leadership is a major focus. Students will explore how various contexts, including the congregation and community, are the loci for spiritual formation, prayer, and discernment.

DMSP 6046 Leading with Courage and Equity (3 Credits)

Without being aware of who we are and why we are here, we can’t become who we are meant to be or use all of our God-given gifts. This course will explore enablers, obstacles, and resources to lead and serve with courage and equity in a diverse world. We will draw on diverse contemplative practices to become more aware of who we are, why we are here, and the importance of learning in an intentional community. This process of becoming ourselves will help spiritual directors, formation facilitators, and pastors to be more present to others and create a space in which the Holy Spirit can transform us. This session is also open to the wider community as a Spiritual Retreat, or as an elective for DMin. Please see department for course alpha and number.

DM 6062 Discernment in Systems (3 Credits)

This course extends discernment to systems of all kinds, including congregations, chaplaincies, communities, schools, civic groups, etc., utilizing the “Social Discernment Cycle,” a process of prayerful reflection and small group sharing that helps individuals become clearer about how God is at work in systems and structures and might be calling the discerners to respond individually or collectively. It examines our understanding of the theological basis for the Social Discernment Cycle, the linkages between our experiences in systems/structures/institutions and our spirituality. Students will develop awareness, vocabulary and strategies to assist other persons and groups in this important arena—i.e. to think, imagine, pray and discern systemically.

Chaplaincy/Spiritual Care Research Literacy

DM 6164 Research Methods 1: Action Research and Evidenced-Based Research Methods I (3 Credits)

This course will provide an opportunity for participants to establish or advance their understanding of research through critical exploration of research language, ethics, and approaches. The course introduces the language of research, ethical principles and challenges, and the elements of the research process within quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches. Participants will use these theoretical underpinnings to begin to critically review literature relevant to their field or interests and determine how research findings are useful in informing their understanding of their environment (religious tradition, work, social, local, global). After reading about and discussing different approaches to research and examining research studies, we will engage a research project.

DM 6165 Research Methods 2: Quantitative vs Qualitative Research Methods (3 Credits)

The second of three core courses in the Chaplaincy/Spiritual Care Research Literacy concentration, this course provides a framework for evaluating existing research, understanding methods of data collection, quality, and usage that might be used within various chaplaincy contexts.
Prerequisites: Research Methods 1 (DM 6164)

DM 6045 The Politics of Research: Ethical, Epistemological, and Ontological Issues (3 Credits)

The third of three core courses in the Chaplaincy/Spiritual Care Research Literacy concentration, this course provides a framework for evaluating and working with evidence-based research in various chaplaincy contexts through theological reflection on the history and politics of research.
Prerequisites: Research Methods 1 (DM 6164)


DM 6072 Making Ritual Rich: Enhancing and Creating Rituals for a Variety of Religious-or-Not Settings (3 Credits)

This course will focus on the underlying principles of ritual that can inform the creation and practice of meaningful, memorable and supportive moments in the lives of people from diverse religious backgrounds or no religious tradition. Whether you seek to create something fresh in a church or other ministry setting (chaplaincy, advocacy work, education, etc.), this exploration of the field of ritual studies will equip you with invaluable theories and practices. Please see department for course alpha and number.

DM 6163 Theology, Literature and Film (3 Credits)

In this course, we will look at stories, novels and films that portray human experience in its depths, including suffering and redemption. We will place literature and film in conversation with theology (including discussions of theodicy) and critical theory (as it pertains to literature and film); we will engage in practical theological reflection using these three mutually enriching sources. The class schedule will include a couple of film nights during the week on campus.

DM 6054 Womanist Practical Theology and Preaching (3 Credits)

This course employs concepts of womanist practical theology to undergird and inspire inclusive-holistic ministry and contextualized preaching. Developing and analyzing case studies, students will interpret and assess the contexts and situations that occasion their sermons. Students will integrate diverse disciplines to create and perform literate, thoughtful, liberating Scripture-based sermons that are pastorally inclusive and theologically relevant to the identified context. In addition, students will identify the implications of their analysis for church practice.

DM 6049 Womanist Feminist Biblical Interpretation (3 Credits)

This course will use intersecting disciplines of ethical theory and literature as tools to construct various approaches to womanist and feminist biblical hermeneutics. As such, the class will require students to develop paradigms for understanding concepts of race, ethnicity, and gender as competing and intersecting realities both within the Bible and in its use and misuse in reader reception throughout history. Please see department for course alpha and number.

DM 6073 Bible, Gender & Sexuality (3 Credits)

In this course we will study the ways in which gender and sexuality are understood within the biblical world and how these ancient understandings shape and intersect with contemporary perspectives. Key texts from both the Old Testament and the New Testament that have influenced attitudes and practices today will be examined within their original contexts and ancient conceptions of gender and sexuality. Discussions will also turn to useful methods for determining the relationships between biblical practices and conceptions of gender and sexuality and the dynamic state of contemporary conceptions. We will attend to ethical debates in the public square and in our religious institutions, with a sensitivity to the variety of perspectives that are held in society and in the Church. The aim of this course will be to develop sensitive and constructive leaders in an area of Church life that has become particularly divisive.

DMRS 6051 Self, Other, and Community (3 Credits)

Educational philosopher, Maxine Greene, speaks of the “incomplete self” to challenge modernity’s notion of the autonomous self. The incomplete self exists within ongoing experience and within a vital matrix of interrelatedness with the world. Challenging individual introspection with a communal vision of transformation, the course contends for the inextricable link between self and social consciousness and considers how the “incomplete” self transforms through mutuality with others and practice of compassion. A generative focus of the seminar will be the necessary work by the Church to articulate theologies of community and to live into—thereby, teach—ministries of reconciliation. Please see department for course alpha and number.

Electives Seminars

DM 6162 Biblical Images for Reimagining Church (3 Credits)

Biblical history provides multiple examples of how the faith communities of ancient Israel and early Christianity (the temple, the synagogue, the church, and more) organized themselves for mission in their particular historical and social context. In each case, a careful reading of Biblical texts can teach us the benefits and challenges of different forms of organization. With this understanding, we can see how faith leadership responds effectively to new and changing social situations.

DM 6058 Feminist/Womanist/Mujerista (3 Credits)

This course will offer ways to approach leadership of churches and church-based institutions from the perspective of African-American women's religious experience and how a theological analysis of race, class and gender inform such leadership.

DM 6037 Luke-Acts and the Life of the Church Today (3 Credits)

The course is a study of methods in historical, theological, social, cultural, and political interpretations of Luke-Acts and an attempt to correlate this study with the life of the modern church. The study will give special attention to literary, intertextual, canonical, and social analyses.

DM 6057 Paul in Contexts (3 Credits)

Reading Pauline Epistles from the perspective of their first century socio-historical contexts as well as from the viewpoints of our twenty-first century existential contexts. As a "thinker in action" Paul will be studied first in terms of the interface between his life and work, and then his theology as "work in progress" will be discussed to see if it is possible to trace a meaningful trajectory of the evolution of his thoughts, especially in the scope of soteriology. This trajectory then would further shed light on some of the contemporary issues of Christian identity in the pluralistic and multi-religious global society.

DM 6071 Teaching as Leadership (3 Credits)

Teaching is an intentional art of inviting communities toward a more connected way of seeing and being in the world. This course explores the inner landscape of those who practice this art in myriad forms and integrated teaching as a vital expression of leadership. Converging on themes of authenticity, clarity and humility, students will deepen their capacity for visionary leadership and gain renewed teaching practices for leading faith communities of action and reflection.

DMOT 6055 The Bible and Immigration (3 Credits)

The Scriptures of ancient Israel and early Christianity depict a variety of immigration movements, including exiles, forced migrations, conscriptions, refugee conditions, captivities, and enslavements. This course will examine the social and historical conditions of these migrants and their movements, as well as biblical renderings and interpretations of their condition, with special interest in how immigrant experience formed communal identity and served as a primary metaphor for religious and cultural self-understanding. We will also investigate the role of religious communities in current immigration situations, to see how inclusion of immigrants leads to religious vitality.

DM 6161 The Spirituality of the Nones, Dones, & SBNRs (3 Credits)

The North American religious landscape is changing due to the increasing numbers of those who self-identify as “Nones,” “Dones,” and “Spiritual, But Not Religious (SBNR).” Nones and Dones express finding spiritual satisfaction in hands-on activities, such as participating with churches in mission projects. Surprisingly, SBNRs are just as likely to be church members as not. Yet, each is rejecting both organized religion and secularism in favor of spirituality. This course will explore how these groups define “spirituality,” how this belief system has evolved, and what future trends may be emerging.

DM 6063 Women Mystics and Leadership in a Complex World (3 Credits)

This course explores what we can learn from women mystics about leadership for a complex world. We will focus on these women and their leadership using a primary lens of dialogic organizational development oriented towards complex adaptive action. The course will be divided into three areas: historical research, collaborative analysis of leadership trajectories, and contemplative practice.

DM 6077 Issues and Methods in Contextual Theology: Dismantling Racism (3 Credits)

This course will draw on a variety of sources to engage participants in a process of critical reflection on the theologies of our traditions and foster a collaborative conversation on the construction of their own theology for dismantling racism. The theological conversation will be contextualized with an examination of the social construction of race in systems and structures, its impact on our own identity and spiritual formation and the life of the faith communities we are a part of, leading towards the development of our own theology for dismantling racism. While examination of the social construction of race will focus on the US experience, participants will have opportunity to supplement the primary sources with material relating to their particular history, culture and social location. Participants will also be introduced to resources for equipping faith communities for engagement in practices for dismantling racism.

Dissertation/Project Seminars

DM 6014 D/P Seminar (1.5 Credits)

The Dissertation/Project (D/P) is the signature assignment in one’s Doctor of Ministry studies. The D/P Orientation Seminar introduces students to the requirements of the D/P and the proposal process, and guides students through the development of a draft Topic and/or Design Proposal. This course is required for all students. New students should plan to take it in their first session. There is no tuition for this course. DM-6014 is open to SFTS DMin students only.

DM 6001 D/P Proposal Seminar: Proposal Writing. (1.5 Credits)

The D/P Proposal Seminar is designed for students who have completed the DM-6014 D/P Orientation Seminar and their required course work, and are ready to prepare their Topic Proposal. In this course we will review the requirements for Candidacy and the elements of that process--from proposal to selecting an advisor, completing the D/P and the final review of the D/P manuscript. Students will prepare a draft proposal for presentation and receive feedback from their peers. The final course objective is completion of a Topic Proposal for submission to the APS Committee. There is no tuition for this course. Prerequisites: DM-6014, a minimum of 5 DMin resource seminars, permission of instructor. Please see department for course alpha and number.

DM 6010 DMin Supervision I: Proposal (6 Credits)

Students at the D/P proposal-writing stage (working on new or revised D/P Topic and/or D/P Design proposals) are registered in DM-6010. Even though this course does not involve scheduled class meetings per se, a Moodle site for this course is planned so that students can seek/share ideas and feedback from one another as well as access suggested resources.

DM 6013 DMin Supervision II: Dissertation/Project (6 Credits)

Students who have received APS Committee approval of their topic and design proposals and are now at the research/project and writing stage are registered in DM-6013. As with DM-6010, a Moodle site for this course is planned so that students can seek/share ideas and feedback from one another as well as access suggested resources.

Please see department for course credit offering and range.