Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)


Explore creative approaches to contemporary ministry with a personalized program of study.

The complex challenges of ministry today call for spiritual leaders who can integrate the wisdom of their traditions with a greater understanding of social justice challenges in the context of their communities. The Doctor of Ministry degree at SFTS emphasizes a core of personal qualities and skills for ministry and a highly contextualized approach to analysis and problem solving, in a personalized program of study.  We seek to engage the intersectionality of race, gender, class and culture with theological reflection for faithful and transformative leadership.

Our Doctor of Ministry program is ecumenical, multi-faith, culturally competent, spiritually grounded, and pedagogically innovative. We bring together scholar practitioners from a wide variety of active ministries to learn, explore, and envision creative approaches to community growth and spiritual connection. Designed with an interdisciplinary and contextual research focus, the D.Min. degree provides students a framework to integrate critical theological analysis and biblical reflection with contextually-applied social analysis to examine current issues in ministry.  

Throughout its 50-year history, the program’s hallmark has been the interfaith and interreligious character of the student body and faculty, as well as its engagement with forward-looking scholarship embracing spirituality and social justice. The Seminary’s collaborative learning environment is an incubator for the research and development of innovative and creative approaches, new tools, and novel resources for ministry in a rapidly changing world.

D.Min. students at SFTS design and implement a field research project as the central component of their Dissertation/Project. In preparation for their dissertation/project, stu­dents take a combination of required foundational and elective seminars, tailoring their coursework to their research interests. 

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Degree Requirements

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-credit (tuition bearing) seminars
  • DMin Supervision I and II (post-coursework)

Dissertation/Project (D/P)

The Dissertation/Project is the culminating requirement of the D Min degree. The D/P is an original project that effectively analyzes a practical problem of ministry, formulates solutions, and evaluates the effectiveness of those solutions. As the name suggests, the D/P combines a research dissertation and a practical project relevant to the student’s particular ministry. During this period, students are enrolled in DMin Supervision.

Prerequisites for the D.Min. Degree

  • M.Div. degree, or equivalent Master’s degree in theological or religious studies
  • 3 years post-M.Div. professional ministry experience, typically but not necessarily, recognized through ordination
  • An active practice of ministry, providing a context for the student’s research project

Learning Outcomes

  • Reflect independently, critically, and theologically upon the issues in society, mission, and ministry today
  • Build relationships based on trust and cooperation among peers in ministry
  • Use interdisciplinary and research skills to develop innovative approaches to ministry and pastoral work

Degree Requirements

  • Six 3-unit seminars
  • Dissertation/project orientation and proposal seminars
  • Final dissertation/project
  • Designed to be completed within a five-year period; most students are expected to begin with a summer session.

Students may complete coursework in a variety of ways, including regular academic-year courses and/or intensive January and summer courses. The January and summer courses are taught in one- and/or two-week formats, designed to fit in with a pastor’s study leave. We offer affordable campus housing during these events, subject to availability.



Kay Thomas

Kay Thomas
Assistant Director of Enrollment
University of Redlands
909.748.6350 office

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