Ministry today calls for a greater understanding of social justice challenges, particularly the intersectionality of race and gender.
The SFTS Advanced Pastoral Studies Program does more than update professional skills and encourage individual growth; it also seeks to tap into the very wellspring of creative ministry.
The Doctor of Ministry program at SFTS brings together a wide variety of active ministries to learn, explore, and envision creative approaches to community growth and spiritual connection.
Throughout its 50-year history, the program’s hallmark has been the interfaith and international character of the student body and faculty, as well as its engagement with forward-looking scholarship at the intersection of spirituality and social justice. The Seminary’s collaborative environment is an incubator for the research and development of alternative understandings, new tools, and novel resources for ministry in a rapidly changing world. It is also the only Doctor of Ministry program in the country to feature a concentration in Chaplaincy/Spiritual Care Research Literacy.
The interdisciplinary/contextual focus of 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. It also opens the door to the development of innovative and creative approaches to the challenges of ministry today.
In preparation for their dissertation project, students take a combination of required foundational and elective seminars, tailoring their coursework to their research interests. Within the broad spectrum of our interdisciplinary/contextual curriculum, students may opt to focus on one of four program concentrations.
The Doctor of Ministry concentration in Pastoral Care and Counseling (PCC) prepares religious professionals to practice care and counseling at a high degree of competency and professionalism by:
The D.Min. concentration in Pastor as Spiritual Leader offers spiritual formation and academic study to ordained and non-ordained people working in churches and synagogues or other religious communities or religious non-profits. In conjunction with programs in Spiritual Direction and Formation, it integrates prayer, contemplative listening, discernment, biblical and theological reflection to facilitate understanding, competence, and transformation of spiritual leaders and their communities.
This Doctor of Ministry concentration is designed for Clinical Pastoral Educators, Board Certified Chaplains, and those seeking professional chaplaincy vocations. Professional chaplains work within research-based care environments where they are increasingly asked to provide research-based practices that contribute to performance improvement in the delivery of care.
Similarly, pastoral educators are increasingly asked to identify the most effective means of teaching and providing tools needed by chaplains to successfully perform in research-driven environments. Research literacy is essential for spiritual care practitioners working alongside interdisciplinary colleagues guided by scientific inquiry and whose practices are guided by research-based evidence. The chaplaincy/spiritual care (CSC) concentration is ecumenical, multi-faith, culturally competent, spiritually grounded, and pedagogically innovative.
This concentration focuses on three areas:
The Doctor of Ministry degree is a contextually-oriented, interdisciplinary study in the practice of ministry. Students who opt for this foundational concentration engage in study and research in a wide range of topics, integrating theological reflection and social analysis in the context of their own practice of ministry. Students are encouraged to seek innovative solutions to the current problems and challenges of ministry, developing projects that will enhance their skills and contribute to the general practice of ministry through the development of new knowledge, new tools, and innovative resources.
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.
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.