D.Min. Course Descriptions

DM 811 – Introduction to Doctoral Studies: Research, Writing, and Critical Theological Reflection

This course aims to augment students’ skill at several skills sets related to research: formulating research problems; finding, analyzing, evaluating, engaging, and citing resources related to those problems; formulating and arguing claims related to those problems in the context of the discussion encountered in the resources found; engaging in critical theological reflection related to those problems and claims.  In so doing, the course also aims to develop in students an identity as researchers whose work contributes to on-going discussion at the frontiers of the practice of ministry.

Credit:  2 (Offered Online)

DM 812 – Interpreting Contemporary Cultural Contexts

This course provides students with an introduction to the basic theoretical concepts and methodological tools of cultural anthropology, and emphasizes the ways in which the discipline helps us interpret how diverse populations construct and enact meaning.  The tools of anthropological analysis not only help us understand the “other”, but allow us to see our own culture with fresh eyes and perhaps discover our own cultural biases and assumptions.

Credit:  2 (Offered during On-Campus Intensives)

DM 813 – Interpreting Contemporary Congregational Contexts

This course introduces students to ways of studying congregational contexts using several different frames.  These include the frames of culture, ecology, and resources.  Students will learn, respectively, how to study the distinct ways of being together that congregations invent and practice, how to see congregations as organisms in their social and religious environment, and how to inquire into what assets or ‘capital’ congregations have and what might be accomplished with them.  By learning to interpret congregations through these different frames, students will thereby learn how to imagine ways that congregations might adapt and change.

Credit: 2 (Offered during On-Campus Intensives)

DM 814 – Interpreting the Resources of the Faith for Contemporary Contexts

This course provides students with tools and perspectives in pursuit of the second learning goal of the D.Min. curriculum, namely, that students should display facility in integrating advanced work in the classical theological disciplines with the critical interpretation of culture in service to the church’s articulation of the gospel.  It considers the relation between the Gospel and culture, methods of contextual theology, and cultural interpretation of the Bible.  Students adopt particular approaches suitable for their contexts in a project appropriating theological materials in relation to a particular cultural context.

Credit:  2 (Offered Online)

DM 815 – Leading Congregations through Adaptive Change

Students will study the classic theory and practice of adaptive change with attention to its application to congregational leadership.  They will then learn two approaches to leading congregations through change: narrative work and Appreciative Inquiry.  Finally, they will study leadership as a spiritual activity and learn ways to sustain themselves through the challenges of leading congregations through adaptive change.

Credit:  2 (Offered Online)


♦ Updated 4/14/15