D.Min. Course Descriptions

DM 811 – Building the Capacity of the Reflective Practitioner

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:  2.0 (Offered Online)
Instructor:  Dr. Edwin Aponte


DM 812 – Building Cultural Frameworks for Contemporary 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:  2.0 (Offered during On-Campus Intensives)
Instructor:  Prof. Barbara LoMonaco


DM 813 – Building Congregational/Ministerial Frameworks for Contemporary 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: 2.0 (Offered during On-Campus Intensives)
Instructor:  Dr. Barbara Blodgett


DM 814 – Building Theological Frameworks for Contemporary Contexts

This course helps students build the capacity to reframe ministerial and larger contexts in light of theological and biblical traditions.  Students will come to understand the way in which our own theological understandings are situated within wider cultural contexts.  They will practice interpreting their surrounding culture through biblical and theological lenses.  Finally, they will explore ways that theological and biblical interpretation can serve as practices that shape ministerial contexts.

Credit:  2.0 (Offered Online)
Instructor:  Faculty


DM 815 – Building Capacity for Transformative Ministries

Through this course students will explore the dynamics of working with established institutions or of creating new structures within communities for transformative ministry.  The first half of this course will consider the resources available in established institutions, including ecclesial, parachurch, and others and the tensions that exist between ministries and those other established institutions.  Special attention will be paid to the skill of grant writing.  The second half will focus on the gifts and challenges that accompany working with local community members, with special attention paid to community organizing.  Throughout the class students will consider the role that power plays in their local context, the tensions and opportunities inherent in, and tools and methods for navigating these fields.

Credit:  2.0 (Offered Online)
Instructor:  Dr. Barbara Blodgett


DM 890 – Writing the D.Min. Project

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:  2.0 (Offered Online)
Instructor:  Faculty


DM 891 – Final Project

The final D.Min. project represents six credits of doctoral level work on a problem, issue or question in the ministry and mission of the church in the contemporary world that defines and evaluates an appropriate response to that problem, issue or question.  The project will contribute new knowledge about the nature and practice of ministry in contemporary church and society at a level of significance that the student’s peers would want to see shared in professional contexts.  The audience of the project is the student’s peers in ministry.  The project will employ a reflection-action-reflection methodology, and use the approaches to cultural analysis, congregational analysis, theological reflection, and leadership through adaptive change developed in the program.

Credit:  6.0 (Offered Online)
Instructor:  Faculty


♦ Updated 7/27-18