Course Descriptions – Doctor of Ministry


Notebook stackCourses specifically developed for entering doctoral students
CS 800 Foundations for Christian Spirituality and Formation (1 hour)
This course will define Christian spirituality and Christian spiritual formation and will include a description of spiritual formation process and background, as well as provide practical exercises for spiritual development.

DM 860 Project / Practicum Development (1 hour)
Students will begin the journey toward completion of a Doctor of Ministry Project or Spiritual Direction Practicum Report.

PL 800 Family Systems Thinking for Pastors and Ministry Leaders (2 hours)
An introduction to family systems as a context and a way to think about self, the family of origin, and the nuclear family. The eight concepts of Bowen Theory will provide foundational material for the study.

PL 801 The Transformational Pastor (2 hours)
This course will provide students with practical skills for their development as transformational leaders through integration of family systems thinking into pastoral leadership. A variety of tools will be used to aid students in the understanding and management of self, especially in their unique relationships to churches as systems.

PL 802 Vision-Driven Ministry (1 hour)
The development of mission and vision statements and a strategy for a local church, ministry, or organization. This course prepares Christian leaders to clarify and cast vision within a local context and culture. Attention is given to identifying core values, understanding local context, framing mission and vision statements, and developing a strategy to accomplish the mission and realize the vision.

RE 800 (1 hour) Doctoral-Level Research and Writing
This course introduces the doctoral student to graduate theological education at a deeper level. The student will learn doctoral-level theological research, especially the proper use of library resources and the Internet. The student will receive a tutorial on theological writing, including strategies for organizing and writing grammatically and stylistically correct papers and reviews.

Courses in the remaining five semesters will be offered on a rotating basis throughout the remaining semesters of the program for full-time students. A sampling of possible courses is listed below.

CE 820 Educational Facilitation in the Church (1 hour)
The minister’s role as the facilitator of education in the corporate Christian community is the scope of this segment of the seminar. Models of the teachings of Jesus and the New Testament church will be explored and will provide a foundation for giving leadership to this vital area of Christian ministry.

CE 821 Small Group Ministry in a Large Church Setting (1 hour)
This course will focus on the strengths and weaknesses associated with the development and implementation of small group ministries in large church settings, while introducing principles that could apply in a variety of ministry settings.

CS 810 The Spiritual Disciplines (1 hour)
A study of and interaction with the classical spiritual disciplines to discover how one should relate to the disciplines for maximum spiritual impact.

CS 820 Discipleship – The Great Omission (1 hour)
Focusing on instruction from Dallas Willard’s book, The Great Omission, this course will explore biblical principles of discipleship through the lens of Christian spirituality as a way to promote individual and corporate spiritual health.

CS 830 Biblical Community (1 hour)
This study will prepare students to apply spiritual formation principles to themselves as pastors and congregational leaders for the enrichment of community within the congregation.

CS 840 Twenty-Four-Hour Spiritual Retreat (2 hours)
In order to face overwhelming odds in ministry, students will learn to practice the disciplines associated with Sabbath-keeping. At the close of the seminar, students will spend one full day in silence at a local retreat center.

CS 850 A Balanced Approach to Christian Spirituality (1 hour)
A study of “authentic spirituality” to help students recognize areas where they and their communities are out of balance in their lives with God and in their relationships to culture.

DM 860 Project and Practicum Development (1 hour per semester)
Systematic project or practicum development, which will culminate in the final written ministry report prior to graduation.

EM 820 Discipling through the Cell Church (1 hour)
This course will focus on the theology and methodology of discipling in a cell church, with emphasis on the equipping materials developed by Dr. Ralph Neighbour.

EM 830 History of Evangelism and Mission in the Early Church (1 hour)
A study of the Acts of the Apostles provides the model for the church in the new millennium. The examination of this mighty New Testament book will give impetus for the church in facing a multi-faith society, bringing the gospel to a secular society, and defending the faith in a post-modern society.

EM 850 Race, Culture, and Ministry (3 hours)
An exploration into the topics of race, ethnicity, culture, and faith. The course will look at how these have become intertwined, the ways in which faith can be compromised, sociological realities, and biblical and theological models for restoring right relationships and structures.

NT 810 The Hermeneutical Method of Jesus (1 hour)
While most of the OT has kept wisdom and Torah genres separate, Second Temple Jewish sources (500 BC-200AD) begin to blend Torah with wisdom. Second Temple Judaism developed standardized rhetorical criteria to recognize the specialist in interpreting Torah and thereby acknowledge competent scribes. Likewise, telling and interpreting vivid parables is the rhetoric of the wise sage. Both would be tools of a competent rabbi (teacher). Jesus excels in both. This course studies Jesus’ skill and meaning in both genres.

OT 810 Preaching from the Old Testament (1 hour)
An examination of the means the Old Testament writers used to communicate by historical narrative, poetic structures, and prophetic message will enable the minister to increase his or her biblical communication skills through use of the rhetorical analysis.

PC 841 Pastoral Counseling, Care, and Direction (2 hours)
This course will provide students with the opportunity to explore the similarities and differences among pastoral counseling, pastoral care, and spiritual direction and to identify challenges for ministry in the 21st century.

PC/PL/SD 810-850 Specializations in Pastoral Care, Pastoral Leadership, or Spiritual Direction and Formation (2 hours per semester)

  • Pastoral Leadership – Skills, practices, and training in the areas of family and congregational systems, leading change, leadership within missional and post-modern cultures, and more.
  • Pastoral Care – Skills and techniques to aid pastoral care ministries including how to make referrals, recognizing and preventing tendencies toward suicide, family systems, crisis intervention, etc.
  • Spiritual Formation and Direction – Principles and training leading toward certification as a Spiritual Director, upon satisfactory completion of the specialization.

PL 831 Contextual and Cultural Church Growth (1 hour)
An integral part of evangelism and missiology is church growth and new church planting. In the natural course of time, there should be enough new converts from the evangelistic and missiological thrusts to require new church plants. An exploration of the models and theories of growth and church planting will include the cell structure, which has emerged worldwide. It will be viewed in light of its use in evangelism and mission.

PL 832 The Missional Church (3 hours)
A study of the biblical, theological, and historical foundations of the Missional Church Movement with special attention to the practical implications for church leaders.

PR 810 Preaching Theological Concepts (1 hour)
A focus on the identification of basic theological concepts and various theories will also include practical aspects and methods that may be used to make such preaching more effective and life-changing.

TS 830 Missional Theology (2 hours)
A theology of mission and alternatives to mission are presented. Mission teamwork for both ministers and church leaders, domestic and international, is presented. The seminar curriculum will also explore innovations and ideas for mission setting, such as sports ministry, social action, small groups, and visitation in hospitals, and other caring institutions.