The Fuller Doctor of Ministry degree program is a learning community encouraging and equipping leaders for mission in changing times.
The Doctor of Ministry is a professional degree granted by the School of Theology. The program is designed to serve the needs of pastors, missionaries, mission executives, church leaders, and other ministry professionals through an experience of continuing education while students remain active in their ministry.
The program of study combines rigorous theological reflection with knowledge from theoretical and tested ministry models, which are then applied to the student's ministry context. Courses are taught by experienced professors with proven expertise in developing and sustaining effective ministry. The classroom becomes a learning community where is it assumed that students come with expertise to share as well as something to learn.
General standards of admission to the seminary may be found in the Admissions section of this catalog.
Admission to the Doctor of Ministry program at Fuller Seminary requires:
- A Master of Divinity or its equivalent, or a Master of Arts of a theological nature of at least 96 quarter units (64 semester units) from an approved accredited school. Those with an MA degree are admitted to a special 76-unit track. To learn more about MDiv equivalency please contact an advisor at 626.584.5318 or email@example.com.
- A professional full-time ministry position. The DMin program is designed for ministry professionals to continue to learn and grow without having to leave their ministry context. Continuation in the DMin program requires continued full-time involvement in ministry.
- A minimum of three years in full-time ministry experience after receiving the MDiv or MA degree.
- A grade point average of 3.0 or higher (3.0 on 4.0 scale)
- Twelve quarter units of Greek or 8 quarter units of Hebrew (or their equivalent in semester units). This requirement may also be met through a course in the DMin program.
- Evidence of academic writing proficiency in the form of a 1250-1750 word (5-7 page) ministry reflection paper (see the online application for details). Applicants may submit the ministry reflection paper electronically with the application, or may email a copy the DMin office.
- If the native language is not English, or the medium of instruction for all postsecondary education is not English, applicants must either submit an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of 600 (paper test), 250 (computer test), or 100 (internet test) taken within the past two years, or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), Academic Format, with a minimum score of 7.0 taken within the past two years. Note: Applicants for the Latino Ministry Cohort are not required to take the TOEFL or IELTS exams.
The Doctor of Ministry degree requires the completion of 48 quarter units of credit beyond the Master of Divinity degree, or 76 quarter units of credit beyond a two-year (96 quarter units or 64 semester units) theological MA degree.
Fuller Doctor of Ministry students will have the option of completing either the program on either the Personalized track or the Cohort track.
Phase 1: DM711 Exploring the Contours of Ministry (4 units). All students in the Personalized Track begin with this online course. This course is the gateway to the Doctor of Ministry Program at Fuller and serves as a general orientation to the program and an introduction to the theological method and practices of the program.
Phase 2: Seminars (36 or 64 units). After completing DM711, students in the Personalized Track will complete 36 or 64 units from any courses under any subject heading below. Students may choose from multiple Personalized Track subjects.
- Spiritual Formation/ Discipleship
- Personal and Congregational Care
- Culture and Theology
- Evangelism, Church Growth, and Church Planting
- Multicultural and Urban Ministries
- Preaching, Worship, and the Arts
- Missional Theology and the Missional Church
Courses are taught by faculty drawn from all three schools (School of Theology, School of Intercultural Studies, and School of Psychology), as well as adjunct professors who bring additional expertise. The courses are taught as one- or two-week intensives. Students are required to take a minimum of four intensive courses.
Phase 3: Final Project (8 units). For details, see below.
Students admitted to the 76 unit track will complete an additional 28 quarter units of DMin courses beyond the 48 units of the Personalized Track.
Phase 1: Seminars (40 units). In cohort concentrations, the same group of students meet together online and for one- and two-week segments on the Pasadena campus with a preset curriculum focused around the areas of interest listed below.
The students joins one of the six possible cohorts available:
- African American Church in the New Urban Context
- Christian Spirituality
- Church Planting
- Lideres Latinos en un Mundo Multicultural
- Missional Leadership
- Youth, Family and Culture
Phase 2: Final Project (8 units). For details, see below.
The Final Project serves as the culmination of the degree, providing students with an opportunity to integrate coursework and reflection and then apply this learning to a particular ministry context. The intended result is a unique and practical contribution both to the student's ministry and to the broader Christian community. There are three options:
Ministry Focus Paper: A biblically-based, theologically sound paper that explores and develops a strategy to address a specific aspects of ministry in a particular context.
Training Manual/Study Guide: An innovative teaching tool designed to nurture spiritual growth or equip people in a particular area for effective ministry in a specific context, informed by in-depth analysis, sound pedagogy, and theological reflection.
Dissertation: A biblically based, theologically sound analytical paper, complete with sustained argument in an area that has a broader scope and application beyond a specific ministry.
The Doctor of Ministry office highly recommends that students start their Final Project at least two (2) years before the time they hope to graduate. Students are allowed to formally begin the Final Project process once the following items have been completed:
- All admission requirements have been satisfactorily met, such as biblical language requirements, special projects, and changes from probation or special status to regular status in the program; and,
- At least 24 units of coursework have been completed and grades for this coursework have been posted to the student's transcript.
The final project is divided into two parts:
- DM710 Developing Your Final Project Proposal, a two-unit online course on how to develop the final project proposal. This course is offered twice a year, in Fall and Spring quarters.
- After the proposal is submitted and approved, students will register for the remaining six units of the final project. In addition to tuition, there is a $300.00 fee which covers two professional style and format reviews and the binding of the final project.
Each course has three major components:
- Preparation, which must be completed prior to the class, consisting of various combinations of reading (up to 4,500 pages for a 12-unit course; 3,000 pages for an 8-unit course; or 1,500 pages for a 4-unit course), working with audio or video tapes, and written assignments;
- A one- or two-week intensive period of classroom interaction; and
- An extensive postsession project which synthesizes reading and class work and applies them to the student's ministry situation, to be completed within six months after the class ends.
Only B work and above will count toward satisfying graduation requirements (except that one B- grade is allowed).
Course Locations and Residency
Courses are primarily offered on the Pasadena campus. In addition, from time to time courses will be offered at selected external sites. Up to 24 units of course work may be taken at off-campus sites. At least 12 units of course work (not including the final project) must be taken on the Pasadena campus.
Work for the Doctor of Ministry degree must be spread out over at least three years. However, all work for the D.Min. must be completed within seven years from the time the first course is taken (ten years for the 76-unit track).
Korean Doctor of Ministry Program
The School of Theology offers a specialized Doctor of Ministry program for Korean-American and Korean pastors based on instruction in the Korean language. Admission to the Korean Doctor of Ministry program, requires an ATS-accredited Master of Divinity degree or its educational equivalent with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above. An English language test score is not required for students enrolling in the program. However, students may not attend courses in the English language program unless the TOEFL or IELTS requirement has been met.
The Korean Doctor of Ministry Program program is based on a strong biblical and theological emphasis as a foundation for effective ministry, featuring courses in biblical theology, homiletics, marriage and family studies, and theology of ministry. Korean students may take up to 20 units of course work in Seoul; 20 units must be completed at the Pasadena campus.
Dr. Seyoon Kim is the director of the Korean Doctor of Ministry Program in the School of Theology. For further information on this program, including course descriptions and schedules, please contact the Korean Doctor of Ministry Program staff at (626) 584-5651.
COURSES OF STUDY: SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY DMIN PROGRAM
Variable Units Option
Students in the Doctor of Ministry program may elect to take most courses for either 8 or 12 units. This option allows a student either to expand their program over more courses (as many as five plus a directed study) or to focus their work in fewer courses (as few as three after he initial online course) as determined by his or her interests and ministry needs. Specific information and advising about the different requirements in each course is available from the Doctor of Ministry office.
CF 705 Adult Formation Through Interactive Bible Teaching. This course could easily be entitled, "How to Teach the Bible to Adults". Have you ever felt that you would like to expand your teaching methods beyond the rut that you are in? Dr. Peace will model for you a variety of ways to skillfully exposit Scripture and make it live through small groups, self-study materials, interactive dialogue, case study method, etc. The object is to get Godís people excited about learning to study God's word. (8 or 12 units).
CF 711 The Church In Ministry Through Small Groups. Don't believe the myth that small groups are in decline. Small groups are the basic building block of the church of the future. It is in small groups where community is built, growth to maturity and accomplishment of ministry best occurs. Gareth Icenogle, one of the world's leading experts on small groups, will show you how to move your ministry from one that has small groups to a ministry of small groups. (8 or 12 units).
CF 765 Growing a Disciple-Making Congregation. The church desperately needs to recapture its mission given by Jesus, "Go and make disciples of all nations." As the church as gotten wider, it has not gotten deeper. The impact of the Christian discipleship has been described critically as "privately engaging, while socially irrelevant." The purpose of this class is to develop a long-term, Biblical strategy that returns making reproducing disciples of Jesus Christ to the central purpose of the church. A disciple-making church will see itself simultaneously as a called-out, counter-cultural community (e.g. aliens and exiles) and a sent-out, missional community (8 or 12 units).
CN 705 The Minister's Personal Growth. What has made this the longest running course in the Doctor of Ministry Program and just as relevant today? Pastors are under stress like no other time in recent history and they need to learn how to take care of themselves. Dr. Hart will teach you how to pay attention to a pastor's personal and family life, problems of anger, depression, assertiveness, and relationship, as well as address the fuzziness of role definition and role conflicts. (8 or 12 units).
CN 710 Pastoral Counseling as Soulmaking: the Birth, Growth, Health, and Unhealth of the Soul. The course explores the missing element in evangelical spirituality, the nurture of the soul. Seven strands will be woven together: 1) The human soul: biblical and theological models; 2) the relational soul: familial and covenantal networks; 3) The moral soul: character and commitment; 4) the passionate soul: sensual and aesthetic; 5) the suffering soul: tragedy and triumph; 6) the reconciling soul: justice and compassion; 7) the spiritual soul: wonder and obedience. (8 or 12 units).
EV 715 Reinventing Evangelism: New Perspectives on Outreach, Conversion and Discipleship. As a result of this course students will: 1) develop a new understanding of evangelism that reflects a faithful, fresh and nuanced reading of Scripture which moves beyond inadequate paradigms that defined evangelism over the last 50 years; 2) feel a new sense of hope for doing effective outreach that is realistic in the student's ministry and community; and 3) create a viable plan for evangelism in student's ministry site. (8 or 12 units).
EV 725 Taking Popular Culture Captive To Communicate The Gospel. Popular culture is the focus of this class. How fun! Talk radio, prime time TV, cinema, theater, rock and contemporary worship music, literature, visual arts, etc. will all be examined. You will develop tools for analyzing culture and learn how to incorporate these into the Christian message as powerful examples of redemptive analogies. (8 or 12 units).
GM 720 Spirituality and Ministry. Summer refreshment for the soul. In a retreat setting students will explore the spiritual life and its disciplines in the context of ministry. This course blends a study and practice of the disciplines with a balance of solitude and community. Students rave about the life transforming impact on their personal practices and ministry. (8 or 12 units).
MF 724 Building Strong Families Through the Local Church. Is there any greater urgency than building confidence and competence in parents to be the Christian educators in their homes? This class focuses on the role of the church in developing health within the home. Special attention will be given to how a family system operates; developing family strengths at the most critical points; exploring skills and programming in the congregation to grow healthy families, as well as explore insights from the learner's own family system. (8 units).
OD 725 Raising and Multiplying Leaders in Your Ministry. Many who occupy leadership positions don't sense that they are adequately equipped to grow leaders in their ministries. In this course students examine ways to identify potential leaders and then learn practical methods for mobilizing, training, coaching and releasing leaders toward their full potential. (8 or 12 units).
OD 726 Leading Congregational Change. Change is an inevitable dynamic of life that impacts all organizations. Organizations tend to resist change, and religious organizations are sometimes particularly resistant. While this can give strength and stability to churches, it can also cause churches to become irrelevant in a rapidly changing culture. This course will explore the theology of culture, what is happening in the culture, and what is happening in churches. Attention will be given to understanding the formal and informal organization of churches and parachurch organizations. Both the change process and the leader as change agent will be studied and discussed. The goal is to equip leaders of the twenty-first century church to be effective instruments for congregational change. 4 units).
OD 738 Missional Church Planting. This seminar is a practical course of study designed for new church developers who are getting ready to start a church or are in the early stages of planting. Beginning with the DNA, the course focuses on a biblical, organic, and holistic approach so that relevant new churches emerge from the harvest, multiplying disciples, leaders, and authentic communities within the culture to advance the kingdom of God. (8 or 12 units).
OD 751 Leading and Managing Your Ministry. Other classes on leadership focus on the who of the leader, whereas this course is focused on the what of leadership. What does a leader do? What are the necessary skills and to what do you need to pay attention? A breadth of topics will be covered such as leadership styles, clarifying ministry values, change dynamics, mobilizing people, developing vision, writing mission statements, team building, staff recruitment, etc. (8 units).
OD 755 Managing Conflict. This course is coupled with OD726 Leading Congregational Change, since conflict is a necessary consequence of change. With the rapidly changing face of ministry in a changing culture, conflict is bound to arise with a varied understanding of roles, vision, views of ministry, etc. David Augsburger is one of the world's experts who can help students deal with relational conflict in ministry. Framed with a biblical/theological understanding, students will explore styles of conflict management, dealing with staff conflict, and conflict reduction strategies. (4 units).
OD 773 Essentials of Corporate Renewal: Refocusing Your Ministry. This is the second week of a two-week course that links personal and corporate renewal. Change and corporate transformation is the result of discerning and discovering a unique vision and strategy for accomplishing God's purposes. The course is designed to provide an integrated model that focuses on both issues of leadership development and corporate transformation. Week two will turn the focus toward assessing the health of a ministry and how to lead it through a process of spiritual renewal which builds ownership of vision and strategy for the future. The ultimate goal of the second week is to bring definition and clarity to a ministry context, providing insight and skills on change and ministry into the future (4 units).
OD 774 Essentials of Personal Renewal: Focusing Your Leadership. This is week one of a two-week course that links personal and corporate renewal. Effective leadership and the capacity to influence God's people are predicated upon the depth of a leader's character and intimacy with Christ. Leaders are often overwhelmed with the demands and pressures of ministry. The course is designed to provide an integrated model that focuses on both issues of leadership development and corporate transformation. During the first week students will clarify their personal call to ministry and identify the mentoring issues that will help to insure their ongoing development. The course will also include training on how to use concepts of leadership development with leaders in their ministry setting. The ultimate goal of the class is to bring personal definition and clarity to the life of a leader so that they can bring health and definition to the ministry that they lead (4 units).
OD775 Developing A Leader's Self-Understanding. Spiritual leaders lead from the inside out. The single most important information a leader possesses is self-understanding. This requires a theology that allows God to shape the leader through life assignments as well as using the leader to impact others through those assignments. This course helps to build the leader's self-awareness through a journey of discovery of the leader's God-given strengths, an analysis of the personal cognitive style for processing information, an exploration of God's work in significant heart arenas, and identification of the challenges that threaten to derail the spiritual leader's personal development (4 units).
OD 776 Assessing Ministry Health for Church Leaders. Spiritual leaders who aspire to ministry effectiveness consciously attend to the health of their ministries. Their determination to build healthy a healthy ministry is aided by having the right information in two categories: (1) what is the relative current state of their ministry health, and (2) what key leadership micro-skills need to be developed to promote greater health in the leader's ministry setting. This seminar will help on both fronts. The first task of helping the leader assess their current ministry health will be accomplished through the use of a congregational audit that provides to the leader objective feedback from constituents in the leader's ministry system that impact its capacity for missional effectiveness. Based on this assessment the leader can develop strategies for corporate and personal leadership development that foster ministry health (4 units).
PM 708 Preaching That Transforms. The Word of God not only informs, it transforms. Do you need to rekindle the preaching fire? Catch the passion of Darrell Johnson and Earl Palmer to re-ignite a flame for preaching that transforms, refine the skills and disciplines for preaching that transforms, and recommit to the high calling of preaching that transforms. (8 or 12 units).
PM 711 Theology of Ministry in Mission. The burden of the Theology of Ministry tutorial is to construct a simple model of theological reflection on ministry that can be used in course work and in ministry practice. Students will also surface their own theological convictions about ministry that shape their priorities and indentity. (4 units)
YF 721 Strategic Issues In Youth And Family Ministry. At last a course of study that addresses youth and family issues together. Students will survey the current models and assess the state of youth and family ministry. In order to acquire the skills to craft an individualized approach to youth and family ministry, students will examine the state of youth and family ministry programs and strategies, the many profiles of youth today, the impact of the family, the development of the adolescent, intergenerational relationships, and the challenges of cultural diversity. (6 units). Youth and Family Ministry Cohort class.
YF 722 Theology of Youth And Family Ministry. Why think theologically about youth and family ministry? Isn't all you need just a fist full of "Idea" books to provide creative "fun and games"? No! This course will bring theological reflection on culture, growth and development, the family, adventure, risk, and abandonment. Programmatic and strategic youth and family ministry at its best is driven by theological imperatives. (6 units). Youth and Family Ministry Cohort class.
YF 723 Developing the Spirituality of Adolescents. Contemporary youth ministry has developed models and philosophies that often create a dependency upon the group for spiritual growth. As a result, many students graduate from a youth ministry program only to discover that they are mere spiritual infants when it comes to a vibrant personalized faith. This course will explore the spiritual development of adolescents, as well as wrestle with models and methodologies which may effectively enable the kind of environment where the Holy Spirit can do the work of growing young people up in Christ. Youth and Family Ministry Cohort Class. (6 units).
YF 724 Psychosocial Development of Adolescents. Because adolescence has been a relatively new identifiable sociological phenomenon, how adolescents grow into adults as a unique process has received far less attention than the more traditional models and theories of child development. In a changing cultural environment, where even the definition, length, and "life task" of the adolescent is hotly debated by researchers and scholars, this course seeks to help the student to: (a) understand the issues that govern adolescent development, (b) recognize the points of discussion, (c) intersect the familial literature with the adolescent literature, and, most importantly, (d) create a ministerial response to the developing adolescent and her family. Youth and Family Ministry Cohort Class. (6 units).
YF 725 Youth Ministry: An Integrated Approach to Total Church Life. The relatively new emphasis on "Youth and Family Ministry" has brought to the forefront a debate between those who view youth ministry as a focus on adolescents and those who view youth ministry as focus on adolescents within the context of the family system. While these generally divide youth ministry into two relatively distinctive camps, there are numerous model variations in each camp. This course takes a broader view of the task of youth ministry by claiming that the future of youth ministry rests in the hands of the entire church body, not just with a few professionals and a team of volunteers. In contemporary practice this is a relatively unique, but clearly not new, way of thinking. This course will bring together thought and study on the theology of church life as well as a sociological/psychological analyses of many of the factors that impact adolescents and their families. Youth and Family Ministry Cohort Class. (6 units).
YF 726 Emerging Models of Youth and Family Ministry. Recent decades have deified the power of the "model" in parish ministry. Youth ministry has led the way, with such well-known models as the Young Life club, the FCA huddle, "Son City", "Son Life", Purpose Driven Youth Ministry, and a myriad of other "definitive" ways to do youth ministry. This course will have three goals: 1) examine and critique through a theological and psychosocial grid the history, philosophy, methodology, and relative strengths and weaknesses of major youth ministry models that are likely to shape the coming years; 2) create a comprehensive schema for evaluating future models as they emerge in the youth ministry literature and world; and 3) use the data from the various models to summarize and clarify the basic elements of the Youth and Family Ministry cohort classes. Youth and Family Ministry Cohort Class. (6 units).