DOCTOR OF MINISTRY
Doctor of Ministry | D.Min.
The online Doctor of Ministry program focuses on reaching the unreached in a secular age from a Lutheran perspective. Students are pastors with at least three years continuous experience who want to deepen their perspectives and hone their strategies for the church’s apologetic, evangelistic and catechetical tasks. The program requires 30 credit hours of work, including two independent projects and a final project or thesis.
Zero Student Debt
Our goal is for every student to graduate with no debt. Our donor-sponsored financial assistance makes that possible.
$480 per Credit Hour
*Tuition cost is subject to change. Additional costs may apply.
Required courses consist of five online courses, two independent projects, and a final thesis project.
More Information Below
Total: 30 Credits
Students move together through the coursework as a cohort of 6-8 members over 5 semesters. Courses are 100% online and no travel is required unless the student chooses to do so.
Total: 3 1/2 Years
*Additional costs may apply. (Application fee, books, costs associated with researching and producing the independent projects or the final project or thesis, etc.) are also the responsibility of the participant.
Course of Study
|A Total of 30 Credits from the Following Eight (8) Courses:
|DM 701: A Secular World
|DM 702: Models of Engagement
|DM 703: Independent Project I
|DM 704: Proclamation in the Twenty-first Century
|DM 705: Catechesis
|DM 706: Independent Project II
|PTE 750: Methodology and Approaches to Graduate Study
|DM 707 Doctor of Ministry Project/Thesis
*All work must be in the student’s field of study.
Year 1: Fall Semester – DM 701: A Secular World: This course is an analysis of our twenty-first century North American context. It examines the development of modernity, centering on the question of how it became an option, and even the default option, to imagine the world without God. The course examines the contours of belief and unbelief in today’s world and their implications for Gospel proclamation. Participants will use what they have learned to present an analysis of their own communities. Open to STM or PhD students.
Year 1: Spring Semester – DM 702: Models of Engagement: This course explores how concentration on the church’s Christological center opens up ways for the church to empty itself and engage with secular people for the Gospel. It begins with an examination of the profound this-worldliness of the Gospel and listens to various authors who open out for the church a kenotic being-in-and-for-the-world. The goal is to re-imagine the apologetic task from the point of view of the cross, as positive engagement rather than conflict, and to reflect on how students might configure the ministry of their congregations for such engagement, leading to opportunities for proclamation. Open to STM or PhD students.
Year 2: Fall Semester – DM 704: Proclamation in the Twenty-first Century: This course brings the participants’ learning to bear on the task of proclamation. How do we proclaim so that we persuasively make the case for Christ and present him as pure good news? This course explores three pastoral tasks in reaching the unreached: public preaching, pastoral care of individuals and families, and equipping Christians to bear witness to Christ in their daily callings. Participants will hone their skills as preachers who rightly distinguish law and gospel. They will consider and present case studies of evangelizing in the context of pastoral care. And they will examine ways that pastors have taught people to be evangelists in daily life, each using his or her own gifts.
Year 2: Spring Semester – DM 705: Catechesis: Catechesis is the church’s name for the task of teaching. Those who come to faith in Christ need to be integrated into the life of the church and into the life of following Jesus. They need to learn the gospel narrative, along with the basic doctrines that guard that narrative as good news. And they need to grow in their skill in distinguishing law and gospel, so that they are continually renewed in the gospel and walk by the Spirit. This is the task of catechesis. This course will focus on the catechesis of children, life-long catechesis, and especially the catechesis of new adult Christians. The course will examine the history of catechesis, the theological basis of catechesis, and models for catechesis today, with an exploration of the renewal of the ancient institution of the catechumenate. Participants will present an analysis of their congregations’ ministry of catechesis and how it might be improved.
Year 3: Fall Semester – PTE 750: Methodology and Approaches to Graduate Study: This course introduces graduate students to the standard critical approaches and issues relevant to doing successful and informed work in historical theology, contemporary theology, and the philosophy of religion. Students will read primary sources from both the continental and analytical traditions. Historical, phenomenological, existential, hermeneutical, analytical, and social-scientific and post-structuralist approaches are examined.
Year 3: Spring Semester – DM 707: Final Project: Students will work individually, with the guidance of their advisors, to develop a proposal for their final project and carry it out. The project will normally be completed by the end of the Spring Semester of the fourth year in the program.
Following completion of all other requirements, the candidate for the Doctor of Ministry enrolls in DM 707 Final Project. This course continues through three semesters (9 credits); students requiring more time to complete the project may do so by paying a continuation fee.
Description of the Final Project
The Final Project is an investigation of a particular topic or concern in ministry involving outreach. It involves research in written sources as well as within the student’s congregation or another ministry context. The result of the Final Project is a thesis about 100 pages long (25,000 words) using the Chicago Style (guidelines are available from the Librarian.) The thesis must include:
- Title page
- Copyright page
- Signatory page
- Librarian Certification page
- Table of Contents
- Text of thesis
Final Project Proposal
In consultation with the Director of the D.Min. Program, the student requests a faculty member to serve as his or her advisor and at least two other qualified persons to serve on the Final Project Committee, at least one of whom should be a member of ILT’s faculty. The advisor then assists the student in developing a Final Project proposal (900 words), with an appended bibliography. The student submits this proposal to the Director of the D.Min. Program for approval. Upon receiving that approval, the student proceeds to complete the project.
When the Final Project thesis is completed and approved by the advisor, the student schedules a defense of the thesis. The student should supply the members of the committee with a copy of the thesis in good time to allow them to read and comment on it. The committee determines the final grade for the thesis, which is the grade for DM 707 course. The student provides a bound copy of the completed thesis to the ILT Library. (Consult the Librarian for guidelines on printing and binding the thesis.)
After completing this program, students will be able to:
- Identify connections to the gospel within the perspectives, values, and contexts of modern secular society.
- Engage in critical reflection on customary ways of communicating the Christian message with the goal of discovering more apt ways of communicating the biblical gospel of Jesus Christ that will reach the unreached.
- Propose innovative models for helping people become disciples of Jesus Christ.