Lexington Theological Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) program, Building Capacity for Transformational Ministries, a graduate professional degree, is designed to enhance pastors’ capacity to critically interpret and engage contemporary cultures as a means to give fresh expression to the gospel and to transform congregations for effective ministry in the twenty-first century. Designed on a cohort-based model, the degree provides significant learning in an on-going community of peers.
The four learning goals of the D.Min. degree will serve this overall purpose. As a result of his or her studies, a graduate of the LTS D.Min. program will:
- Articulate with clarity, knowledge of various methodologies for interpreting contemporary social, cultural, and congregational contexts;
- Implement at least one methodology for interpreting contemporary social, cultural, and congregational contexts;
- Reframe congregational analysis with a sound theological and biblical basis with social, cultural, and congregational contexts;
- Develop skills to empower and build capacity of congregations to fulfill the mission that has been identified by the contemporary social, cultural, and congregational analysis; and
- Demonstrate facility in building congregational capacity.
Admission to the D.Min. program at Lexington Theological Seminary will express a judgment about the applicant’s capacity for developing advanced competence in and reflection on the practice of ministry, as well as the applicant’s aptitude for the particular program at LTS. To be considered all applicants must meet the following minimal standards:
- The applicant will hold a Master of Divinity degree from an ATS-accredited institution or its equivalent, defined as an ATS-approved professional Masters degree and a minimum of 72 graduate semester hours reflecting study of a range of subjects comparable to the requirements of a Master of Divinity degree.
- The applicant will have earned a GPA of at least 3.0 in her/his M.Div. program or equivalent.
- The applicant will have at least three years of experience in ministry following the awarding of their first theological masters degree. Applicants with a significant number of years of experience in ministerial leadership prior to beginning their M.Div. degree may submit for consideration a request to waive the requirement for three years of experience between the completion of their M.Div. degree and the beginning of D.Min. studies.
Initial Required Courses (Total: 10 hours)
Students take these initial courses as a continuing cohort of peers. Schedules for these courses will stretch over 15-18 months in a pattern adapted to the rhythms of pastoral life. The second and third courses are taught together in a single on-campus intensives session. The other three courses are taught one at a time online. Each online course will run for two months.
- DM811 – Building the Capacity of the Reflective Practitioner (2 credits, online)
- DM812 – Building Cultural Frameworks for Contemporary Contexts (2 credits, on-campus intensive)
- DM813 – Building Congregational/Ministerial Frameworks for Contemporary Contexts (2 credits, on-campus intensive)
- DM814 – Building Theological Frameworks for Contemporary Contexts (2 credits, online)
- DM815 – Building Capacity for Transformative Ministries (2 credits, online)
Electives (Total: 12 hours)
Students will take electives individually based on their own interests. These courses will be 600-level M.Div. courses with added requirements for D.Min. students, and numbered as 800-level courses. These added requirements must include individual research in which course content is related to the interpretive approaches learned in the required courses. Courses are available both online and in on-campus intensive sessions. Four credit hours of elective course work must be completed on-campus. Further,
- A minimum of 4 credit hours must be completed in practical disciplines (Leading subject area courses),
- A minimum of 4 credit hours must be completed in classical disciplines (Interpreting subject area courses),
- and the remaining 4 credit hours may be taken in any area of the student’s choosing.
Concluding Required Course (2 hours)
As D.Min. students finish the elective phase of their programs, this course will gather them into a new cohort to be co-journeyers through the final phase of the program and help them prepare and present for critique a proposal for their final project. The course is considered completed and passed when the proposal is approved.
- DM890 – Writing the D.Min. Project (2 credits, online)
Final Project: DM891 (6 hours)
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.