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Courses in DMin
Foundation Courses
DMIN 807 Pastoral Leadership in Context

This course invites students to engage and critique leadership concepts and theories drawn from both Christian traditions and a variety of current disciplines and arenas. Students will also be given opportunities to reflect upon leadership issues within the context of their ministerial settings and in conversation with the material studied in class. Lectures, large and small group discussions of readings, and case studies are among the methods that will be used to achieve the outcomes of the course.

DMIN 808 The Biblical Message & The Praxis of God

This course will explore Biblical paradigms that define a theological approach to the practice of ministry. The Biblical themes chosen for emphasis in the course may vary from year to year based on the interests and preferences of the professor.

DMIN 809 Constructive Theology of Ministry

The foundational course in Theology, required of all DMin students, is designed to clarify and deepen students' theological perspectives as they begin their studies. The course prepares students for the final project by requiring students to situate the vital tasks, practices, and prayer-life of ministry within an explicit theological framework. Readings, in-class work, and assignments will encourage competence in understanding contemporary theological methods and skill in articulating a vision of the Christian faith for our time and context. Issues receiving special attention will include: the process of contextual description, clarity of one's own theological method, awareness of denominational perspective, and attention to the ethical implications of theology for the engagement of society and other religious traditions.

DPLH 720 Core Homiletic Seminar I

In this course we will build upon the preceding foundational courses in Constructive Theology and biblical hermeneutics by taking a homiletical turn. We will critically examine and assess our embedded theologies and practices of preaching in relationship to emergent ones. The aim is to develop, articulate and embody fresh approaches to the preaching ministry, framing them as congregational leadership.

DPLH 722 Core Homiletic Seminar II

Using the concepts developed in Core Homiletic I we will more fully incorporate congregants as participants in the learning process. Students will complete a 'thick description' of their congregational cultures and practices and convene sermon formation and feedback groups from their congregations. The aim will be to become 'listening learners' as well as rhetorically effective preachers and congregational leaders.

DPLH 723 Media & the Church

Ministry takes place in an intense media environment, sometimes with awareness, often without. This course will involve an extensive investigation into media: what it is and what its history is. We will explore both the critics of media and its supporters. The goal of this course is not primarily to enable the student to use media, but to understand the implications of employing media. A major component of our study will be to understand the ethics of media. Like myth, one either thinks with media or it thinks for you.

Church & Society
DPLC 730 Core Church & Society I

This course introduces students to the study of the churches' relations to society and culture. While broad theoretical and theological frames will be discussed, the class will focus particularly on issues of race, gender, economic and cultural globalization, and interfaith relations as topics of engagement. The use of multiple PTS faculty and others as guest speakers will be a major feature of this course.

DPLC 731 International/National Immersion Experience

Offered within either a national or international setting, the required immersion experience enables students to reflect more concretely and practically on the issues and themes introduced in Core Church and Society I. Led by a PTS faculty member, this course may be arranged in conjunction with BorderLinks, an ecumenical educational program based on the border between Arizona and Mexico, Week of Compassion, the relief, refugee and development ministry fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), or another church-related agency or organization.

DPLC 732 Core Church & Society II

Focused on actual practices of building conversational and practical connections across racial, religious, and religious/social-service agency lines, this course will connect the language and tactics of community organizing to address both the importance and possibilities of churches engaging their social and cultural contexts. Guest community organizers will be invited to participate in the course.

Women in Ministry
DPLC 733 History of Women in the Churches (Christianity)

This course is a survey of the history of women's leadership in Christianity. Students will explore the contributions of women to Christianity's development and expressions. They will gain deeper understanding of the complex relationships among society, religions, culture and acquire the ability to articulate ways that these relationships have impacted, and been impacted by, the lives and work of women. Much emphasis will be given to women in the U.S. from the colonial period to the present. While the primary focus is on women who practice the Christian faith, some attention will be given to women in other religions.

DPLC 734 Strategies for Collaborative & Transformational Leadership in Community

In this course, student will make use of material, issues and themes from previous coursework as they begin to develop strategies for leadership that is collaborative and transformational for communities seeking to be just, compassionate, and faithful to the way of Jesus. They will also engage models of community and leadership drawn from biblical texts and the history of Christianity as ways of building norms for contemporary communities and leaders. Guest practitioners will be invited to participate in the course.

Christian Vocation
DPLR 750 Ethics of Christian Work & Life

In this course, students will examine ethical dimensions of decisions and practices Christians confront throughout their lives.  An ethics of vocation considers work and life to present regular moral dilemmas and opportunities for exercising moral imagination.  This course will use a case study method to study ethics in the contexts of relationships, identities, healthcare, work and Sabbath, family, birthing, living and dying.  In addition, the course will attend to a larger framework of contextual moral reflection around themes of environment, creation, and technology.

DPLR 751 Ecclesiologies & Communal Life

In this class students will explore a variety of contemporary models of church and the kinds of vocation they encourage. Special attention will be given not only to re-imagining Christian theologies of church but also to current emphases on the transformation movement as it is expressed in various denominational programs and other forms of church in the 21st century.

DPLR 752 Pastoral Leadership for the Learning Congregation

In this course, students will examine sites of ministry as learning communities by engaging educational theories that affirm the importance of teaching and learning to Christian vocation independent of the particular form that one's life's work takes.  The course assumes that leaders in faith communities serve as teachers and hosts to learning for all people.  Students will re-imagine teaching for transformation as central to the life and work of the church through attention to philosophies of teaching, ethics of teaching, cultural aspects of teaching, and various practices of teaching that support a vibrant life of learning that is part of a life of faith.

Spiritual Formation
DPLS 740 Foundations for Spiritual Knowing & Acting

A critical examination of Christian epistemology and spiritual theology as a foundation for the historical, contemporary, and emerging practices by which humanity attends to the Spirit through the presence and action of God. The course examines Christian spiritual exercises within the broader frame of spiritual theology and cognate disciplines.  Students will develop and commit to a personal 'rule of life' that will serve as a norm and guide for their spiritual practice during the Specialization and Project phases of the DMin program.

Syllabus - Spring 2011, taught by Sandra Costen Kunz
DPLS 741 Engaged Christian Leadership of Spiritual Practices

A critical examination of the development of Christian spiritual practices out of Jewish and other non-Christian traditions.  Students will study a global breadth of Christian and non-Christian spiritual practices, including discernment, and the adaptation of non-Christian spiritual practices for use in Christian ministry. Students will construct a cultural-theological analysis of the spiritual and other communal practices in a context where they offer leadership. Each student will lead a PLSF peer group in contemplative practices appropriate for this ministry context.

DPLS 742 Spiritual Leadership in Christian Ministry Contexts

A critical examination and development of styles and modes of leadership for communal response to and participation in the praxis of God in the world. Building on the previous classes, students will identify a theme recurring in previous specialization coursework relevant to their DMin projects. In light of the ministry context analysis from 'Engaged Christian Leadership of Spiritual Practices,' students will create a plan for guiding their ministry community through specific spiritual practices.

Project Courses
DMPR 902 Project Proposal Course

In this course, students work with their advisers and readers to prepare a project proposal.

DMPR 902.01 Project Proposal Continuation

A continuation of DMPR 902, a student enrolls in this course if the proposal was not completed or accepted while enrolled in the project proposal course. If the student's proposal is still not completed or accepted in three subsequent and consecutive semesters, they must re-enroll in DMPR 902.

DMPR 904 Project Development Seminar I

This course serves as an introduction to the art and craft of developing a DMin project, methods for research in ministry, and the process of writing a project. Students normally participate in this course after completing the second Foundation Course.

DMPR 905 Project Development Seminar II

This course provides an opportunity for students to share project research and development and receive feedback from one another, members of the faculty, and the DMin Director. Students must participate in a minimum of 5 sessions (.5 credit hours per session).

DMPR 906 Project Course

In this course the student carries out the project and writes the project report that is submitted to the advisers and readers.

DMPR 906.01 Project Continuation

A continuation of DMPR 906, a student enrolls in this course if the project was not completed or accepted while enrolled in the project course. If the student's project is still not completed or accepted after enrollment in the continuation course for three subsequent and consecutive semesters, they must re-enroll in DMPR 906.

Research Courses
DMIN 898 Elective Research Practicum

Each student, in consultation with the DMin Director and the Lead Professor of her or his track, may select or design a course that relates to her or his proposed project. This course may be chosen from advanced MDiv course offerings at PTS (in which additional work will be required) or DMin Specialization courses for other tracks. It may also consist of an independent study with an appropriate faculty member.

Phillips Theological Seminary offers Christian graduate theological education
in service of intelligent, just, and compassionate religious and civic communities. We welcome
students to a safe space for truth-seeking conversations about the Bible, Jesus, and faithful living.
Courses available on campus and online for certificate, diploma, MDiv, MAMC, MASJ, & MTS
programs, and on campus for the DMin program.

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