Home > Academics > Degree Programs > DMin Degree > Improvisational Ministry

Pastoral Leadership in Improvisational Ministry

Specialization Coordinator: Dr. Lisa Davison

Tumultuous times require agile leadership skills. The tools of improvisation help leaders adapt to changing demands. Ministerial leaders must balance a broad range of general skills with competencies needed in their specific context. This specialization allows the flexibility to design a program with more elective options in order to tailor studies to a particular focus.

After completing the foundation phase courses, students craft their specialization seminars in consultation with their adviser, drawing from the available offerings. Through this 32 semester hour program, pastors will develop their gifts according to a direction they design themselves for casting new visions and implementing transformation for God’s work in the world.    

Graduates of this DMin program will be prepared to exercise advanced skills in leadership including abilities to:

a. Articulate an understanding of social change as a function of pastoral leadership that is grounded in theological and biblical reflection and responsive to the histories of Christianity, particularly in relation to the student’s own denominational heritage;

 b. Articulate and engage from a theological, biblical and ethical standpoint important cultural issues as they intersect with race, gender, economic and cultural globalization, and interfaith relations;

c. Analyze and interpret contexts, not only of ministry settings, but also of the context in which people live and practice their faith;

 d. Develop justice-seeking strategies including tools of innovation and improvisation for community engagement and social change around particular issues of common concern.

 The following courses comprise the Pastoral Leadership in Improvisational Ministry:

Foundation Phase:  9 hours in Foundation Courses:     

  • Pastoral Leadership in Context--3 hours
  • The Biblical Message and the Praxis of God--3 hours
  • Constructive Theology of Ministry--3 hours

Specialization Phase:  16 hours in Specialization Seminars:

  • Seminar I--4 hours
  • Seminar II--4 hours  
  • Elective related to DMin project--4 hours
  • Elective related to DMin project--4 hours

(Seminars and Elective choices could include Master’s seminars with additional assignments to be arranged in consultation with the professor.)

Project Phase:  7 hours in Proposal and Project Courses:

  • Project Development Seminar I--0.5 hour
  • Project Development Seminar II--2.5 hours 
  • Project Proposal Course--2 hours
  • Project Course--2 hours

The Application deadline for:

January enrollment is October 15, application fee is waived if submitted by September 15.

June enrollment is March 15, application fee is waived if submitted by February 15. 




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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