December 2020 News Perspective Online

Doctor of Ministry in Houston

Beginning June 2021, Perkins School of Theology will add a Doctor of Ministry (D. Min.) program in Houston, in addition to the existing D. Min. program in Dallas. The doctoral level program integrates scholarly research with the practice of ministry. Courses will be taught at Houston Methodist Hospital.

“This is a great opportunity for people who live in Houston and neighboring areas,” said Dr. James K. Lee, Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program. “Because most D. Min. students are working full-time, this additional location makes this an option for many more people.”

With two international airports, Houston also offers the advantage of easy access by air from many cities in the U.S. Perkins’s three-year D. Min. curriculum includes two years of coursework, with students traveling to Houston for two weeks of courses in person in June and January. The remainder of the program, which includes a directed study and the writing of a dissertation, can be completed remotely.

In the D. Min. program, students build their theological knowledge and gain skills to engage effectively in ministerial work in contexts of change and transition. The program provides the opportunity for advanced study in the areas of vocation, leadership formation, and community building or social entrepreneurship.

Perkins’s D. Min. program is an intense, doctoral level program but with more emphasis on practical ministry than a Ph.D. program. The curriculum follows a cohort system of students beginning each June. Cohorts progress through 24 credit hours of doctoral level courses. Students then work independently in the final 6 credit hours, preparing for and completing the dissertation that brings the course work to bear on a specific practice of Christian ministry.

“The D. Min. program opens up opportunities for those who want to be engaged in higher education as well as the local church and society as a whole,” Lee said.

The D. Min. program in Houston follows the same requirements for admission, curriculum, and graduation as the D. Min. program in Dallas. The deadline for admission to the first cohort is March 22, 2021. Scholarships based upon need are available. Prerequisites for the program include a Master’s degree in theology and three years of full-time ministry experience.

Most D. Min. students continue to work as pastors, although the program also attracts chaplains as well as other working professionals looking to develop leadership and administrative skills.

“The program offers adaptive leadership as well as community building and social entrepreneurship,” Lee said. “It’s designed for anyone interested in creating communities that will last.”

For example, students in the Dallas D. Min. program have worked on dissertations focused on ministry to veterans and racial reconciliation. In both projects, students tap into scholarly work in order to address practical problems in ministry.

“We hope to form pastors as scholars and public intellectuals who can engage their local communities with practical skills, and we hope their dissertations will become a contribution for the academy as well as a resource for the church.” Lee said.

For more information, visit the Doctor of Ministry program page here.