Len Sweet to lead Semiotics, Church & Culture DMin program

Proactive ministry in an always-changing culture





Portland Seminary, in partnership with Lead Mentor Dr. Leonard (Len) Sweet, is pleased to announce a revision of the Semiotics and Future Studies Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program. The seminary has renamed the program Semiotics, Church & Culture, and Sweet has completely revised all of his courses within the program.

The Semiotics, Church & Culture program will retool and “re-story” pastors, church planters and missional disciples.

  • It is an innovative, “ancient-future” paradigm that focuses on reframing ministry in the biblical and cultural vernaculars of symbols, signs, images and narratives.
  • It is devoted to applied semiotics - the unpacking of cultural signs and symbols, the lingua franca of the 21st century.
  • It exists to empower the student to live and lift up the story of Jesus in ways that convince, convict and carpe manana (“seize the future”).

Graduates of the program will be eligible for induction into the Order of Issachar, the tribe of Israel that “knew the times and knew what to do” (2 Chronicles 12:32).

Sweet has replaced all six of his courses with new course trajectories, all of which are designed to platform and elevate the student’s own professional journey and help them produce their own resources for the church in the form of publications, projects and art in all media forms:

  1. DMIN 709 Introduction to Biblical, Ecclesial and Cultural Semiotics: Students hone their thinking about the power of signs, symbols and metaphors in Scripture, church and culture.
  2. DMIN 719 Semiotics as a Change Agent in Preaching, Ministry and Mission (Church and Culture): Students explore how to combine narrative + metaphor + soundtrack to re-sign and reframe Jesus’ presence in the church and world.
  3. DMIN 729 Re-cognizing and Re-signing Jesus in 21st Century Culture: Students learn to recognize Jesus in their context through an exegesis of their own faith journey.
  4. DMIN 739 Global Church and Local Church: Students incorporate global insights within their local ministry context through a cross-cultural experience.
  5. DMIN 749 Cultivating Imagination and Innovation in Ministry and Mission: Students learn to cultivate creativity and change within their current ministry contexts.
  6. DMIN 759 Semiotic Shifts: Perspectives on Changing Trends in Church and Culture: This course explores the changing practice of ministry in the 21st and 22nd century church.

Portland Seminary will launch the 17th cohort of this 36-semester-hour, three-year program on Sept. 3, 2018. Students will take six courses with Sweet, pursue personalized research under the supervision of a faculty advisor and complete a dissertation in the third year. Each week students will engage with their cohort of peers in real-time and asynchronous work and join Sweet in person in Portland, Oregon, Cambridge, in the United Kingdom, and Orcas Island, Washington.

Learn more about the Semiotics, Church & Culture Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program.


Have questions? Contact our admissions counselor, Ty Sohlman, at tsohlman@georgefox.edu or 503-554-6122.

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