Cape Town Advance

Note: Due to the rapidly evolving COVID 19 crisis, we have adjusted the Advances to ensure student and faculty safety.

The Leadership and Global Perspectives DMin face-to-face Intensives (“Advances”) serve as a central learning experience in the program. The experiences push the boundaries of student thinking and networks them with other leaders. The goal of each international Advance is to enable students to better lead in their own contexts.

Through a combination of academic seminars and field trips, students interact in-person with scholars and leaders from local churches, businesses, nonprofit organizations, government, and other entities engaged in significant ministry efforts. Students also meet with their Project Faculty to work on the next milestone in the Project Portfolio research sequence.

Students participate in three Advances during the program:

  1. Online Orientation Advance (Fall Semester, Year 1)
  2. Second Advance (Fall Semester, Year 2)
  3. Final Advance (Fall Semester, Year 3)

Approved guests are welcome to participate in each onsite Advance 'at cost'.


Portland Seminary will host the Advances in three international venues in collaboration with local institutions - an official experiment approved by the ATS Board of Commissioners in June 2015. Locations include:

  • 2020: Online Orientation to the program and to Project Portfolio research process.
  • 2021: Cape Town, South Africa - "First world meets developing world: leadership, diversity, reconciliation"
  • 2022: London, UK (tentative) - "History meets future: media, globalization, culture"

What to expect

Given the complexities of international travel, Portland Seminary seeks to provide a full-service experience at an economical cost. This enables students to focus on learning, not logistics.

Leadership and Global Perspectives Advance Traditional DMin Intensives at Other Schools
Fees include Field trip expenses, lodging, and most on-site food Some meals
Location Cape Town, London On campus
Lodging Clean, safe accommodations provided Students must identify, book, and pay for local lodging in unfamiliar locations
Food Most meals provided Students pay for all food expenses
Participants Lead Mentor, Project Faculty, students, and local special guests Instructor and students
Guest Guests welcome 'at cost' No guests
Alumni Alumni welcome 'at cost' No alumni
Learning context(s) Immersive field trips, Project Faculty coaching, guest presentations, and shared meals In-class lecture
Instructional input(s) Lead Mentor, Project Faculty, peers, and local church, nonprofit, and business leaders Course instructor and peers

Advance details:

  • All active cohorts and Project Faculty participate in each Advance.
  • Alumni and approved guests are welcome 'at cost'.
  • Advances occur in late September - early October, depending on the year.
  • Advances last 7-9 days and run roughly from mid-week to mid-week.
  • Food and lodging are provided with incidentals excepted. Wireless internet connectivity is available when possible.
  • Students are responsible for all air travel and local transport (taxi, public transport, etc), visas, vaccinations, and expenses associated with guests.
  • Activities include extensive walking, utilizing stairs, sitting, note taking, listening and viewing field presentations, navigating unfamiliar crowded spaces, eating local foods, experiencing wide temperature fluctuations, etc. Though we make every effort to accommodate student needs, please be aware that in international settings we cannot ensure meaningful access for qualified students with physical, dietary, psychological, attentional or learning-based disabilities in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.