Coursework Overview

Participation in the Leadership and Spiritual Formation DMin program can be broken into two parallel course sequences:

  • Project Portfolio Research Sequence with Project Faculty:   DMIN 750, 751, 850, 851, 950, 951

  • Lead Mentor 'taught' courses:   DMIN 708, 718, 808, 818

Project Portfolio Research Sequence

 to engage in research and writing on a ministry Need, Problem, or Opportunity (NPO) of interest to them. Each student is assigned to a small peer group under the supervision of a Project Faculty (PF) member wThe six research courses are designed to give students greater flexibilityho guides their research through a series of key milestones to generate the final portfolio.

The research course sequence is divided into 3 stages--Discover, Design, Deliver--with milestone assignments to mark the completion of each stage.

  • Discover: In the first 3 courses, students first explore the Need, Problem, or Opportunity (NPO) from their ministry context. They draw on both expert analysis through an academic and theological literature review and 'grassroots' insight and feedback from ‘stakeholders’ in their ministry context.
  • Design: In the 4th course, students invite peer experts from their context to brainstorm solutions. Out of this process, students develop a concept proposal.
  • Deliver. In the 5th course, students prototype their concept, after identifying the industry standards for their project. Students test the project with potential users in the last course. After evaluating and reporting on their findings, students create a launch and sustainability strategy to further develop their concept after graduation. An examination committee evaluates the project and launch plan for final approval before graduation.

All of the key milestone documents are compiled in the final portfolio for the library archival and digital publication. 

Courses Taught by the Lead Mentor

Dr. MaryKate Morse serves as the Lead Mentor for the Leadership and Spiritual Formation program. Dr. Morse's courses consist of directed readings, individual and group assignments, and cohort-level interaction. These courses generally include the following elements:

  • Reading: The Lead Mentor provides a reading list and schedule of books, articles, and websites for students to explore and discuss.

  • Academic portfolio: Under the Lead Mentor’s guidance, students develop an academic portfolio that includes a Rule of Life, an Integration Paper, Integrative Change Assignment, and a Summative Learning Paper. This portfolio will enable students to explore and track ther own thinking and growth as spiritual leaders.

  • Asynchronous discussion: Students discuss the assigned course materials each week on the course website discussion forum.

  • Chat: Students meet once a week for a synchronous video conference. The Lead Mentor facilitates the discussion.

  • Academic Retreats at Cannon Beach: Cohorts join the Lead Mentor, their Project Faculty, and special guests twice a year in October and March at Cannon Beach, Oregon

  • Course sequence topics: The four Lead-Mentor courses topics are addressed through a sequence of guiding questions: 

    • DMIN 708: Who am I at this stage of my life? How do I thrive in Christ for the long haul of my calling? 
    • DMIN 718: What is Spiritual Formation (definition & characteristics) in my context? What is Leadership (definition & characteristics) in my context?
    • DMIN 808: How do I co-create with the Spirit & systemic transformation in my context?
    • DMIN 818: How do the Creative Arts, Economics, Diversity, and Culture contribute to systemic transformation in my context? 

Curriculum Sequence

Year 1

Fall Semester (7 hrs)

Course Hours
DMIN 708 Leadership and Spiritual Formation - The Inner World of the Leader (includes Retreat) 4
DMIN 750 Identifying the Need / Problem / Opportunity (NPO) 3

Spring Semester (8 hrs)

DMIN 718 Leadership and Spiritual Formation - Historical and Biblical Perspectives of Leadership and Formation (includes Retreat) 4
DMIN 751 Exploring Current Literature Surrounding the NPO 4

Year 2 

Fall Semester (8 hrs)

DMIN 808 Leadership and Spiritual Formation - Processes and Principles of Systemic Transformation (includes Retreat) 4
DMIN 850 Discovering Stakeholder Perspectives concerning the NPO 4

Spring Semester (7 hrs)

DMIN 818 Leadership and Spiritual Formation - Cultural, Artistic, and Global Engagement (includes Retreat) 4
DMIN 851 Brainstorming a Concept 3

Year 3

Fall Semester (4 hrs)

DMIN 950 Designing the Project  4

Spring Semester (4 hrs)

DMIN 951 Assessment of the Project 4

Learn more: Explore the course descriptions in the university catalog