DMin Project Portfolio

Professional Enhancement

In the DMin program, students embark on a 3-year journey under the guidance of a Project Faculty (PF) member and small community of fellow cohort researchers. They travel through a sequence of milestones with the goal of creating a project that addresses a significant real-world ministry Need, Problem, or Opportunity (NPO) within their ministry context.

As an outcome of the Portland Seminary DMin research process, graduates:

  1. Learn a problem-solving process that they will utilize repeatedly after graduation.
  2. Gain expertise around their research topic.
  3. Address a challenge in their ministry context.

Types of Projects

Students create practical solutions to address a challenge in their ministry context. Examples include: 

  • A spiritual journal app for congregation members to use each day to develop a sense of presence and intimacy with the Lord.
  • A website that will promote a cooperative effort between Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) institutions.
  • A popular book to provide Next-Gen church leaders approaches for adolescent faith formation within Generation Z.
  • A short-term missions facilitator’s manual, complete with videos, meeting guides and reflection activities, to prepare participants for their experience.
  • A Lenten study, exploring how spiritual disillusionment is a welcome ally in one's spiritual journey.
  • A business plan to enable a non-profit to create alternative revenue sources to fund academic programs for ‘at-risk’ children.
  • A college-level course that explores how to address the unhealthy relational gaps in global church partnerships.
  • An action plan to organize a local neighborhood movement.

The Research Process

Students develop competency in addressing a real-world Need, Problem, or Opportunity (NPO) and gain expertise in a chosen area of ministry research.

The 22-hour research process is divided into three phases (Discover, Design, Deliver), each containing key milestones to indicate progress.

Doctor of Ministry - discover, design, deliver process

The Discovery Phase

After orientation and training, students immerse themselves in the academic literature relevant to their research and engage a variety of stakeholders from their ministry context in a grassroots discovery process to assess the real needs of those impacted by the ministry Need, Problem, or Opportunity (NPO). Milestones include:

  • NPO Discovery Strategy
  • NPO Discovery Report
  • Academic Literature Review Essay

The Design Phase

Students brainstorm ideas for addressing the NPO with a group of ‘expert’ stakeholders from their ministry context and produce a Concept Proposal for their project. Milestones include:

  • Brainstorm Session Report
  • Concept Proposal

The Delivery Phase

Students create their Summative Project prototype and test it with a focus group. After evaluating and reporting their findings, they develop a post-graduation launch and sustainability strategy. Milestones include:

  • Project
  • Learning Launch Plan

An examination committee (consisting of the Project Faculty, Lead Mentor, and an external expert) evaluates the Summative Project and Launch Plan for final approval and students compile a final portfolio of the milestones for archival to the University’s Digital Commons.