Preparing for the First Semester

Once you have completed the Application Process and have been accepted into the Semiotics, Church and Culture DMin program, you may begin to prepare for your first semester of study.

Gaining "Student" Status at Portland Seminary

Once you have completed the following application tasks, you are officially a student at Portland Seminary:

  • Applied for one of the DMin tracks
  • Have been officially accepted into the DMin program
  • Paid your $200 enrollment deposit

Your status as a student allows you to access the registration, academics, and directory tabs in MyGeorgeFox. Heather Rainey becomes your primary contact person:

Heather Rainey

Heather Rainey

Program and Operations Coordinator for the Doctor of Ministry Program

Office: 1-503-554-6162

Steps to prepare for the first semester

Following acceptance into the program, preparation for the first semester includes the following tasks:

Review the Disability Services Office website.
If you want to learn about requesting accommodations for a disability, be aware that the face-to-face intensives may include a variety of physical activities, viewing and listening to field presentations, eating local foods, etc.
Review the Important Dates page.
Be sure to review the Important Dates page to coordinate the program travel dates, weekly synchronous chat times, and academic rhythms with your life commitments and calendars.
Join the Cohort Facebook Group.

SCC19 DMin Cohort Facebook Group. This Facebook group will become an integral part of your learning community for announcements, reading lists, travel suggestions, and prayer requests. 

Register for your first semester courses.
  • Go to and log in with your George Fox username and password. Learn more about MyGeorgeFox.
  • If you do not know your username or password, contact the IT Service Desk:
  • Follow the 'How to Enroll in a Course in MyGeorgeFox' pdf for registration instructions using the courses listed below:
    • DMIN 709: Introduction to Biblical, Ecclesial, and Cultural Semiotics (Class number: 2133) 
    • DMIN 750 Identifying the Need / Problem / Opportunity (NPO) (Class number: 2134)
  • To check that you have properly registered, click on the 'Manage Classes' tile, then 'View My Classes' to review your schedule.
  • Following enrollment, click the 'Tasks' tile and complete any "To Do's" listed.
Required books for the first semester:
  • DMIN709
    • Bretherton, Luke. Hospitality as Holiness: Christian Witness Amid Moral Diversity. Oxford: Routledge, 2016.
    • Downing, Crystal. Changing Signs of Truth: a Christian Introduction to the Semiotics of Communication. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2012.
    • Kreider, Alan. Patient Ferment of the Early Church. Ada, MI: Baker Academic, 2016.
    • Gurri, Martin. The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New  Millennium. San Francisco, CA: Stripe Press, 2018.
    • Parker, Priya. The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters. New York City: Riverhead Books, 2018.
    • Kim, Jay Y. Analog Church: Why We Need Real People, Places, and Things in the 
      Digital Age. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Press, 2020.
    • Lubbock, Jules. Storytelling in Christian Art from Giotto to Donatello. Chicago: Art Institute of Chicago, 2006.
    • Murphy, Kate. You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters. New York: Celadon Books, 2020.
    • Sweet, Leonard I. Giving Blood: A Fresh Paradigm for Preaching. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014.
    • Sweet, Leonard I. So Beautiful: Divine Design for Life and the Church: Missional, 
      Relational, Incarnational. 1st ed. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2009.  
    • Reading orderDowning, Kreider, Gurri, Parker and Kim (both in 1 week), Sweet (Giving Blood or So Beautiful), Murphy, Lubbock, Bretherton
  • DMIN750
    • Nouwen, Henri J. M. Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life. 1st ed. New York: HarperOne, 2013.
    • Schulz, Kathryn. Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error. 1st ed. New York: Ecco, 2010
    • Turabian, Kate L. et al, A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, Ninth Edition: Chicago Style for Students and Researchers. 9th edition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2018). ISBN: 978-0226430577 (pbk)
Calendar dates for weekly live chats via the Zoom video-conferencing platform.
  • The cohort meets Mondays, at 7 am PST/PDT unless otherwise noted.
  • Dates: Aug. 31, Sept. 14, 21, 28; Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26; Nov. 2, 9, 16, 30.
Log into FoxTALE, George Fox Google Email, and Google Drive before the semester begins.
It sometimes takes a few days to initialize user accounts. By logging in early, you ensure a seamless learning experience once the semester begins. You use the same username and password as you use for MyGeorgeFox.
Prepare for the first intensive ("Orientation Advance").
  • The first intensive for the cohort is Sept. 7-11, 2020. It will be conducted online.
  • The Online Advance will be conducted within a 6-8 hour/day framework. Start/end times depend on the location of the cohort members to best accommodate timezone differences.
Begin course work on FoxTALE on Monday, Aug. 31, 2020.
  • Access the first-semester site from your "My Courses" page. All course work will be available within FoxTALE.
  • If you do not know your username or password, contact the IT Service Desk: