Program Overview

The Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Theology program is designed to show students how to become an effective pastor, while still staying in line with biblical, practical, and theological practices. Bethel University offers this program through a cohort model. This means students will enter and exit the program with the same 10-15 peers. This method is designed to help participants to feel comfortable working, discussing, and interacting with others in the Pastoral Theology program.

Examples of courses students will take in this program include Shepherds After My Own Heart: Foundations of Pastoral Theology, The Care of Souls: Pastors and People, and Spiritual Preparation for Pastoring. Through these courses, students will learn about topics such as foundational pastoral theology concepts, historical and theological models, spiritual formation, spiritual disciplines, and the role of a pastor in a church community. Successful graduates should be prepared to enter their pastoral vocation and display effective leadership skills, both intellectually and spiritually.

This program states that common questions about pastoral theology will be explore and discussed. Questions include those such as: “How do we become more effective in a time when pastors are losing their sense of identity and vocation as shepherds?” and “What is pastoral theology and how can this equip us in day-to-day ministry?” Students will converse with experienced ministry practitioners about these topics and others involved in serving as pastor-shepherds.

Students will write a thesis over the course of four years, and through the completion of seven courses. Participants will need to travel to St. Paul, Minnesota each summer and winter in order to fulfill the requirement for week-long resident intensive meetings.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Doctorate

    Delivery Format: Hybrid

    Accelerated Degree:

    Accreditation & Licensing

    Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools

    North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

    School Overview

    In 1871, John Alexis Edgren began Baptist Union Theological Seminary in Chicago to prepare pastors for the ministry of Swedish Baptist immigrants. After the turn of the century, the school relocated to St. Paul and expanded to offer four-year degrees, becoming Bethel College and Seminary. As the school progressed forward, new programs and campus locations were established. In 2004, the school transitioned into Bethel University. Today, retaining its Christian-based vision, the private, not-for-profit Bethel University main campus is located in St. Paul, Minnesota, with additional facilities at San Diego and along the East Coast.

    Bethel University supports goals of adult students seeking associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, in addition to certificate programs. In order to accommodate the busy lifestyles of adult students, accelerated programs are offered online, in the evenings, or on weekends. The Graduate School at Bethel University awards master’s and doctorate degrees, along with certificate and license programs. Students progress through accelerated formats that incorporate faith values. Classes are taught in the evenings and/or on weekends in addition to other campus locations and online. 

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