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DMin Organizational Leadership Concentration 


Changing the people who change the world 



Currently, there is no new cohort launch scheduled for this concentration following the cohort now in progress (group that started in 2017).


To equip those among the next generation of pastors who feel called to serve as organizational leaders by educating them toward competence in organizational leadership in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.


We envision a pool of young pastors who have demonstrated competency in the various dimensions of organizational leadership from which the church may draw in the election and appointment of new organizational leaders.


Why Have an Organizational Leadership Concentration?

The Doctor of Ministry program at Andrews University is designed to develop spiritually mature and responsible professionals in ministry for worldwide church leadership. This concentration enhances competencies and understanding in individuals who aspire to become church organizational leaders such as presidents, executive secretaries, treasurers, vice-presidents, ministerial and departmental directors. Those already serving in positional leadership roles will grow in the practice and understanding of leading within the organization.

Andrews University and the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary primarily serve the educational needs of the Seventh-day Adventist faith community. Those who provide positional leadership in church organizations and institutions face the challenge of complex leadership and management responsibilities that require advanced training and skill development. The Organizational Leadership concentration aims at developing the next generation of organizational leaders by targeting young emerging leaders who demonstrate the maturity and potential to serve in these capacities.

Organizational Leadership differs from leadership development in that it targets the intersection of the leader and the organization. Consequently, the students will be challenged to understand both the organization and what it expects of a Christian leader. Emphasis will be placed on leading and managing systems, human resources, conflict and change management, communication, authority and power dynamics, etc. that impact the success of the assigned mission. Spiritual foundations of leadership and ethics will be addressed in the development of a uniquely Christian approach to leadership.


 Concentration Goals 

The following program learning outcomes reflect the intended impact of the Doctor of Ministry Program:

  1. Critically reflect on, articulate, and apply biblically-based principles and values for excellence in mission and ministry.

  2. Conduct research and implement an intervention in response to ministry challenges and trends in a “glocal” context, related to the primary field of service.

  3. Integrate knowledge and skills acquired into an effective ministry practice and evaluate the resultant impact on one’s personal experience and ministry.


The Organizational Leadership Concentration graduate will demonstrate these outcomes in the following ways (concentration learning outcomes):

  1. Competently apply biblical principles to the organizational leadership context (Case Study; Reading Reflections; Ministry Development Plan; Chapter 2 of Project Document)

  2. Integrate theory and practice in dealing with the challenges confronted in diverse ministry contexts (Project Document; Oral Assessment; Ministry Development Plan)

  3. Evaluate the effectiveness achieved in the application of theory and practice to ministry (Project Document)

 Learning Modalities 

The following learning modalities will be included in the concentration's andragogy:

  1. A ministry development plan reflecting the participant's current situation, personal vision statement, action plan, and helping/hindering forces

  2. A context support group to provide feedback and assessment

  3. Significant current literature in leadership themes

  4. Journaling to encourage reflective and critical thinking

  5. Learning groups to foster relational learning and encourage improved personal relationships

  6. Mentoring from a field professional

  7. Classroom consultation: including didactic and experiential learning, and networking with top educators and experts in the field of leadership

  8. Research: including perusal of current literature, theological reflection, assigned readings, case studies, and field research in their ministry context

  9. Praxis: including implementation of leadership interventions in the context of ministry

  10. Project: including theological reflection, field research, and intervention involving a specific challenge in their ministering context

 The Cohort Experience 

The program is delivered in the cohort model, wherein participants proceed through the sequence of courses together. Study and learning are year-round, with pre-intensive, during-intensive, and post-intensive activities and experiences. Pre-intensive assignment preparation can begin as early as six months prior to an intensive. There are four annual teaching sessions presented by ministry leadership professionals. During the program you will participate in regional workgroups, follow a ministry development plan, read and reflect on the best literature in your concentration area, and develop and evaluate a professional project within the context of your own congregational or other leadership responsibilities.


Cohorts are identified by the year in which they formed. For example, if you are a member of a cohort that formed in 2017, during the five-six years you expect to be in the program, the title of your group will be "the 2017 Organizational Leadership Cohort."

 Module Description  

  1. CHMN747 - Christian Leadership
    Credits: 4
    This module investigates principles, challenges, and practices of Christian leadership, emphasizing the issues that make leadership in the context of the church, education, and non-profit service organizations unique. Participants examine leadership theory and literature, consider a theology of leadership, and build the foundation for leadership development in the context of professional ministry.


  2. GSEM790 - DMin Project Seminar
    Credits: 4
    Participants receive assistance in forming their DMin project proposal, and orientation to issues in the successful completion of the project. Areas of focus include a literature review, theological reflection, critical thinking, experiential learning, reflective observation, research design and techniques, reading and evaluating research, academic writing, development of an effective work plan for completion of the project, and other project-related topics.


  3. GSEM706 - Spiritual and Theological Foundations for Ministry
    Credits: 8
    This module looks at theological and spiritual foundations as a basis for engagement in ministry. Ministry is based on being as well as doing. This module builds the spiritual and theological foundation from which the practice of mission and ministry grows and seeks to lead the participant into a self-reflection and examination of life and belief.


  4. CHMN760 - Advanced Leadership Competencies
    Credits: 5
    Participants continue personal and theological reflection with the integration of leadership principles. Systems thinking, organizational culture, human development theory, and ecclesiology are investigated in the context of the church and leadership. The module also pursues further development and application of essential leadership practices. A practical focus on administrative skills is initiated.


  5. CHMN780 - Leading and Managing the Church Organization
    Credits: 5
    Local churches and denominational organizations present challenges in leadership, management, and administration.  This module combines previous requirements of the Doctor of Ministry leadership concentration and an informed foundation of biblical leadership to help participants excel in skills like strategic planning, managing change, team building, resource management, communication, mentoring, and coaching


  6. GSEM796 - DMin Professional Dissertation/Portfolio
    Credits: 6
    The DMin professional dissertation/portfolio integrates theological reflection, scholarly research, and practical ministry. The professional dissertation/portfolio contributes to the enhancement of ministry and to the growth and development of the ministry professional. Students taking the Chaplaincy ACPE Certified Educator option must successfully complete the competency-based professional portfolio according to the guidelines outlined in the ACPE Certification Manual. 

 Contact the Coordinators 

The coordinators for this concentration are...
Dr. Stan Patterson (, 1-269-471-3217) and
Dr. David Penno (, 1-269-471-6366).


Travel and lodging information is provided in the links under the "Intensive Location" column. 
Cohorts are identified by the year in which they formed. Cohort participants will take these courses and modules: 


2017 Organizational Leadership Cohort

Syllabi and schedule for the cohort that begins in 2017:
(Follow the linked titles to obtain the syllabi)

The Doctor of Ministry reduced residency (for intensive venues other than the Andrews University campus) is offered as an approved exception to Association of Theological Schools Degree Program Standard B, section E.3.1.1.

Ordering books

For dates and locations of intensives planned for cohorts in other concentrations, see the master program schedule: DMin Program Planner.

You will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software loaded on your machine to access any pdf documents referenced on this page.


Keyboard and Mouse
“The DMin helps the pastor to hear the
voice of God in their ministry.” 

John Grys,

speaking at the 2013 Doctor of Ministry Conference;

2011 DMin alumnus and now an adjunct professor for the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

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