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DMin Urban Ministry Concentration 


Changing the people who change the world 


Prompted by the promise of Christ's soon return, the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program at Andrews University is designed to develop spiritually mature and responsible professionals in ministry for worldwide church leadership. The DMin Urban Ministry concentration prepares participants for the specific challenges of mission and ministry in the urban context.


The Urban Context as a Learning Environment

The cities of Chicago and Toronto provide the backdrop for some intensives in this concentration. A short distance from the Andrews campus, these thriving, dynamic, and complex cities offer the resources for the intended transformational learning experience. Participants will reside at a central location in the city during the intensives. Significant churches in the heart of the city will provide the context for the three required case studies. Students will engage in an immersion in the life of the city including interaction with city administration, transportations system, hospitals, schools and universities, neighborhood restaurants, housing, shelters, and entertainment options. The opportunity to participate in the bi-annual conference of the Chicago-based Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education will provide enrichment to the intensive experience.


 Concentration Goals 

The outcomes of the urban ministry concentration include 1) a knowledge base, 2) a transformational emphasis on being, and 3) doing, evidenced in skill training for ministry leadership.


Knowing: The knowledge base has the following components:

  1. A faithful theology of urban ministry

  2. A current understanding of issues in urban society

  3. An understanding of how systems shape life and mission in the context of the city

  4. An understanding of how to promote healthy cities


Being: In the process of the urban ministry concentration, participants will experience transformational development in the following essentials:

  1. A compassionate vision for people

  2. A vision for mission in the city

  3. Appreciation of diversity

  4. Commitment to empowering people

  5. Courage to challenge the status quo


Doing: Participants in the urban ministry concentration form skills for effective ministry in the context of the city. Those include:

  1. Fostering vision for mission within the city context

  2. Identifying needs of people and neighborhoods

  3. Facilitating effective planning within the systems affecting life in the city

  4. Leading and managing specific ministries appropriate to the urban context

  5. Leading evangelistic ministries in the context of the city

  6. Community organizing, including networking and cooperating with churches and other agencies

  7. Managing change well

  8. Managing conflict effectively

  9. Fostering an appreciation for diversity and multiculturalism

 Learning Modalities 

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

  1. A ministry development plan

  2. A context support group

  3. Learning groups including collective assignments, consultations, and accountability

  4. Classroom consultation: including didactic and experiential learning and networking with top educators and experts in the field of urban ministry

  5. Journaling

  6. Research: including perusal of the current literature, assigned readings, and case studies

  7. Praxis: including implementation of ministry in the context of the city

  8. Mentoring

  9. A project including theological reflection, field research, and intervention involving a specific challenge in urban ministry

 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 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 2015, during the five-six years you expect to be in the program, the title of your group will be "the 2015 Urban Ministry Cohort."

 Module Descriptions 

  1. PATH 774 - The Church in the City
    Credits: 4
    This module is an in-depth study of key biblical, theological, and contemporary insights into the church in the city. A compassionate vision for the city is fostered. Issues in urban life and corresponding systems are explored. It includes an emphasis on strategic planning that leads to economic and community development.


  2. GSEM 790 - 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. GSEM 706 - Spiritual and Theological Foundations for Ministry
    Credits: 4-8
    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. PATH 778 - Urban Church Growth and Discipleship
    Credits: 5
    This module provides reflection and practice in wholistic church growth in the urban context. The module will emphasize appreciation for diversity, the centrality of discipleship, the local church in civic life, creating a culture of year-round evangelism, strategies for an urban mission,  and contemporary trends in urban church ministry.


  5. PATH 776 - Urban Church Leadership and Management
    Credits: 5
    This module investigates principles, challenges, and practices of Christian leadership in the urban context. It includes a theology of leadership, leading and managing specific ministries, how to engage in community organizing, working with the systems affecting life in the city, empowering people, managing change, and managing conflict effectively.


  6. GSEM 796 - 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. 


  7. GSEM 793 – DMin Research Methods Seminar
    Credits: 2
    Forming the action plan for successfully implementing and evaluating the DMin professional dissertation. Areas of focus include action research, research design and methods, descriptive statistics, methods of evaluating the project, IRB approval, and other project-related topics. 


Dr. Skip Bell serves as concentration coordinator for the cohort. He can be reached at 1-269-208-9848,


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:

2023 Urban Ministry Cohort

Course requirements and schedule for the cohort that begins in 2023:

Online registration must be completed before the course start date. The course registration number (CRN--in parentheses) is the number that registers the course.

Follow the linked course names to obtain the course 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.

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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