Doctor of Ministry in Christian Spirituality

 Why a DMin in Christian Spirituality?
Our world needs wise Christian leaders who can use a variety of perspectives and tools to read and understand the spiritual needs of people in a variety of situations, point to God’s presence and grace in the experience of individuals, and open paths of transformation in peoples’ lives.
In 2014, Virginia Theological Seminary launched a new track in its Doctor of Ministry program, the VTS D.Min. in Christian Spirituality. This D.Min. concentration can enhance a wide variety of ministries – congregational leadership, education, health care, faith formation, retreat settings – by rooting those ministries in our Christian spiritual traditions and addressing the contemporary hunger for spiritual deepening.

The program will explore a range of spiritual traditions, contemplative and apostolic, Biblical to contemporary.   These traditions will be brought into conversation with developmental, organizational, and missional perspectives on formation, pastoral care, ministry, and leadership. Pastoral leaders from many denominations can benefit from this program, the roots of which are the Christian spiritual traditions that we share. The program can serve the needs of
  •     people who serve in churches, hospitals, the military, mission fields, and retreat centers.
  •     people with 3 – 30 years of experience in religious leadership.
  •     people with proven skills and leadership, who want to wrestle with new challenges.
The heart of our work is fostering deep practical wisdom and courage, as we bring our contexts of ministry into conversation with the finest insights from scripture, theology, and various human sciences and professions. Your context of ministry becomes your laboratory of focused learning, testing, and reflection.
This concentration began originally as the D.Min program of the Washington Theological Union, which was a Roman Catholic seminary in Washington, DC. Religious leaders from a wide range of Catholic and Protestant traditions were attracted to their program as an opportunity to dig deeply into some classic Christian spiritual traditions and consider their importance to Christian formation, ministry and leadership in the world today. As it moves to VTS, this one-of-a-kind program will bring together a focus on ancient and classical Christian spiritualities, contemporary pastoral ministry, and ministerial leadership.

Prospective applicants should contact Dr. Kathy Brown, Associate Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program, for additional information. The application deadline is September 15.
  • Focus on the foundational questions of the spiritual life – Who is God? Who is the human person? – as they have been answered by ancient and classical spiritual writers.
  • Learn how spirituality can be addressed in contemporary settings such as health care, where pastoral ministry addresses luminal moments in the lives of individuals.
  • Learn about the challenges of addressing the spiritual hungers and practices of diverse populations.
  • Learn how spirituality can ground the practice of leadership.
  • Work with peers on your real-life situations, to gain new insights and develop new habits in your leadership and discipleship.
  • Examine your own actions and assumptions in your ministry and leadership, through theological, behavioral, and organizational lenses.
  •  Know and claim afresh what you are trying to achieve in Christ's name, why you are trying to achieve it, and how you can pursue it through transformational ministry, leadership, and mission.
  • Improve your capacity to guide, shape, and energize the spiritual lives of individuals, organizations and communities.
In order to prepare for the program, accepted students are expected to read the following books before the first residency:
-          Braided Selves:  Collected Essays on Multiplicity, God and Persons, by Pamela Cooper-White             
-          Explorations in Spirituality:  History, Theology and Social Practice, by Philip Sheldrake
-           Christian Spirituality: Themes from the Tradition, by Lawrence Cunningham and Keith Egan
-          The Practice of Adaptive Leadership, by Ronald Heifitz,

Click here for education requirements.
Contact Us
Doctor of Ministry Program
Virginia Theological Seminary
3737 Seminary Road
Alexandria, VA  22304
Phone: 703-370-6600