Postmodern doctors in ministry -- TWU announces its first Doctorate Degree Program

Langley, B.C.—ACTS seminaries of Trinity Western University has reached a milestone. Starting this fall, classes will begin for the school’s first ever doctoral program.

The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) with emphasis in Leadership and Spiritual Formation is a four-year professional degree aimed to develop the skills of current church leaders. “Our purpose for this program is to provide thoughtful vision for mature leaders who desire to deepen their own spiritual journey and to provide servant leadership in their various ministry situations,” says ACTS principle Phil Zylla, DTh.

It was over a year ago that ACTS began to develop the Doctor of Ministry degree in response to a growing desire among church leaders. “Pastors were saying they would like something more than seminars,” says Curtis Congo, Ed.D, Acting Director of the D.Min. program. “And the D.Min. has the constructs and accountability that can give leaders more.”

ACTS received approval for the program on June 13th from the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), a North American academic regulatory body. Their support allows ACTS to offer the D.Min. as a fully accredited program starting this September.

Students enrolled in the program cover topics that help them connect biblical truth with contemporary culture at a deeper level by engaging subjects of spiritual formation and church development, integrated leadership perspectives, and ministry leadership and culture. “We have to adjust to speak to the postmodern mind. But never sacrifice the message and the principles,” says Congo.

Equally important to learning these concepts is their application. The program design centers on the opportunity for students to apply what they learn from their studies without leaving their leadership position. That’s why, over their four years of study, students complete most of their work online with little on-campus activities. “This way the pastor can remain in their role and expand themselves in ministry in light of what he’s gaining from the program,” says Congo.

Students can work towards the D.Min. from almost anywhere. But, the program will be based in two locations. “There’ll be two sites with the same program, courses and focus,” says Congo. The first starts in BC this fall and the second is scheduled for Ontario in May 2004, pending approval from the Ontario government.

Regardless of the geographical gap between students and professors, ACTS encourages student interaction through a cohort system. “We want students to process texts and scholarly material together, allowing—individually and cooperatively—the expansion of knowledge to take place,” says Congo.

Prerequisites for entering the D.Min. program include having a Master of Divinity, at least three years subsequent full time ministry experience, proficiency in at least one biblical language, and more. For more information, visit

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,200 students this year. With a broad based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 38 major areas of study ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 12 other graduate degrees including counseling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.

Last Updated: 2015-07-13
Author: Keela Keeping