Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

Field with Tree and Fog ImageThe Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program is designed for caregiving professionals, working in both traditional and non-traditional ministry contexts, who see their caregiving work as possessing an inherent spiritual and ministerial dimension. Counsellors, chaplains, health practitioners, spiritual care providers, social workers, nurses, long-term care workers, educators, clergy, and other ministry practitioners can deepen their practice through the DMin program.

St Stephen’s welcomes to its programs students from any faith tradition – or no tradition. The College encourages students to articulate their vision and practice of ministry using the languages, symbols, and images of the traditions and worldviews with which they identify. Within this diversity, St. Stephen's understands that the practice of ministry includes the self-reflective awareness of the nurturing quality of service to the Human community and to the Earth. 

The DMin is a low-residency program designed for the working professional and can largely be completed at a distance. Most courses are offered in convenient week-long intensive formats, while other program elements are conducted online. The DMin program combines academic research with practical, applied competencies as appropriate to the student’s professional field.

What Can Students Expect?

  • A personalized curriculum that is creatively adapted to student interests and which invites student innovation. 
  • A curriculum that combines academic rigor with opportunities for personal reflection and integration.
  • Annual intensive courses which foster personal relationship building with faculty and colleagues.
  • Online learning communities which offer flexible program participation from afar.
  • Inclusive perspectives open to multi-faith and multi-cultural views.
  • Dynamic, experienced, and accessible faculty who are committed and supportive.
  • Diverse and cutting-edge approaches to research, including arts-based methodologies.
  • A diverse, engaged student community.

DMin Core Stream

The DMin Core Stream is open to any caregiving professional working in a wide array of both traditional and non-traditional ministry contexts.  Recent DMin graduates have competed research in the fields of education and mindfulness, spiritual care, issues of gender and sexuality in religious communities, residential schools, pastoral counselling, and congregational ministry. Students completing the DMin will find the following outcomes:

  1. Deepen their current professional experience.
  2. Build on previously acquired academic skills.
  3. Integrate personal and spiritual growth.
  4. Enhance their ability to do independent research with the support of a team of advisors.
  5. Develop an advanced understanding of ministry in relation to various disciplines.
  6. Contribute to the understanding and practice of ministry through the completion of a DMin doctoral level project. 

DMin Specialization in Supervisory Education (DMin-SE)

This specialization offers doctoral level training for supervisory education students working toward professional certification as a Certified Supervisor-Educator (i.e., Spiritual Care Educator of Psycho-Spiritual Therapist Educator) in the Canadian Association of Spiritual Care/Association cadadienne de soins spirituels (CASC/ACSS). 

Students completing the DMin-SE will gain all the same program outcomes as the DMin Core Stream, as well as the following:

  1. Advanced understanding of the nature and purpose of spiritual care and psycho-spiritual supervision. 
  2. In-depth knowledge of, and practical experience with, the five identified CASC/ACSS Supervisor Competencies: (i) Conceptual knowledge of clinical supervision; (ii) Aptitude in CPE/PCE program design, implementation, and management; (iii) Engagement in supervision of individual CPE/PCE students; (iv) Facilitation of CPE/PCE group seminars and related activities; and (v) Integration of personal and supervisory identity.
  3. Ability to integrate theological reflection, spiritual and educational assessment, and the safe and effective use of self in the supervision of spiritual care and/or psycho-spiritual therapy students.
  4. New knowledge pertaining to spiritual care and psycho-spiritual therapy supervision.

Length of Program

Program length for both the Core program and the SE Specialization is minimum four years. The program must be completed within seven years.

After Graduation

Graduates of the DMin program typically return to their field of ministry equipped with the knowledge, experience, and spiritual formation needed to inspire others and to deepen their practice. Graduates in the Specialization in Supervisory Education will have achieved a CASC/ACSS Certification review as a Spiritual Care Educator or Psycho-Spiritual Therapist Educator.

General Program Information

Incoming students can expect to take their first course in early June of their starting year. 

  • DMin Core Stream Program Outline
    33 Credits
    Learning Process

    YEAR ONE
    0
    Orientation Day (recommended) - Learning Covenant Formation
    3
    Integrative Seminar 1
    3
    Course: Inquiry, Research, and Evaluation SSC771
    1.5
    DMin IS Collegium 1 - Online Learning Community
    3
    Foundational Course 1: Religious/Spiritual/Theological Foundations (relevant to dissertation focus)
    3
    Foundational Course 2: Learner's Focus of Expertise

    YEAR TWO
    3
    Integrative Seminar 2
    1.5
    DMin IS Collegium 2 - Online Learning Community
    0
    Project Vision (Preliminary Project Proposal)
    3
    Foundational Course 3: Methodologies for Knowledge Generation (Program Evaluation/Research)

    YEAR THREE
    3
    Integrative Seminar 3
    3
    Integrative Paper (when IP approved, student granted full time status)
    3
    Project Proposal, Ethics Review, Project Design
    3
    Supervised Pilot Project

    YEAR FOUR & FORWARD
    0
    Optional participation in additional Integrative Seminars/Online Collegiums (with instructor permission)
    0
    Completion of Dissertation (150-200 pages) and Public Presentation of Project Research on Convocation Day

    Core Program Work in Edmonton

    Students will need to set aside the following times for core program work at St. Stephen's College in Edmonton:

    - Early June (Integrative Seminar 1, 2, and 3, normally in the first three years of the program)

    - Early June (SSC771 Inquiry, Research and Evaluation course, first year only).

    In addition, individuals should expect to consult with their Dissertation Committee regularly during the Dissertation stage. 

    Course Selection

    Foundational courses are to be selected in consultation with the student's Faculty Advisor, and approved by the DMin Department Chair. All courses have pre-course preparation, one week on site in Edmonton (Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm), and a post-course assignment. Further details are available in the individual course outlines. Doctoral students normally complete all courses at the 700-level; however, with the approval of the Theology Department Chair, a doctoral student may enroll in a 500-level course to satisfy one course requirement. 

     

  • DMin Supervisory Education Program Outline
    33 Credits
    Learning Process

    YEAR ONE
    0
    Orientation Day (recommended) - Learning Covenant Formation
    3
    Integrative Seminar 1
    3
    Course: Inquiry, Research, and Evaluation SSC771
    1.5
    DMin IS Collegium 1 - Online Learning Community
    3
    Foundational Course SE1: Religious/Spiritual/Theological Foundations / Psychological/Systems Foundations for Supervisory learning [CASC/ACSS Standards refer to this as "a graduate credit course in Adult Education of Supervision Theory]
    1.5
    Program Approval Documentation (Part 1): Co-write with Certified Supervisor-Educator (CSE) a program approval prior to offering the first course of supervision as a Provisional Supervisor-Educator (PSE) in either Spiritual Care or Psycho-Spiritual Therapy
    1
    Foundational Practicum SE2: Completion of first CASC/ACSS CPE/PCE course as a PSE [i.e. co-plan and co-implement a Spiritual Care or Psycho-Spiritual Therapy Education Program while working under the supervision of a qualified CASC/ACSS CES in order to learn the art and craft of SPE supervision]. Co-requisites before credit is assigned: (1) Completion of Foundational Course SE1, (2) Provision of a letter from CASC/ACSS CSE/Faculty Advisor verifying that student has completed Regional Admitting Committee approval

    YEAR TWO
    3
    Integrative Seminar 2
    1.5
    DMin IS Collegium 2 Online Learning Community
    1
    Completion of second CASC/ACSS CPE/PCE course as a PSE [with both ongoing CASC/ACSS supervision, and increased course responsibility and self-directed functioning].
    3
    Foundational Course SE3: Methodologies for Knowledge Generation (Program Evaluation/Research)
    1
    Provision of evidence of having (1) completed the CASC/ACSS Learning Module on "Supervision Advanced Students and Provisional Supervisor-Educators in SPE Training" (a letter or copy of certificate of completion), and (2) participated in a peer group of provisional supervisors over the course of one's two PSE courses (letter from CASC/ACSS Certified Supervisor-Educator/Faculty Advisor).
    1.5
    Program Approval Documentation (Part 2): Prepares an update of the program approval document developed prior to first PSE course, including submission to and approval by the CASC/ACSS Accreditation Committee.

    YEAR THREE
    3
    Integrative Seminar 3
    2
    Preparation of Materials for and evidence of Certification as a Supervisor-Educator (in either Spiritual Care of Psycho-Spiritual Therapy). A letter or copy of certificate from CASC/ACSS is required stating that student has achieved CASC/ACSS Certification.
    1
    Satisfactory Completion of Post-Certificate Mentoring course following certification as a Supervisor-Educator (as evidenced by a letter from the mentoring Certified Supervisor-Educator).

    YEAR FOUR
    0
    Optional participation in additional Integrative Seminars/Online Collegiums (with instructor permission)
    3
    Project Proposal, Ethics Review, Project Design
    0
    Completion of Dissertation (150-200 pages) and Public Presentation of Project Research on Convocation Day


    Core Program Work in Edmonton


    Students will need to set aside the following times for core program work at St. Stephen's College in Edmonton:

    - Early June (Integrative Seminar 1, 2, and 3, normally in the first three years of the program)
    - Early June of May (SSC771 Inquiry, Research and Evaluation course, first year only).

    In addition, individuals should expect to consult with their Dissertation Committee regularly during the Dissertation stage. 

    Course Selection

    Foundational courses are to be selected in consultation with the student's Faculty Advisor, and approved by the DMin Department Chair. All courses have pre-course preparation, one week on site in Edmonton (Monday-Friday, 9:00am-5:00pm), and a post-course assignment. Further details are available in the individual course outlines. Doctoral students normally complete all courses at the 700-level; however, with the approval of the Theology Department Chair, a doctoral student may enroll in a 500-level course to satisfy one course requirement. 

  • Program Admission Requirements

    Admission Requirements

    1. Master’s Degree in Theology/Spirituality/Religion (e.g. MDiv, MRE or MTS), or a Master’s Degree in a related field with study in the areas of theology, religious history, and sacred texts (e.g. MSc plus additional courses). The additional courses must be completed before participating in the DMin program. (Grade Average minimum 72%-see Admissions Policy)
    2. At least three years’ experience in ministry (see definition) 
    3. Evidence of a capacity to integrate theory with practice (e.g. academic or published papers, completion of training as a Spiritual Director, Supervised Pastoral Education appointment to faith tradition committee/task forces, etc.) 
    4. Evidence of reflective capabilities that attend to spiritual values integrated into one’s professional practice 

    Additional Requirements for Specialization in Supervisory Education applicants:
    5. CASC/ACSS Certification as a Specialist 
    6. Letter from a CASC/ACSS Certified Supervisor-Educator stating willingness to supervise the applicant as a Provisional Supervisor-Educator (Note: St. Stephen’s College will appoint the Certified Supervisor-Educator to the voluntary position of Faculty Advisor for the duration of the student’s program.) 

    Interview: All potential DMin applicants will attend an admission interview as part of the application process. Intake interviews will reflect on the applicant’s learning goals and determine the applicant’s appropriateness for admission to the DMin program. For those in the Supervisory Education Specialization:  a CASC/ACSS Regional Admitting Committee (RAC) review process is also required; this is distinct and separate, and results in approval for the applicant to learn at the supervisory level. A person in this Specialization can be admitted to the DMin program but cannot complete Foundational Practicum SE2 without RAC approval.

    Application deadlines: Applications are invited throughout the year, enabling successful applicants to begin participation in program components at any time, as discussed with their Faculty Advisor.  In order to participate in the Integrative Seminar (an introduction to the program and cohort) of a given year applicants must submit their completed applications to the College no later than February 1 for Canadian applicants and November 1 for international applicants (next business day if date falls on a weekend). Applicants requiring an evaluation of academic equivalencies must submit their completed application to the College by December 1 (September 1 for international applicants). 

    Orientation and First Year Core Courses: First year students are encouraged to register for the St. Stephen’s College Orientation Day (normally in late April). It is expected that first year students will enroll in the core courses which immediately follow: Integrative Seminar 1 and SSC771. Both are residential courses.

    Foundational Courses: Foundational courses are to be selected in consultation with the student’s Faculty Advisor, and approved by the DMin Department Chair.

     

     

     
**Note: The Doctor of Ministry degree is conferred by St. Stephen's College, not by the University of Alberta. For more information, see our About Graduate Studies at SSC and Institutional Charter pages.