Doctor of Ministry Programs

McCormick D.Min. Program

The program is composed of nine one-unit classes, which includes an eleven-day thesis residency requirement, and a thesis in the practice of ministry. These nine classes are the equivalent of one year of full-time work; a full course load for students in the D.Min. program is three classes per academic year and work on the thesis. Individual classes are offered as five-day intensives, primarily on McCormick’s campus in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, with work done remotely before and after the class intensive. Because the program of study is closely integrated with the student’s professional work, the minimum time for fulfilling the degree requirements is three academic years. Five years is the maximum time allowed, unless the associate dean grants an extension.

Uniqueness of the McCormick DMin

McCormick Theological Seminary prides itself in its culturally attentive and context based DMin program. It is McCormick’s mission to provide cross-cultural education that equips religious leaders to serve an increasingly diverse U.S. landscape and to attend to the cultural needs of students who represent a variety of racial or ethnic groups. Alongside the longstanding cross-cultural cohorts, new cohorts have been formed that focus, for example, on Korean immigrant churches (Korean-American cohort), Latin@ ministries (Apostolic Assembly cohorts), and Pan-African Christianity (the Jeremiah Wright cohort). When appropriate, theological education is provided in the group’s primary language to varying degrees.

In addition, one’s place of ministry becomes a site for reflection and analysis, integrating academic inquiry with professional context. The thesis project is rooted in the student’s place of ministry, in partnership with the congregation or agency, and ordered toward the transformation of ministry in that specific setting. To do so, the program integrates theory and practice, values experiential knowledge, focuses on peer-based learning in cohorts, and provides theological education that addresses both the internal needs of congregations and the external needs of the broader communities in which the congregations or agencies are located.

Because students often come into the program with a stated concern for a particular area of ministry, McCormick offers a range of non-core courses that focus on the areas of parish revitalization, pastoral care, executive leadership, building beloved community, and public witness. Both core and non-core courses allow students to engage a critical challenge in their ministry through interdisciplinary research – sociological, organizational, psychological, political, economic, historical, theological, and biblical analyses.

Course of Study

The following core classes form the foundation of the McCormick DMin curriculum. All students will take these classes or a variant geared toward that cohort’s cultural context. These courses will typically be taken with the DMin cohort group with whom you begin your studies:

Where Three or More are Gathered: exploring the relationship of group dynamics and leadership. This is the first core course of any DMin student’s program.

The Church in the World Today: exploring the changing landscape of Christian expression in North America and around the world, and its theological and practical implications.

Culturally Attentive Pastoral Leadership: equipping students to lead congregations and religious organizations with more sensitivity to diverse communities.

Leading Change in Church and Community: equipping students to initiate and navigate change in ministry settings while being attentive to the stress that change creates in individuals and groups.

Two additional classes connected to the student's thesis project are also required of all students:

Research Methods: focusing on the theory and application of practical theology, and on the development of a specific thesis project. The thesis project explores in depth an issue of ministry within the student’s current context.

Thesis Residency: an eleven-day, on-campus retreat in January where substantive research on the thesis project is undertaken, guided by a faculty advisor.

In addition to the core classes, each cohort includes three non-core courses which are taken by the whole cohort, sometimes chosen by the cohort itself (in the case of the cross-cultural and Korean-American cohorts) and sometimes built into the schedule of courses (in the case of the Prophetic Leadership and Wright cohorts). For course listings, click here.

Upcoming Cohort Start Dates:

Cohorts officially begin in January of every year with the course “Where Three or More Are Gathered.” The current admissions deadline is October 15, 2018. Students admitted by March 15 or July 30, 2018 may register for elective courses offered in May-June or October, respectively.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact Admissions at 773.947.6276 or admit@mccormick.edu

McCormick is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools of the United States and Canada.