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This degree has been designed for the local church Pastor who is a Bi-vocational Pastor, Second Career Pastor or Lay Pastor who does not have a Master of Divinity degree.


Traditional seminary degrees are often out of reach due to work, family, geography or finances.

Our degree is offered entirely online featuring video-based micro-lectures, ZOOM video-conferencing, and tutorial formats.

The Diploma reads:


Doctor in Pastoral Ministry

Faculty-Mentor Directed

The Faculty Mentor facilitates scheduled video conversations and participates in the portfolio preparation and examination.

Project Portfolio

Students journey through a series of research milestones to generate the final Project Portfolio that addresses a new understanding of their approach to ministry.

Online and Flexible

Students set their own schedule and proceed at their own pace. Each course can be completed within 30 to 90 days.

Educational Standards:

Northwind Theological School used the educational standards of the Association of Theological School to design this degree program. The Association of Theological School Commission on Accrediting includes 260 graduate theological schools in the United States and Canada. The Commission is recognized by the United States Secretary of Education and by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

The goals for the Doctor of Ministry should include an advanced understanding of the nature and purposes of ministry, enhanced competencies in pastoral analysis and ministerial skills, the integration of these dimensions into the theologically reflective practice of ministry, new knowledge about the practice of ministry, continued growth in spiritual maturity, and development and appropriation of a personal and professional ethic with focused study on ethical standards and mature conduct in the profession.

Northwind Theological Seminary has designed its Doctor in Pastoral Ministry to advance the general practice of pastoral ministry. 

Doctoral Degree

Pastoral Ministry

Course of Study

The course of study is based on the traditional Doctor of Ministry experience and includes:

Three 3-credit hour courses:

Christian Traditions
with Dr. Michael Christensen


neXt church 
with Dr. Carl Savage


Christian Futuring
with Dr. Robert Duncan

These courses were originally taught at
Drew Theological School by our three professors who taught together in the Doctor of Ministry Program. Based on that experience, they published "Equipping the Saints - Mobilizing Laity for Ministry" which is used in all three courses in this degree.

One 3-credit Tutorial Course

Pastoral Ministry Elective - Tutorial with a Faculty Mentor in your area of ministry

Portfolio Experience - 24 Credits

Four 6-credit hour courses

Portfolio Research Methods  

Pastoral Ministry

Portfolio Research I

Pastoral Ministry


Portfolio Project

Pastoral Ministry


Portfolio Doctoral Paper

Ministry Experience can be applied to the course requirements following an evaluation of those experiences.