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Moody Fellows 
Doctor of Theology & Ministry Degree

Scripture, Culture, & Semiotics

Online | 36 Credits | Two Years


Bishop Van Moody is gathering together a cohort of Pastors who share a passion to impact the lives of the unsaved and unchurched. 

Dr. Van Moody has a passion for transforming people, organizations, and the world. With a background in leadership, business, and ministry, he is qualified uniquely to position and empower people for success in every aspect of their lives.

Bishop Moody is the founder of the Worship Center, a nontraditional, multicultural ministry grew quickly and has launched additional campuses throughout Alabama to spread the message of Jesus Christ. Since the inception of the ministry, the desire to impact the lives of the unsaved and unchurched has remained consistent.

Click HERE to link to the information at Van Moody Ministries

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Students will experience an Oxford-style

faculty mentor relationship with Len Sweet.


Leonard Sweet is a Phi Beta Kappa who earned his Master of Divinity degree from Colgate Rochester/Crozer Divinity School and PhD from the University of Rochester. The author of more than 200 articles, 1300+ published sermons, and more than seventy books, Sweet’s publications include best sellers Soul Tsunami, Aqua Church, and Jesus Manifesto (with Frank Viola), as well as many other volumes like Rings of Fire that are revolutionizing the church’s mission in the 21st century. Sweet has spent his academic life as Provost, Dean, Vice-President of Graduate Studies, President, and Chancellor of seminaries and universities. He now just works with doctoral students in the US and around the world.


One of the most sought-after speakers in North America, Sweet has been voted more than once by his peers as “One of the 50 Most Influential Christians in America” and was once selected by the top non-English Christian website as a “Top 10 Influential Global Christian.” His podcast “Napkin Scribbles” is widely quoted, as is his homiletics resource, For the past three years, he has posted a weekly lectionary-based LenTalk on semiotics and Scripture to his YouTube Channel. 


36 Credits - 2 years

2024 - Reading Experience

  • Readings I Course

  • Readings II Course

  • Orcas Advance
    Group Intensive on Orcas Island

2025 - Project Experience

  • Topic Proposal Course

  • Project/Dissertation Writing

  • Dissertation Presentation
    Orcas Advance 
    Group Intensive on Orcas Island

Tuition: $600 per credit hour


  • Application Fee  - Waived

  • Acceptance Fee  -  $300 (One-Time Fee)

  • Student Fee        -  $200  (Monthly Fee)

  • Graduation Fee   -  $300 (One-Time Fee)

Dual Degree Option

Pastors what the option to complete a Master's in Specialized Ministry to satisfy the prerequisite of a Master's Degree for admission to the DTM.

COURSE OF STUDY - 30 Credits

6 credits of advanced standing for ordination.

6 credits Pastoral Ministry seminar

6 credit Capstone Research Methods

6 credit Capstone Research Course

6 Credit Capstone Paper

Tuition: $200 per credit hour

Semiotics is the science and study of "signs," or semeia (semion) in Greek.
You don't get a driver's license without passing a semiotics test: a
driver's test is all about reading the signs of the highway. Jesus insisted
that his disciples also pass a semiotics test and know how to "read the
signs of the times" not just "the signs of the sky" (Matthew 16:2b-3). A
doctoral degree in Semiotics, Scripture and Culture (SSC) will induct you
into the tribe of Issachar, the scholarly tribe who is famous for being able
to "know the times and know what to do" (1 Chronicles 12:32).

Culture is a story language. Learning to read that language is what is
called semiotics. We are perpetually signaling our intentions toward one
another and expecting those signals to be picked up, translated and
processed. Growing up is learning to "read" that signaling. Since 90% of
communication is non verbal (facial expression, body language, energy flow,
etc.) everyone needs semiotic training, especially preachers.

A doctoral degree in Semiotics, Scripture and Culture (SSC) will help you
open up the Scriptures in ways that you never knew possible.

A doctoral degree in SCC will enable you to read the Scriptures in the
vernacular of our culture--story with a soundtrack-so that as you read them
cinematically they become a motion picture in your mind.

A doctoral degree in SCC shows you how to go beyond meeting people where
they are, and instead meeting Jesus where he is in the midst of people where
they are.

A doctoral degree in SCC enables you to move beyond seeing the Bible as a
31,102 verse puzzle to putting the puzzle together so that you see the
Scripture as one Big Picture, one Big Story-from Genesis to Revelation.

A doctoral degree in SCC helps you rise above autobiography to "read" what
God is doing in the world and in the church.

A doctoral degree in SCC teaches how to exegete the white spaces in life and
in Scripture-the silences, the pauses, the hushes and the hums.

A doctoral degree in SCC empowers you to connect prophetically the dots of
what is going on in the world and the word. 

A doctorate in SCC specializes in learning how the mind thinks--not in words
and ideas but in metaphors and narratives. Symbol gives rise to thought.
Where words can dam up the divine, narratives and metaphors (narraphors) are
doors to the divine that invoke, evoke, provoke.

A doctorate in SCC specializes in truth-tracking, not trends-tracking. Every
age, every epoch, has its trends. The question for the tribe of Issachar is
which trends tend toward truth, and which trends tend toward evil and

A doctorate in SCC will sharpen your skills at textual hermeneutics (reading
the Bible as a text) while raising your Contextual Intelligence to the
highest levels of cultural and biblical semiotics (reading the Bible as a
contextual story).

This doctoral program will platform your research and writing into a
publication, a book, vlog, podcast, art work, that will build up the body of
Christ for mission in the 21st century with our 22nd century kids.

This doctoral program will cause you to fall deeper in love with Jesus.

This doctoral program will bring to life this Issacharian Prayer:
May you go out into a short-sighted world that sees very little ahead and be
far-sighted followers of Jesus. In a world ruled by signs and symbols, may
you be the ones who connect, put together, and bless the ties that bind not
break. In a world whose currency is story and song, may you be Jesus
curators of story and cantors of song. Amen. Leonard Sweet 

Publish Your Doctoral Project/Dissertation

Doctoral students in this cohort will complete a doctoral project/dissertation, and defense.


Students will present and defend their doctoral project/dissertation to their fellow students and faculty.


Following a successful defense, students will have the opportunity to publish their peer-reviewed project/dissertation.

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