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Michael J. Christensen, Ph.D., Professor of Theology and Center Director

This degree concentration focuses on the ancient, archetypal, wisdom tradition of
Perennial Philosophy as articulated by Aldous Huxley, Karl Jaspers, Carl Jung, Huston
Smith, Evelyn Underhill, Bede Griffiths, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams, Richard Rohr, Thomas Merton, Richard Rohr, Cynthia Bourgeault, and other mystics concerned with the
underlying and unifying metaphysical reality at the source of all major world religions and
spiritual traditions.

The course of study is grounded in the history of Christian spirituality and the
growth and maturity of the Christian tradition as it finds its place and make its

contribution to the larger river and flow of interspirituality in the postmodern era.

Informed by the students; particular religious tradition and vocational interests, the
program considers the viability of Perennial Philosophy, the discipline of
interspirituality, and the practices of Christian spiritual formation for what
Northwind Seminary calls the “next church of the new Re-formation - the new things God is doing in the world (Isa. 43:9).”

“While many Christians are familiar, and possibly even comfortable, with the idea of interfaith
dialogue, few have had exposure to the discipline of interspirituality. While the first tends to be a respectful exchange of ideas; the second is a shared journey into the depths of the heart. Most Christians have been discouraged from exploring the teachings and practices of other religions, but I believe the loving and universal scope of Jesus Christ provides us with a model of how to recognize and celebrate truth on the many different paths to God.”—Richard Rohr

Not only do many young people believe that there is one underlying reality at the foundation of
all major world religions, but they are also convinced that different traditions and their unique
approaches to God complement each other. —Adam Bucko

One of the greatest needs of humanity today is to transcend the cultural limitations of the great
religions and to find a wisdom, a philosophy, which can reconcile their differences and reveal
the unity which underlies all their diversities. —Bede Griffiths

“In our one small and interwoven world, the great spiritual messengers of all the sacred
traditions are a universal human treasure, to be received and reverenced with the respect due an
attained being, an exemplar of a higher level of human consciousness”. —Cynthia Bourgeault

What is a  Doctor in Theology and Ministry degree (DTM)?


A Doctor in Theology and Ministry degree is a professional research doctorate. An academic alternative to the Ph.D. degree, the DTM is directed and examined in the same way as a Ph.D. course of study.


The DTM requires 36 credit-hours of systematic study and original research leading to a doctoral treatise and oral defense before a faculty committee.


This degree is ideal for those who desire independent research, supervised by doctoral faculty, connected to the core discipline of theology, with direct application to the practice of ministry.


Michael J. Christensen, PhD

Director of The Center for Theology, Spirituality, and Ministry at Northwind

Professor of Theology & Spiritual Formation

Academic Dean, Senior Faculty

Meet Michael J. Christensen (M.A., Yale; Ph.D., Drew University),

Professor of Theology and Center Director.

Michael is the author of :

Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith

Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit

Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life

Course of Study for Doctor of Theology & Ministry

100% Online | 6 Courses | 36 Credits | Three Years

Tuition $400 per credit

Oxford Experience

Two 6-credit hour Oxford-Style Courses:
 Context Seminar: History of Christian Spirituality
 Reading Seminar: Discipline of Interspirituality

Research Experience

Three 6-credit hour courses
 ​​Research I
 Research II

Treatise & Defense Experience
Three 6-credit hour courses

 Treatise Doctoral Paper
​ Defense of Treatise​

Faculty Mentors in Northwind’s Doctorate in InterSpirituality


Core faculty, visiting professors, and guest lecturers serve as Faculty Mentors in the program, offering original lectures, recommend resources, and periodic participation in group discussions and doctoral committees. In addition to Professor Christensen, this year’s program faculty include:


Visiting Faculty for Spiritual Formation



Visiting Faculty for Spiritual Formation



Visiting Faculty for Spiritual Formation


Distinguished Lecturers


Noted scholars are scheduled to present Featured Lectures on special topics at Northwind, including:

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