Doctor of Ministry in Missional Leadership


Dr Huffard Reflects on Recent Doctor of Ministry Projects
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The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) is a unique seminary degree designed for the enhancement of spiritual leadership in a specific ministry context. It is like a Ph.D. or Th.D. in that it is a terminal degree, but its focus is on applied research in the practice of ministry. It is designed for ministers and Christian leaders who already have a master’s degree and some ministry experience, but would like to go to the next level. J. Robert Clinton in work on leaders finishing well in “Listen Up, Leaders!”, argues that between the ages of 30 to 50, there needs to be moments of significant renewal.1 The D.Min. program aims to be one of these moments of renewal.

The HST D.Min. emphasizes Missional Leadership. The program is built on the premise that God has a mission to redeem our broken world and the church finds her identity within the mission of God. This program focuses on developing the kind of leadership needed to help lead churches to participate in God’s mission by the power of the Spirit. The program is biblically and theologically framed, ministry centered, and mission focused.

The D.Min. degree is a 30-hour program that consists of a core sequence of eight 3-hour seminars offered in a hybrid format that includes online engagement and in-person instruction over a three-year period. The fourth year is reserved for the 6-hour dissertation project. The course sequence is designed to help ministers and ministry leaders experience spiritual renewal, deepen theological foundations, and build capacities for missional leadership. Through course content and expectations, the program aims to bring spiritual and missional renewal to the student, missional transformation to the student’s context, and encouragement for the student’s family.

A highlight of the D.Min. program is the synergy of peer networking. Students take classes in a cohort model, which means that they begin the program together and end together. Students bring a common academic background and ministry experience, though in diverse contexts, that provide mutually enriching interactions and enjoyable camaraderie. This is enhanced with a team teaching model utilized in a seminar style.
Click through the menu to the right and learn more about our program. Also, feel free to contact our D.Min. Director Dr. Steve Cloer or our Director of Admissions Lucas Suddreth for more information. We would love to talk with you about how the D.Min. may improve your ministry.


Dr. Steve Cloer

Assistant Professor of Ministry and DMin Program Director

Dr. Cloer’s Faculty Page

Harding University, B.A., 2002; Harding School of Theology, M.Div., 2006; Luther Seminary, D.Min., 2015. Harding since 2021.

Steve Cloer is Professor of Ministry. Before coming to HST, he preached for the Southside Church of Christ in Fort Worth, TX, for fifteen years. For most of his time there, Steve and his family lived in an urban neighborhood near the Southside church building. He has published a number of articles and book reviews in scholarly and professional journals and has spoken at many lectureships and conferences.

Steve teaches courses in congregational ministry, mission, and leadership. His DMin focus was Congregational Mission and Leadership and his dissertation was Missional Polity: Exploring the Minister-Elder Relationship among Churches of Christ Experiencing Missional Transformation. His current research and writing interests include missional theology, church leadership, ministry in urban contexts, and racial reconciliation.

Steve and his wife, Lindsay, have three children, Joshua, Lydia, and Bethany. Steve enjoys sports, outdoor adventures, spending time with family, and cheering for the Arkansas Razorbacks.

Our Program Design

The program includes eight 3-hour seminars offered in a hybrid format over a three-year period. The fourth year is reserved for the 6-hour dissertation project. Students take classes in a cohort model, which means that they begin the program together and end together. Cohorts begin each fall.

Each seminar contains a one-week residency in Memphis. Before the residency, students engage in readings, writing, and online interaction. After the residency, students work on ministry projects within their context.


Sample Schedule

Year 1

  • Fall – Intro to DMin Research (3)

  • Spring – Old Testament and Christian Formation (3)

  • Summer – New Testament and Christian Mission (3)

Year 2

  • Fall – Missional Ecclesiology (3)

  • Spring – Creative Practices for Preaching (3)

  • Summer – Missional Church Leadership (3)

Year 3

  • Fall – Equipping and Empowering Leaders (3)

  • Spring – Research in Ministry (3)

Year 4

  • Dissertation Project (6)

Detailed Course Descriptions