Contextual Theology and Strategies – The course includes a guided and interpretive experience in Memphis, considering elements of race, poverty, and other forms of injustice–and how churches respond to such environments. Students will study issues that are important to the mission of their ministry context. This includes theology of mission, missiological assessment of the challenges and opportunities of a ministry setting, and the design and execution of renewal/turnaround strategies that are appropriate to that context. The focus is on the role of the local church in God’s economy, and revitalization to faithfully align with God’s mission in a particular time and place. 4 hours
Pathways of Transformation – In-depth consideration of the experience of change, transition, and conflict along the path of intentional spiritual formation and strategic development. This includes inculcating spiritual practices for individuals and groups, cultivating biblical community among generations and other diverse groups, conducting diagnostic and asset-based analyses, designing and executing planning processes, clarifying identity and purpose, creating and embedding missional cultures, and conducting cyclical assessments and adjustments. The course also covers concepts and strategies for self-differentiated leadership through change and conflict as experienced in the transformation of ministry contexts. 3 hours
Congregational Leadership Systems – Thorough study of the theology and practice of the various roles and relationships of congregational leadership. This includes plural elder church governance (elders, ministers, deacons, ministry leaders), the relationship of leaders among themselves and with congregants, gender roles, and the design and implementation of empowering belief systems and structures. Special attention is given to clarify the role of ministers as leaders, negotiate role definitions that best activate one’s gifts, and avoid role disintegration either through lack of contextual sensitivity or over-accommodation to congregational and cultural expectations. 3 hours
Leadership Development – Comprehensive approaches to developing spiritual leaders. This includes personal leadership development, but also the selection, training, mentoring and/or coaching of individuals and groups that have leadership potential. It also addresses how to conduct ongoing leadership enrichment. 3 hours
Wisdom and Character Formation – The focus is on the leader’s task to lead the faith community in the formation and transformation of its corporate character. Grounded particularly in wisdom theology, participants will reflect on material in Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Job as resources for teaching and preaching character formation and for providing leadership in the process of transformation. The seminar views the formation process as a lifestyle. 3 hours
Creative Practices and Resources for Preaching – This seminar focuses on bringing creativity, freshness, and originality to sermons that enable listeners to more effectively embrace the perspectives and challenges of the biblical message. The seminar believes that creative preaching is not just an art but also a skill that one can learn. It equips preachers to develop that skill and identifies resources that contribute to it. 3 hours
The program includes six hours of electives. These may be fulfilled through other HST masters level courses, D.Min. courses at other accredited institutions, or other specialty programs. 6 hours
- Assignment of Credit
- Students who take HST masters level courses would pay tuition at the normal rate and receive credit toward their D.Min.
- Those who take courses in other accredited D.Min. programs would simply transfer that credit.
- Those who participate in approved outside training/certification programs would be supervised by a faculty member who assures content and guided practice matches the rigor of HST coursework. After the student finishes the training, HST will grant credit for one or two courses depending on the equivalency determined by supervising faculty.