Crafting Ministry Leaders: The Unique Pedagogy of VTS Doctoral Programs

Date: June 10, 2024

One week from today, we welcome to our campus VTS doctoral students for their annual summer residency. People often ask what makes VTS doctoral programs distinct, especially compared with other Doctor of Ministry (DMin) and Doctor of Educational Ministry (DEdMin) programs. In addition to our curriculum which focuses around four tracks—Ministry Development, Educational Leadership, Christianity Spirituality, and Christian Formation—there are three things.

First, the level of faculty engagement in our doctoral programs is first rate. In many theological schools, DMin and DEdMin courses are taught largely by adjuncts. At VTS, our full-time faculty teach most of the courses, along with an outstanding group of longtime Senior Lecturers who ably bridge the church and the academy.

Second, our program is highly contextual. Our students continually craft their writing and research based in their ministry context, putting it into careful conversation with theological scholarship.

Finally, our program’s residency component builds deep community and relationships. Students spend two-three weeks together every summer—learning, worshiping, and sharing fellowship over meals. These friendships become relationships that last a lifetime and sustain one’s ministry for years to come.

If you know anyone interested in VTS’s doctoral programs, encourage them to apply! Reach out to We’d be delighted to talk more about our programs.

The Rev. E. Ross Kane, Ph.D.
Director of Doctoral Programs

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