The study of leadership from a biblical perspective necessitates a rich understanding of the servant leadership practices modeled in the life of Jesus Christ. But servant leadership is not only a biblically-consistent concept, it also is effective as a leadership practice. This cohort track focuses on developing leadership skills based around the theory and practice of transformational servant leadership. Biblical foundations and contemporary scholarship are brought together with contemporary practice in order to explore how servant leadership practice leads to team and organizational effectiveness.

The professor of record is Dr. Justin A. Irving, Professor of Ministry Leadership and Director of the D.Min. program at Bethel Seminary. Dr. Irving earned his Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership from Regent University, his M.Div. and MBA from Bethel University, and his B.A. from the University of Northwestern in St. Paul. Dr. Irving’s research and writing interests include a focus on purpose in leadership, self-sacrificial leadership, metanarrative and leadership effectiveness, team leadership in the global context, and the relationship between servant leadership and the effectiveness of teams in diverse ethno-linguistic communities. Irving has a passion for developing leaders to serve missional churches and nonprofit organizations effectively for the glory of God. Detailed information about Dr. Irving and his research and writing are available on his Bethel Seminary faculty bio.


Degree Requirements

Doctor of Ministry: Servant Leadership Cohort Program

Doctor of Ministry students are required to complete 7 Class Units (3 credit course and a 3 credit course project) plus a Thesis Project.

Core Requirements
GS001Graduate Research Seminar0
Integral Research & Writing
and Integral Research & Writing: Project
Thesis Proposal Foundations
and Thesis Proposal Workshop
Cohort Courses See footnote: "Cohort Notes" for more details
Servant Leadership: An Intro to the Theory and Practice of Transformational Servant Leadership
and Servant Leadership: Project
The Servant Leader and Followers A
and The Servant Leader and Followers B
and The Servant Leader and Followers C
and The Servant Leader and Their Followers: Project
The Servant Leader and the Inner Life
and The Servant Leader and the Inner Life: Project
The Servant Leader and Team Effectiveness
and The Servant Leader and Team Effectiveness Project
The Servant Leader and Organizational Effectiveness
and The Servant Leader and Organizational Effectiveness: Project
Thesis Project Courses & Requirements See footnote: "Thesis Notes" for more details
GS991Thesis Project A Pass/Fail3
GS992Thesis Project B Pass/Fail3
GS993Thesis Project C3
Oral Defense, Final Editorial Revisions, & Colloquium0
Mid-Career Assessments
TL005Doctor of Ministry Assessments 10
Total Credits51
Cohort Notes
  • Students can waive only one project course for any cohort class unit. Students may not waive project courses for core required class units.
  • Students are allowed to take only one independent study for any cohort class unit. Students may not do an independent study for core required class units. Additional fees apply and additional paperwork is needed.
  • If a student fails to complete a project course in a succeeding term of the Content/Intensive course, they will follow the same process as an independent study, subject to fees, as the faculty may not be available at a later date.
  • Students must attend the intensive portion of intensive courses to receive a passing grade.
Thesis Notes
  • The student must meet all of the thesis deadline submissions and requirements,as listed in the current version of the student manual (section 6).        
  • Students who want to work on their thesis longer than 3 terms, can remain in extension status for up to a total of 6 years in the program.
  • All M.Div. Equivalency courses (if required at admission) must be complete by the student’s oral defense the year of intended graduation. All official transcripts must be sent to the D.Min. office.
  • Students will automatically be registered for Thesis Project courses once they complete Thesis Proposal Workshop. They will also automatically be registered in extension status once they have completed 9 Thesis project credits until graduation.

48 semester credits are required for graduation in the DMIN program. The student is responsible to meet all graduation deadlines and requirements.