Leadership matters. The development of effective transformational leaders is vital as organizations seek to navigate the complex and changing realities in our world today. To partner with church leaders facing this challenge, Bethel Seminary is offering a unique and fully online cohort in its Doctor of Ministry program. The Doctor of Ministry in Transformational Leadership focuses on developing reflective leaders grounded in the theory and practice of transformational leadership.

This Doctor of Ministry Program is targeted toward those actively engaged in the practice of leadership in diverse ministry settings including church, parachurch, nonprofit, and cross-cultural settings. Engaging learners who desire to advance their understanding of effective transformational leadership in our changing world, the program will challenge learners to explore contemporary leadership theory in light of biblical foundations. Further, as they develop their skills as doctoral researchers, students will be challenged to develop innovative and research-based solutions to the leadership demands of today and tomorrow.

The courses in this Doctor of Ministry cohort will utilize interactive coursework conducted through Bethel’s online distributed learning system, doctoral-level reading and project implementation, and regular interaction with faculty mentors, student peer mentors, and on-site evaluators. We hope you will join us in this innovative, fully online, cohort-based learning experience.

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: Transformational Leadership Cohort Program

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
The Transformed and Transforming Leader
and The Transformed and Transforming Leader: Project
Transformational Ministry Leadership Theory and Practice
and Transformational Ministry Leadership Theory and Practice: Project
Leading Transforming Organizations
and Leading Transforming Organizations: Project
Teams, Groups, and the Transforming Leader
and Teams, Groups, and the Transforming Leader: Project
Case Studies in Transformational Leadership
and Case Studies in Tranformational Leadership: Project
Thesis Project Courses & Requirements See footnote: "Thesis Notes" for more details
GS991Thesis Project A3
GS992Thesis Project B3
GS993Thesis Project C3
Mid Career Assessments
TL005Doctor of Ministry Assessments 10
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.