Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Direction

Explore the the historical, theological, and contextual dimensions of global spirituality


Effective leadership at the national and local level in churches, in non-traditional settings, and in one-on-one relationships requires a deep orientation to spiritual values and practice. That orientation requires acquaintance with the varieties of spiritual practice that a leader might encounter. This includes an understanding of the history and theology of Christian spirituality and orientation to the diversity of the global landscape in which leaders serve.


The Spiritual Direction track is designed to provide today’s leaders with that knowledge base, exploring the historical, theological, and contextual dimensions of global spirituality. The structure and content of the program is also intended to meet the practitioner’s need for knowledge of spiritual practice and the challenges presented by the rapidly changing global context in which participants live and serve. In addition to coursework, an imbedded practicum also makes it possible for students to begin applying the knowledge gained to the specific settings in which they engage their ministry.

My most memorable experience was taking classes within a special cohort with my advisor, Rev. Dr. Frederick W. Schmidt. We journeyed together as a colleague team, and he was with me and us every step of the way! He helped us understand what it means to be a spiritual director, accompanying others on their journey with God. Dr. Schmidt and my classmates were my academic guides, challengers, and colleagues.


Dr. Kit Evans-Ford (G-ETS 2017)

Degree Requirements


The Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Direction is a 30-credit hour program.


3 Foundation Courses (9-credit hours)

    • Cultural Values in Congregational Life
    • Research Design and Methodology
    • Biblical and Theological Foundations of Practical Ministry


5 Track Courses (15-credit hours)

    • History and Theology of Christian Spirituality
    • Spirituality, Diversity, and Global Landscape
    • Spiritual Practice
    • Spiritual Formation and the Leader
    • Practicum in Spiritual Formation


Proposal Research and Writing (3-credit hours)


Project Research and Writing (3-credit hours)


Spiritual Director


Students in the Spiritual Direction track are required to have a spiritual director and should meet with that director at least once a quarter, beginning with the year in which they begin their course work. That relationship should be sustained for the duration of the program.

Certificate in Spiritual Direction


Each course in the Spiritual Direction track includes a spiritual direction module, which – when successfully completed – leads to a certificate in spiritual direction. Those skills may be used in a spiritual direction setting, but they may also inform and enhance your approach to leadership, preaching, teaching, and pastoral counseling.


In order to receive the certificate in spiritual direction, you must take all five courses in the Spiritual Direction track and the direction modules, which are not offered with other electives. Courses and modules include:


    • The History and Theology of Christian Spirituality
      • Direction Module One: History, Theology, and Models of Spiritual Direction


    • Spirituality, Diversity, and the Global Landscape
      • Direction Module Two: The spiritual journey, developmental issues, and the use of evaluative tools, including the Myers-Briggs Inventory and the Enneagram


    • Spiritual Practice
      • Direction Module Three: Spiritual Direction, Therapy, and Pastoral Counseling


    • Spiritual Formation and the Leader
      • Direction Module Four: Applied Skills, including “holy listening” and other techniques


    • Practicum in Spiritual Formation
      • Direction Module Five: Practicum, including verbatims, in-class exercises, the integration of knowledge, and assessment of the student’s direction skills

Learn from Skilled Practitioners


Rev. Dr. Rolf Nolasco
Rueben P. Job Professor of Spiritual Formation and Pastoral Theology


Rev. Dr. Hannah Hwa-Young Chong
Lead Pastor of Community United Methodist Church


Rev. Dr. Karla Kincannon
Artist, Author, Teacher, Spiritual Director
Founder, SpiritArt Ministries


Rev. Dr. Frederick Schmidt
Senior Scholar at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary


Rev. Dr. Mark Teasdale
E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism


Rev. Dr. Steven Trefz
Director of the Wesley House of Study and Kairos Affiliate Professor at Sioux Falls Seminary
Teaching Pastor at Fusion Church

Degree Goals


Graduates of the Doctor of Ministry program will be able to:


  • Develop cultural awareness and sensitivity that informs the work of ministry in their particular context
  • Engage in critical biblical and theological reflection on the practice of ministry utilizing methodology appropriate to the specific area of practical ministry
  • Use appropriate research tools to gather data relevant to the ministry area
  • Analyze findings and derive results and conclusions that are compelling and usable for the sake of the ministry
  • Engage critically with key texts that inform the work of the particular area of ministry

Next Steps


Garrett accepts applications from students who have earned a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree or its equivalent; have at least three years of full-time ministry experience following the awarding of that degree; and who will be serving in a ministry setting during their DMin program.


The DMin Program offers coursework in intensive sessions twice a year. This schedule has implications for international students and visa applications. Therefore, we are unable to offer F-1 visas for Doctor of Ministry students.


The next cohort for the DMin in Leadership for Spiritual Direction begins in January 2023. Applications are due by September 15, 2022.