Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Direction

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


The Spiritual Direction track is designed to provide today’s leaders with critical knowledge of spiritual values and practices that facilitate effective spiritual direction and leadership in churches, non-traditional settings, and one-on-one relationships. It explores the diverse historical, theological, and contextual dimensions of global and decolonized (embodied, focused on the lived experience, justice-oriented) spirituality. In addition to coursework, an imbedded practicum also makes it possible for you to begin applying the knowledge gained to the specific settings in which you engage in your ministry.


The structure and content of this program are intended to meet the practitioner’s need to widen knowledge and understanding of various spiritual practices and the challenges presented by the rapidly changing global context in which participants live and serve.

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)

    • Trauma-Informed Leadership
    • Research Design and Methodology
    • Biblical and Theological Foundations of Practical Ministry


5 Track Courses (15-credit hours)

    • Foundations of Spiritual Direction
    • Decolonizing Spirituality
    • Self-in-Relation: Exploring the Human
    • Practicum in Spiritual Direction I
    • Practicum in Spiritual Direction II


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 month, beginning with the year in which they begin their course work. That relationship should be sustained for the duration of the program.


Retreat/Spiritual Pilgrimage


Within this track, students will have an opportunity to participate in a retreat/spiritual pilgrimage to a religious site domestically in the United States or internationally.

Certificate in Spiritual Direction


Given the focused nature of the track and after successful completion of the degree, students will receive a Certificate in Spiritual Direction, which is granted by the seminary, in addition to the Doctor of Ministry degree.

Learn from Skilled Practitioners


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


Dr. Lallene J. Rector
Professor of Psychology of Religion and Pastoral Psychotherapy


Dr. Débora B. A. Junker
Associate Professor of Critical Pedagogies

Degree Goals


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


    • Demonstrate a grasp of diverse historical, theological, and contextual dimensions of global and decolonized Christian spirituality and Spiritual Direction.

    • Understand various Christian spiritual practices and the methods deployed in the effective practice of Spiritual Direction.

    • Understand the theological and spiritual categories essential to evaluating progress in spiritual formation and direction.

    • Articulate an evolving theology of spiritual direction.

    • Is self-aware of how the student’s own experiences and contexts have shaped his/her/their spirituality.

    • Have a life and vocation informed and shaped in conversation with the histories and theologies of Christian spirituality.

    • Demonstrate a capacity for listening and open questions that inform the practice of Spiritual Direction and its application to the task of leadership.

    • Ability to formulate leadership strategies and interventions that include the practice of spiritual disciplines.

    • Apply new leadership practices, relying on the sensibilities and methods associated with Spiritual Direction.

    • Introduce others to the spiritual practice of the church in all its diversity and expressions, the value of spiritual direction, and the theological categories that shape both.

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 Summer 2025. Applications are due by March 31, 2025.