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Doctor of Ministry in Community Organizing (DMin)

The DMin in Community Organizing brings together clergy, lay people, and an interdisciplinary group of organizer-scholars who practice various forms of community organizing in local, national, and international contexts. Together, we teach and learn the theological, philosophical and practical skills of community organizing, while conducting ground-breaking research on the practice of organizing in congregations and communities.
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Rev. Dr. Curtis Brown
My time at Garrett-Evangelical has given me excellent resources to be a clergyperson in the secular, public sphere through engagement with community organizations and political movements. In my current ministry as a denominational staff member resourcing new United Methodist churches, I am better equipped to provide training, coaching, and consulting to a new generation of spiritual entrepreneurs.

Community Organizing

Community organizing is the practice of forging relationships among diverse peoples in order to create long-term strategic and systemic change involving access to power and resources. Beyond organizing for immediate change, the hope of community organizing is to create permanent networks of people that are always ready and able to be proactive, and to take action to address issues important to their immediate circumstances and the broader community.

Your local ministry site or non-profit organization has the capacity to serve as a rallying point in creating the relationships that are essential to community organizing. This program provides clergy and other community leaders with the knowledge and skills to help direct and focus the physical, theological, spiritual, and moral energies of ordinary people to do community organizing.

Tailored to Fit Your Needs

Students who hold a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree or its equivalent from an approved school can complete the required 30 units in the DMin program in as little as three years or as many as six. Classes for DMin students are offered in a hybrid model of on-campus and online courses to give you high quality theological education in a flexible format. Pending your needs and the rotation of the courses, other course options may be available. Once the coursework is completed the research project follows. This research project is tailored specifically to your ministry context and you will be supported by an on-site advisory team and the DMin faculty.

Affording Your Education

50% scholarships are available to students accepted into the 2020 cohort!

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary recognizes that one of the biggest hurdles to continuing one’s theological education is cost. The traditional structure of a doctor of ministry program, where the majority of tuition costs and fees happen at the beginning of the program, places a greater financial burden on the student in the first year or two of their DMin program. To ease the financial burden of those answering a call to grow their skillsets and enhance their ministry through a DMin degree, Garrett-Evangelical has established a flat-rate for the DMin program which covers the cost of the 30 credit hours required to complete the degree and all required fees.* Students are billed in six (6) equal installments over three years. By knowing the full cost of your tuition and fees upfront and spreading the cost between six equal payments over three years, you will be able to anticipate and plan out your financial needs.

*DISCLAIMER: Tuition and Fees rates are based on the most recent available data. Rates are subject to increase with each new cohort. Extending coursework beyond the recommended period of time will have an impact on final cost.

Renowned Faculty Dedicated to the Practice of Ministry

Our faculty in the DMin in Community Organizing are one of the program’s greatest assets. They are widely recognized for their expertise, scholarship, and leadership in the church, community, and academy. The organizer-scholars teaching in the Community Organizing track are:

Rev. Dr. Angela CowserRev. Dr. Angela Cowser is associate dean of the doctor of ministry and Black Church studies program and associate professor of Black Church studies at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She is ordained as a Presbyterian Church (USA) Minister of Word and Sacrament. In the classroom and in the church, she comes as a sociologist of religion, community organizer, and pastor, and as such, tries to give her students theological, ethical, and sociological tools to help them think and act in ways that deal realistically with the world as it is, while they dream, plan, and organize towards the world as it should be.

Rev. Dr. Joseph W. Daniels, Jr.Rev. Dr. Joseph W. Daniels, Jr. is lead pastor of The Emory Fellowship in Washington, D.C. A nationally recognized turnaround pastor, he has taught, preached and consulted on congregational and community revitalization. A sought after speaker, preacher, mentor and author, he is most happy when inspiring and equipping others to see the possibilities God has for them and their communities. During Daniels’ ministry at the church, weekly worship attendance has grown from 55 people to more than 400 every Sunday, and Emory UMC received the Kim Jefferson Northeast Jurisdictional Award for effective urban ministry representing The United Methodist Church, and is one of 25 Congregational Resource Centers for Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century (SBC 21).

Rev. Dr. Felicia LaBoyRev. Dr. Felicia LaBoy comes with over 18 years of urban pastoral ministry and 30+ years of business experience. She is known for her inspirational, practical, and common-sense approach. Often described as one who moves from the “seminary to the street, from the pulpit to the pavement,”she is a popular speaker and expert in the fields of faith-based community and leadership development, evangelism, and race relations. LaBoy weaves her academic, pastoral and business education and experience to lead individuals and diverse groups in achieving better churches, communities, and organizations. In addition to her business, academic and pastoral experience, LaBoy is an author and coach dedicated to helping people break through what holds them back from manifesting their dreams and impacting the world around them. She understands her life’s work as helping people move from being good to being great. Her books include Table Matters: The Sacraments, Evangelism and Social Justice, Unstuck: 8 Steps You Can Take Right Now To Possess Your Promise and Not For Women Only: Leadership Lessons From Women in the Bible – A 40-Day Devotional (Spring 2019).

Dr. Rolf NolascoDr. Rolf Nolasco is Professor of Pastoral Theology at Garrett-Evangelical. He is an experienced professor, trained in pastoral and counseling psychology, mindfulness and contemplative spirituality, and affective neuroscience. Nolasco is also a psychotherapist, published author, and has vast experience in cross cultural communications from living and working across the world within varying social and cultural backgrounds. He is the author of The Contemplative Counselor: A Way of Being (Fortress Press, 2011) and Compassionate Presence: A Radical Response to Human Suffering (Cascade Books, 2016). His most recent work seeks to affirm compassion as the pulsating heartbeat of Christian theology and praxis through the hermeneutical perspectives of brain science, psychology, and practical theology. Nolasco is currently working on two books, namely God’s Beloved Queer (Wipf and Stock, 2019) and Depression, Dark Night of the Soul, and Joy (Cascade Books, 2020).

Gerald TaylorGerald Taylor is one of the most creative experienced organizers and strategic campaign planners and trainers in the country. His innovation and creativity in developing and delivering training, strategic advice, and organizational development is well known both nationally and internationally. For nearly 50 years, he was a national senior organizer of the IAF and for 26 of those years the IAF’s Southeast Regional Director. He retired from the IAF in 2014. He began organizing in the Civil Rights Movement as a youth leader, eventually being elected as New York State President of the NAACP Youth and College Division at 17 years old. He organized with the National Democratic Party of Alabama, an interracial third political party, in their historic election victories of 1970. He served on the National Trustee Board of the National Urban League during the last years of Whitney Young’s leadership and in the transition to Vernon Jordan. He also was one of the first “civil rights” interns at the Metropolitan Applied Research Center, a Civil Rights Think Tank, founded by Dr. Kenneth Clark where he engaged with senior leaders of the civil rights movement in discussions about the future direction of the movement.

Taylor has developed organizations with leaders in numerous communities in the United States including New York City, Baltimore, Memphis, Nashville, Atlanta, and Jackson, Mississippi. He has worked with organizations such as Bread for the World, the Sidney Alliance in Australia, President Jimmy Carter’s Commission on Neighborhoods, national unions including the National Education Association and SEIU/Workers United. In 2004, he was honored by being named an international auditor in South Africa for the Lesson Project Roundtable on Building Citizen Capacity and Land reform. He provided consultant services to civil society organizations in Swaziland and Zimbabwe. In 2007, Taylor went to India as part of a delegation of post Katrina community organizers to meet with Tsunami area civil society leaders to share and explore strategies from their common experiences. Taylor has trained thousands of clergy, lay leaders, unions’ staff and leaders, government and private sector institutional leaders over the past forty years and lectured at colleges and universities including Duke University, Vanderbilt University, UNC Chapel-Hill, Shaw Divinity School, University of Illinois, North Carolina Central University, and Trinity College on theories of social change and community organizing. 

Rev. Dr. Mark TeasdaleRev. Dr. Mark Teasdale is the E. Stanley Jones associate professor of evangelism at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. As a professor, author, and pastor, Teasdale focuses on evangelism, church leadership, mission, discipleship, and Wesleyan/Methodist studies. He is the President of the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education (AETE) and served for six years as the editor of Witness: The Journal of the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education. Teasdale is the author of GO! How to Become a Great Commission ChurchEvangelism for Non-Evangelists: Sharing the Gospel Authentically, and Methodist Evangelism, American Salvation: The Home Missions of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1860-1920.

About the DMin at Garrett-Evangelical

The DMin program is an advanced degree focusing on best practices in church leadership relevant to your specific context. As a DMin student, you will enhance your ministry skills all while making a significant contribution to the church through a guided research project. Through a diverse curriculum taught by our distinguished faculty and prominent practitioners, you will be stretched theologically and exposed to new models of ministry.

To meet your specific vocational goals and needs, Garrett-Evangelical offers six tracks for DMin students:

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Founded in 1853, Garrett-Evangelical is a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church with an ecumenical outreach. Faithfully embracing the future, we are committed to preparing skilled, bold and articulate leaders for ministry in the 21st century. On the campus of Northwestern University, upon the shores of Lake Michigan and on the outskirts of Chicago, Garrett-Evangelical is a place to nurture mind, body, and spirit. The seminary serves more than 400 students from many denominations and various backgrounds and its 4,500 living alumni serve church and society around the world.

Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Ministry in Community Organizing is a 30-credit hour program.

Tailored to Fit Your Needs

You can complete the required 30-credit hours in the DMin program in as little as three years or as many as six. Classes are offered in a hybrid model of on-campus and online courses to give you high quality theological education in a flexible format. Once the coursework is completed the research project follows. The research project is tailored specifically to your ministry context and you will be supported by an on-site advisory team and the DMin faculty.

2020 Cohort Program Schedule

For exact course dates, please contact our Admissions Office at GetAdmitted@garrett.edu.

January Intensive 2020

  • Introduction to Community Organizing and Social Scientific Method (on-campus course)
  • Hermeneutics of Race, Class, Gender, Age (on-campus course)

Spring Term 2020

  • Cultural Values in Congregational Life (online course)

Summer Intensive 2020

  • Kellogg School of Non-profit Management Seminar: Faith and Leadership (on-campus course)
  • Church and Community (on-campus course)

Fall Term 2020

  • Biblical and Theological Foundations of Practical Ministry (online course)

January Intensive 2021

  • Methods, Models, and Tools of Community Organizing (on-campus course)
  • Proposal Research and Writing (on-campus course)

Spring Term 2021 - Spring Term 2022

  • Research Design and Methodology (Spring 2021 online course)
  • Project Research and Writing (Spring 2021-Spring 2022)
  • Graduation (May 2022)

Admission Requirements

  • Applicants must have earned a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree or its equivalent
  • At least three years of full-time ministry following the awarding of that degree
  • Applicants must be serving in a ministry setting during their DMin program

Admission Process

Apply by February 1, 2020

Detailed information for the application requirements can be found on the online application.

The next cohort for the DMin in Community Organizing will begin in June 2020. Applicants must have their application completed by February 1, 2020, to be considered for the June term. The Doctor of Ministry committee reserves the right to determine in its sole judgment whether an applicant is a suitable candidate for a specific concentration in the DMin program.

International Student Applicants
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.