Doctor of Ministry in Relational Leadership

Objectives and Outcomes


The Doctor of Ministry in Relational Leadership is a practice-oriented professional degree for pastors and ministry leaders that cultivates a “way of being” for spiritual formation. The program emphasizes relational ministry development. It is designed to facilitate spiritual renewal and to stimulate increasingly effective ministry in the Church and contemporary world.

Program Road Map



About Us

Looking for a program focused on relational development in all levels of leadership in and outside of ministry?

Participants are challenged to refine and enhance their ministerial skills. Starting with a solid theological foundation, participants build a relational approach to ministry leadership that focuses on being rather than on doing. Practical applications of a relational paradigm to ministry and leadership are explored throughout the program and in the professional ministry research project.

In addition, participants analyze, reflect, discuss, and implement practical ministry initiatives through interaction with a cohort and faculty mentors.

Admission Requirements

For more information on Doctor of Ministry prerequisites and requirements for admission, please click here


The total tuition for the Doctor of Ministry in Relational Leadership is $29,800. 

This program can be completed in 2 years but may take longer depending on the completion of the ministry research projec. Students can choose the following payment method:

  1. Pay annually, will not have an additional 3% processing fee
  2. Pay monthly, there will be an additional 3% processing fee

Degree Goals

The Doctor of Ministry program is designed to provide its participants with:

  • An opportunity for spiritual renewal and advancement.
  • An advanced understanding and integration of ministry in relation to biblical, historical-theological, and pastoral disciplines.
  • A relational view of ministry and supporting theology and practice.
  • Skills and competencies required for the practice of ministry at its most mature and effective level.

Degree Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the Doctor of Ministry program, a candidate will be able to:

  • Formulate a philosophy of identity formation and renewal for ministry.
  • Formulate a practice and theology of ministry that focuses on being rather than merely doing.
  • Develop a philosophy of leadership that informs the practice of ministry.
  • Develop an interpersonal approach to ministry through critical thinking, prayerful reflection, and application.
  • Utilize biblical and theological resources skillfully to inform ministry life and practice.
  • Conduct applied research of professional doctoral-level breadth and depth within one’s chosen area of ministry.
  • Make a professional, informed contribution to the understanding and practice of ministry through the completion of a doctoral-level project.

Course List

First-Year Seminars (18 units)

DM 791 – Research Clinic 1

DM 701 – Identity Formation

DM 711 – Relational Theology

DM 761 – Spiritual and Personal Formation

DM 751 – Contemporary Trends in Worship

DM 722 – Proclaiming God’s Goodness Across Cultures

Second-Year Seminars (15 units)

DM 721 – The American Church in Crisis

DM 756 – Creative Conflict Management

DM 766 – The Pastor as a Change Agent

DM 723 – Ministry of Healing and Reconciliation

DM 792 – Research Clinic 2

 DM 796 – Ministry Research Project (3 units)

Total for the program – 36 Units

Professional Ministry Research Project

The Professional Ministry Research Project involves a biblical-theological base, a review of related literature, solid research, responsible use of resources, and appropriate methodologies. The final report of the research project is to number between 200 and 250 pages (including appendices). The project will include an oral presentation (in-person or through other means) and evaluation. See the Doctor of Ministry Handbook for more information about project selection, development, and defense.

Written Comprehensive Exam

A written comprehensive exam follows the completion of the second year. This integrative examination is designed for the student to demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the subjects studied in the degree program.

Units Needed

The Doctor of Ministry degree in Relational Leadership is a 2-year program consisting of 36 units. It includes the completion of nine seminars (courses) and two research clinics to be completed in two academic years. Candidates specialize by designing, implementing, and writing a field-based ministry research project related to their current ministry.

All seminars are offered in an online format without residency requirements. The program is a minimum of two years in length and must be completed within five years. See Admissions section regarding transfer of credits toward degree requirements.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate as a Doctor of Ministry in Relational Leadership the participant will:

  • Complete the minimum number of units required.
  • Complete all seminars in the degree program with a C- (1.67 GPA) or better.
  • Complete a professional ministry research project and earn a passing grade in the written project and oral defense.
  • Complete and earn a passing grade in the comprehensive written examination.
  • Earn a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0.
  • Fulfill any outstanding school financial obligations.

See the Doctor of Ministry Handbook for additional information.

Student Testimonials

I am eternally grateful to God for providing Shiloh University. I could not find this level of education in the area of theology in my country. I always get excited when I am taking a new course and I always share the things I learn with my family, my friends, my church.”

Janneth Saveedra

Shiloh University has fanned the flame of my desire, and equipped me to share God’s hope and redemption with a needy world.”

John Isoka

I have loved every bit of my experience with Shiloh University! The faculty provided a personal touch that is too often lost in other universities. The level of academics is top-notch and presented in a sound and meaningful way.”

Joshua Wheeler

Having instructors who could challenge me and question me on specific topics forced me to dig in and really understand the foundations of what I believe.”

Jeremy Richardson

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Shiloh University’s Ministry Programs aim to focus on leadership, compassionate ministry, and biblical studies.