Curriculum Overview

The Ph.D. curriculum for the concentration in Congregational Mission and Leadership consists of nine seminars or courses in addition to a thesis. The following assumptions are made in relation to the seminars and courses:

  • That a full-time student takes two seminars each semester in addition to completing one additional seminar either during J-term or during the summer.
  • That the introductory seminar and division seminars are offered yearly.
  • That the concentration seminars rotate on a two year cycle with 1st and 2nd year students taking the same seminar in the offerings available each year.

Visual overview of 4-year course schedule -->


Students are expected to complete two modern research requirements, one a language and one a course in methods. The first language, typically completed prior to the first full year of residence, may be chosen from among German, French, Spanish, Latin, or English (if English is not the student's native language). The second research requirement is LD4520 Introduction to Mixed Methods Research, completed in the summer term following the first full year of residence.

Library Practicum
All first-year Ph.D. students are required to complete GR8000 Library Practicum, a non-credit course with pass/fail grading. Find out more about the Practicum in the Academic Catalog.

Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Seminar

  • The Vocation of the Theologian, GR8620

Leadership Division Seminars

  • The Hermeneutics of Leading in Mission, LD8910
  • Dissertation Proposal Using Social Science Research, LD8920

Concentration Core

  • The Gospel and Culture(s), CL8530
  • Trinity and Mission, CL8950
  • Congregational Leadership, CL8525
  • The Congregation, ST8475
  • Theological Hermeneutics, ST8965
  • Missiology and the Missional Church, CL8965

The student is required to take four of the six courses in the concentration core, but may take all six. As an alternative, the student may take up to two PhD electives in other departments to complete their required course work. Find out more about these concentration courses in the Academic Catalog.

Ph.D. Colloquia
Ph.D. colloquia are scheduled regularly in each area throughout the year bringing students and faculty together to discuss topics related to the research of both students and faculty. Attendance at colloquia is required during the two years of residence.

Ph.D. Comprehensive Examinations
All students are required to complete a standard set of comprehensive exams that are appropriate for the concentration.

Each student is expected to complete the Ph.D. thesis according to the guidelines published in the catalog.

Use of Technology

Rapid changes in technology continue to influence communication methods in the classroom (real and virtual) and throughout the church. Efforts will be made to continually evaluate the need for modifications to this curriculum based upon the changing needs of the students, faculty, seminary, and the church in North America.

Each student is required to have access to a personal computer (either at home or on campus) and the Internet. The Seminary provides an email account for each student. Each student is also required to have experience with email, spreadsheets, charts/graphs, word processing, and creation of slides for presentation via overhead projector, video projector, or via the Internet.

Consideration is given to the potential for alternative delivery methods in the future such as video conferencing, interactive video via the Internet, etc. as deemed appropriate by ATS.