Curriculum Overview - D.Min. Biblical Preaching

The Doctor of Ministry in Biblical Preaching program is designed to be completed in three years. Each year requires resident attendance at Luther Seminary for three weeks, in which the core requirement class, an elective and a colloquy are conducted. A post-residency period gives participants time to complete a special project or thesis.

Candidates enter, work, and graduate as a class/cohort, thereby promoting the accountability and encouragement necessary to flourish in advanced professional study. Throughout the year, participants have the opportunity to interact with colleagues from their class via Web-based forums relating to their course work, contextual projects and thesis, vocational and professional development, and spiritual well-being.

Luther Seminary and its faculty aspires through its D.Min. program in Biblical Preaching to assist its student participants in achieving the following learning outcomes:

  • Participants will develop interpretive lenses and practices for reading and studying the Bible that will inform preaching in the light of their particular cultural context.
  • Participants will be able to make use of their ministry contexts as learning environments.
  • Participants will experience a deepening of both their faith in Jesus Christ and their commitment to, and understanding of their vocation.
  • Participants will be able to preach effectively in their ministry contexts.


View a graphic overview of the three year schedule.



Core Requirements

The distinctive theological commitment and orientation of the program is most clearly reflected in the Core Requirements of the curriculum. Each course relates to one dimension of the biblical witness and the particular demands it makes on biblical preachers.

1.  Preaching as the Word of God
View a recent syllabus.

2.  Preaching as the Proclaimed Word
View a recent syllabus.

3.  Preaching as the Word in Context
View a recent syllabus.


The Electives offered to participants include courses falling into four broad categories:

1. Preaching from specific books or genres, such as Preaching on the Texts of Luke, Preaching Wisdom Literature, etc.

2. Investigating some of the specific contexts, genres, and tasks of biblical preaching - preaching in a post-modem world, preaching as celebration, African American preaching, preaching and leadership, etc.

3. Preaching in the context of Christian worship -preaching and the lectionary, preaching to life's significant moments (weddings, funerals, festivals), etc.

4. Exploring further dimensions of preaching in light of the program core commitment to biblical preaching

a. sermon design and delivery

b. the use of technology in the pulpit

c. developing the "voice" of the preacher, etc.

Recent electives have included:


Each year of the program has its own Colloquy session during the third week of the summer seminar. The colloquy offers cohort members the opportunity to further discuss and apply the learning from the two previous weeks with the guidance of the colloquy instructor. Details of the specific projects are outlined in this course for post-residency assignments. The colloquy instructor continues throughout the program with his/her cohort and serves as the student’s adviser.

Contextual Engagement

Each residency is followed by significant work carried out in the participant's contextual site and with the support of the participant's sponsoring community. (Candidates must have the endorsement of, and pledge of support by, some community of faith, most often the congregation the candidate is serving). This work consists of:

  • Two sermons, and related work, connected to the Core and Elective courses of the residency. These receive extensive feedback from the instructors.

  • Year-end project that draws from the learning of the residency and the sermons and that anticipates the participant's doctoral thesis.

Both the sermons and the project (and in the third year the thesis) are planned and executed in consultation with a group from the congregation convened for this purpose.

Projects and Thesis

For each of the first two years, participants conclude their year's study by completing a project that draws from the previous residency and relates both to their particular context and their intended thesis. In the third year of the program, candidates complete a doctoral thesis that draws together the insights of the previous projects, residencies, and sermons and that both relates to a particular area of the candidate's interest and reflects his or her concrete ministry context.