Doctor of Ministry Pastor as Spiritual Leader Emphasis Overview
The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) with an emphasis on The Pastor as Spiritual Leader (PSL) is offered by the Office of Advanced Pastoral Studies and the Program in Christian Spirituality at San Francisco Theological Seminary. In this emphasis, pastors will study the dynamics of Christian spirituality and spiritual formation and how these apply to their ministry as congregational leaders. The D.Min./PSL is limited to a cohort of 12 students. The program will examine and build upon the assumptions that:
  • The pastor is the primary spiritual leader of a congregation. Church members and
    leaders (i.e., sessions, consistories, councils) look to their pastor to provide leadership that is prayerful and discerning, critically reflective and emotionally intelligent, biblically and theologically informed.
  • Christian spiritual formation is the work of the Holy Spirit, shaping us both corporately and individually more into the image of Christ.
  • The church is the primary arena in which Christians are invited, equipped and encouraged to participate in the Spirit's work of spiritual formation through worship, proclamation, sacraments, prayer, study, mission, peacemaking and justice.
  • Prayer, contemplative listening, and discernment are foundational to a pastor's ability to serve his/her people with energy, intelligence, love and freedom. As the "chief exercise of faith" (Calvin), prayer is an expression of our personal and communal relationship with God, as well as a primary means by which we grow in this relationship. Contemplative listening involves the full, healthy embodiment of one's whole self—mind, body, emotions, imagination, affections—in relationship to God, self, others, and creation. With discernment, we become increasingly able to notice where God is at work in the church, the world, and our own lives, and able to respond in faithful discipleship.

The D.Min. with an emphasis of The Pastor as Spiritual Leaders shares the same Learning Goals as all emphases of the Office of Advanced Pastoral Studies. Students will be expected to:

  • Develop relationships of trust and cooperation among peers in ministry;
  • Articulate a theological perspective on critical issues in church and society;
  • Analyze questions of ministry and mission in their social and cultural contexts;
  • Employ innovative and interdisciplinary approaches in the practice of ministry.


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105 Seminary Rd
San Anselmo CA, 94960
Phone: 415.451.2800