Cross-Cultural, Urban, Reformed, Ecumenical

The Prophetic Leader: Leadership for Radical Change

Contact: Jenny McBride, Associate Dean of Doctor of Ministry Programs and Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics,, 773-947-6332

Schedule of Courses

  • Where Two or More Are Gathered
    Explores a leader’s skills, attributes and experiences, and the unique settings and demands on the leader for community engagement. Prepares leaders for team building with various groups within the congregation and the community. The Biblical prophets’ relation to power will inform the conversation on leadership.
  • The Church in the World Today
    Explores the ever-changing landscape of Christian expression in North America and globally, and the impact of these changes on ministry. Examines leadership and its need to be more aware of, attentive and responsive to, the systematic injustices, both social and political, and how they affect the increasingly diverse communities in which we live and work.
  • Mapping Communities and Corridors of Power
    Introduces tools for mapping power dynamics and identifying trends within a congregation and community, for the purpose of promoting interactions with power brokers and making decisions that influence positive and radical change.
  • Prophetically Navigating Corridors of Power
    Explores models of black congregations that have historically navigated the public arena, as well as new ways of doing so. Drawing from examples of black congregations, a major focus of the course is how churches of color can navigate the power structures of public schools, mayoral offices and other government entities, and human services to leverage influence and power for effective change and justice.
  • Models of Community Development Corporations
    Explores leadership models and best practices of community development corporations and their roles in stimulating positive change in communities.
  • Research Methods in Ministry
    Explores the work done by practical theologians using congregational and contextual analysis, strategy, and evaluation to enhance ministry. Focuses on the theory and application of practical theology, and on the development of a specific thesis project.
  • Thesis Residency
    A twelve-day, on-campus retreat in January where substantive research on the thesis project is undertaken, guided by a faculty advisor. This course assists students in developing a thesis proposal and gathering research that relates specifically to their context of ministry.
    Read award-winning DMin Theses here!
  • Stop the Violence
    The Remix (Congregations Ending Violence) - Explores how congregations can work towards ending the violence in their communities, with an emphasis on strategies that confront violence and bring about positive change. Strategies explored will include preventive measures, response measures, and long-term structural change.
  • Proclamation, Evangelism, and Justice in a Digital World
    Words and media can inspire and influence people in our congregations, families, and communities to utilize their skills, gifts, and networks for justice and community building, as a response to the gospel. In this 21st century, a church becomes part of the digital age not only to stay relevant but also to amplify its voice in a shifting public square. However, being part of the digital age also has its drawbacks. This course will explore the multiple media platforms available to congregations today and how they shape and change ministry. Topics covered will include preaching, blogging, social media, and other digital media.

Thesis in the Practice of Ministry
The final course credit every DMin student completes is the thesis project: a summative, research-based, 40-page article of publishable quality that, in the language of the Association of Theological Schools, makes "a contribution to the understanding and practice of ministry." McCormick asks students to construct a comprehensive research project integrated fully into their course of study and place of ministry. Students have an opportunity to engage a critical challenge in their ministerial settings, discover new insights about the challenge and its context, develop robust theological frames and practical approaches that address the challenge, and evaluate their learning. Upon completion of the final thesis draft, students will attend an oral presentation of their research, along with a review committee composed of their thesis advisor, another member of the faculty, a peer, and a DMin alum. This presentation is a chance to get feedback before creating the final version of the thesis article.