DMin candidate Hector Rivera
DMin candidate Hector Rivera

January 2018 – In what ways are ministers, church leaders and activists prepared to confront the challenges of these ever-changing times? Now, more than ever, leaders need to be better equipped to respond with an audacious commitment and innovative, bold and courageous leadership that will inspire others and change communities.

Those answering that call can find the education and inspiration they need in Drew Theological School’s refined and innovative Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program, which is intentionally designed to meet the needs of today’s progressive religious leader.

“What I’ve loved most is the interaction with other students,” said DMin candidate Hector Rivera. “We come from a variety of backgrounds, which has shown me there’s not only one way to God.”

Rivera, a church elder on Long Island who, in pursuing the degree, aims to join the faith community helping homeless undocumented immigrants, added that the “importance of scholarship, especially in the last few courses, have made me work even harder.” After all, he concluded, “Leadership doesn’t come easy. You have to work for it.”

Drew offers flexible and accessible programs that fit the goals and lifestyle of students from all walks of life. Offering a mix of online and in-person learning allows students to have a more concentrated, intensive experience.

“Drew has always been a pioneer in online theological education,” Dean Javier Viera said. “We took this opportunity to make what we offer even more robust. Students get more of a Drew experience, infusing our online learning with the benefits and resources available on our Madison campus.”

The doctorate offers three concentrations:

1. Courageous Leadership in a Changing Culture: A program for engaged and adroit leaders interested in expanding their theological perspectives and leadership capacities and who are committed to responsive and courageous leadership in the pulpit and public square. Students will work directly with Drew’s cutting-edge and high-profile faculty.

2. Pastoral Identity and Prophetic Fire: What it means to be a pastor, priest and preacher is undergoing dramatic reassessment. What is needed to be an effective pastor today? How does a pastor wisely navigate both continuity and adaptation? How does a pastor explore, cultivate self-understanding to sustain prophetic fire and inspire purposeful action? Explore these issues and reflect deeply on new models or approaches to preaching and leadership with two of the most respected homiletical practitioners of our day, Leonard Sweet and Gary Simpson.

3. Bible, Theology and Leadership in the Korean Context: Drew has been committed to Korea and the Korean church for more than 130 years, with a legacy of trailblazing missions, ministry and academic preparation for the Korean context. This Korean-language DMin builds on that legacy and builds on the changes and transformations taking place in the contemporary Korean church. Students will study ministry in the Korean context and develop a deeper understanding of how scripture informs emerging ministries in the Korea and Korean-American churches and how specific methodologies and practices can renew the Korean church. This concentration combines classroom learning with online courses in Seoul and is taught entirely in Korean.

Director of Doctoral Studies Susan Kendall pointed to the seminary’s motto of “Rooted, Innovative, Courageous” as providing both the vision and platform in the school’s historic Christian tradition, commitments and values.

“To respond to our current moment,” she added, “these new programs continue that tradition and, in the spirit of Jesus, infuse our leaders with boldness in difficult circumstances and ongoing humility and fearlessness needed to meet the challenges ministry will inevitably present.”

For more information about the program, please visit the DMin webpage or contact the Office of Graduate Admissions at or 973-408-3111.