Doctorate in Women, Theology, and Leadership

The DMin in Women, Theology, and Leadership provides a vital space in which theology and ministry come together. The DMin in Women, Theology, and Leadership affirms women in leadership and shapes them for constructive, faithful ministry in the church and world. The program combines DMin core courses together with specific courses in women’s studies to equip leaders. These courses expose and seek to rectify inequities by empowering women and providing tools for transformation in their spheres of influence. Specialization courses include (1) Formation for Leader Character and EQ; (2) Women and the Early Church; (3) Gender and Theology; (4) Women in Leadership. 

The Degree 

This program includes seven seminars that bring together pastors and professionals from a variety of contexts to provide solid theological training in ministry and the workplace. Each student writes a thesis at the end of the program and goes through a capstone oral exam.  

Faculty and Structure 

Dr. Lynn H. Cohick (Provost and Professor of New Testament) directs the Women, Theology, and Leadership program and Dr. Beth Felker Jones (Professor of Theology) directs the Doctrine and Ministry program. Both teach and mentor students in both programs.  

Dr. Lynn H. Cohick

Dr. Beth Felker Jones








Shared core courses, required for all DMin programs:

1) Becoming Doctors of the Church 

This course introduces students to the function and importance of the office of “doctor of the church.” In the course, students delve deep into “why I believe” the central tenets of the faith and identify and begin to research a key ministry context. The research will become central to the doctoral thesis.  

2) Biblical and Theological Method  

This course serves as a general hermeneutics course that grounds theological method and the study of Scripture. It provides an opportunity for students to engage specific biblical texts and theological topics as they relate to their ministry contexts and thesis. 

3) Thesis Design 

This seminar walks the student through constructing a thesis that begins with a driving question about women in the church or ministerial context. The approval of the thesis proposal that emerges from this class sets the stage for the final thesis that provides the capstone for the doctoral process.     

Courses specific to the Women’s Studies and Ministry Program: 

1) Emotional Intelligence & Spiritual Formation (DM 7320) 

This course pursues spiritual formation for the student as it connects with the student’s leadership context. The focus includes developing character for resiliency and integrity in ministry. The course explores emotional intelligence to equip leaders with self-awareness to lead well in complex situations. 

2) Women in the Early Church (DM 7310) 

A historical overview of women’s activities in the first five centuries of the early Church, this course will address women’s participation in the intellectual, liturgical, ascetic, and monastic arenas of the emerging orthodox church and the various heterodox movements. Attention will be paid to writings about women as well as to the theological issues of men and women. 

3) Doctrine, Ministry, and Theology of the Human Body (DM 7330) 

This course is a theological examination of gender and body in Christianity. Historical, literary, and feminist methods are variously employed as students explore the biblical text and theological positions and consider the dynamics between women and men in ministry contexts. 

4) Women in Leadership (DM 7340) 

This course offers practical skills in decision-making, strategic planning, and vision casting for leaders. The course explores various biblical models of leadership, and how to address the specific challenges women leaders face today. 

5) Women, The Church, and the Arts (study tour of Italy) (DM 7350) 

A study of the spiritual practice of the medieval church and the art that supported its worship in Italy, with special attention to the role and influence of women such as Catherine of Siena. Special focus is paid to writings by women as well as to theological issues around how men and women lead together. Students will have opportunities to spend time in reflection.  Study tour offered every-other year, late December to early January. 




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