Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Renewal, Contemplative Practice and Strategic Leadership (Hybrid/Online)

Rev. Dagmar Grefe, PhD

REFLECT - Be energized by a cohort diverse in traditions and ministries.

REFRESH - Gain tools for spiritual nourishment to enliven your leadership.

RESPOND - Engage clear, practical solutions to the challenges you face in ministry.

The new CST Hybrid/Online Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) in Spiritual Renewal, Contemplative Practice, and Strategic Leadership is designed for clergy and other spiritual leaders of any tradition, including leaders in transition.

The accessible format of the degree offers

  • Online courses for a global reach: up to half of the degree may be taken online.
  • A supportive community: 1 multi-day, in-person intensive each year builds an intimate group of peers.

You are invited to apply if you are committed to exploring how to

  • Lead individuals, groups, organizations, communities, or congregations through change.
  • Develop clear, wise, practical leadership strategies.
  • Guide processes that form engaged, relevant spiritual lives.
  • Experience what is spiritual about being a ‘spiritual leader.’
  • Cultivate contemplative practices that support every dimension of leadership.
  • Deepen your own spiritual life.
  • Foster wise, practical compassion for others, the world, and yourself.
  • Embrace interreligious and multicultural approaches for leadership contexts.

Request more information about the Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Renewal, Contemplative Practice and Strategic Leadership


  • M.Div. or equivalent (3 years/72 units of advanced theological education).
  • 3 years experience in ministry/service (or the equivalent)

Applications for the D.Min. in Spiritual Renewal, Contemplative Practice, and Strategic Leadership are welcome and accepted on a rolling basis through December 1st for Spring 2016, June 1st for Summer 2016 and August 1st for Fall 2016.

Program Overview:

  • Course formats:
      - Online
      - Hybrid/online
      - In-person

  • 28 units total:
      - 6 courses, four units per course (3 Core Courses, 3 Elective courses)
      - 1 four-unit ‘Practical Research Project’ to begin during the first ‘Core Course’ and continue to the end of the degree.

  • Begin the degree at any of these 3 times:
      - January (for Spring term)
      - June (for Summer term) – 1 or more ‘Electives’
      - August (for Fall term) – 1 or more ‘Electives’

  • Each on-campus intensive session (offered in January, June and August) includes:
      - A 6-day, in-person ‘Core Course’ and/or
      - 1 or more ‘Electives’

  • Choose electives from CST regular courses or from any of CST’s cross-registration partner schools:
      - Academy for Jewish Religion, California
      - Bayan Claremont Islamic Graduate School
      - University of the West (“informed by Buddhist wisdom”)
      - Claremont Graduate University (of the Claremont College consortium)

  • Complete program in 27 months

Course Details

3 “Elective Courses”

  • Offered in Spring, Summer, Fall, or January terms
  • 4 units of academic credit per course.
  • Choose from fully-online, hybrid-intensive, or in-person courses.

3 required “Core Courses”

  • Offered each January.
  • 4 units of academic credit per course
  • Each Core Course is grounded in a 6-day, in-person intensive
  • 1 per January (3 consecutive Januarys)
  • Any of the 3 Core Courses may serve as your first Core Course, so you may begin the Core Course sequence in any January.
  • Online sessions, readings, and/or other assignments may precede and/or follow each Core Course intensive.
  • Core Course includes workshops devoted to students’ Practical Research Projects, with cohorts formed according to length of time in the program.

“Spiritual Renewal for Engaged Compassion” (January)
Teaches a spiritual path that forms lives and leadership of wise, effective, compassionate action for vitality, justice, creativity, and peace within individual lives, communities, inter-religious contexts, organizations, and the world.

“Discernment-Based Strategic Leadership” (January)
Teaches approaches, processes, skills, and sensibilities that combine the best contemplative traditions of spiritual discernment with the best practices of change-driven leadership.

“Contemplative Practice for Life and Leadership” (January)
Explores contemplative practices and perspectives from diverse spiritual/religious traditions that restore and renew every dimension of life, work, and service. Themes may include neuroscientific understandings of the formative nature of contemplative practice, inter-religious aspects of contemplative practice, and working with difficult emotions.

By the end of your first Core Course you will have:

  • Clarified the issue, nature, and scope of your D.Min. ‘Practical Research Project’
  • Planned a path forward for your project and electives
  • Begun your leadership work with a grounded and mindful approach
  • Prepared to understand and approach the project as part of a larger context
  • Articulated your most important theological, spiritual, and ethical commitments, especially as related to your project.

Request more information about the Doctor of Ministry in Spiritual Renewal, Contemplative Practice and Strategic Leadership

Begin your online application.