Centre for Rural Community Leadership and Ministry

doctor of ministry (dmin) in Rural Ministry and Community Development

The Saskatoon Theological Union, with the guidance and support of CiRCLe M, is offering this accredited graduate degree in a cohort-based, distance-education format.

(click here for a listing of course descriptions) (click here for upcoming courses)

This 3-year Doctor of Ministry degree program aims to help rural ministers lead their congregations in more effective engagement with their communities.   The program is interdisciplinary and will be drawing on resources and teachers from theology, rural sociology, rural health care and other disciplines.

Each cohort of students will meet together for three, one-week periods each year to do an intensive course. In the third year students who elect to do a thesis will work on that while the rest will take two more courses. The cohort will graduate together at the end of the three years. 

  • If you have a master's level degree in theology and are interested in honing your skills in rural ministry and community development this is for you. 
  • The program is open to anyone in any denomination or faith group.
  • The emphasis in this degree is on working out of your context. So students’ employers (congregations, judicatories or agencies) must agree in writing to release and support their church worker for the periods of time during each year needed for the study. And of course the study will directly benefit, not just the ministers but the ministry sites. 
  • Open this document for a look at how this program might benefit your congregation and community. 
  • Open DMin Manual (PDF)
  • Open DMin Application Form (Word)
  • Open DMin Application Form (PDF)
  • Open DMin Class Schedule - TBA


  • Costs for the whole 3 yr program are projected to be about $10,200 which includes course tuition, program fees and colloquia costs.

    Costs can be offset by grants for the ministry project (from church foundations for example), by church continuing education funds, graduate scholarships from the STU schools, etc.

  • Remember too, that as a DMin, this program is meant to develop expertise in ministry practice. So it is not intended to add onto, but intensify your ministry and be fully integrated into it.

    Your site takes it on with you as a way of extending their own ministry.  The site would contribute release time for your presence at courses and to do reading and assignments.  They help conceive, carry out and report on the ministry project, and hopefully contribute to any travel and accommodation costs. In return they would experience fresh expressions of ministry, new outreach in their community, and new skills transferred from what you and they learn and do together.

For more information contact:

Below are the students from the 2009-11 Rural STM and DMin Class. They are from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and from United, Anglican and Lutheran churches. 


What are the Students Doing?

One of the goals of the DMin in Rural Ministry and Community Development is for our students to become resource people within their denominations.  This goal is being met. For example...

Greg Kiel (Lutheran, Swift Current, SK) is leading a synod-sponsored study of small churches. 

Catherine Holland (Anglican, Oyen, AB) did an appreciative inquiry with youth at the request of the Alberta Health Services and she also served as a consultant for them on the development of mental health capacity in the region.

Tim Wray (Lutheran, Millet, AB) was keynote at the MNO (Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario) synod convention and at the Alberta synod youth gathering on how small communities, congregations and youth groups can make a big impact.

Leigh Sinclair (United, Slave Lake, AB) spoke to the Athabasca diocese (Anglican) on women in rural communities, held a workshop on the Church’s response to stress in rural communities in Lloydminister AB, and will be speaking on rural ministry and community development to an Anglican Women’s Conference in Collington, Alberta in May 2011.

Lois Knudsen-Munholland (Lutheran, Strasbourg, SK) is engaging residents in a senior’s home to build community within by facilitating story-telling  and appreciative inquiry.


About the photo (above):

Awarding of 19 Diplomas in Indigenous Anglican Theology at the 2008 Convocation of The University of Emmanuel College-College of Emmanuel and St. Chad in partnership with the Dr. William Winter School of Ministry in the Diocese of Keewatin.