The Academy for Spiritual Formation Partners with Saint Paul School of Theology for Doctor of Ministry Degree

Monday, May 9, 2016

Saint Paul School of Theology and The Academy for Spiritual Formation are partnering to offer a Doctor of Ministry (DMin) in Prophetic Witness and Service with an emphasis in Spiritual Formation beginning Fall 2016. This is the first time a seminary has worked with The Academy for Spiritual Formation, a ministry of The Upper Room, to co-develop an advanced degree.

The new Doctor of Ministry degree weaves together the spiritual renewal and grounding of the Two-Year Academy for Spiritual Formation with Saint Paul coursework and faculty engagement. The goal is to maintain focus on pastoral leaders’ spiritual formation—both for their own lives and for their ministry in the church and the world. Through study, experiential formation within disciplined community, and a final praxis thesis, DMin students will be able to align a deeper sense of God’s presence in their own lives with their work in ministry as they seek to engage God’s mission in the world and sustain a hope and a vision for church renewal.

DMin students will complete 30 credit hours over three years. Saint Paul coursework will run concurrently with the Two-Year Academy through online and video-linked courses offered at both Kansas City and Oklahoma City campuses. Throughout the program, students will participate in The Academy for Spiritual Formation’s rhythm of study, silence, worship, and small group formation. The third year of study will focus on the doctor of ministry student’s praxis thesis. The first cohort will be enrolled in the Two-Year Academy being held at St. Benedict Center in Schuyler, Nebraska, starting August 9, 2016.

Ecumenical in scope, the program is open to those who have applied and been admitted to the Two-Year Academy (, have also completed a Master of Divinity, Master in Philosophy, or Master in Religion degree, and who successfully complete the Saint Paul admissions process. For additional information, visit or contact Dr. Amy Oden, Professor of Early Church History and Spirituality,

Thoughts from Academy Director and Lead Faculty

I am delighted and filled with gratitude over this partnership with Saint Paul,” says Johnny Sears, Director of The Academy for Spiritual Formation. “Since I first encountered The Academy for Spiritual Formation as a participant over 10 years ago, it has been my dream that someday we would integrate its holistic practice of the spiritual life with the formal theological education that prepares clergy for ministry. The 21st century church needs well-educated and thoughtful leaders who are so rooted in a life of prayer and the love of God that they can be a non-anxious presence helping navigate the uncertain and uncharted territory of the future toward new life as the people of God. Our partnership with Saint Paul will help us realize that vision.



Pastors know the hunger out there for a Christian spirituality rooted in ancient wisdom and ready to serve the world that God so loves,” said Dr. Amy Oden, Professor of Early Church History and Spirituality. “This Doctor of Ministry degree will plant these roots and energize clergy and their communities for a 21st century witness.




Our Mission

The Academy for Spiritual Formation

A ministry of The Upper Room, The Academy for Spiritual Formation creates transformative environments where individuals, within the context of a supportive community, can directly encounter the teachings, sustaining practices, and rhythms that foster attentiveness to God, self, others, and all creation for the sake of the world.


Saint Paul School of Theology

Saint Paul School of Theology educates leaders to make disciples for Jesus Christ, renew the church, and transform the world.