In the spring of 2023, Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary & Graduate School announced that the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree would be fully online beginning in the fall of 2023. LBC | Capital’s DMin program, with a focus in Strategic Leadership, does much more than simply add letters to your name—it transforms the way you do and lead ministry.
The next enrollment deadline for the LBC | Capital DMin cohort is Aug. 1 for the fall semester. DMin cohorts begin in the fall only. Rather than in-person residency, LBC | Capital’s online DMin has 18 days of synchronous learning via Zoom from the student’s physical location. While students will not need to travel to a campus or site for the residency, they will need to have access to computer technology, time off from work, room for margin, etc., to participate fully in the synchronous residencies.
LBC | Capital’s DMin program is life-changing education that promotes empirical research, creative reflection and entrepreneurial application to the practice of ministry. This doctorate is ideal for students who have already earned an MDiv degree or another ministry-related master’s degree, as LBC | Capital’s Doctor of Ministry builds on the knowledge core of biblical, historical and theological interdisciplinary studies taught during an MDiv or other master’s program. With a focus on Strategic Leadership development, the degree exposes students to these components:
- Leadership: Content and skills training
- Theological reflection: Spiritual discernment
- Social/cultural context: Content and skills
- Applied research: Measuring program effectiveness
Jake Smith Jr. (’22) is a graduate of LBC | Capital’s DMin program and has used his knowledge to build a counseling and coaching ministry to lead others in their walk in kingdom impact. Learn more about Jake and his DMin studies in this Q&A.
Q: How did LBC | Capital prepare you for the next phase of your calling?
A: LBC helped me move from theory to practice. While I held firmly to the theologies and ministry philosophies I had gained over the years, it wasn’t always intuitive to apply them in the wild of a real ministry context. LBC | Capital helped me bridge that gap and become a true practitioner.
Q: How did God work in your life during your time at LBC | Capital?
A: Though I didn’t know it when I initially enrolled, LBC would play a critical role in my career development. After a 21-year career as a pastor, my program helped me focus more specifically on my passion and calling. This led to the birth of the organization I now lead called Plumline, a biblically based, Jesus-centered, Holy Spirit-dependent spiritual formation company.
Q: In what ways does Plumline engage believers for greater kingdom impact?
A: Everything we do at Plumline is Shamah-driven. We teach people to love God, others and self with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength. Often, this involves helping them to recover parts of themselves that got buried along the way. Specifically, we specialize in helping disciples attach, nourish and integrate the heart and soul aspects of their spiritual makeup. This results in more spiritual well-being and more relational well-being. Ultimately, the Plumline process helps people heal and then empowers and releases them as healers to create more healing spaces.
Q: Tell us about your faith journey and how it impacts your work today.
A: I grew up in the church and surrendered to Christ at a young age. Vocationally, I have served in the church for the vast majority of my career, and I now develop programs to help churches engage more effectively in holistic, transformational disciple-making. My passion is to develop new ways of offering congregants powerful discipleship opportunities and offering churches better ways of measuring success.
Q: How did the biblical integration, mentor relationships and peer interaction within LBC | Capital’s DMin program help shape your already grounded biblical worldview?
A: In the most supportive way, it was never enough for our mentors and peers to just make statements of belief. In the DMin program, we were asked to ‘prove it,’ and to ‘work out our faith with fear and trembling’ (Phil. 2:12). As a result, I’m no longer satisfied with conjecture and ‘anecdotal’ metrics. The disciple-making practices I’m engaged with are working. I want to know the needle is moving inside people. LBC | Capital gave me that.
Q: What is the best aspect of your life’s work after getting your doctorate at LBC | Capital?
A: As a result of getting my doctorate at LBC | Capital, at Plumline we are now passionate about measuring the immeasurable. This is something I had to figure out as part of the dissertation process—how can we KNOW if the internal needle is moving for someone in our programs? We can now determine the effect of our disciple-making on spiritual well-being and relational well-being and whether we are actually impacting these areas or not.
My life’s Bible verse is: Mark 12:29-31
The last book I read was: “Narrative Means to Therapeutic Ends” by White and Epston
When I have 30 minutes of free time, I like to: Play a quick round or two of chess on my phone
Meet my family: Alison, my wife of 22 years, son Coby (17), son Jett (14) and daughter Marley (11)