Program Overview

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:

  • Courses in three formats: online, online-hybrid and in-person.
  • 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 January builds an intimate group of peers.
  • Completion in as little as 28 months and up to 5 years.

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

  • Lead individuals, groups, organizations, communities, or congregations through change.
  • Develop compassion-based, wise, practical strategies for effective leadership.
  • 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.


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

(To be completed in a cycle of 3 consecutive Januarys)

Spiritual Renewal through Engaged Compassion
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
Teaches compassion-centered approaches, processes, skills, and sensibilities that combine the best contemplative traditions of spiritual discernment with the best practices of change-driven leadership.

Contemplative Practice and Compassion-Centered Conflict Transformation
Teaches compassion-based conflict transformation perspectives and processes that are vital for strategic leadership and grounded in contemplative practices. Themes may include approaches to conflicted situations in inter-cultural and/or inter-religious contexts, neuroscientific understandings of the nature of contemplative practice, explorations of contemplative practices from a variety of spiritual/religious traditions, and working constructively with difficult emotions and stances within persons, between individuals, and within & across groups.

Each of the three Core Courses consists of an in-person, intensive session that is normally five days long.
  • Exploration of content related to the Core Course topic
  • Practical Research Project Workshops
  • Specialty Seminars

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.
These three elective courses can be taken as online, hybrid-intensive, or in-person from CST’s regular courses or from any of CST’s cross-registration partner schools:

  • Academy of Jewish Religion, California
  • Bayan Claremont Islamic Graduate School
  • University of the West
  • Claremont Graduate University
The Project is neither a Ph.D. dissertation nor a simple research paper. Students are to select a Practical Research Project topic for application in a leadership context and address the implications of their findings for that context.

The required Practical Research Project Workshops (within the Core Course intensives) will introduce and review Project parameters. The Project Workshops will help students identify applied research problems and questions, understand theoretical perspectives, access the relevant literature, and identify connections to the practice of strategic leadership.

The Practical Research Project will:

  • Demonstrate an appropriate integration of students’ coursework and leadership formation with their experiences in relation to leadership settings.

TOTAL – 28 units