Academic Departments

Ministry Residency

Up to 12 Hours of Credit

DTS believes that preparation for ministry takes place both in the classroom and in the field of service. It is vital to link theory and practice. Instead of learning only in the isolation of the classroom, DTS supports learning happening within the community of faith as the student ministers in a ministry context and reflects on that experience. Master of Arts in Christian Leadership (MA/CL), Master of Arts in Christian Education (MA/CE) and Master of Theology (ThM) students have the option of completing either a three credit hour Servant Leadership Internship or a eleven credit hour Ministry Residency (twelve credit hours for ThM).

So what are the differences and which one is right for you?

3 Credit Hour Internship 11/12 Credit Hour Residency

7-10 hours of weekly ministry in a local church or parachurch setting

25 hours of weekly ministry in a local church or parachurch setting

12 months to complete

8 months to complete

Starts any semester (Fall, Spring, or Summer)

Starts Fall semester only

Does not require any time on campus

Requires one week on campus in the Fall semester and one week on campus after the Spring semester

Students in the Ministry Residency program will come together on the Dallas campus before the start of the Fall semester (early/mid August) for a weeklong experience with other Residency students. After this week, the Residency students will return to their place of service and be placed in an online student cohort for encouragement and accountability during the rest of the school year. In addition, each student will have weekly interaction with an on-site Ministry Mentor and regular interaction (face to face or online) with a faculty member on the Dallas campus. The Residency will then conclude with another week on campus after the end of the Spring semester (mid May) for a weeklong celebration of what God did through the Residency students and (more importantly) what God did in the Residency students themselves.

Note: For MA/CL students, the Ministry Residency will replace the required SL335 course (Personal Assessment and Ministry Vision), the 6 hours of leadership electives, and the Internship (SL155). For ThM students, the Ministry Residency will fulfill one of their Ministry Emphases and will replace the Internship (SL105).

The Ministry Residency allows students to:

  • Learn with fellow Residency students in a cohort format.
  • Be mentored by a ministry leader on the field and by a DTS faculty member.
  • Study in areas of leadership (personal assessment, ministry vision, change management, teamwork, organizational leadership development).
  • Apply leadership principles right away in their field of ministry.

All Ministry Residency sites must agree to the following benchmarks:

  • The student will be engaged in 25+ hours of compensated ministry at the ministry site.
  • The student will have an “ownership” role of a ministry area at the site (i.e. the student is “in charge” of a ministry area and is accountable for his/her leadership in that area).
  • The student will have a teaching/speaking/preaching venue at the ministry site or a venue will be provided by the ministry site at another location.
  • The student will have intentional exposure to all areas of pastoral duties as deemed suitable (i.e. weddings, funerals, communion, baptism, visitation, evangelism, preaching, and counseling) through the ministry site.
  • The student will have a consistent mentoring time with his/her on-site Ministry Mentor.
  • The student will participate in a fall one week and a spring one week Dallas campus experience.
  • The student will participate in a learning cohort with other Residency students.
  • Emphasis at the ministry site will be on both the professional development of a minister and the spiritual development of a minister.

Hear from Residency Students


Ministry Residency Application Ministry Residency Course Sequence

For more information about the Internships or the Ministry Residency, please contact the Educational Ministries and Leadership Department.