Skip to Content

Ministry-Enhancement Programs/Special Topics

Dallas Theological Seminary students may earn academic credit for work done through a variety of ministry-enhancement programs or special conferences and seminars offered through parachurch ministries or local churches. These special learning opportunities may be taken as a foundation for independent study in a student’s track or concentration or as free electives.

Some examples of ministry-enhancement programs in which students have participated as a foundation for independent study are:

  • BILD International
  • CASA Academy (Christian Association Serving Adults)
  • Church Discipleship Ministry through the Navigators
  • T-Net (Training Network for Disciple-Making Churches)
  • Willow Creek Association’s leadership training programs
  • Youthfront (formerly Sonlife Ministries)

Students who desire to participate in a ministry-enhancement program for independent study credit must have prior approval from the department in which they desire to receive academic credit, and must complete the Independent Study Request form available from the Registrar’s office prior to registration.

Special Topics

Dallas Seminary has a more formal relationship with some ministry organizations that provide specialized training for ministry. In such cases, students may participate in these special programs under the umbrella of the Special Topics course listed as a 905 course under the departmental listing of courses in this catalog. These experiences are normally preapproved and require only the submission of the Special Topics approval form available from the Registrar’s office.

In most cases, the programs in which students participate for Special Topics credit require additional registration fees. To help offset these additional fees, the Seminary will reimburse the approved organization up to 50 percent of the student’s tuition. Most Special Topics programs are offered off-campus, and some are offered at various locations around the United States (or occasionally in other countries). In these cases, students will need to plan for travel costs and living expenses as well.

Some of the approved programs through which students may earn Special Topics credit are listed below.

Program Opportunities

Campus Ministry Today, a ministry of the Center for Mission Mobilization, offers annual training seminars for launching, growing, and multiplying a campus ministry. This Special Topics course trains students to build a Great Commission movement on college campuses through preparation, leader training, and long-range ministry planning. Contact the Educational Ministries and Leadership Department for more information.

The China Academic Consortium provides academic dialogue and exchange about religion, worldviews, values, and ethics with the Chinese intellectual community. This learning experience provides students the opportunity to immerse themselves in Chinese culture for preparation to serve in that context. Contact the Department of World Missions and Intercultural Studies for more information.

The Church Planting Boot Camp is an intensive five-day training experience that covers the major issues church planters face in their first year in starting a new church. The Boot Camp is offered as a 3-hour, one-week intensive course in the first summer session on the Dallas campus and in the Winter session at the Houston Extension. Credit for the Church Planting Boot camp is earned in the Pastoral Ministries department. More information on the Boot Camp is available at the EFCA website.

Are you investigating the possibility of cross-cultural service among Muslims or Hindus? Held in the greater Detroit area, Manarah combines classroom training on Islam, its people and cultures with daily outreach opportunities by seasoned mentors. Taste Arab hospitality while learning how to share with these least-reached people. To focus on reaching Hindus, consider Darshan which is held in Chicago. Darshan includes classroom studies about Hinduism, its people and cultures. Students also participate in daily guided Hindu community interaction. Don’t miss your opportunity to enroll in Manarah or Darshan to learn how to communicate biblical truth in a culturally relevant way. Special Topics credit for Manarah or Darshan may be earned in the Department of World Missions and Intercultural Studies. For more information, contact the WMIS department or visit the Christar website at

The Stanton Center for Ministry Formation at the Cathedral Church of St. Matthew in Dallas, Texas, is a conservative evangelical ministry of the Episcopal Church serving the Dallas area by providing a variety of training programs and courses for those interested in serving in the Episcopal or Anglican traditions. Students interested in such training may earn elective credit in the Pastoral Ministries department. More information on the Stanton Center is available from the Pastoral Ministries department or at the Stanton Center website.

Probe Ministries offers a one-week, 2-hour course during the Wintersession entitled Communicating Contemporary Apologetics at their offices in Plano, Texas. The course may be taken by Dallas Seminary students and credited in the Pastoral Ministries department or, with departmental approval, in the Theological Studies department. The course is an introduction to key topics in apologetics and worldviews, with emphasis on preparing students to better communicate these topics to other believers. Students learn to apply a Christian worldview to everyday cultural decisions, and to defend their faith and decisions in ways that effectively transcend worldview barriers. Students will attend a local one-week Worldview/Apologetics Conference hosted by the staff of Probe Ministries. More information on the Communicating Contemporary Apologetics course is available in the Pastoral Ministries department or by contacting Probe Ministries at (972) 480-0240.

Rural Home Missionary Association (RHMA) is devoted to planting and strengthening Bible-based, evangelical churches in small-town America. The TACT Program of RHMA includes a course that provides an overview of town and country ministry, three courses that examine how common pastoral tasks are shaped by the town and country context, and a seminar allowing students to do and present in-depth research on other aspects of town and country ministry of special interest. TACT courses each earn 3 semester hours of credit, and may be taken for track or elective credit in the Pastoral Ministries department. All TACT classes are held during the summer at RHMA headquarters in Morton, Illinois. For more information on the TACT Program and specific information on TACT courses, including course descriptions and schedules, see the TACT website.

For more than 30 years, Walk-Thru-the-Bible, a ministry founded by Dallas Seminary graduate Bruce Wilkinson, has created discipleship materials that are reaching millions of people all over the world. Their live Bible seminars are highly interactive and scripturally sound overviews of the Old and New Testaments. Students may participate in the Walk Thru the Old Testament and the Walk Thru the New Testament live seminars and earn 1 hour of elective academic credit in the Bible Exposition department for each seminar. More information on the Walk-Thru-the-Bible seminars is available from the Bible Exposition department or online. Additional information on these and other ministry-enhancement opportunities not listed here, as well as information on policies and procedures governing Independent Studies and Special Topics courses, may be obtained from the Registrar’s office.

The vision of The D6 Conference is to champion a movement of calling parents to be the primary spiritual leaders of their children and challenging churches to partner with and equip parents. Most churches understand the principles and commands of Deuteronomy 6, yet so many churches have realized they do not have a spiritual formation model that is designed to develop and grow God’s plan for the family. Innovative and creative leaders like you are actively addressing some of the most critical needs in the church and home today. Come and join 2,000+ leaders, ministers, volunteers, and parents as we collaborate on what’s ahead for the church as we disciple the NEXT generation for Christ. The D6 Conference will be held September 21-23, 2011 at the Frisco Convention Center in Frisco, Texas. For more information, visit the website at

Cranmer Theological House, one of three conservative Anglican seminaries and schools of ministry under the auspices of the Reformed Episcopal Church, draws on a rich heritage of spiritual formation and theological education for both ordained and lay leaders distinguished by a strong commitment to the Scriptures, the theology of the English Reformation, and the worship of the greater Anglican tradition. At campuses in Houston and Dallas, CTH offers courses that prepare individuals to fulfill the ordination requirements of the Anglican Church. DTS students may take these courses for elective credit in the Department of Pastoral Ministries.  For more information on course offerings contact the Department of Pastoral Ministries or the Cranmer Theological House.

The ministry of Joni and Friends is dedicated to extending the love and message of Jesus Christ to people who are affected by disability around the world. This learning experience guides students in developing a biblical theology of disability. Students attend the Joni and Friends family retreat and engage in practical application through interaction and service to families impacted by disability. Contact the Department of World Missions and Intercultural Studies for more information.

Inspire Women offers rotating courses at its headquarters in Houston, Texas. This training develops women to have the spiritual fortitude to define, pursue, and finish God’s mission for their lives. Women students may complete the Women’s Leadership Certificate and earn 3 hours of DTS credit. Contact the Educational Ministries and Leadership Department and visit the Inspire Women website for more information.