BST’s newly revised Competency Based Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program puts the student in the driver’s seat. Doctoral students, working with expert faculty mentors, will customize their programs to gain credit for life experience while developing a variety of pedagogical methods to achieve mastery of core required competencies. Through BST’s DMin program students will have access to the rich academic resources of the Graduate Theological Union and UC Berkeley.

Mentors and Partners

Each student in the newly revised Competency Based Doctor of Ministry program will journey alongside a thematic cohort with several DMin students and three mentors

From Anyplace At Any Time

A student’s mentor team can be geographically centered or spread across the globe. The remote realities of the new normal in our world create numerous possibilities.

Culturally Responsive Themes

Each student in the newly revised Competency Based Doctor of Ministry program will journey alongside a thematic cohort with several DMin students and three mentors

Achieving Mastery

Students will be required to demonstrate achievement of learning outcomes through a variety of assigned tasks that have been customized to their experience and ministry context.

Nine Cohort Themes

These seven thematic categories address some of the most significant social and cultural shifts experienced by congregations and other faith-based organizations in the West. Each theme is supported by a team of faculty mentors.

Racism/Prison Renewal/Reparations

This theme will address the following topics of concern to historically Black and Latino congregations: racism, reparations, police violence, prison, returning citizens, recidivism, ICE detention, and deportation.
Dr. Aidsand Wright-Riggins, Dr. Ronald Burris

Green the Church/Creation Care

BST partners with Green the Church, a national African American environmental advocacy ministry, to engage with churches and communities to respond to  environmental concerns in the context of racial and economic justice.
Dr. Ambrose Carroll, Dr. James Brenneman

Pastoral Care for Immigrant Churches

The Bay Area is also known for its immigrant populations.  We work with numerous immigrant churches that focus on assisting their congregants in settling into their new home.
Dr. Marie Onwubuariri, Dr. LeAnn Snow Flesher

Womanist/Feminist Gospel

Students enrolled in this theme will be equipped to engage in robust interdisciplinary and intersectional analysis of issues facing communities of faith as they are shaped by gender, class, race, and other social forces.
Dr. Valerie Miles-Tribble, Dr. Jennifer Davidson

Pastoral Care/Spiritual Formation 

A cohort of CPE trained chaplains and individuals interested in spiritual formation.  Students in this cohort will build on previous training and experience to develop methods, manuals and programs beneficial for clergy and faith based lay leaders.
Dr. Rick Mixon

Preaching Social Justice

Our congregations are concerned about and relate to nearly every social justice issue raised today. We work with select congregations for whom the tradition of preaching is vital for educating and motivating for social justice.
Dr. Jacqueline Thompson, Dr. Sangyil Park

Spiritual Formation (Korean Language)

In our work with the Korean community we have become aware of the heightened interest in Spirituality and Spiritual Formation.  We will address this thematic emphasis in the Korean language.
Dr. Daesop Yi, Dr. Sangyil Park

Ministerial Training for Latinx Churches

Leaders of the Latino churches in the Bay Area are theologically untrained and the congregants, many of them immigrants, have low levels of education. In addition to our BA-Equivalency program in Spanish, we help congregations to thrive in ministerial and congregation-wide education, also in Spanish.
Dr. Pedro Pablo Morataya, Dr. LeAnn Snow Flesher

Biblical Studies and Interpretation

A cohort developed for those that wish to take a deep dive into the spectrum of studies related to the Bible.  Students will emphasize their choice of Old Testament, Inter-testamental or New Testament writings and supportive socio-cultural materials that assist in interpretation. Students may also choose to engage a variety of hermeneutical approaches. Dr. LeAnn Snow Flesher, Dr. James E. Brenneman


Year 1

  • Two five-day core intensives—orientation & updates on Bible and Theology
  • Small cohort-based thematic mentor sessions

Year 2

  • One five-day intensive on “Writing the Dissertation”
  • Small cohort-based writing workshops

Year 3

  • Fine tuning the dissertation (cohort mentor meetings as needed)
  • Oral Defense
  • Graduation


  • Master of Divinity or equivalent from accredited seminary or university

Competency-Based Education

Competency-based education provides opportunity for individuals to move at their own pace, and also quickly through portions of the academic programs for which they already have considerable background and experience.

  • Especially attractive to bi-vocational ministers and lay leaders
  • Use a variety of means for evidencing competency in designated areas
  • Opportunity for students to save time and money
  • Form meaningful relationships with mentors that contribute to skill development and ministerial formation

One of the Most Interculturally Diverse Seminaries in the Country

Since our founding 150 years ago, the core values of soul freedom, service leadership, social justice, public witness, religious liberty, and the centrality of the Word (written and spoken) still guide and sustain BST to this day. These Jesus-centered values, rooted in our inclusive inter-cultural heritage, have made BST an attractive school for students of many faith and denominational affiliations.

Here you will truly enter a spiritual “world-house” of teaching and learning, with a world-class faculty and students from every habitable continent on earth.

Ready to Get Started?

Get more information by submitting our Request Information Form.

Request Information

Begin your application with our DMin Application Form.

Begin your Application

For questions, please contact the Admissions Office at or (510) 841-1905 ext 229.