Congregation & Family Care

Bethel’s Doctor of Ministry in Congregation and Family Care equips students for responding to increasing family and societal disintegration. Students develop strategies and skills for providing meaningful pastoral care to individuals and groups—care that leads to true spiritual formation for those they serve.

We feel a deep call to send out Christian leaders that respond in preventative and therapeutic ways to a generation characterized by large numbers of emotionally wounded people seeking help through the church.

Students will:

  • Develop their own spirituality
  • Build the capacity to lead in ways that deepen the spirituality of individuals and groups
  • Learn how to care for both the leader and the community to which they minister
  • Develop their skills for effective pastoral care with individuals, families, and groups

Concentration Options

Within the Congregation and Family Care track, students have their choice of 4 concentrations:

Spiritual Formation

  • Personal spiritual development
  • Church renewal and revitalization
  • Spiritual disciplines and practices
  • Spiritual identity and behavior

Pastoral Care

  • Pastoral counseling and conflict resolution
  • Life stages and family systems ministry
  • Relational and interpersonal dynamics
  • Spiritual accountability, discipline, and restoration

Marriage and Family Studies

  • Family processes and structures
  • Theological themes and ministry issues with couples and families
  • Prevention, enrichment, and intervention
  • Families in context


  • Combination of the above 3 concentrations

Course Work

The Congregation and Family Care track is a 4 year program. Students take 7 course units and write a thesis over 4 years, meeting for weekly resident intensives each July and January at our St. Paul location. Take a look at the breakdown of courses by concentration.

Sample Courses

  • Whole & Holy: The Person of the Minister
  • Understanding Family Systems
  • Transforming Spirituality
  • Current Issues in Pastoral Care
  • The Theology of Evil & Suffering