The San Francisco Theological Seminary Doctor of Ministry program is fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada, and by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
During the 2012 Summer Term, SFTS welcomed 35 students from eight countries, including eight students from South Korea. The international field of doctoral candidates also included students from Canada, Ghana, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Switzerland, and Vietnam. Continuing its long history as a leader in ecumenical continuing education, students in the summer session came from 10 different denominations ranging from Baptist to Roman Catholic to Unitarian and, of course, Presbyterian.
SFTS has gained international acclaim for its Doctor of Ministry degree with graduates around the world. Many graduates believe the program is an ideal opportunity to recharge and learn while continuing to work in their ministries. Also, the SFTS campus in San Anselmo is close to hiking and biking trails, near beaches and San Francisco, and provides access to diverse faith communities thanks to the seminary's membership in the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley.
At the heart of our philosophy lies a commitment to participatory education in which students share decision-making with teachers and assume responsibility for their own learning. Because the D.Min. is designed to develop ministers' professional and personal competence as well as scholarly abilities, there are no traditional grades. A "Pass" or "Incomplete" is given for each learning experience, along with extensive written evaluations.
International and Ecumenical Character
Convinced that excellence in ministry requires experience of our interdependent world, SFTS is committed to having the richest possible mixture of students and faculty in its programs. The Seminary recruits students and faculty among groups that have not been prominent in mainline Protestant educational and ecclesiastical leadership: women, racial/ethnic minorities and international students. While approximately 35 percent of D.Min. students are Presbyterian, over 50 denominations have been represented. With more than 1,400 graduates, SFTS has provided strong leadership in the development of a theological network, which seeks to link the Seminary with other institutions in Africa, Australia, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, Taiwan, etc.
- Developing relationships of trust and cooperation among peers in ministry.
- Articulating theological perspectives on critical issues of church and society.
- Analyzing questions of ministry and mission in the student's social and cultural contexts.
- Employing innovative and interdisciplinary approaches in the practice of ministry.