Midwestern Seminary announces new doctoral degree in Ministry to Women


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Midwestern Seminary recently announced a new degree offering to its doctoral program, the Doctor of Ministry in Ministry to Women. Launching in the fall of 2023, the D.Min. in Ministry to Women seeks to expand the seminary’s efforts to develop theologically based strategies for ministry to women.

I am grateful to announce our new Doctor of Ministry in Ministry to Women degree,” said President Jason Allen. “We desire to train both men and women for the church and this new degree program will further serve that aim. I am especially thankful for Dr. Thor Madsen, Dr. Leslie Umstattd, and the many others who helped bring this new program to fruition.”

Midwestern Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry is an advanced degree preparing students for leadership in local churches and denominational service. Professional doctoral degree offerings, such as the Doctor of Ministry, are designed for those seeking growth in ministerial competencies, spiritual vitality, and overall character development.

In the continued effort to biblically educate God-called men and women to be and make disciples of Jesus Christ, Midwestern Seminary’s D.Min. in Ministry to Women provides further opportunities to equip women to minister to women. Furthermore, the degree offering seeks to serve local churches by providing further educational opportunities focused on a significant population within Southern Baptist churches—women.

The D.Min. in Ministry to Women will be led by Assistant Professor of Christian Education Leslie Umstattd. Umstattd has served in a variety of ministry roles for over 20 years, including teaching Bible studies, developing curriculum, and leading women’s retreats. She joined the faculty after receiving her Doctorate in Educational Ministry from Midwestern Seminary. Additionally, she serves her local church in Kansas City as the women’s ministry leader.

Speaking to her hopes for this degree offering, Umstattd said, “Midwestern Seminary has the local church in mind when training men and women for ministry. This new path of study aligns perfectly with the seminary’s overarching vision by giving women an occasion for deeper understanding of their calling and furthering of their education to hone their ministry skills.”

Umstattd will teach the first seminar in the program next spring, called Foundations of Ministry to Women. The course seeks to provide contextualized strategies for women not only to evaluate ministerial approaches, but also to provide a platform for theological insight for personal and professional ministry.

She also shared plans for a second course in the degree, Contemporary Issues in Ministry to Women. This course will provide opportunities for students to research and analyze prominent concerns while developing and defending biblical solutions with biblical and cultural insight.

Thor Madsen, dean of doctoral studies and academic initiatives, said of the added degree, “Midwestern Seminary has always had women as doctoral students, on both the professional and research sides. This degree affords the element of specialization that was not available before this time.”

He continued, “The Doctor of Ministry in Ministry to Women degree aligns well with the Church mission, based on the specialization it provides. Ministry to women involves many of the same principles that would be of general application both to men and women, but also some unique areas which are ideal for further study on the doctoral level.”

Students interested in applying for the Doctor of Ministry in Ministry to Women can now begin their application process at Midwestern Seminary.

Reflecting on the upcoming semester with an added doctoral focus, Umstattd said, “I’m encouraged by this new degree. The purpose of the Doctor of Ministry in Ministry to Women is to develop Christian women through doctoral-level instruction, research, and practice. This concentration allows women who desire to lead other women to develop skills in the area of ministry in which they are most passionate and gifted.”

Women interested in the Doctor of Ministry in Ministry to Women can visit https://www.mbts.edu/degrees/doctoral-studies/dmin/ to learn more and apply.