Church in the Public Square

Informing spiritual passions by…
Forming mentored learning communities, thereby…
Transforming ministers and ministries for a lifetime.

First Residency Dates: March 11-22, 2024
Residency Locations: Off Campus & On Hamilton Campus
Primary Faculty Mentors: Dr. David Horn, Dr. Jason McConnell

Request more information Apply today


Ministry leaders serve their local context that is also within the larger sociological and cultural ecology around them. The purpose of the track is to equip leaders to understand better their local community, ecclesiastical context, cultural context and to address well social and ethical changes in the public square.

This will be done by helping leaders to:

  1. Gain sociological, demographic, and systems-theory tools to better understand the larger cultural and institutional context. The cohort will explore the complexity of local culture contexts ranging from rural to suburban to urban, and include church systems of all types, from church planting to historic congregations.
  2. Establish a precise localized demography of the local community of their place of ministry.
  3. Understand more fully the multi-faceted role of the ministry leader within their community and cultural ecosystem to impact the public square.
  4. Learn best practices relating to effective ministry in unique cultural contexts.
  5. Gain significant expertise in the cross-section of a sociological/theological/ ministry practice that will benefit their current ministry context and ministry colleagues serving in similar contexts.
  6. Interact with voices from diverse backgrounds (racial, ethnic, cultural, etc.) and engage in civil dialogue with people who maintain different perspectives.


As a Doctor of Ministry student, you attend three two-week intensive residencies (seminars), one each year for three years. One of your residencies for this track will be held outside the United States.

You also complete projects following each of the three residencies, including a major thesis-project following the third residency. You read widely in books and periodicals, and your reading and research contribute to the residencies and to your current ministry.

Here is a sample reading list from the first residency:

  • Barnes, K., Redeeming Capitalism.
  • Fujimura, Makoto, Culture Care.
  • Horn, David, Soulmates: Friendship, Fellowship, and the Making of Christian Community.
  • Mouw, Richard, Uncommon Decency: Christian Civility in an Uncivil World.
  • Quick, Michael J., 360-Degree Leadership: Preaching to Transform Congregations.
  • Vanhoosier, Kevin, The Pastor as Public Theologian: Reclaiming a Lost Vision.

To order these books through Christian Book Distributors, go to our online bookstore:

GCTS Bookstore


To resource students through a biblically-grounded educational program taught by faculty who are committed to God’s Word and the application of principles of Scripture to the issues of contemporary culture.

  • Students will be able to assess and articulate the biblical and theological understanding of their local and broader cultural contexts.

To form in students a sound foundation of theological and biblical inquiry in their professional doctoral program’s specialized track that they are able to integrate into the life of Christian ministry.

  • Students will will be able to gain deeper insight into their leadership and calling within their congregational and community contexts and better understand their congregations as institutions and integrated systems.

To provide students with the skill set and understandings in a specialized area of ministry to such an extent that they can impact their congregation or community more powerfully for God.

  • Students will be able to better articulate their mission, and the mission of their congregations, as powerful sociological institutions of influence within their local communities and, more broadly, within the public square.

To create through the cohort model of the program a dimension of Christian community and spiritual nurturing so that students form strong friendships with one another and enter long-term relationships with the scholars who guide the learning experience.

  • Students will be able to enter into a community of ministry leaders who will, together, be better able to exegete the cultures of the communities they serve.

To develop in students a deeper understanding of Christ’s lordship in all areas of life for the common good of the contemporary world.

  • Students will be able to analyze the sociological and religious factors involved in the various revivals studied.

To cultivate within students through critical reflection and careful research through the residencies and projects an enriched Christian witness in the places of society they are called to serve.

  • Students will be able to understand their congregations as sociological and political entities that have the potential to influence, through God’s power, the world around them.

To instill in students a refreshed view of their ministry as it relates to the proclamation of the Gospel among all people.

  • Students will be able to return to their congregations with a renewed vigor to reach their communities for the Gospel.

Get Started Today