FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – A new Doctor of Ministry degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will train ministers to engage the culture and reflect the light of Christ in a dark society.

“This is a time of real darkness in our country, and you have a lot of people who are arguing against God, who are arguing against morality,” Craig Mitchell, associate professor of cultural studies and director of the Richard Land Center for Cultural Engagement, says.

“With this program, what we have in mind is to develop leaders who can speak not only to theological issues but also to political and economic issues."

“The Christian worldview relates to far more than arguments for the existence of God,” Mitchell adds. “It also relates to how we live. It relates to marriage and family. It relates to the state, the church, and economics.”

According to Evan Lenow, Christians cannot ignore the prominent ethical and public policy issues of the day, such as homosexuality, abortion, euthanasia and socialism.

"As we have found in the news events of the last six months, we don't live in a vacuum,” Lenow, assistant professor of ethics, says. “We don't live in a Christian bubble, where we can do our own thing and the world does its thing and it doesn't affect us. We have a role to play, where Christ has told us to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world.”

In order for ministers to prepare their “congregations for life in the real world, in the business world, in the corporate world, the political process,” Lenow says, “we have to be able to evaluate the culture, discern what is going on, and to a certain degree maybe even be prophetic of what is coming down the road, so that our people are not caught off guard.”

Lenow says the D.Min. in Cultural Engagement will help ministers and other Christian leaders train their people “to be prepared for what impacts them on a daily basis in the culture.”

Made possible by a partnership between Southwestern’s School of Theology and the Richard Land Center for Cultural Engagement, this D.Min. degree will allow ministers and Christian leaders to receive their training without requiring them to relocate to Fort Worth. The program consists of two seminars, each a year in length, which include two-week classroom sessions in the summer and two, three-day conferences each fall and spring. During the final year of study, students will complete their dissertation.

In the D.Min. in Cultural Engagement, students will have opportunities to learn about public policy at key governmental sites in Texas, as well as at Washington, D.C. The first year of this program will emphasize cultural engagement and the Christian worldview, while the second year will emphasize stewardship and political economy.

To learn more about the D.Min. in Cultural Engagement, send an email to or call 1.800.792.8701.