"Let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we will not give up." Galatians 6:9

PCC in Immigrant/Refugee Comm


Doctor of Ministry

In Transformational Leadership

Specialized Cohort

Pastoral Care and Counseling in Immigrant and Refugee Communities
June 2014

Berkeley, California


What you will gain at ABSW:

ABSW’s commitment to training ministerial leaders for a culturally-complex society combined with the Doctor of Ministry emphasis on transformational leadership makes ABSW the perfect place for Christian leaders to gain advanced ministerial expertise that:

  • is culturally-informed, -sensitive, and -relevant
  • fosters acknowledgement of, liberation for, and empowerment within often marginalized communities; and
  • brings education, edification, and transformation to the church and society at-large.

For immigrant and U.S.-born pastors and faith-based leaders who are ministering among immigrant and/or refugee communities.


Program and Course Overview:

  • All courses are 3 units each; disseration year is 6 units.  Total program: 30 units
  • Electives are subject to adjustment



June 2014

Core 1: Critical Interpretation & Project Development I

A seminar methods course intended to expose students to constructive theology, contextual theology and introduce application steps for designing a dissertation project



Core 2: Leadership in Urban Communities

This course is will acquaint participants with the socio-cultural dynamics that affect the quality of life, inform theology and challenge the manner in which ministry is conducted in our urban world. The course will include case studies, site visits, and analysis of urban contexts and  ministry strategies




January 2015

Elective 1:  Congregational Care and Pastoral Counseling Revisited

This class will be a refresher course on the ministries of congregational care and pastoral counseling while also assisting students to re-examine the inter-connectedness of self, community, and faith with particular attention to cultural expectations of pastoral role, responsibility, and authority



Elective 2:  Cross-cultural Leaders: Unpacking Spiritual Formation and Reframing Spiritual Disciplines

An interactive course aimed at developing a life-giving discipline for cultural self-awareness, self-critique, and self-transformation as it relates to exercising leadership, power, and meaning-making in-between and/or across cultures




June 2015

Elective 3:  Immigration and Refugee Resettlement within the U.S. Context

Beginning with an overview of the history of immigration to the US and the corresponding develompent of social services, public policies and law, students will examine the embedded cultures of their own congregation in contrast/relation to those of the dominant US society. Students will explore and be equipped for contemporary bridge- building, social work, advocacy, and activism that will shape the future story of immigration and refugee settlement in the US.



Elective 4:  Open choice




January 2016

Elective 5:  Ministry Toward Mental, Emotional and Relational Health

Students will 1.) learn how to identify dysfunctional behaviors,  patterns, and conditions to which immigrant and refugee communities are susceptible (i.e.post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anger management, domestic violence,etc.; 2.) explore their own personal/cultural/familial awarenesses in relation to dysfunctional behaviors and their root causes; and 3.) engage in theological reflection and practice strategies for offering case-appropriate spiritual care



Core 3: Critical Interpretation & Project Development II                                 

 A seminar style methods course intended to prepare and assist students in the preparation of his/her final dissertation project, including critical assessment of  cultural tensions and potential for leadership role in ministry and mission as it relates to their dissertation project                          




June 2016-Jan 2017

Dissertation Year:

Proposal approval, research, implementing project, writing dissertation, defense




May 2017




Potential Dissertation Projects:


  • Development of culturally-sensitive pastoral care and counseling curriculum/training materials for pastors who may not have access to seminary education both here in the US and in native countries
  • Development for clergy-led or lay-led counseling ministries/organizations for specific communities
  • Comprehensive research on the effectiveness (or lack of effectiveness) of mainstream counseling services offered by faith and non-faith based service institutions to a particular immigrant/refugee community, resulting in transformative proposals to such organizations
  • Ministry projects focused on generational challenges of immigrant/refugee families and communities and their effects on church vitality
  • Projects that can potentially lead to immigration/refugee resettlement reform

    What project do you envision that would bring about transformational leadership in the area of Pastoral Care and Counseling in Immigrant and Refugee Communities?



Additional Information:


  • A minimum of ten students needed for the cohort.
  • Each term will consist of two consecutive one-week intensive courses, generally meeting Monday-Friday 9am-5pm the latter part of the month
  • Classes will be taught in English. Korean translation will be provided as needed.
  • Korean-speaking students may write their dissertation in Korean.
  • Flexible tuition payment plans available.

  • Completed accredited Master of Divinity degree or equivalent required.  Click here for additional requirements.
  • Admissions Deadline: April 15, 2014. Click here for admissions application.
  • Click here for tuition and fees.

Contact ABSW Office of Admissions