Perkins Offers New Course on Emerging Digital Ministries

DALLAS (SMU) – Perkins School of Theology announces a new course designed to equip church leaders in emerging digital ministries for planning worship, preaching, teaching, pastoral care and other congregational leadership needs.  The fully online course will launch in fall 2020.

Drawing on expertise from Perkins faculty—who have created nationally distributed resources during the COVID-19 pandemic—and other global experts, the course, entitled “Social Innovation:  Creating World Changers with Emerging Digital Ministries,” will help students develop a working knowledge of “online” or digitally mediated ministries (DMMs).

During the course, students will:

  • Engage in theological reflection on how these ministries relate to established face-to-face ministry paradigms;
  • Learn best practices and how these can be adapted to different ministry settings;
  • Understand the basic technology for both supporting and developing DMMs and how these can be used to create appropriate, secure, and sustainable ministries;
  • Explore how different types of ministry are effectively carried out online; and
  • Apply what they have learned to a specific DMM project relevant to their current or anticipated ministry context.

“These are uncertain times,” said Perkins Dean Craig C. Hill. “What remains sure, however, is the church’s need for informed leaders who are prepared to do the work of ministry both faithfully and creatively, making ancient truth known by contemporary means.”

“This ‘Emerging Digital Ministries’ course is just one example of Perkins’ commitment to equip new leaders for new opportunities,” he added.

Co-teachers are Dr. Marcell Silva Steuernagel, Assistant Professor of Church Music and Director of the Master of Sacred Music degree program, and Dr. Robert Hunt, Director of the Global Theological Education Program at Perkins. 

“This course is an early attempt to understand the ‘new normal’ of ministry during and after the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. Steuernagel said. “The idea is to move from contingent attempts to solve an immediate problem to a comprehensive view of the quirks and possibilities of online ministry.”

According to Dr. Hunt, pastors and churches have done a good job “making a quick pivot to online.” 

“In this course we’ll equip church leaders to be more fully grounded and confident in the technology they are already using, and to take their ministries to a more effective level of service to their congregations and beyond,” he said.


“Social Innovation:  Creating World Changers with Emerging Digital Ministries” is open to all Perkins students.  No prerequisite Perkins courses are required.


For more information, or to register for the course, contact:  Joseph Monroy, Registrar and Director of Academic Services,, 214-768-2152.