DMin Phases of Study
The Doctor of Ministry degree program is composed of three phases:
Phase I: Foundational Courses (approximately two terms, one year)
All students entering the program take two foundational seminars, each requiring a two-week residency. FC.710 Ministry and Context introduces students to ethnography and other empirical research methods that yield thick descriptions of contexts, congregational studies, and various cultural theories. The course involves students in substantive research into the contexts of their ministries. FC. 712 The Foundational Seminar, undertaken after completing FC.710, introduces students to methods of theological and biblical reflection and research. Upon satisfactory completion of the foundational courses and recommendation of instructors, students are advanced to candidacy for the degree.
Phase II: Elective Courses (approximately four terms, two years)
Each student selects an area of concentration in which to develop particular competency. Four elective courses are required in this phase, one of which may be taken outside the selected area of concentration.
The Bible and the Practice of Ministry emphasizes the theological, literary, social, and historical world of the Bible. It seeks to develop a critical understanding of the various ways in which the biblical text has been and is interpreted in a range of contexts for ministry. Readings include historical critical analysis, work in Hebrew or Greek, and exposure to various literary, sociological, ideological, and theological methods.
The Church’s Life and the Practice of Ministry focuses on the Church’s shared life, including the various ways the Christian community is called to embody its faith in practice. Candidates reflect on the Church’s normative practices of education and formation, care and counseling, mission and evangelism.
Theology and the Practice of Ministry allows candidates to deepen their understanding of theology, ethics, history, and comparative religion as these disciplines relate to the practice of ministry. Candidates examine the interplay between contemporary questions and classical doctrines, explore the challenges and opportunities of ministry in a religiously plural context, and probe the history of Christian traditions with an eye to the Church’s future.
Proclamation and Worship invites candidates to study the history, theology, and ritual actions of worship. Candidates also examine the historical, biblical, performative, rhetorical, theological, and contextual aspects of proclamation. Courses in this area are designed to increase candidates’ capacities for reflecting on the interdisciplinary nature of proclamation ad worship and engaging in current practices and trends.
Phase III: The Doctoral Project (maximum two years)
In this phase, candidates select an aspect of ministry in their context. Candidates envision a project and craft a proposal that integrates selected themes from their contextual analysis and theological and methodological reflection. Two faculty readers participate in supervising the development of the proposal. Once the proposal has been approved, the candidate implements, evaluates, and reports on the project as proposed. After presenting a written report satisfactory to the faculty readers, the candidate stands an oral review of the project by these readers.