DMin Phases of Study
The Doctor of Ministry degree program is composed of three phases:
Phase I: Elective Seminars (four terms, two years)
Consists of four seminars, taken in the student’s chosen area of concentration. Seminars are designed to foster in-depth study in the chosen concentration, and to increase competence in ministry through research in seminar-related concepts and practices.
Areas of concentration are:
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.
Christian Spirituality and the Practice of Ministry bring together classical disciplines of spiritual formation and theological reflection with matters that confront people of faith in daily life. Courses include explorations of the spiritual significance of work, the relationship of money and spiritual wellbeing, and classical and contemporary practices of prayer and worship. This concentration also offers opportunities to explore and discuss theologically various issues in the field of spiritual direction.
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.
Proclamation and Worship invites candidates to study the history, theology, and ritual actions of worship. Students also examine the historical, biblical, performative, rhetorical, theological, and contextual aspects of proclamation. Courses in this area are designed to increase students’ capacities for reflecting on the interdisciplinary nature of proclamation and worship and engaging current practices and trends.
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 in Christian ministry in a religiously plural context, and probe the history of Christian traditions with an eye to the Church’s future.
Phase II: Methods Seminars (two terms, one year)
Consists of three seminars, of which students take at least two. All students ordinarily must take Seminar A, and each student will take either Seminar B or Seminar C, as indicated by their area of concentration. These seminars develop skills and methods needed to complete the Phase III final project. These seminars are:
o Seminar A: Methods in Qualitative Research: Exposes students to various theories and methods for understanding their ministry contexts, such as congregational studies, ethnography, theories of culture, systems theory, and narrative research.
o Seminar B: Methods in Advanced Qualitative Research: Extends and deepens students’ facility with methods of contextual research.
o Seminar C: Methods in Biblical and Theological Hermeneutics: Introduces students to methods of biblical and theological interpretation and reflection.
Students take the second methods seminar according to their concentration:
o Bible and the Practice of Ministry – Seminar C
o Christian Spirituality and the Practice of Ministry – Seminar B
o Church’s Life and the Practice of Ministry – Seminar B
o Proclamation and Worship – Seminar B
o Theology and the Practice of Ministry- Seminar C
Phase III: The Final Project (maximum two years)
· Phase III, which begins with the term following completion of the student’s final methods seminar, consists of the design, proposal, execution, report on, and evaluation of a student’s final project. Tuition for Phase III is charged once, at the beginning of the phase.
· During the first six months of Phase III, the student creates a project proposal, which must be completed and approved before any work on the project itself begins.
· At the beginning of Phase III, the associate dean, in consultation with the student and the academic dean, will appoint a final Project reader, usually drawn from the faculty. The reader will approve the project proposal, review chapters of the final report as submitted, and conduct an oral evaluation of the project upon its completion.
Final project reports are due, and oral evaluations must be successfully completed, within 24 months of beginning Phase III.