Doctor Of Ministry (DMin)
The primary purpose of the Doctor of Ministry program is to enhance the study and practice of ministry. As a professional degree, the DMin deepens the understanding of ministry through biblical, historical and theological reflection in dialogue with the concrete realities of ministry. Whereas a PhD emphasizes theory in dialogue with theory to advance theories, the DMin emphasizes theory in dialogue with practice in order to advance more faithful ministry practice of the Church. The program is not designed to prepare students for a college or university teaching ministry, rather to form students to serve as local ministry experts and reflective practitioners.
Admission to the program requires the Master of Divinity Degree or its equivalent and a minimum of three years ministry experience.
The DMin course curriculum features focus areas in liturgy, spirituality, biblical exposition (both biblical exegesis and homiletics), and congregational development. Students choose one of these as a concentration for their coursework and final Project.
1. Areas of Concentration - DMin students must pick one of the following areas of concentration for coursework and dissertation/project work:
Biblical Exposition - This concentration follows an interdisciplinary approach that includes both biblical exegesis and homiletics. The coursework emphasizes the content and interpretation of the biblical message in the Church’s ministry as well as the skills necessary for effective preaching and teaching in congregational settings. The student who desires to concentrate in Biblical Exposition must have at least six hours of graduate credit in the biblical languages, or demonstrate proficiency in at least one of the Biblical languages, and must have taken at least one masters level homiletics course.
Liturgy - This concentration builds on one of the historic strengths of Nashotah House in providing opportunities for persons in ministerial leadership to reflect upon the rich history of Christian worship with a view to enhancing the congregational experience of worship in the contemporary Church. The student who desires to concentrate in Liturgy must have taken a minimum of six credit hours in Liturgical studies. If needed, this requirement can be met by completing the Liturgy Module in the Nashotah House Distance Education Program.
Ascetical Theology (Christian Spirituality) - This concentration encourages a deeper and more dynamic understanding of Christian spiritual traditions, the history and literature of Christian spirituality, and the process of spiritual formation. It is designed to explore the relationship between spirituality and theology, and provides conceptual understandings needed to distinguish between spiritual direction, confession, pastoral care, and therapy. The student who desires to concentrate in Christian Spirituality (Ascetical Theology) must have taken a minimum of 6 credit hours in Christian Spirituality. If needed, this requirement can be met by completing the Ascetical Theology Module in Nashotah House’s Distance education program.
Congregational Development - This concentration provides opportunities for persons in ministry to study and enhance their capacity for leading congregations in growth as faith communities while reaching out to persons in the wider community with love and compassion. Students will have the opportunity to learn from Nashotah House faculty as well as visiting faculty with proven experience in congregational leadership. Coursework in this area of concentration emphasizes leading congregations in evangelism, church growth, congregational revitalization and church planting, etc. The student who desires to concentrate in Congregational Development must have a minimum of one master level Parish Ministry course (excluding homiletics). If needed, this requirement can be met by completing the Parish Ministry Module in Nashotah House’s Distance education program.
Coursework - Each student is required to complete a total of 30 credit hours, which includes 24 hours of coursework and six credits for the Final DMin Project. Students must take a minimum of 12 credits (four courses) in their respective areas of concentration plus another nine credits (three courses) of electives, either in the same or in a related area of study. Additionally, all students are required to take the three credit (one course) Doctor of Ministry Overview Seminar (DSem801) Ethnography, Methodology and Theological Reflection offered during the first session of Petertide Term each year. The research seminar will give an overview of the entire Doctorate of Ministry process including training in skills necessary for reading, research, and writing the final DMin Project, as well as the examination process. We recommend this course in the second year of study. Finally, students must register for six credit hours as they begin work on the final project.
First year students may only register for two courses in one four-week Petertide term (July). Returning students who have demonstrated their academic capacity may petition the faculty for approval to take three courses in one four-week Petertide term. Petitions can be made through the program Director. If a request for a three course Petertide is granted, the student can only register for two courses in any single two-week session. Courses meet three hours a day - morning, afternoon, or evening for two weeks. Each course will consist of 30 contact hours carrying three credits. Additionally, some DMin courses are offered as one-week intensives during Epiphany Term (January).
3. The Final Doctor of Ministry Project
The culmination of the Doctor of Ministry program is a Project of 30,000-50,000 words. It must have a professional focus that provides opportunities for reflection on professional development, integrates the academic learning experience with personal ministry experiences, and demonstrates how the student’s understanding of ministry has been enhanced for the benefit of the Church.
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