DOCTOR OF MINISTRY (DMin)
The primary purpose of the Doctor of Ministry program is to enhance the study and practice of ministry for those persons already holding a first theological degree and having some substantial ministry experience. The program seeks to develop further both the intellectual and practical components that are typically exercised in ministry. As a professional degree, the DMin stresses the practical aspects of ministry through biblical, historical and theological reflection and application. The program is not designed to prepare students for a college or university teaching ministry.
The DMin course curriculum consists of topics seminars in the areas of liturgy, spirituality, biblical exposition (both biblical exegesis and homiletics), and congregational development. Students pick one of the above areas in which to concentrate their coursework and dissertation work and then are required also to take one course in each of the other three concentration areas.
The culmination of the DMin program is a project/dissertation that is of approximately 30,000-50,000 words designed to give students the opportunity to integrate their DMin coursework and study with reflection on ministry, especially in light of their own ministry setting. Through a series of three one-credit DMin Seminars, the students are guided through the dissertation process and trained in the skills necessary to complete the project/dissertation.
DMin students will 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 will thus emphasize 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 6 credit hours in Liturgical studies. This requirement can be met by completing the Liturgy Module in the Nashotah House Distance Education Program.
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 Spirituality. 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 both Nashotah House faculty and from visiting faculty with proven experience in congregational leadership, studying approaches for leading congregations in evangelism, church growth, congregational revitalization and church planting. The student who desires to concentrate in Congregational Development must have a minimum of one master level Parish Ministry course (excluding homiletics). This requirement can be met by completing the Parish Ministry Module in Nashotah House’s Distance education program.
Coursework. The student is required to complete 24 semester hours of coursework and six hours of project/dissertation work for a total of 30 semester hours. The student must take three courses (9 credit hours) in one area, which will form the student’s major concentration. Additionally, each student will take one course (3 credit hours) in each of the three concentrations that are outside of the student’s chosen area.
Each DMin student must complete three one-credit DMin Seminars, one per summer, which will prepare the student for the writing of the dissertation/project work. First year students can register for no more than two courses in one four-week Petertide term (July). Returning students may take three courses in one four-week Petertide term with a petition that has been approved by the Advanced Degree Committee. If a request for a three course Petertide is granted, the student may register for only two courses of the three in any one two-week session. Each course meets for three hours each day—either in the morning, afternoon, or evening—for two weeks. Each course will consist of 30 contact hours and will carry three-semester hours credit. DMin courses are also offered in a one-week intensive format during Epiphany (January) Term.
DMin Dissertation/Project. The dissertation constitutes six credit hours of work. It should be 30,000 – 50,000 words in length. It should 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.
DMin Seminars and Project Supervision. During the first summer in the program students participate in DMin Seminar 1 which includes an orientation to the DMin program, an introduction to bibliographical resources and to appropriate dissertation types. The student begins to explore dissertation/project topics and submits their topic suggestion to the Graduate Programs Administrator. Once an area of focus has been determined, the student will be directed to the appropriate professor for further exploration of a dissertation topic.
Students participate in an additional two DMin Seminars in their second and third summers in the program. DMin Seminar 2 focuses on project/dissertation types and trains students to write a project/dissertation proposal, while DMin Seminar 3 focuses intensively on the project/dissertation with the intent of refining skill in research and writing, by means of interactive problem-solving
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