Doctor of Ministry Degree (DMin)

Homiletics Track

Pastoral Leadership in Homiletics

Specialization Coordinator: Dr. Richard Ward

Word. Image. Energy. Justice. Passion. Learn to weave these strands into effective preaching that meets the demands of our age. In this specialization we are seeking to help pastors gain clarity and insight into the art and craft of preaching, a major function of congregational leadership. Through this 32 semester hour program, pastors will develop their gifts in preaching and proclamation of God’s work in the world.

The “Pastoral Leadership in Homiletics” (PLH) specialization is designed to enable pastors to gain greater clarity in preaching as a major function of congregational leadership. Students enrolled in the PLH will normally begin Specialization phase courses in January of their second year in the program.

Graduates of this DMin program will be prepared to exercise advanced skills in homiletics including abilities to:

  • articulate an understanding of preaching as a function of pastoral leadership that is grounded in theological and biblical reflection and responsive to the history of Christianity particularly as it is reflected in student’s own denominational heritage
  • utilize comprehensive analysis of a congregational setting as a tool for understanding the effectiveness of preaching in a given situation
  • demonstrate advanced skills in biblical exegesis, sermon construction, and oral and visual communication (e.g., spatial considerations, use of digital and electronic media).

Improvisational Ministry Track

Pastoral Leadership in Improvisational Ministry

Specialization Coordinator: Dr. Lisa Davison

Tumultuous times require agile leadership skills. The tools of improvisation help leaders adapt to changing demands. Ministerial leaders must balance a broad range of general skills with competencies needed in their specific context. This specialization allows the flexibility to design a program with more elective options in order to tailor studies to a particular focus.

After completing the foundation phase courses, students craft their specialization seminars in consultation with their adviser, drawing from the available offerings. Through this 32 semester hour program, pastors will develop their gifts according to a direction they design themselves for casting new visions and implementing transformation for God’s work in the world.

Graduates of this DMin program will be prepared to exercise advanced skills in leadership including abilities to:

  • Articulate an understanding of social change as a function of pastoral leadership that is grounded in theological and biblical reflection and responsive to the histories of Christianity, particularly in relation to the student’s own denominational heritage;
  • Articulate and engage from a theological, biblical and ethical standpoint important cultural issues as they intersect with race, gender, economic and cultural globalization, and interfaith relations;
  • Analyze and interpret contexts, not only of ministry settings, but also of the context in which people live and practice their faith;
  • Develop justice-seeking strategies including tools of innovation and improvisation for community engagement and social change around particular issues of common concern.

Intercultural Community Track

Transformational Leadership in Intercultural Community

Specialization Coordinator: Dr. Sarah Morice Brubaker

Loving one’s neighbor requires knowing one’s neighbor.  Pastors and nonprofit leaders need new ways of working as good neighbors who embrace opportunities for cultural diversity. We need strong competencies in navigating cultural difference and teaching others to be more open in intercultural communication.  Even groups that think of themselves as mostly homogenous engage in conversations about these differences through global economic system and the internet. Talking across cultural divides – whether of nationality, religion, socioeconomic status, racial identity, ethnicity, political persuasion, region, urban vs. rural culture, or other variable – requires practices of listening, reflecting, learning, translating, cue reading, relationship building, acknowledging painful histories, and receiving and offering forgiveness. This specialization gives focused attention to those skills, and the conceptual knowledge necessary to support those skills.  It is designed for students who find that intercultural community building is a major part of their work, who care about doing it well, and who are excited by the challenges and rewards of intercultural dialogue.

Successful graduates of this DMin program will be able to:

  • Appraise and implement diverse models of dialogue and collaboration.  These models will be drawn from the theological disciplines as well as other discourses such as philosophy of education, social science, community organizing, and the arts.  Graduates will understand the models’ basic features and terminology, will be able to compare the models with each other, will skillfully choose and apply models to different types of situations, and will assess their own skill in practicing these models so that they are able to teach them to others. Finally, graduates will demonstrate deep investment in dialogue being done well.
  • Prioritize theologically informed self-reflection.  Successful graduates will be able to courageously consider how their identities have taken shape within a matrix of systems that amplify some voices and silence others.  They will neither avoid thinking about their own unearned privilege and/or internalized oppression, nor will they become unproductively stalled by guilt over it.  Rather, they will have a regular practice of reflecting on their actions with attention, compassion, and a willingness to acknowledge and learn from mistakes.
  • Articulate and implement reparations and reconciliation models.  Successful graduates will understand what their own tradition says about confession and forgiveness, and will also understand several other visions of healing, repair, and reconciliation from diverse discourses.  They will have the skills to teach this understanding to others in their contexts.  In addition, successful graduates will appraise ways in which power and privilege can influence expressions of, and calls for, confession and forgiveness.   They will transfer this skill beyond the content of the program’s courses and apply it to new situations that they encounter in ministry.
  • Develop responsible use of their own voices.  Successful graduates will have cultivated a public voice and platform appropriate to the work of intercultural dialogue in their contexts; they will also know how to use their power to promote other voices that would have a harder time getting a hearing.  Moreover, they will be able to encounter new situations and thoughtfully discern which approach to use, and give their reasons for doing so.

How to Apply

  • Application form and $60 application fee(fee is waived if application is submitted by Feb. 15)
  • 2 essays, described on the application form
  • 4 references, one each from the following individuals:
    • Church or denominational official
    • Official of your congregation or institution
    • Seminary professor familiar with your academic work
    • Professional colleague familiar with your recent work
  • Official transcripts from any undergraduate school and seminary from which you have received degrees. Official transcripts are ones that have the official institution seal and are mailed directly from the institution, not by the applicant. For full admission, the undergraduate transcript must show the degree and date received.
  • Authorization for criminal background check
  • FAFSA for anyone interested in taking out a student loan
  • Applicants for whom English is a second language must submit an official TOEFL score of at least 600 (paper-based) or 90 on the iBT

Applications for the DMin program are accepted twice a year.

To begin the program in January, a completed application must be received by October 15 

To begin the program in June, a completed application must be received by March 15

Testimonials

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