University of Dubuque

Doctor of Ministry


2014 Emphasis: The People of God: Being Reformed through Scripture and Prayer in Community

 

Leaders:

  • Bradley Longfield, Dean and Professor of Church History
  • Jerry Andrews, Senior Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of San Diego

More Information 2014 Cohort

The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary Doctor of Ministry degree program is focused on Congregational Revitalization - The Pastor as Leader.

This D.Min. is unique with its emphasis on congregational revitalization and the leadership role of the pastor. It is both practical and theoretical: practical in that it is based in the local congregation and attempts to identify concrete leadership tools for the pastor; theoretical in that it is rooted in the classical theological disciplines of the church.

Each entering class becomes a cohort group that will remain together throughout the duration of the program. Two faculty members organize and provide the leader­ship for the three years of seminar work. Additional resource persons will be invited to share as appropriate. The three-year program consists of three two-week seminars and a doctoral project. Both pre- and post-class work are required for the seminars. Courses are held the last two weeks in May on the UDTS campus or at another site.

Students must maintain continuous registration in the D.Min. Program until completion of the degree. The maximum time allowed for completion of the program is five years.

The D.Min. program requires the completion of 40 credit hours for graduation: 30 credit hours of course work and ten credit hours for the doctoral project. Students complete the degree in three to five years. Only work receiving a grade of B or higher will count toward graduation requirements.

Components of the Program

Faculty-led cohort groups. Two faculty form the leadership team for the cohort group. They design the curriculum, provide the majority of teaching for the cohort group, create the reading list, and evaluate the Seminar papers. Additional faculty may be brought into the seminars to provide modules addressing specic topics or issues. The seminars presume faculty and students each bring specialized knowledge to the dialogue. The faculty shape the seminars by designing the curriculum and leading classes.

Pre- and post-seminar self-directed learning. In addition to the faculty-student interaction, each seminar includes two additional components: pre- and post- seminar work. The pre-seminar work consists of readings or special projects which are completed prior to the on-site seminar. Post-seminar work includes specific written projects which integrate reading, seminar work and the experience of ministry in the student's congregational setting.

Peer learning. The cohort group structure creates a unique support community which is consistent and continues throughout the entire program. Peer learning creates an added dimension of community support and understanding that should continue beyond the program, throughout the rest of a student's life.

Congregational resource team and faculty learning team. The congregational resource team is the congregation's connection with the program. They contract to work with the pastor during the life of the D.Min. program. They help the student explore ideas and become a membership core concerned with revitalization in the congregation. To the extent that the resource team does its job, it creates an ongoing learning environment for the student.

The faculty learning team provides instruction and leadership throughout the program. In addition it assists individual students in developing a doctoral proposal and project and provides support for students while in the program. The intent is to create a learning environment characterized by nurture and discipline, which encourages the student to become a more faithful and effective pastor.

Doctoral project. The capstone of the D.Min. program is the doctoral project. The purpose of the doctoral project is to provide students with the opportunity to address a particular issue in ministry and offer new insights which contribute to pastoral effectiveness.

Two possible options for the doctoral project include a Ministry Focus Project or a D.Min. Thesis. 1) Ministry Focus Project. Students may choose to write a publishable Ministry Focus Paper, which combines a the­ology of ministry with a strategy for ministry. As such, it is focused in a particular congregational setting and deals with theory, strategy and guidelines in order to produce more effective ministry in a particular locale. 2) D.Min. Thesis. Students may choose to write a publishable thesis that combines investiga­tion of some aspect of the tradition of the church (biblical, theological, historical, pastoral) and its implications for congrega­tional renewal today.

D.Min. Admission Requirements

Master of Divinity Degree  Students must have completed an M.Div. degree with a “B” average from an ATS accredited seminary.

Experience  Students must have been in full-time ministry for a minimum of three years following completion of their M.Div.

Currently in ministry  Students must be employed in a ministry setting and remain in ministry throughout their D. Min. program.

Prospects for success  Students must give evidence of the possibility of successful completion of the program through demonstrated success and recommendations.

English is required  Applicants who are not native speakers of English must pass the TOEFL exam with a score of 550.

Evaluation  Applications for admission will be evaluated by the Doctor of Ministry Committee utilizing transcript evidence, reference letters, judicatory and ministry setting support, and the applicant’s autobiographical statement and anticipated learning goals.


For further information on the D.Min., contact:

Dr. Richard Shaffer
Associate Dean and Director of D.Min. Program
University of Dubuque Theological Seminary
2000 University Avenue
Dubuque, Iowa 52001-5099
Phone: 563-589-3691
Email: rshaffer@dbq.edu

For application information, contact:

Seminary Admissions
University of Dubuque Theological Seminary
2000 University Avenue
Dubuque, Iowa 52001-5099
Phone: 563-589-3112
Email: udtsadms@dbq.edu