The Doctor of Ministry degree is an applicational degree. Students learn how to apply knowledge effectively in their ministry. Men and women in ministry improve their skills and enlarge their vision in order to be effective in ministry at the doctoral level. Research is carried through to action. Theological and theoretical study is demanding, but the application of that study is much more demanding. People don’t want leaders who only know the truth, but those who can also apply it effectively to help others successfully move forward. Effectiveness in ministry is the goal.
Our Goal is to develop students in three areas: knowing, being, and doing. To grow in effectiveness, you must integrate what you know into your life.
The Challenge: How to be Effective in Ministry
Leaders Lead Others
Pastors and parachurch leaders must lead their people to do ministry if the needed ministry is to be done. Counselors must lead clients to do the things necessary for growth if counseling is to be effective. To lead does not require a particular set of traits or skills. If it did, few could lead. For instance, what are the chances of a person having just seven specific strengths out of the thirty-four identified by the Gallup organization in 25 years of research? It is one in five million. So if a particular group of seven strengths were required to lead, very few people would have them. In reality, leading can be done from many different sets of strengths. We teach you to ask: “How can I use what I’ve got?” rather than, “How can I be what I’m not?” We teach that to lead, you must develop what God has given you, and not try to be what you’re not.
Our Program Accomplishes Two Things
- It helps develop your God-given abilities so you can accomplish more
- It helps develop ministry consistent with your abilities and the people you serve.
The key is your ability to work with God. God can enable you to “travel farther” than your abilities alone can take you. Therefore, we offer seminars in spiritual formation.
How We Accomplish Our Goal
Growth in knowing, being and doing is a process. This process is called “traveling in ministry.” To travel in ministry (grow in effectiveness) you must:
Know where you are
Know where you’re going
Know how to get there.
Know Where You Are
When students begin the program, they take tests to help identify their strengths and non-strengths. They write a self-evaluation essay, with the help of their mentors, in which they evaluate where they are in knowing, being and doing. The purpose of this process is to help students learn to evaluate where they are so they can help others to evaluate their own lives.
Know Where You’re Going
In a self-evaluation essay, students prayerfully set goals for themselves in all areas of life—spiritual, relational (particularly family), professional, educational and community involvement—which they will seek to accomplish while in the doctoral program. When students have completed all the seminars, they will write an integrative essay in which they discuss how well they met their original goals, and then set new goals. In the end, it is our belief that this process will help students learn how to help others work toward their own goals.
Know How to Get There
We remind students that Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). They must depend on Him first. If they do, godly professors who have been effective in “traveling” in the area in which they teach can help them learn how to get there. We look for the most effective people to lead the seminars. Students choose the areas to study according to their particular needs. Mentors also help students through this process. Integrative Essays Following each seminar, students write a short integrative paper on how that seminar relates to their ministry, to the other seminars, and how it will help them reach their goals. This helps us determine how well the students are integrating into their lives (being) what they have learned. At the end of their seminars, students write an integrative essay covering the entire program.