DMin Academic Catalog: 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
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. You need to grow but 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, and it helps you to glorify God by using your abilities to help others use what they’ve got. The key is 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 to help you work with God. “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).
Our goal for students in the Doctor of Ministry program is to develop in three areas: knowing, being and doing. To grow in effectiveness you must integrate what you know into your life. This is part of Denver Seminary’s mission.
The Denver Seminary Mission
Denver Seminary prepares men and women to engage the needs of the world with the redemptive power of the gospel and the life-changing truth of Scripture.
Pastors and Christian leaders are responsible to prepare the people God has given to them to engage the world. The principle areas where Christians engage the world is in their work. It is there that they let their light shine before others that they may see how Christians work and live (Matt. 5:16). The work of Christians is to glorify God, and their life is to glorify God. Only then can Christians engage the needs of the world effectively. Mentoring is used in the Doctor of Ministry program to help prepare students to personally develop, and prepare them to prepare their people to engage the world in this way.
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 they take tests to help identify their strengths and non-strengths. They write a self-evaluation essay 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 a Revisited and Revised Goals paper in which they discuss how well they met their original goals, and set new goals. In the end, it is our belief that this process will help students learn how to help others work toward their particular needs. Mentors also help students through this process.
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 we can find to lead the seminars. Students choose the areas to study according to their particular needs. Mentors also help students through this process.
Following each seminar, students write an integrative paper on how that seminar relates to their ministry, to the other seminars, and how the seminar will help them reach their goals. This helps us determine how well the students are integrating what they have learned into their lives (being).
Project and Thesis
The project and thesis bring together knowing, being, and doing. We call this “developing ministry through research.” To be effective, the whole process must be bathed in prayer from start to finish (Jn. 15:5). Students choose an area of need in their ministry. They evaluate where they and their people are, and then set goals for the ministry project. Students do both biblical and theoretical research to develop a training program that is appropriate to help move themselves and their people toward their goal. Once they have completed their ministry project they evaluate how far they have “traveled” – that is, how well they achieved their goal.
Students choose mentors who will go through training with the student in the mentoring process. Good mentors can walk with the student through the Doctor of Ministry program. In addition, a first reader, second reader, and research consultant will give guidance in the research and design of their project and thesis. The goal is to help students develop ministry that is appropriate to their situation. Once students learn this process they can use it throughout their lives. We then can say they are a “Doctor of Ministry,” balanced in knowing, being, and doing.