D.Min. Curriculum Overview
Structure of the Degree
The design of United’s D.Min. degree allows students to progress through the full program in stages where each successive stage lays the foundation for the next, building a strong total program. Students whose professional development goals do not require the completion of the program may exit after the first or second module with a certificate of completion, knowing they have received a coherent and useful educational experience.
Requirements of the Degree
Module 1 | Module 2 | Module 3
MODULE 1 focuses on students’ development of an analysis of their ministry and its context within the larger framework of the changing face of ministry in North America.
The module is open to enrollment both from persons who know they wish to complete the D.Min. degree and to those who wish only to take this first module as a means to renew their vocation for ministry. The module results not only in enhanced understanding, but also in a concrete, professional ministry development plan that the student can use to guide further work and leads to a Ministry Renewal and Professional Development Certificate.
Module 1 consists of one seminar course:
MODULE 2 focuses on students’ development of advanced skills in pastoral analysis and theological reflection and their development of advanced expertise in a subject area relevant to their professional development aims.
This focal subject area may be uni-disciplinary or interdisciplinary in character. Enrollment in Module 2 presupposes full admission to the D.Min. program and is based on successful completion of Module 1 and the meeting of any criteria for admission to the D.Min. program not already satisfied before beginning Module 1.
The module consists of the following courses:
MODULE 3 focuses on students’ fullest integration of learnings from the first two modules in the planning, conducting, and presentation of an action-research project that contributes a new understanding or model of ministry to the field of ministry.
The module consists of the following courses:
The excellent graduate of the United D.Min. degree program will:
- articulate an understanding of leadership needed for creative renewal and re-imagination of church and ministry in North American context.
- articulate an understanding of leadership that reflects strong conceptualization, analysis, and integration of various disciplines, including theology, culture and the social sciences.
- give evidence of a deepened capacity for theological reflection on the practice of ministry.
- give evidence of growing vocational understanding through spiritual discernment and practice.
- demonstrate advanced expertise in a focused area of ministerial practice relevant to ministry in their context.
- have demonstrated their capacity to contribute to the research and literature regarding the character and practice of ministry.
The seminary’s catalog for 2007-2009 is valid for elective courses; you also may find information on new electives in the Registration Bulletin. Required courses specific to the D.Min. program are listed below.
Courses are for 3 credits unless otherwise noted.
DM150 RENEWING MINISTRY IN THE NORTH AMERICAN CONTEXT
Students analyze their own ministry and its context within the framework of developments in church and society in contemporary North America. Students will create a ministry development plan that can guide future education. The course is scheduled in two half-week sessions three months apart. The seminar includes a brief consultation with the North Central Ministry Development Center around assessment of personal leadership styles.
DM250 THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION AND METHODOLOGY SEMINAR AND PROJECT
In this four-day seminar students will learn a variety of methods and models of theological reflection appropriate to advanced research in pastoral theology and the practice of ministry. They will then have the opportunity to put these methods to use in a substantive research project in an area of interest in their ministry context. 6 credits (tuition billed at 4.5 credits)
DM290 CAPSTONE SEMINAR AND COMPREHENSIVE EXAM
Through a comprehenive examination and a one-week seminar students will be supported in developing a comprehensive understanding of the field in which they have engaged in research and study through the subject area courses taken since the methodological seminar. The seminar context will allow students to deepen their understanding in dialogue with students who have pursued different, but allied, research and study agendas. The examination context will allow students to organize their understanding comprehensively. 6 credits (tuition billed at 4.5 credits)
Prerequisites: DM250, 15 credits of subject area study
DM350 THESIS PREPARATION SEMINAR
During this one-week seminar participants develop their proposal for the D.Min. thesis in critical dialogue with professors and their D.Min. peers.
DM390 DOCTOR OF MINISTRY THESIS
Under the guidance of a faculty advisor and thesis reading team, the student will write a thesis that contributes new understandings or models for ministry. Specifically the thesis will: identify a specific theological topic in ministry; organize and carry out an effective research program; evaluate the results; use appropriate resources; express a depth of theological insight in relation to ministry; and orally defend the research and results before a panel of faculty.