Higher Learning. Real Experience. Vital Ministry.

Master of Church Ministries (C.M.M.)

The Master of Church Ministries (C.M.M.) degree program is intended to prepare persons for specialized church ministry. The goal of the program is to increase students’ knowledge about the church and its ministries and to foster their ability to work meaningfully and creatively in a specialized area of church ministry. Presently, the C.M.M. program has two specialized ministry tracks. Both tracks share a common core of required courses in theology, Bible, church history and the social context of ministry. Both tracks have additional specialized requirements and a supervised internship appropriate to the area of specialization. The program provides the basic educational requirements for ordination as deacon in the United Methodist Church.

The two tracks are:
1. The Christian Education track is intended primarily for those preparing for professional leadership as directors or as ministers of Christian education.

2. The Urban Ministry track is intended for those preparing to work in community ministries in urban and peri-urban settings.

The requirements for admission to the C.M.M. degree are the same as those for the M.Div. program.

Requirements for Graduation

The C.M.M. degree requires 55 term hours of academic credit: 48 term hours of coursework and six term hours in a supervised internship in a setting appropriate to the area of specialization. Students are also required to participate in a Spiritual Formation Group for two terms, normally beginning during the first year of study, for one term hour of credit for each term.  

The 48 term hours of coursework are distributed as follows:

I. Twenty-four term hours of core requirements for both tracks:

Nine term hours in Theology, as follows:

Three term hours in ST 6300 Introduction to Theology 
Six term hours in ST 6301 and ST 6302 Interpretation of the Christian Message I and II

Six term hours in Bible, as follows:

Three term hours in OT 6301 Interpretation of the Old Testament I
Three term hours in NT 6301 Interpretation of the New Testament I

Six term hours in The History of Christianity, as follows:

Three term hours in HX 6305 The Christian Heritage I
Three term hours in HX 6306 The Christian Heritage II

Three term hours in Contextual Studies: XS 6310 The Church in Its Social Context 

II. Twenty-four term hours in Christian Education track requirements:

Nine term hours in Christian Education, as follows:

Three term hours in CE 7304 The Church’s Educational Ministry (This course must be taken prior to the supervised internship.)
Three term hours in an age-level course (CE 8320 Ministry with Children, CE 8330 Youth Ministry, CE 8332 Speed-Dating Spirituality: Ministry with Young Adults or CE 8340 Adult Ministry)
Three term hours of a Christian education elective

Fifteen term hours in unrestricted electives.

Those seeking ordination as Deacon in the UM Church will also need to take Worship (three term hours), United Methodist Studies (six term hours), and Evangelism (three term hours), leaving three term hours unrestricted.

III. Twenty-four term hours in Urban Ministry track requirements:

Twelve term hours in Urban Ministry, as follows:

Three term hours in XS 7302 Issues in Urban Ministry or XS 8332 Contemporary Issues in Urban Ministry
Nine term hours in Urban Ministry courses
Six term hours in ST 6301 and ST 6302 Interpretation of the Christian Message I and II

Twelve term hours in unrestricted electives.

Those seeking ordination as Deacon in the UM church will also need to take Worship (three term hours), United Methodist Studies (six term hours), and Evangelism (three term hours), leaving no hours unrestricted.

Spiritual Formation

All students completing the C.M.M. degree are required to register for the program in spiritual formation. Students are required to attend a daylong orientation held in conjunction with the new student orientation program and are then enrolled in formation groups. These groups meet weekly throughout the fall and spring terms during the first year of the program.

Led by facilitators in groups of five to 10, students share in a formative experience designed to provide them with the framework of a common experience, emphasizing:

      The opportunity to explore the vital connection between spiritual formation and ministry
      Opportunities to explore the central genius of spiritual traditions
      The development of a critical capacity that will allow the student to evaluate those traditions theologically
      Broad-based exposure to a variety of spiritual disciplines
      Experience in prayer and devotion

Students are evaluated and given credit by the group facilitators on the basis of attendance and engagement with the subject matter of the formation process. Students should register in both the fall and spring of the first year. Exceptions to this rule must be requested in writing from the director of Spiritual Life and Formation.

The C.M.M. Internship

The C.M.M. program requires the satisfactory completion of a two-term concurrent internship in a church or agency setting appropriate to the student’s area of specialization. The internship runs from August to May and carries six term hours of academic credit. While the student registers for three hours of internship credit during each of the two consecutive terms, the internship degree requirement is satisfied only upon completion of the six term hours.

All C.M.M. internships presuppose completion of at least 18 term hours of coursework, at least 12 of which must have been completed at Perkins School of Theology. Satisfactory completion of ST 6300 Introduction to Theology (three term hours), XS 6310 The Church in Its Social Context (three term hours) and six term hours of required biblical studies also are prerequisites for C.M.M. internships.

In addition to these requirements, students in the Christian Education track must have completed CE 7304 The Church’s Educational Ministry.

All internships are negotiated through the Intern Office. Students without existing employment at a suitable site for internship will be placed in a teaching congregation or agency setting appropriate to their degree track and career goals. The program requires at least 20 hours per week of remunerated employment in the internship placement. During this time, the student continues academic coursework, carrying not fewer than three and not more than nine hours a term in addition to the internship and not more than three hours in January term. Additional employment outside the placement site is strongly discouraged.

Under certain circumstances, as when the student is serving an internship at a substantial distance from campus, C.M.M. students may be approved by the director of the Intern Program for a full-time internship in lieu of the concurrent requirement. No additional coursework or outside employment is permitted during a full-time internship.

The internship is designed to help students gain skill and self-confidence in carrying out the functions of ministry, learn to reflect theologically on the practice of ministry, become more effective in interpersonal relations and gain emotional and spiritual maturity, thereby increasing their ministerial self-awareness and competence.

The intern is supervised by and meets regularly with a mentor pastor. A lay teaching committee is formed at each internship setting to aid in the formulation of the learning covenant, in ongoing supervision and in the evaluation process. In addition, the intern meets with a peer group of C.M.M. and M.Div. interns led by a consulting specialist in human behavior and an intern faculty supervisor. The intern faculty and a consultant also meet with the mentor pastors to improve supervisory skills.

Early in the internship, the intern, assisted by the mentor pastor and the lay teaching committee, begins to formulate the “Covenant for Work and Learning.” This is done with the guidance of the intern faculty and is used as a basis for the ensuing evaluation of the intern’s progress.

Though not directly responsible for on-site ministerial supervision, the intern faculty is integrally involved with the internship through the placement process, the training of mentor pastors and lay teaching committees, supervision of the intern peer group, the conducting of the midpoint and final evaluations and participation at any time necessary to ensure a productive internship.

The intern faculty will not consider a student’s gender, race, ethnic origin or age as grounds for terminating the placement process when the student is qualified for consideration in a particular internship setting.

Grade Requirements

A minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 2.0 is required for graduation. The same average is required for continuation in the program beyond the first year.

Admission to Candidacy

C.M.M. students will be reviewed for admission to formal candidacy for the degree in the fall term following the completion of 18 term hours of academic work. A student will be admitted to candidacy provided that he or she is not on probation and is not disqualified for having given insufficient evidence of fitness for ministry (See “Fitness for Ministry” below.). Admission to formal candidacy signifies that the student is proceeding satisfactorily in her or his work and may be considered for the degree upon completion of all the requirements, but does not obligate the seminary to grant the degree.

Fitness for Ministry

Beyond the formal academic requirements, each student is expected to show evidence of personal fitness for ministry. This fitness may be defined positively as the presence of emotional, moral and spiritual qualities requisite for the profession of ministry. A lack of fitness for ministry may be demonstrated by patterns of personal behavior that inhibit effective ministry. Examples of such patterns include irresponsibility in social and/or professional relations and emotional instability. Formally, the presence of patterns of personal behavior tending to be seriously disabling to ministry may be grounds for the faculty to disqualify a student from graduation with the C.M.M. degree, or, if the prognosis justifies it, to defer awarding the degree until such time as the disabling pattern is overcome.

It is to be emphasized that personal fitness for ministry is not defined narrowly in terms of a particular form of piety or style of personal behavior. Nor does Perkins assume the role that belongs properly to those agencies of the church that evaluate candidates for ordination or for professional service to the church. When asked, it assists such agencies in their evaluation of candidates.

Time Limit

All requirements for the C.M.M. degree must be completed within five calendar years from the time of initial registration.

Ordination Requirements

Students preparing for ordination should become aware as early as possible of any specific educational requirements their denomination or judicatory may expect them to satisfy in the course of their C.M.M. work. They should explore, with their academic advisers, how best to deal with these expectations. Students who are preparing for ordination as deacons in the United Methodist Church should take as their electives HX 7365 United Methodist History, ST 7034 United Methodist Doctrine, CA 7013 United Methodist Polity, WO 6313 Word and Worship and EV 7307 Theory and Practice of Evangelism.