Sometimes answering the call can be interrupted by the everyday challenges of serving a church, which is why Perkins School of Theology offers its highly acclaimed Doctor of Ministry degree. Through reflection, exploration and peer sharing, Perkins can help put the higher calling back into your ministry. The Doctor of Ministry program offers:
• A renowned faculty
• Integration of theology with your real experience
• Intensive peer group interaction and learning
• 27 hour graduation requirement
• Professional practicum and project thesis
• Flexible class schedules
• Concentrations including Leadership, Evangelism, Spiritual Formation and Urban Ministry
The Doctor of Ministry degree provides the opportunity for advanced study that integrates theological reflection and ministerial practice with a contextual focus for people in professional ministry within the church.
Areas of Study
This concentration provides opportunities for persons in ministry to study and enhance their capacity for leading congregations in growth as faith communities while reaching out to persons in the wider community with love and compassion.
Missional Church Studies
This concentration provides theological foundation and practical guidance for developing new faith communities that are missional, and for leading existing congregations through renewal toward becoming missional churches.
This concentration provides opportunities for persons in ministerial leadership to reflect upon practice and enhance skills for developing the ministry of the whole church.
Preaching and Worship
This concentration provides a rich and holistic understanding of the tradition and contemporary practice of Christian worship and preaching to enhance the integrity and effectiveness of ministry.
This concentration encourages a deeper and more dynamic understanding of Christian spiritual traditions, explores the relationship between spirituality and theology, and provides conceptual understandings needed to distinguish between spiritual direction, pastoral care, and therapy.
This concentration provides opportunities for persons in ministry with people and institutions affected by the dynamics of urban life, whether in the inner city, the suburbs, rural areas, or exurban settings.
The course requirements are:
I. DM 9370 The Person and Role of the Minister (three term hours) and DM 9380 Seminar in Practical Theology (three term hours) taken together at the beginning of the program in a three-week summer term.
II. DM 9014 Professional Project I (one and one-half term hours) and DM 9019 Professional Project II (one and one-half term hours) taken in sequence. The purpose of Professional Project I (topics seminar) is to identify a problem, question, issue or thesis that the student wants to develop into a practicum experience that can be explored in his or her practice of ministry. The second seminar, Professional Project II (prospectus seminar), will help the student define the necessary research to undertake a ministry practicum, design effective strategies and methods to use in a practicum and develop ways to evaluate this experience. Students must have the practicum proposal approved before participating in the Prospectus Seminar in which the Professional Project is formally approved for implementation.
III. Twelve term hours in four two-week seminars, one each term. Each seminar emphasizes the integration of theological disciplines with the practice of ministry. Prerequisites for participation in any of these seminars are the successful completion of DM 9370 The Person and Role of the Minister and DM 9380 Seminar in Practical Theology.
Each seminar will consider a topic relevant to the practice of ministry in the contemporary church and world. It will enhance the student’s ability to reflect critically on ministry and develop the student’s initial ideas on the project practicum and project thesis.
Only course grades of 80 or higher will qualify toward meeting the requirements for graduation.
IV. DM 9396 Doctor of Ministry Practicum. The project practicum (three term hours) is the supervised experience in ministry in an agreed-upon setting.
V. DM 9398 Doctor of Ministry Project (thesis). Building upon the project practicum, the written project thesis (three term hours) is a contribution to the understanding and practice of ministry through the completion of a doctoral-level project/thesis.
The Doctor of Ministry Committee
During the first year of study, the student will invite, in consultation with the director of Advanced Ministerial Studies, three people to serve on a committee to supervise the approved project practicum and the written project thesis. The committee will consist of an advisor, a reader and a field supervisor. Either the advisor or the reader must be a member of the Perkins regular faculty, with the other committee member selected from the regular or adjunct faculty. It is recommended that a Perkins regular faculty member serve as advisor. The field supervisor should be recognized as having gifts and experience in ministry that are applicable to the practicum and be available to consult with the student during the practicum as well as to evaluate the student’s practicum. The entire committee will guide, read and evaluate the student’s professional practicum and project thesis.
When the professional project is completed satisfactorily as determined by the committee in consultation with the director of Advanced Studies, the student will participate in an oral evaluation on the school campus by the committee on the professional project thesis. At a minimum, both the student and advisor must be physically present for the oral evaluation. It is recommended that all committee members be physically present with the student for the evaluation. All committee members must be present for the evaluation, either in person or by electronic means.
Project Practicum and Thesis
The professional project practicum and thesis combine research, a designed ministerial field experience and a written doctoral-level project that addresses both the nature and the practice of ministry and has the potential for application in other ministry contexts.
1. The professional project is an approved practicum experience and written thesis that articulates the theological and theoretical rationale for the practicum with theological reflection on the experience.
2. The professional project in both its parts (practicum and written thesis) should demonstrate the student’s ability to identify a specific theological topic in ministry, organize an effective research model, use appropriate resources, evaluate the results and reflect the student’s depth of theological insight in relation to ministry.
3. The written project thesis must be submitted in an approved style and format.
4. Upon completion of the professional project and with the student’s Doctor of Ministry committee’s permission, the student will sit for an oral examination administered by the project committee and open to the public covering the project and the student’s integration of her or his theology and practice of ministry. This examination will take place on campus, with at a minimum the student and advisor present. Other committee members may participate via electronic means if necessary.
At completion of the doctoral project and successful oral evaluation, the completed written project thesis will be accessioned in Bridwell Library.