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This Doctor of Ministry is a professional in-ministry doctorate that offers advanced ministerial education to experienced pastors and other Christian workers. It is intended for those who have earned an MDiv or equivalent and are currently serving in ministry positions.
The DMin is a three year program that includes courses taught by professors, independent coursework, and a dissertation researched and written by each DMin candidate. Students who enter the program typically finish in three years–although an extension is available for the dissertation process.
In your first year, you will take two courses each semester for a total of four courses. Each semester will have an intensive week that takes place at our campus in Ridgeland, Miss. The weeklong DMin intensives occur twice a year–in January and June. During each intensive week, you will take two courses–which are supplemented by additional online interaction and extensive coursework.
The courses you take each semester will vary depending on which semester you start in–but all courses will be from the course list available in the adjacent tab.
In your second year, your class schedule will continue in the same format as the first year. You will take a total of four courses across two semesters. The intensive courses will take place in January and June again.
You will also start developing ideas for your dissertation in conjunction with the research professor overseeing the dissertation portion of the Doctor of Ministry program.
In your third year, you will be finished with all in-class DMin courses. Your focus will shift entirely to your dissertation.
After getting your prospectus approved by the faculty committee, you will research and write under the guidance of two faculty members. Upon completion of your dissertation, you will defend it before a faculty committee.
DM801 Advanced Biblical Hermeneutics for Relevant Preaching and Ministry
This course is taught concurrently with its related course, DM802 Transformational Preaching. It focuses on four areas crucial to effective biblical preaching: (a) the integrity of the biblical canon and issues and principles relevant for preaching from each part of that canon, (b) the importance of and principles for understanding each biblical book in terms of its literary genre and integrity, (c) the relevance of and ability for understanding the Bible within the environment of the Ancient Near East and the first century Hellenistic world, and (d) issues that arise when we attempt to apply biblical teaching in the contemporary world. The course assumes a basic knowledge of the principles of biblical interpretation. 3 hours
DM802 Transformational Preaching
This course is taught concurrently with its related course, DM801 Advanced Biblical Hermeneutics for Relevant Preaching and Ministry. It focuses on the theology and practice of preaching as a means of grace for creating and building Christian community around the Gospel’s focus upon discipleship, holy living and transforming servanthood in the world. The course rigorously examines the theological purposes, hermeneutical principles, and communicative skills that are essential to biblically sound and effective preaching. 3 hours
DM803 Sacramental Spirituality and Disciple-Making Leadership
This course is taught concurrently with its related course, DM804 Holistic Renewal of the Church. It engages students in the study of diverse views of the sacraments and the classical spiritual disciplines for the purpose of enabling them to think deeply about how the corporate life of churches and the discipleship of believers are shaped by the theology embedded in these practices. Students will engage in research that helps them understand the commonalities and differences of various Christian traditions. 3 hours
Additionally, students will be expected to develop a plan of personal participation in sacramental practices and spiritual disciplines as well as giving leadership to others in small groups formed around the sacramental practices and spiritual disciplines. The goal of the course is for students to develop a more robust and intentional understanding of how a recovery of vibrant sacramental practices can (a) undergird the disciple-making programs of a local church, (b) provide a rich and historically rooted basis for establishing in congregants’ minds a sense of their corporate identity as a local community of faith, and (c) establish a Christologically centered, missionally oriented focus for pastoral leadership in the life of the church. 3 hours
DM804 Holistic Renewal of the Church
This course is taught concurrently with its related course, DM803 Sacramental Spirituality and Disciple-Making Leadership. It focuses on local church participation in evangelistic and discipleship ministries that are coupled with compassionate social ministries. An investigation of the biblical and historical emphases of the church on these matters is included and the transformative personal, corporate, and cultural power of their coupling demonstrated. The spiritual life and worship structures of the church should support the outward missional life of the church. Therefore, the effective meshing of these critical components will be viewed in order to build a biblically fruitful church that contributes to both church health and societal welfare. 3 hours
DM805 Wesleyan Practices in Community Formation and Social Transformation
This course is taught concurrently with its related course, DM806 Wesleyan Theological Vision for Community Formation in the Post-Modern Context. It engages students in an in-depth study of the socio-historical context of the eighteenth-century evangelical revival led by John Wesley and the early Methodists. The purpose is to show how the pastoral orientation, the practices of personal piety, and the risk-taking spirit of these leaders sustained a movement that led to significant ecclesial renewal and social transformation. Attention will be given to the transitions and social upheaval that marked Wesley’s England and their similarities to twenty-first century Western culture. The goal is to show that the ministry practices of the early Methodists provide a framework for ministry from which practices can still be gleaned to foster church revitalization and social transformation. 3 hours
DM806 Wesleyan Theological Vision for Community Formation in the Post-Modern Context
This course is taught concurrently with its related course, DM805 Wesleyan Practices in Community Formation and Social Transformation. It engages students in the theological vision that has provided the motivation, focus, and spirituality of the Methodist/Wesleyan tradition at its best. Special attention will be given to the ordo salutis (theology of salvation) that John Wesley and the early Methodists bequeathed to subsequent generations. Further attention will be given to how the optimistic view of God’s grace in human life not only provided an evangelical counter proposal to eighteenth-century English Calvinism, but also drove early Wesleyans to see social transformation as inherent in the Gospel. The goal is to enable those engaged in ministry in the twenty-first century to discover the theological resources offered by this Wesleyan understanding of the universal and transformative scope of saving grace. 3 hours
DM807 The Gospel as Truth in a Multi-Religious World
This course is taught concurrently with its related course, DM808 Secular “isms” that Challenge the Faith and Confront the Church. It engages students in a comparative study of the nature and content of Christian theism in contrast to other world religions and their corresponding worldviews. The goal is to increase the competency of students when interacting with and explaining other religious worldviews to their congregations, and to deepen their confidence as Christian preachers and teachers in our increasingly multicultural age. 3 hours
DM808 Secular “isms” that Challenge the Faith and Confront the Church
This course is taught concurrently with its related course, DM807 The Gospel as Truth in a Multi-Religious World. It involves students in a rediscovery of essential Christian orthodoxy and its engagement with various non-theistic, naturalistic, and secular philosophical systems that have risen over the last two hundred years in Western culture. The goal of the course is to equip those who preach, teach, or engage in evangelistic ministries to have greater competency in interacting with, explaining, and critiquing these “isms” for contemporary believers and seekers. Special emphasis will be given in the course to competing belief and value systems that make up the so-called “postmodern” perspectives on truth, meaning, and moral values. 3 hours
DM 809 Project Research Orientation
Students may enter the DM809 Project Research Orientation as soon as they are admitted to the degree program. However, they must enter the course site during the second term intensive to begin looking at materials there. In this non-credit course, the student learns to create a prospectus document, which is a substantial, detailed, overview of her/his dissertation project with extensive bibliography. The DM809 course site has instructive videos and prospectus examples available. The Director of Research will help each student on an individual basis. The student is re-enrolled in this course until he/she has a prospectus approved by the faculty. At the next term after prospectus approval, the student moves up to DM 810. 0 hours
DM 810 Ministry Research Project
The DM 810 is the intensive writing phase of the dissertation project. After having a prospectus approved, the student is given two faculty advisers and begins writing the dissertation. Students are enrolled in this course until they successfully defend their dissertation. Details about style and presentation of the dissertation are found in the WBS Handbook for Writing Theses and Dissertations. 6 hours
As a professional doctorate, the Doctor of Ministry differs from the academic Ph.D. in that its focus is on advanced proficiency in the practice of ministry rather than scholarly research. The D.Min. is comparable to other professional doctorates, such as the D.B.A. in business, the Ed.D. in education, the D.M.A. in music, and the Psy.D. in psychology.
The in-ministry nature of the program allows Christian professionals to pursue rigorous advanced study while remaining in their current ministry. The degree is designed to be completed in three years—two years of half-time course work (24 hours) and one year for writing and defending the Dissertation Ministry Research Project (6 hours).
If you have further questions about the DMin program at WBS, explore the DMin Student Handbook below.
DMin Student Handbook