The Doctor of Ministry requires a serious commitment of time and energy. It is a research in ministry degree that makes use of academic, congregational and community resources. This means that the primary focus of the candidate's work is the ministry or mission. As such, men and women in the ordained ministry enter this program to refine their understandings, to empower their actions, and to shape faithful discernment. Anyone contemplating such a work should thoughtfully consider the significance of this effort with a commitment to seeing the work through to completion.
The Doctor in Ministry is a professional degree designed to advance the general practice of ministry, directed toward a particular specialization. Persons holding such a degree are an authority in his or her area of concentration. The work done to satisfy the requirements for the degree must be original and of high quality.
The Doctor of Ministry program represents formal preparation for and enrichment of the practice of ministry. Four goals frame the program:
1. To continue the candidate's learning and increase his/her effectiveness in ministry. We hope that as you matriculate in the program, you gain new insights and capacities that will strengthen your ministry.
2. To provide a level of knowledge, theoretical clarity, and competence of practice, commensurate with the highest earned degree for the profession and practice of ministry. Persons seeking to enter the Doctor of Ministry program must have a clearly definable context of ministry.
3. To wed the traditional theological educational framework with an urban planning framework to prepare Doctor of Ministry candidates with the theoretical and methodological underpinnings and practical knowledge to become more active and successful in their community-building efforts.
4. To contribute to the knowledge and the practice of ministry by ministers and lay church leaders. Because we intend that each dissertation/project be useful for others' ministry, we have chosen a particular format for your guidance. The dissertation/project need not "succeed" in order to achieve these goals. Even a dissertation that does not succeed as planned may contribute to everyone's learning, may enhance the effectiveness of ministry in your specific context, and may contribute valuable knowledge for the practice of ministry.