The DMin requires the following six courses. The first three courses are taken before the last three.
Reading Scripture (3 credits)
An exploration of approaches to reading Scripture for Christian faith, formation, ministries, and mission. Special emphasis will be given to (1) selected parts of the canon (both Testaments, diverse genres); (2) various approaches to reading the Bible as Scripture, including the main Christian traditions and several different cultures; (3) recent developments in theological and missional hermeneutics; and (4) the connection between Scripture and the student’s ministry and DMin project.
Living Doctrine (3 credits)
An exploration of how theology enlivens Christian understanding, formation, and ministry. Working through the full spectrum of Christian doctrines, the course will note how Christian doctrine serves as a (1) lens for analysis of our current historical situation; (2) script for Christian speaking, living, and ministry; and (3) foundational component of the student’s ministry and DMin project.
Enculturating Ministry (3 credits)
Effective ministry incarnates the mission of God in the overall societal context and the specific cultures in which the minister serves. This course will attempt to equip the student to understand both the contemporary worldview and the specific culture(s) in which the student is serving, so as to be able to sensitively and effectively embody the good news in that setting.
Healing Trauma (3 credits)
Almost every human being has been touched by trauma in some form, and so have many congregations, communities, and institutions. Therefore, all ministry occurs in the context of trauma. This course provides an immersion in understanding the spectrum and nature of trauma, along with its profound effects on the brain, psyche, and spirit. This course encourages each student to consider the traumas in his or her life and their contribution (positive or negative) to the way he or she does ministry. This course equips the minister or pastoral helper to be a non-anxious presence, providing accurate unflinching empathic witness to suffering and to assess the need for other kinds of care, facilitating an appropriate referral when indicated. Understanding trauma in depth requires theological reflection on its meaning and sources of authentic healing.
Leading Leaders (3 credits)
Most ministry involves the exercise of leadership in some capacity, but the types of ministry to which people are called later in their careers often involve leadership responsibilities relative to others exercising leadership. This course prepares students to meet the leadership challenges that they are increasingly likely to encounter as their ministry matures. Instruction in this course will include extended times of interaction with senior leaders from diverse denominational and ministry contexts.
Embodying Scripture (3 credits)
An exploration of how Scripture finds embodiment in Christian thinking, feeling, and acting, in personal and communal/social dimensions. The course explores how the biblical text, engaged as Scripture, 1) frames how we see and engage the world; 2) forms our character and communities; and 3) patterns our performance of the gospel. Embodying Scripture integrates the traditional disciplines of Christian formation, spirituality, and ethics/moral theology, as well as theo-cultural hermeneutics.