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Doctor of Ministry (D. Min.)
NOTE: St. Vladimir's Seminary is not admitting students to the DMin program at this time pending completion and approval of program revisions. We hope to complete this process by September 2013.
The Doctor of Ministry degree at St. Vladimir's Seminary enhances the practice of ministry for ordained and lay ministers in the Orthodox Church. The program integrates enhanced competencies in pastoral analysis with skills necessary to lead students to an advanced understanding of the nature and purposes of ministry. Working in communities of teachers and learners, the students gain deeper knowledge about the practice of serving others in Christian love as they grow in spiritual maturity as ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Greeting from the Director
I was ordained to the diaconate in 1999, and to the priesthood in 2004. More than ten years of ordained ministry have taught me—in a very personal way—that pastors face immense challenges. The depth and intensity of suffering and the spiritual and emotional darkness in the lives of the people we serve is startling. Facing such serious challenges, there has never been a greater need for excellence in pastoral ministry.
The D.Min. program at St. Vladimir's provides priests, chaplains, and other pastoral professionals with advanced knowledge and skills in order to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who are suffering. Integrating doctoral level academic work with pastoral spirituality, this program will help you to acquire and refine the skills to minister to those whom God has called you to serve. Please consider joining us in a doctoral program that will give you an opportunity to foster deep and lasting friendships as we engage in work that contributes to authentic spiritual and pastoral renewal.
~Fr. Sergius Halvorsen, assistant professor of Homiletics and Rhetoric and director of D.Min. Program
- PROGRAM OBJECTIVES
- PROGRAM OVERVIEW
- DISTANCE LEARNING AND ON-CAMPUS INTENSIVES
- FINAL PROJECT
- THE COHORT
- EXTERNAL REVIEW COMMITTEE
- FURTHER INFORMATION
Students will be able to:
- demonstrate an advanced competency in the practice of ministry in the Orthodox tradition.
- perform analytical and ministerial research in Scripture, Patristic texts and contemporary sources.
- integrate advanced theological knowledge into one's ministry in the local context.
- communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ more effectively through oral, written and other media.
The Doctor of Ministry Program is a three year program consisting of eight core courses and a final project.
- Advanced Preaching and Communications
- Bioethics for Ministry
- Counseling in the Parish
- Ministry in a Secular Age
- Ministry to the Sick and Dying
- Scripture: Exegesis for Preaching
- Youth Ministry
Students in the program complete about half of their work at home via distance learning which includes:
- online video presentations
- threaded discussions
- conference calls and webinars
The use of distance learning technology allows priests, chaplains and other pastoral professionals to do doctoral study at St. Vladimir's while maintaining their current ministries. In fact, students are required to be engaged in full time practice of ministry during the program in order to best integrate theory and practice. Students are also required to attend six one-week on-campus intensives during the course of the program. These meetings are held on the St. Vladimir's Seminary campus in January, the first week after Theophany, and in early July.
In order to best accommodate the liturgical year, the academic calendar of the D.Min. program differs from the standard academic year. The winter term begins in October and concludes prior to the beginning of Great Lent, with an Advent/ Nativity recess. The summer term begins after Bright Week and concludes in September with an August recess. Each academic term will include a one-week on- campus intensive. No courses will be held during Great Lent.
Each student will complete a final project that focuses on a particular aspect of Christian ministry. The project will combine doctoral level research with critical reflection on the practice of ministry. The objective of the final project will be to provide concrete resource material for others in ministry. As part of the application process, prospective students are expected to propose three possible topics for their final project.
Our Lord sent his the Apostles out two by two (Mark 6:7) to preach and minister, and before ascending into Heaven instructed them that He would be present whenever two or three are gathered together in His name (Matt 18:20). Christian ministry, therefore, is defined by Christ Himself as a cooperative work. The D.Min. program fosters and strengthens this sense of cooperation with the cohort system in which a group of students progresses through the program as members of a team.
Members of the cohort develop grow as Christian ministers while supporting one another in the academic and pastoral elements of the program. In addition to the program objectives, it is hoped that members of the cohort will form lasting bonds that will strengthen and enhance their ministries well beyond graduation.
Because the DMin is a program that "enhances the practice of ministry" it is essential for the student to receive regular feedback from persons who interact with the student in his or her practice of ministry. External Review Committee (ERC) members will periodically provide feedback to the student in areas of ministry that are related to the students' work in the program. Feedback will be provided through various means such as brief surveys, interviews and conference calls. At the time of application, each student will specify members for the ERC consisting of: one supervisor (e.g. Diocesan Bishop, chancellor, dean); two peers (e.g. priests, chaplains); and four constituents (e.g. parishioners, people to whom one ministers), all of whom are in regular contact with the student in the context of ministry. The expected time commitment for ERC members is approximately two hours each academic term.
Qualified applicants demonstrate that that they:
- hold a Master of Divinity degree (or 72 graduate semester hours that include a Master's degree representing broad-based work in theology, biblical studies, and the arts of ministry, which includes the supervised practice of ministry).
- have at least three years experience in ministry subsequent to the first theological degree; and are currently serving in a position of ministry.
- are capable of doing doctoral level academic work.
In order to participate in the distance learning portions of the program, students will provide and maintain the following:
- PC or Mac computer running:
- a recent version of Windows, OSX or Linux
- the most recent version of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Chrome
- a word processor, preferably MS Word
- access to a broadband internet connection