In the orienting seminar, students are introduced to practical theological methods by which theory and practices are integrated for the purpose of transforming praxis. The course helps students investigate and assess their personality and ministry, cultural context, and ecclesial tradition. The orienting seminar is designed to clarify the model of ministry the student wishes to research, develop, and test as a field project.
The three seminars are one-week intensive classes, held in January and summer. They require advanced work in biblical, historical, doctrinal, and pastoral studies. Students use case material or incident reports from their settings for ministry as the basis for critical reflection, and engage in a process of self- and peer-evaluation. Each seminar is a two-semester-hour class, and all three seminars are required.
The 16 hours of electives required in the General DMin program may be fulfilled in a number of ways: masters degree-level courses upgraded to the 500-level, independent study or reading, course offerings in tracks open to all students, and transfer credit.
Praxis Thesis Phase
In the final phase of the DMin program, the student concludes course work and prepares to write the praxis thesis. The praxis thesis will investigate a problem of or question about ministry that centers around a practice of ministry. A praxis thesis must meet three criteria:
it will investigate the practice of ministry
it will analyze and interpret the practice of ministry theologically, making Biblical, philosophical, doctrinal, ethical, and/or practical theological claims as appropriate to the practice of ministry
it will evaluate, and present conclusions and/or strategic thinking for the future on the basis of the investigation
The actual methodology for relating these criteria will be negotiated between the faculty adviser and the student.