–The Rev. Barry Witt (above)
Pastor of Faith Bible Church, Connellsville, PA
Doctor of Ministry Degree (D.Min.)
Strengthening Ministry in the Kingdom of God
Director of the Doctor of Ministry program:
Dr. Jack Kinneer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-731-6000, Ext. 123.
Program Purpose and Goals
The Doctor of Ministry program, Strengthening Ministry in the Kingdom of God, is a professional degree designed to strengthen ministry in the Kingdom of God by providing advanced training for those who minister to and pastor the people of God. It is a program of study and research intended for ministry renewal, reinvigoration in Biblical and theological studies, integration of theological convictions with societal issues, and enhancement of the skills needed for effective Biblical ministry. It integrates advanced academic research in the various fields of theological study with the practice of ministry.
Requirements for Admission
Admission to the program requires the attainment of a Master of Divinity degree (or its equivalent) and at least three years of ministry experience after attaining the Master of Divinity degree.
* Equivalency means at least three years of graduate study in the theological disciplines including some study of the Biblical languages.
Choice of Two Program Concentrations
Strengthening Pastoral Ministry* is designed for ordained pastors who perform the full range of pastoral duties. If your pastoral ministry needs to be revived; if you long to pursue a set of issues and problems affecting the life of the church; if you desire advanced study in matters related to the doctrine, worship, and the overall life and ministry of the church, then this Doctor of Ministry program is for you.
Strengthening Counseling Ministry is designed for pastors and others in the church whose ministry has a significant focus on counseling. If in your ministry you face the challenge of counseling people with broken lives and broken relationships; if you desire to more adequately understand and apply the Word of the Lord to the needs of people; if you desire advanced study in Biblical counseling rooted in a thorough knowledge of Scripture and the faith of the Church, then this Doctor of Ministry program is for you.
* Because of the Biblical convictions of the sponsoring denomination of the Seminary regarding the qualifications of those who serve the church as ordained pastors, this concentration is restricted to men.
Requirements for Completion
The Doctor of Ministry program includes the completion of eight required courses and the submission and approval of a doctoral project combining academic study with practical application to ministry. Both concentrations share five required courses in common. These courses cover the range of theological study.
The Strengthening Pastoral Ministry concentration has three additional courses oriented toward the pastoral work of preaching and leading the worship of the people of God. The Strengthening Counseling Ministry concentration has three additional courses focused on counseling ministry in the church.
The Doctor of Ministry program is designed for pastors and other church workers who are engaged in full-time ministry. It is, by its design, a part-time program to be completed while engaged in the ministry. The eight D. Min. classes are each one week (6 days) long. Two classes are offered each August and require the student to be in residence for those two weeks. The classes are offered in a fixed rotation, so once a student begins the program, he or she is expected to complete the eight classes over the next four Augusts. Because each class is offered only once every four years, students are encouraged not to miss a course if at all possible. Missing a course significantly lengthens the time required to finish the program.
The classes require significant pre-class work to prepare for the week-long intensive classes and significant post-class work to complete the assignments. Students should expect to expend four hours a week for the six months before the class and four hours a week for the six months after the class to adequately do the work.
August 5-10, 2013 DM01 Christ in the Gospels
August 12-17, 2013 DM06 Counseling the Flock
August 4-9, 2014 DM03 Christ's Mediatorial Kingship
August 11-16, 2014 DM08 Biblical Worship (Pastoral only)
August 11-16, 2014 DM09 What is Man? (Counseling only)
August 3-8, 2015 DM04 The Old Testament in the New
August 10-15, 2015 DM07 Issues in Theology (Pastoral only)
August 10-15, 2015 DM10 Medical and Legal Issues in Biblical
Counseling (Counseling only)
August 1-6, 2016 DM05 Leadership Communication
August 8-13, 2016 DM02 The Renewal of Preaching (Pastoral only)
August 8-13, 2016 DM11 Counseling Credentialing (Counseling only)
Students beginning the program in the counseling concentration in the years 2014-2016 will take DM06 by special arrangement since it is a prerequisite for all other counseling classes.
- As the program is designed to foster full involvement for students who live a considerable distance away from the Seminary, students need to reside in the Pittsburgh area only during the eight weeks of intensive classes consisting of two weeks each August for four years.
Courses & Professors
The classes required for the Doctor of Ministry degree cover the range of ministry skills, including Biblical interpretation, doctrinal studies, counseling, and worship. Instructors for this program include full-time and adjunct professors selected because of their particular expertise.
Required courses common to both the Strengthening Pastoral Ministry and Strengthening Counseling Ministry concentrations:
DM01 Christ in the Gospels: Rediscovering Jesus through Narrative and Literary Analysis
DM03 Christ's Mediatorial Kingship: Proclaiming Christian Faith in a World of Ideological Diversity
DM04 The Old Testament in the New: Advancing the Reformed Conviction of the Unity and Coherence of Scripture
DM05 Leadership Communication: Learning to Effectively Communicate in Diverse Cultural Settings
DM06 Counseling the Flock: Insights for Guiding the Sheep
from the Biblically-Based Study of Counseling
Additional required courses for the Strengthening Pastoral Ministry concentration:
DM02 The Renewal of Preaching: Values, Insights, and Techniques for Preaching
DM07 Issues in Theology: Reformed Orthodoxy and Current Trends and Directions in Theological Studies
DM08 Biblical Worship: Recovering the Depth, Beauty, and Comprehensiveness of Worship Regulated by the Word of God
Additional required courses for the Strengthening Counseling Ministry concentration:
DM09 What is Man?
DM10 Medical and Legal Issues in Biblical Counseling
DM11 Counseling Credentialing
Doctoral Project Requirements and Expectations
Candidates for the Doctor of Ministry degree will complete a major project approved by the Director of the Doctor of Ministry program. The project will consist of academic research in a specific area of study (pastoral renewal, Biblical and theological studies, Christ's Mediatorial Kingship in society, or pastoral skills) with plans for the implementation of the results of that research into the practice of pastoral ministry.
The academic research and writing required for the degree shall be at the doctoral level, demonstrating research in Biblical and theological fields of studies, competency in relevant secondary-source academic literature, and practical application to the task of ministry in the Kingdom of God. Work on the project may begin after the completion of the sixth course.
Because the seminary and its sponsoring denomination are committed to the conviction that the Scriptures are the sole rule of life and faith, every project shall consist of research in the interpretation of Scripture from the original languages or research in the history of interpretation and doctrinal formulation.
Research in the interpretation of Scripture may be focused on individual passages (exegesis) or on the redemptive-historical meaning of Scripture as a whole. Research in the history of interpretation and doctrinal formulation may be focused in historical theology or in systematic theology.
Secondly, that research must be applied to the practice of pastoral ministry and/or to the life of the church. The application-to-ministry portion of the project will address such needs and concerns as will have value, not just for the student, but for others engaged in pastoral ministry. The application-to-life portion of the project may include interviews, counseling case studies, and reviews of cultural trends or related matters. It may include the production of materials for the education of the congregation in the matters researched. It may include the development of programs, policies, and procedures for the pastoral work, for church government, or for the ministries of the church.
The project will be submitted in the written form required by the "Standards for Papers" section included in the Student Handbook and approved by the faculty of the Seminary. (Note: This is the Student Handbook given to all students in any of the degree programs. It is not this document.) The project is to be a minimum of 150 pages, double-spaced, and should be submitted in written and bound form to the Director of the Doctoral Ministry program (two copies) and in electronic form via email to email@example.com with “Doctoral Project” noted in the subject line.
For completion of the program, a student must submit a project, and that project must be judged
by the faculty readers to be acceptable. Only projects that reflect the general topics and concerns of the required courses will be approved. Students in the Strengthening Pastoral Ministry concentration may choose a topic related to any of the courses. Students in the Strengthening Counseling Ministry concentration must choose a topic for their project that has a significant relationship to counseling ministry.
The Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program shall consult with each student to assure that the project topic falls within the limit of topics reflected in the program’s courses and within the limits of the expertise of the faculty. These topic limits are
- Historical and Systematic Theology
- Exegesis and Biblical Theology
- Pastoral Ministry: Preaching, Leadership Communication, and Discipleship
- Biblically-Based Counseling
- Worship, Prayer, and the Administration of the Sacraments
- Church Order, Government, and Community Life
- The Mediatorial Kingship of Christ and the Role of Christian Faith in Society
Before the student begins the project, he will submit a project proposal to the Director. Only when the Director has approved the project may the student begin his work. This is to assure that the project is within the guidelines of this doctoral program and to assure the student that his work, if well done, will be acceptable.
Upon submission of the project, the Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program will appoint two readers from among the faculty to review and assess the project. The review, assessment, and either acceptance or rejection will normally be completed within three months of the submission of the project. The completed and approved written project will be catalogued by the Library of the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary into the OCLC database and made available through the Theological Research Exchange Network (TREN) for the benefit of future pastors and scholars.
The faculty readers may judge a project to be acceptable, by which action the student will have successfully completed the program and be eligible to receive the degree of Doctor of Ministry.
The faculty readers may judge a project to be unacceptable but worthy of a second consideration after the project is improved in ways specified by the readers. In this instance, the student shall have two years to revise and resubmit his project. Failure to resubmit the project in the required timeframe or failure to have the resubmitted project approved will result in dismissal from the program. The faculty readers may judge a project as so inadequate as to be unacceptable. In this instance the student shall be dismissed from the program. Should the two assigned readers be unable to reach consensus on the approval or disapproval of a project, the Director of the Doctor of Ministry program shall appoint a third faculty reader. After he has read the project and evaluated it, he shall cast the deciding vote on approval or rejection.
Project Evaluation Standards
The standards by which the faculty readers shall judge the worthiness for acceptance of a project are:
- Has the project been presented in the form and of the minimum page length as specified in the Doctor of Ministry Project Handbook?
- Has the project been written in understandable and customary English prose with the use of customary citation formula and notation formula (footnotes, endnotes, bibliography)?
- Does the project demonstrate a competent understanding of the original source material that is the basis for the project, either original language Biblical texts or original source theological texts?
- Does the project demonstrate competency in the subject matter of the project?
- Does the project demonstrate appropriate theological reflection of the issues raised in the project?
- Does the project demonstrate a broad familiarity with the secondary literature of the subject matter of the project?
- Is the project argued with competency, cogency, and without dependence on logical fallacies?
- Does the project present applicable material for the practice of pastoral ministry?
The cost of the Doctor of Ministry is $11,000. The cost of each of the eight courses is $1,100 due the first day of class. The final $2,200 is due with the submission of the final project.
There are no other additional fees beyond the tuition costs, except for the following:
The project will normally be completed and submitted within three years of the completion of the coursework. A student may request an extension beyond the three years specified. Such an extension will incur a fee of $500 per year. The extension may not continue beyond an additional three years.
Students will also be responsible for paying a $125 graduation fee.