Doctor of Ministry Handbook

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1 Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Doctor of Ministry Handbook Office of the Doctor of Ministry and Continuing Education January, 2013

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS PURPOSE AND MISSION... 3 PLAN OF STUDY... 3 ATTENDANCE... 4 REGISTRATION AND FEES... 4 TIME LIMITS... 5 LEAVES OF ABSENCE... 5 ADULT LEARNING MODEL... 5 PROJECT IN MINISTRY... 5 FACULTY ADVISER... 6 ADVANCED PROFESSIONAL COURSES (APC)... 7 LANGUAGE... 7 WHAT IS DOCTORAL (DMIN) LEVEL WORK?... 7 BUILDING YOUR LIFELONG LEARNING SUPPORT SYSTEM... 8 THE AT-HOME CONSULTANTS GROUP... 8 CONSULTANTS GROUP MEMBERSHIP... 8 TASKS OF THE AT-HOME CONSULTANTS GROUP... 9 APPENDIX A A DETAILED OUTLINE OF STEPS TOWARD COMPLETING THE DMIN APPENDIX B GUIDELINES FOR COURSE PROPOSALS FOR INDEPENDENT STUDIES

3 Welcome to the Doctor of Ministry Program Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Welcome to the Doctor of Ministry at Louisville Seminary. Along with your professors and administrators, you are partners in this structured continuing education program for experienced pastors and church leaders. PURPOSE AND MISSION Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary began offering the Doctor of Ministry when it was first established more than 30 years ago. It has evolved with the needs of the seminary and the church. Louisville Seminary is committed to leadership in nurturing the spiritual and intellectual growth of those persons who have accepted the challenging call to vocational commitment either in the church or in fields closely related to the mission and witness of the church. The DMin at Louisville Seminary is intended to set the standard for a formal program of study in the early or middle stages of a life of ministerial service. The program is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). The Pastoral Care and Counseling program is in compliance with the standards of the Committee on Accreditation of Marriage and Family Therapy Education (COAMFTE) and the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC). PLAN OF STUDY The Louisville Seminary Doctor of Ministry degree is a 36 credit (semester hour) program consisting of a series of four Foundation Seminars, at least three Advanced Professional Elective Courses, and a final integrating Project that addresses a significant issue in ministry. The program is designed to be completed in three years, as the following chart illustrates. Each of the Foundation Seminars is taught by a Louisville Seminary faculty member and an adjunct professor who has experience in ministry, skills in teaching, and holds at least a DMin degree. While the Seminary faculty member for each of the seminars is drawn from the academic discipline appropriate to the seminar (e.g., a Professor of Bible for Seminar II and a Professor of Theology for Seminar III), the Adjunct member of the team accompanies the students through the first three Seminars. Year One Seminar I (January) 2 Weeks 6 Credits Seminar II (June) 1 Week 4 Credits Advanced Professional Course 3 Credits Year Two Seminar III (January) 1 Week 4 Credits Advanced Professional Course 3 Credits Or equivalent Seminar IV (June) 2 Weeks 6 Credits Approval of Prospectus Or equivalent (in any # hours sequence) 3

4 Year Three Advanced Professional Course 1 Week 3 Credit hours Project in Ministry (Completed by Mar 1 or Oct 1) 7 Credit Hours Graduation (December or May) ATTENDANCE Attendance of all seminar or class sessions is expected, except in case of emergencies. Requirements for making up work must be negotiated with individual professors. REGISTRATION AND FEES The learner is responsible to register with the Office of the Registrar prior to arrival on campus for the first class session of each seminar or course taken at Louisville Seminary Louisville Seminary charges a flat fee for DMin Tuition, which covers all 4 seminars and tuition for the Advanced Professional elective courses required. Tuition is paid in three equal installments over the three years of the program. Students are billed in November for each installment prior to beginning the first and third seminars and at the beginning of the Project. Payment is due in December. In addition to tuition, costs for the program include books, travel, lodging and meals for the seminars and classes. The chart below suggests the approximate cost of the program for each student For Advanced Ministry Practice Concentrations (Tracks): $ 8,000 Tuition $ 2,000 Books and incidental costs for 4 seminars and 3 elective courses $ 2,100 Housing at Laws Lodge for 6 weeks of $70 per night $ 800 Food, with 2 meals per day on campus $12,900 Total plus travel expenses For Pastoral Care and Counseling Concentration (Track): $ 9,000 Tuition For books, housing, and food, see chart above $13,900 Total plus travel expense DMin students ordinarily finance their degree expenses through a combination of congregational study-leave allowances, denominational or foundation grants, tax-free educational savings accounts, and personal budgeting. Regrettably, the Seminary provides scholarship or grant aid ordinarily only to first theological degree students. On occasion, some limited funds may be available to help with DMin expenses. When available, these funds are administered through the DMin Director s office. Registration must be completed prior to beginning each seminar. The Office of the Registrar will provide students with a registration form by December or May prior to 4

5 seminars beginning in January or June. Completed forms should be submitted, along with any tuition payment that is due, to the Office of the Registrar prior to beginning a Seminar. It is very important to note that students cannot complete registration and will not be permitted to begin a Seminar unless account balances have been paid or arrangements for payment made with the Seminary business office. Payment of account balances is the responsibility of each student, even if a church or other institution may be making a payment for you. Any difficulties a student may have complying with this policy may be discussed at the student s initiative with the Director of the Doctor of Ministry and Continuing Education Program. Payment for rooms and other expenses incurred while on campus is due before leaving campus. TIME LIMITS Louisville Seminary requires that the Doctor of Ministry be completed within six years of a student s matriculation in order to comply with the degree program standards of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). LEAVES OF ABSENCE When extraordinary situations arise, such as a change in position or prolonged illness, learners may request in writing a leave of absence for a year from the Director of Doctor of Ministry and Continuing Education programs. A leave of absence may be extended for one more year, as long as the total number of years on leave does not exceed two during a student s time in the program. Each case will be treated individually. Ordinarily credits for completed courses remain valid for up to five years from the date when they were taken. ADULT LEARNING MODEL The Doctor of Ministry program at Louisville is intended for the competent minister or church leader who has had at least three years of active ministry beyond the Master of Divinity degree. Adult learners are those who follow their own call and take their own initiative for learning and growing in ministerial and vocational competency. Doctor of Ministry participants expect a collaborative learning style in classrooms by which their ideas and reflections are encouraged and honored. The Doctor of Ministry student is in charge of the progress of her or his own program, and is urged to keep track of the requirements and the timing of the program. The role of faculty and administration is to provide a stimulating learning environment with adequate resources for the adult learner to complete the program. PROJECT IN MINISTRY The Doctor of Ministry is a degree in practical theology, intended to enhance the ministry skills and practices of those already working in ministry. The degree is awarded after the successful completion of all seminars and course work and a culminating project in ministry. Since the degree is focused on the practice of ministry, DMin students submit a written comprehensive report on a ministry project they have designed and implemented in their ministry setting. The project design emerges from the minister s recognition, in collaboration with others, of an issue or situation in the life of a congregation or in the 5

6 practice of ministry more generally that poses important questions for the life of faith and the practice of faith. Such life situations require critical reflection on tradition, Scripture, and contemporary circumstances in order to understand them and creative, imaginative response in the light of the Christian Gospel to address them. The ministry Project Report describes the issue the project addresses, the theological, biblical, cultural and social perspectives used to understand it, and a detailed account of the implementation of the project designed to address it. The Project in Ministry is intended to provide an opportunity for the student to do original research on a topic or ministry practice important to the development of the student s ability as a practical theologian and practitioner and important to the practice of faith in the individual ministry context. While addressing a local issue or need, the Project should also have broader implications and application and prove instructive or useful for those addressing similar concerns in various other ministry contexts. The Ministry Project, in short, represents a creative and imaginative demonstration of practical theological reflection, original research and design, and the ability to write an extended essay that is clear, coherent, original in thought, and persuasive in argument. Given the significance of Project in Ministry, students are urged to begin considering from the beginning of the program possible topics, issues, or situations in ministry on which they may wish to focus. What issue a project is to address will become clearer, ordinarily, over the course of the first three seminars. Once some clarity about the project appears, a faculty project adviser may be identified to work with the student in the development of the project and project report. An adviser and second reader should be identified during Seminar IV. By the end of the fourth seminar or very shortly thereafter, the student is expected to present to his or her project adviser and the Director of the Doctor of Ministry and Continuing Education, a written Prospectus offering a clear description of the ministry situation the project will address, the research methods needed to understand and interpret it, and the ministry response the student intends to carry out to address it. Once the Prospectus is approved and all Advanced Professional Courses completed, the student may begin the project. Once the project is completed, a Project Report is prepared for submission to the candidate s adviser and a second reader for approval. The Project Report should be approximately 75 pages in length, exclusive of appendices, footnotes and bibliography. It must conform to the style sheet Format Requirements for the Doctor of Ministry Project Report current at the time the report is completed. The current style sheet is available online from the Library Resources section of the seminary website, Seminary.edu. FACULTY ADVISER Each student has a Project Adviser assigned by the DMin Director through a collaborative process that includes the student, a Seminary faculty member, and the Director of the DMin Program. Advisers are selected once the issue, which the Project in Ministry will address, becomes clear enough to suggest faculty members whose academic expertise and interests may be particularly helpful to the student. A Second Reader is identified at the 6

7 same time. The adviser s responsibility is primarily to provide assistance to the student in the development of the Project in Ministry, to consult with the student regarding the selection of Advanced Professional Courses, and to serve with the Second Reader as a faculty team to read and approve the Project Report, following a successful oral defense of it by the candidate for the degree. ADVANCED PROFESSIONAL COURSES (APC) After the second seminar is completed, students, begin to identify courses that would appear to contribute to the student s interests and to their project in ministry by providing additional knowledge, insight, and skills germane to the student s practice of ministry. At least two of the three APCs must be taken with Louisville Seminary faculty. A student may also choose to do an APC as an Independent Study to be supervised by Louisville Seminary faculty, in which case the student is responsible for proposing and designing the course in consultation with the faculty supervisor who, along with the Director of the program, must approve it. Guidelines for creating an independent study course are available from the Registrar. With approval from their adviser and the Director of the program, Students also may take doctoral level courses at other ATS accredited institutions and transfer up to three course credits to Louisville Seminary. Students should be aware that courses taken at other institutions or involving other instructional costs may be required to pay the additional tuition costs, if any, involved. LANGUAGE Learning is fundamentally concerned with communication, self-expression, and personal and social transformation. Learning respects individuals, their feelings, their value and worth, and their particular potential for contribution to common knowledge and community virtue. Learning is fundamentally and intentionally inclusive. At the same time, learning has an ethical and political foundation. Since theological discourse has traditionally been patriarchal, gender-exclusive, and racially biased and culturally provincial, the Seminary has established a policy that the language (symbols, metaphors) used in class discussions and written work shall be gender inclusive and respectful of all persons and groups as valued human creatures of God. The Seminary is also committed to making use of the full range of biblical metaphors and symbols for God in spoken and written language and avoiding the historical patriarchal bias evident in traditional language about God and pronouns used in reference to God. WHAT IS DOCTORAL (DMin) LEVEL WORK? The DMin is an advanced professional degree designed to integrate theological reflection with the practice of ministry. The oral and written work needs to reflect a depth of theological thinking that goes beyond the MDiv expectation, and demonstrates a positive and suitably complex synthesis of thought and praxis. Advanced work at this level should construct a base of knowledge that is comprehensive in scope and sufficient in depth to demonstrate understanding. Further the DMin research should provide new insights or 7

8 findings that are of broad enough application to be useful to others in the practice of ministry, while contributing to the personal growth of the student and enhancing the life of faith and the practice of faith in his or her particular ministry setting While additional work does not imply advanced work as required by a doctoral level program, the Seminary has provided some guidelines that suggest an appropriate workload in DMin courses. Such courses should expect 45 working hours for each credit hour or 135 working hours for a 3-creditcourse. These hours may be earned through a combination of supervisory/instructional contact hours, assigned reading, and written work. Seminary standards for these are: reading of 20 pages equal one hour of work excluding endnotes, bibliography, other scholarly apparatus; one page of a finished written draft counts as approximately one working hour. BUILDING YOUR LIFELONG LEARNING SUPPORT SYSTEM Because the Doctor of Ministry program expects students will be involved in ministry in a particular context, it is important that persons in that context be invited to share their wisdom and insight to and provide encouragement and support for the student. It is important that those who they serve understand the nature of the degree program in which the student is engaged and recognize that the advanced learning that is involved will require that the student exercise personal discipline and manage an already demanding ministry schedule well so that the degree program can be completed within the time limit. In an important sense, the DMin Program is a collaborative and cooperative effort that involves the student and his or her family, community, and ministry context. The beneficiaries of the work are both student and their ministry context and a partnership in the process between them provides maximum learning opportunities for both. THE AT-HOME CONSULTANTS GROUP To realize this partnership in learning between student and his or her ministry context, each student is expected to form in collaboration with persons in his or her context an At Home Consultants Group from whose members he or she may seek wisdom, information, and helpful, honest feedback and critical reflection during the time he or she is working toward the degree. This group will work with the student in the planning execution, and evaluation of his or her learning project and in other capacities that may seem appropriate and helpful in particular contexts. Members should covenant with one another and the student to meet regularly (at least every 4-6 weeks) for conversation and advice, to offer honest reflections and feedback when solicited by the student, to pray for one another regularly and to work together with imagination and energy to the mutual benefit of both and successful completion of the degree. Consultants Group Membership Persons chosen for membership should be those who have demonstrated commitment to the church and its ministry, and exemplify mature faith and practical wisdom. As those whose role is to think with the candidate about his or her project at every stage of development, helping to give it shape and clarity, they need to be reflective, creative and imaginative conversation partners, able to inspire as well as offer constructive criticism of the student s work. They should be willing to commit unreservedly to their role as 8

9 consultants for the candidate and willing to hold both themselves and the candidate accountable for their mutual relationship. The Group should consist of the candidate, 3-4 church members and/or officials, and any consultants, trainers, or resource persons who may be enlisted for a total of no more than ten members. The Group is selected and organized by the candidate. A Chair for the Group (not the candidate, but chosen by the candidate) will convene subsequent meetings and the candidate will be a guide to the process. The At Home Consultants Group should be selected at the conclusion of the first seminar. Tasks Of The At-Home Consultants Group Group members are expected to work supportively and collaboratively with the candidate and the rest of the group to reflect with the candidate on their work in the seminars and on the project through all of its phases in accordance with the approved prospectus. At the student s request, they will objectively evaluate the project and the minister s leadership of it from its inception, through all of its development and execution. They will work with the candidate to identify concerns, plan research, locate documents, recruit participants, design training models or curricula, disseminate information, construct or adapt evaluation instruments, interpret the project to the ministry context, handle legal and logistical matters, etc., and prayerfully support the student and the project. As needed, they will work with the candidate to secure financial resources for the project, and arrange appropriate accounting procedures for handling funds. They will submit a written narrative description of their work as a Group to the candidate at the conclusion of his or her work, indicating the dynamics that characterized their work together with the candidate, noting what they perceived as the value of the group and identifying the contributions to the student s experience in the program and the resulting project that resulted from their collaborative work. This narrative will be shared with the candidate s project adviser and second reader at the time of his or her oral defense of the Project Report 9

10 APPENDIX A A Detailed Outline of Steps Toward Completing the DMin In preparation for Seminar I, Register for the seminar using the form supplied by the Office of the Registrar Make travel and housing arrangements; if you are staying at Laws Lodge, make your reservation at least 6 weeks before the seminar Complete the works required by seminar instructors, and, if so directed, submit it electronically to the instructors Seminar I (2 weeks; 6 credits) Focus of the seminar is on your pastoral identity and the nature of the context where you serve If at all possible, arrange for pulpit supply for the Sunday between the two weeks of the seminar so that all your time can be focused on your seminar participation At the conclusion of Seminar I, form your At Home Consultants Group, as described in the DMIN Student Handbook Between seminars, begin to shape more specifically the situation in ministry you will address in your project Prior to Seminar II Register for Seminar II using the registration form supplied by the Registrar Make travel and lodging arrangements early, at least 6 weeks before the seminar Seminar II (1 week; 4 credits) Focus on biblical reflection on a topic chosen by the instructor and on biblical interpretation of the project in ministry At the conclusion of Seminar II, students may begin taking Advanced Professional Courses, with the approval of the course instructor and the Director of the Doctor of Ministry program. Prior to Seminar III Meet with At Home Consultants at least every 4-6 weeks Register for Seminar III 10

11 Make second installment payment of tuition charges in December prior to beginning the seminar in January Make travel and room reservations at least 6 week before start of Seminar III Complete required assignments for the seminar and submit to instructors Seminar III (1 week; 4 credits) Focus on theology and theological reflection in relationship to ministry practice, with implication for the developing project in ministry Seminars II and III together provide resources for interpreting your ministry situation your project is addressing Between Seminars II and IV, depending on the clarity of your project proposal, you, in consultation with the Director of the program and the faculty, will choose a faculty adviser (also called the First Reader) with whom you wish to work. A Second Reader may also be chosen once the First Reader is identified. NOTE: Students in the Pastoral Care and Counseling Track form a separate Seminar IV, described in the Pastoral Care and Counseling Handbook. This process is introduced to PCC students during Seminar III. For any additional questions, please consult the Director of the DMIN in PCC, Dr. Loren Townsend, Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling. Prior to the Seminar Meet with your At Home Consultants at least every 4-6 weeks Register for Seminar IV Make travel and lodging arrangements at least 6 weeks in advance Complete assigned work for the seminar and submit as directed Seminar IV (2 weeks; 6 credits) Focus of the Seminar is on The Minister as Practical Theologian and on forming the Prospectus for the Ministry Project. By the end of the seminar, the Prospectus should be virtually complete. By the end of this seminar, your Project Adviser should be named, and a Second Reader identified. Arrange to meet with him or her either prior to the seminar or during the time you are on campus. Immediately after the Seminar, submit your Prospectus for approval to your Adviser and to the Director of the program, both of who must approve it before you can begin to implement your project. 11

12 Complete your remaining Advanced Professional Courses NOTE: Your project cannot be undertaken until all three courses are completed and your Prospectus has been approved. At the end of December following your 4 th Seminar, make your 3 rd and last payment on your tuition. Register to begin work on the Project (6 credits) Meet with Angela Morris in the Library to discuss formatting of the Project Report When the Project has been completed, submit a final draft of your Project Report to your Adviser (First Reader) and your Second Reader and schedule your oral examination on it with them. A draft should also be submitted to Angela Morris. NOTE: For December graduation, Project Report must be submitted and defended no later than October 1 and for May graduation, no later than March 1. Submissions beyond those dates will delay graduation until the following May or December. Make any revisions required and submit final copies to Angela Morris in the Library Make plans to participate in graduation ceremonies, following the detailed directions that will be sent you by the Registrar s Office and the Office of the Dean. 12

13 APPENDIX B Guidelines for Course Proposals for Independent Studies If a student meets the criteria for an Independent Study, the student may secure an agreement of a supervising instructor with suitable expertise in the area. Once the instructor has provisionally agreed to supervise, the student must write a Course Proposal to submit with a registration form and an Independent Study form. The Course Proposal should include: 1. STUDENT NAME 2. COURSE NUMBER ( field abbreviation ; e.g., TH 5103; DMin students should use DM 5103.) 3. COURSE TITLE 4. DESCRIPTION OF TOPIC Write a brief paragraph that describes the nature of the study. 5. RATIONALE FOR INDEPENDENT STUDY Describe why you are conducting an Independent Study rather than taking a standard course. Why now? How does the Independent Study contribute to your degree program? What prerequisites have you fulfilled in advance of the Independent Study? 6. LEARNING OUTCOMES Write three to four intended learning outcomes for the study. What expertise or competency will you have achieved by the end of the course? How do the learning outcomes of the Independent Study relate to program-specific Student Learning Outcomes? [Student Learning Outcomes for each degree program are available on the Intranet Under Academic Information.] 7. MEANS OF ASSESSMENT/ASSIGNMENTS List the assignments you will complete for your study. When writing these consider how they contribute to measuring the achievement of the learning outcomes. In general, this section should enable you and the instructor to know that your learning outcomes have been achieved. 8. BIBLIOGRAPHY Write a full bibliography of reading materials (and other related materials) used for your study. Please include the number of pages read from each source. Do not count extra material like concluding bibliography in the number of pages. 9. TIMELINE Write a timeline that includes the assignment due dates, meetings with your instructor and final evaluation meeting date, and other information relevant to the study. 13

14 10. SUMMARY OF HOURS List the number of hours associated with each major component of your study (including time spent preparing the Independent Study Course Proposal). At the end of the list, please provide a total number of hours along with the number of credit hours you are requesting for your study. A copy of the student s Registration Form, Independent Study Form, and Course Proposal must be submitted to Registrar s Office, the Dean s Office, and, in the case of a DMin student, to the Director of DMin and Continuing Education's Office at the outset of the study. A copy of the Course Proposal must also be submitted to the faculty member supervising the course. COURSE EXPECTATIONS: One credit hour requires 45 hours of work, two credit hours require 90 hours of work, three credit hours require 135 hours of work, four credit hours require 180 hours of work, and five credit hours require 225 hours of work. These hours may be earned through a combination of supervisory/instructional contact hours, assigned reading (using the standard of 15 pages as approximately one hour of reading endnotes, bibliography, other scholarly apparatus pages do not count), and written work (calculating one page of a finished written draft as approximately one working hour), and other activities related to the study. Note: If the nature of material to be read makes the standard of 15 pages per hour unworkable for an Independent Study, the student may use another means to quantify reading time in consultation with the study s supervisor. 14

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