6.10.4.a Pastoral Ministry Concentration
The purpose of the Pastoral Ministry Concentration is twofold:
First, the concentration aims to build on the shepherding skills and competencies gained through previous M.Div. studies, while integrating subsequent ministry experience for the purpose of sharpening and deepening those skills. Foundational areas such as pastoral nurture, preaching, leadership and evangelism, will be studied. Students will be encouraged to examine personal strengths and weaknesses, as well as to improve competencies in each of these areas. The challenges presented to the contemporary cultural context of ministry will also be considered. Careful attention will be given to the relationship of biblical theology to ministry practice.
Second, the concentration strives to enable the student to make a significant contribution to the field of pastoral ministry through the Applied Research Project. The program culminates in the completion of the project, through which the student is expected to demonstrate mastery in a particular area of practical theology. Ideally this work is accomplished in the student’s current ministry context. Identifying a problem, challenge or question, proposing and applying a ministry mode and evaluating this model, are essential aspects of the project. This work must be built upon a biblical foundation, taking into account both historical precedents and contemporary influences on the area in view.
6.10.4.b Counseling Concentration
The purpose of the Counseling Concentration is twofold:
First, it aims to equip students for a high degree of competence in skill areas associated with pastoral counseling. Competence includes effective functioning not only in the professional areas of relating, assessment, and problem-solving skills, but also in conceptual abilities related to personality, learning, integration, and other theoretical constructs. Underlying these performances must be the foundational abilities to do self-analysis, to discern and relate cultural patterns to ministry, and to bring all practice under the judgment of a biblical-theological philosophy of ministry.
Second, the concentration aims to enable the student to make a contribution to the field of pastoral counseling through a D.Min. project. The project is the student’s actual counseling done in an unexplored, skill-enhancing, or problematic area of counseling ministry. The project must rest upon a biblical base, take into account any previous work done in the particular area of research, define in repeatable steps the course of the project, and evaluate its conformity to biblical principles and effectiveness in reaching its goals.
Counseling Concentration Prerequisite
Students within the D.Min. Counseling Concentration are required to take the following prerequisite courses within the first year in the program:
- PTC 151 Dynamics of Biblical Change
- PTC 261 Human Personality
Students may choose to complete these courses either through Westminster or through CCEF. If the student completes these courses prior to admission, either through Westminster or CCEF, this requirement will be waived.
6.10.4.c Urban Mission Concentration
This concentration seeks to develop skills for leadership and disciplined self-analysis in ministry in urban settings in North America and overseas. The student will learn to interact theologically with insights drawn from the behavioral and social sciences for a better understanding of urban cultures and urban ministries. A constant effort will be made to coordinate all the phases of the program with the concrete particular needs arising out of each student’s particular place of ministry.
6.10.4.d Applied Research Project
Each student will complete the Applied Research Project in his or her area of concentration. This will account for the final six hours of the degree. Please see the D.Min. Manual for a detailed guide describing the project.
The Applied Research Project is the culmination of the D.Min. program. It enables the student to conduct thorough research and develop expertise in a specific area of interest. It is designed to focus on a particular problem within the discipline of Pastoral Ministry, Counseling or Urban Mission and to make a contribution to the student’s understanding in that area. During PR 1 Introduction and Orientation to Graduate work, the student will be introduced to project design.
The Project Proposal describes the project’s proposed research, ministry model, and timetable. The proposal is developed in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor and the Director of the D.Min. program. Ordinarily, the proposal should be approved within the first year of the program1. More detailed guidelines and elements of the project proposal can be found in the D.Min. Manual.
The Applied Research Project must conform to the format and bibliographic style requirements found in the “Format Guidelines for WTS Theses, Dissertations and Projects,” available from the Library and online. Further guidelines can be secured from the student’s advisor or from the Doctor of Ministry Office.
Four2 copies of the completed project, along with the external reader fee, must be submitted to the Academic Affairs Office no later than December 15 (see the Academic Calendar if the 15th falls on a weekend) for the following May graduation. The project will be reviewed by the student’s academic advisor, a second reader from within the Westminster faculty, and by an individual unaffiliated with Westminster who is actively engaged in ministry related to that covered by the research project.
A project “defense” will be scheduled on campus before March 15. The Practical Theology Department, taking into consideration the recommendation of all readers, will make the final determination on the project and the degree program as a whole. This will be communicated to the student by April 1. If approved, some minor changes may be required.
The student must submit two copies of the approved project to the Academic Affairs Office by May 1 (see the Academic Calendar if the 1st falls on a weekend). NOTE: The project will not be accepted for review unless all examinations have been sustained. One copy must be printed on 20 lb., 100 percent cotton paper. The other may be printed on white multipurpose paper. No holes should be punched in the pages, and the two copies must be submitted flat in a box that is well protected so that the pages do not bend.
The degree will be awarded, together with the title, at the Seminary commencement in May. Degrees may be received in absentia only with the permission of the faculty. See the procedure for requesting permission to graduate in absentia in section 5.3a.
1 Updated July 26, 2011
2 Updated November 3, 1011