Talbot's Doctor of Ministry program is designed to fit into your busy ministry schedule. We offer a selection of "specialty tracks" designed to enhance your area of ministry by exposing you to the latest scholarship and world-class experts.
Talbot's Doctor of Ministry program has two parts; residency course work and the writing of a thesis project. The residency work is completed in an uninterrupted sequence of two weeks per year over three years. During your first three years, you will spend two continuous weeks per year in intensive course work. At the end of the third year, you will submit your thesis-project proposal and begin writing your thesis-project. You have a maximum time frame of six years to complete the entire program.
Residency Preparation (3 times)
About three months before each residency, extensive reading and preparation are assigned by the faculty-mentor. You should plan to devote one day per week in preparation for the residency.
Residencies (3 times)
Each year’s two-week residency consists of two one-week courses. The courses are designed sequentially so you acquire increasing competency in the selected area of concentration, both in terms of conceptual understanding and praxis, from one year to the next. A principal focus of each residency is your own preparation, as well as the track mentor's approval of a proposal for a major post-residency ministry project to be carried out following each residency. You must successfully complete your post-residency projects in order to advance in the program.
Spiritual Formation Retreat (1 time)
During the first weekend of the first residency every student will participate in a spiritual formation retreat along with his or her cohort and mentor. This retreat will be led by Talbot's Institute for Spiritual Formation and will encourage you to experience continued growth in spiritual maturity.
Personal Learning Covenant (1 time)
In order to establish a framework of goals for the program that are unique to your own life and ministry, you will write a Personal Learning Covenant. This helps you develop "an advanced understanding of the nature and purposes of ministry, enhanced competencies in pastoral analysis and ministerial skills, the integration of these dimensions into the theologically reflective practice of ministry, new knowledge about the practice of ministry, and continued growth in spiritual maturity" (Standards of the Association of Theological Schools). These goals are established in consultation with your faculty-mentor during the first residency and carried out during the entire D.Min program.
Projects (3 times)
Following each of the residencies, you will complete a project that relates their D.Min coursework with their place of ministry. The project mentor will inform you about expectations for content, necessary components and matters of form. Proposals for projects and nominations for on-site evaluators must be completed during the residency. Approved projects are carried out during the four to six months following each residency. The final project report must be submitted to the faculty-mentor no later than seven months after the conclusion of the residency. Both the on-site evaluator and faculty-mentor evaluate the project.
Qualifying Oral Exam (1 time)
During the second residency session, you will have a qualifying oral exam with your faculty-mentor that focuses upon progress to date in your own learning, including course work, project work and the participant's stated goals in the Personal Learning Covenant. Upon successful completion of the Qualifying Oral Exam, you will be admitted to Candidacy Status. Candidacy Status means that you have demonstrated a purpose and plan for completing the degree, and that you are formally eligible to receive the D.Min degree upon completion of the remaining requirements.
Thesis-Project and Defense (1 time)
Your thesis-project is the capstone project of the program. It is the culmination of previous learning in the program and a demonstration of your ability to engage in a lifetime of ministry as a scholar-practitioner in the given area of specialization. In addition to the faculty-mentor, you will be assigned a reader. With the faculty-mentor playing the lead role, these two faculty members form the thesis committee and guide you through the process, approving each aspect of the thesis-project from the initial proposal through to the final draft. Thesis-project proposals will only be accepted from students who have maintained a cumulative 3.0 GPA. The final requirements for degree completion is a successful defense of the completed thesis-project in an oral examination with the mentor and the reader, and the presentation of acceptable final manuscripts.