The DMin program is one degree with three concentrations, based upon the interests and ministry goals of each student. The student chooses a concentration in one of the following:
- Pastoral ministry
The purpose of the preaching concentration is twofold:
The concentration primarily seeks to make good preachers better. This is achieved through intensive evaluation and peer review of the student’s preaching and expository skills. Coursework in the concentration reinforces and develops these skills through a foundational exploration of biblical exposition through extensive reading, as well as specialist courses in various aspects of biblical genre, including narrative, wisdom and poetry, apocalyptic, parable, and epistles. The student will also craft a personal philosophy and practicum for expository preaching.
The concentration also thereby seeks to enable the student to make a significant scholarly contribution to the field of homiletics through an applied research project. The program culminates in the completion of this project, through which the student is expected to demonstrate mastery in a particular area in the field of homiletics.
Pastoral Ministry Concentration
The purpose of the pastoral ministry concentration is also twofold:
First, the concentration aims to build upon the shepherding skills and competencies gained through previous MDiv studies, whilst 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 in depth.
Students will be encouraged to examine personal strengths and weaknesses and also to improve competencies in each of these areas. The challenges presented by 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 model, 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.
Additionally, the purpose of the counseling concentration is likewise 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 DMin 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 DMin 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 the Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation (CCEF).
If the student completes these courses prior to matriculation, either through Westminster or CCEF, this requirement will be waived.
Urban Mission Concentration
Note: Westminster is no longer accepting applications for the Urban Mission concentration at this time.
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.
The DMin General option is designed to meet the needs of students who are not ordained ministers, but desire the education offered in the DMin program. This option allows students to replace two required courses with two electives in their area of interest. In order to be approved for this option, the applicant must submit to the DMin director an academic plan proposal, listing the eight modules that the student plans to take.
An example of an academic plan for a DMin general student interested in the area of counseling:
PR 1: Introduction and Orientation to Graduate Work
PR 3: Counseling and Christian Ministry
6 Counseling Modules