An African American ministry leader is unsettled by the lack of training for women leaders in her context. A para-church leader can no longer stand to see racial disunity in his context. A missional leader labors under the conviction that he must develop indigenous leader development programming. A chaplain can no longer stand by while Christian LGTBQ leaders are marginalized and feels compelled to develop new ways forward. A Latino ministry leader longs to develop new models of unity for his community, despite long standing divisions.
These ministry leaders share a number of key features. First, they have all felt the pull of God’s Spirit to be agents of change in the practice of ministry. Secondly, they are deeply aware that the change God is calling them to bring will require concentrated scholarship. Third, each of these leaders have enough ministry experience to know in the core of their being that any move forward will be better by intention listening to diverse thought and ministry contexts if they hope to address the particulars of their own situation. Finally, each of these leaders is a pastor-scholar in the Calvin Seminary Doctor of Ministry program.
Calvin’s newly formed and dynamic Doctor of Ministry program is welcoming leaders from a plurality of contexts. Together we are working at the project of creating theology that serves to inform and empower ministry.
Our program is a unique combination of a number of key components including: a) personal reflection and development; b) focussed scholarship through shared foundational courses, and c) highly adaptive course work through electives and directed doctoral studies, allowing students to tailor their work and research to meet the unique challenges they face.
Perhaps the most foundational element in the CTS Doctor of Ministry program is the internal and ministry unrest of the pastor-scholar. Every pastor-scholar in our program has come to study in large part because they possess a persistent question that God is inviting them to pursue for the betterment of themselves and/or the practice of ministry in their setting.
For 3 to 5 years, students in the CTS Doctor of Ministry program will pursue reading and course work, deep and significant conversation with a plurality of peers, intense personal reflection, and original scholarship.
The end result? Our hope is that all who engage a Doctor of Ministry at CTS will celebrate and learn from a plurality of voices, engage in scholarship that betters local ministry, listen well to God and others, be better able to lead in a complex ministry environment, produce excellent scholarship, and in the end, make a difference—both in the practice of ministry, and in the refreshed formation of their being.