Doctor of Ministry Program

Doctor of Ministry Program

The D.Min. program is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.
Mundelein Seminary offers the terminal degree of Doctor of Ministry. The goal of the program is to develop the ministerial skill of transformative theological reflection in and through projects concerned with ministry. In order to achieve this goal, the program interrelates three elements: theological reflection, other formal course work, and resource supervision. This interrelating takes place primarily within the peer group of candidates.


Structure

The candidates meet every Tuesday from 9:15 am – 2:45 pm for four semesters – two academic years. On these Tuesdays, three courses are conducted. Each of the three sessions lasts for one and one-half hours. In addition to the Tuesdays, there are four three-day intensive courses spread over two years.


Admission

Only those who fulfill these prerequisites will be considered for admission as candidates for the D.Min.:

  • Full-time involvement in a form of pastoral ministry;
  • The M.Div. degree or its equivalent;
  • The completion of at least three years of full-time pastoral ministry.
  • From the applicants who have met the prerequisites, candidates will be chosen according to their manifest capability for advanced theological and ministerial education, personal capacity for cooperation in a group-oriented program, willingness and ability to give this enterprise a high priority in terms of time and attention, and the potential value of their contribution in improving ministerial life.

DM800              INTENSIVE: Introduction to Theological Reflection

This course introduces the Doctor of Ministry program’s emphasis in ministry and transformation. The basic theological reflection method of See-Judge-Act is outlined and demonstrated. Particular attention is paid to the transformative potential of practice, which has personal, communal, and ministerial dimensions. Each student addresses a pastoral situation using the See-Judge-Act method.

 

DM802              INTENSIVE: Conflict Resolution

Students learn the basic steps in conflict resolution following the Fisher model), as well as the qualities to be maintained in any relationship in which there is conflict. Individual situations brought by each student are analyzed.

 

DM803              INTENSIVE: Integrating and Processing

This course focuses on the continued development of theological reflection skills and their applications in the life of one in ministry. Through presentations and discussions, the course participants will be challenged to process and integrate the academic with the experiential. There will be a focus on the processing and integration of the material from previous semesters into the various ministerial situations and contexts represented by the class cohort. The primary objective of the course will be the prayerful discernment and integration of ministerial experience with the wisdom of Scripture, Church writings, and modern cultures leading to transformative action. Students will continue to develop their skills in both individual and group theological reflection.

 

DM822              Theological Reflection as Transformative: Theological Reflection II

This course builds upon the previous courses on the transformational potential within the process of theological reflection in the life and ministry of ministers. Focus will be placed on the continued development of theological reflection skills. The primary objective of the course will be the prayerful discernment and integration of ministerial experience with the wisdom of Scripture, Church writings, and modern cultures. Class participants will be expected to both present ministerial situations/cases and write a paper employing theological reflection methodology.

 

DM831              Theological Reflection III

This course builds upon the previous courses on the process of theological reflection in the life and ministry of ministers. Focus will be placed on the continued development of theological reflection skills and their employment in various ministerial experiences that involve lived Christian practice. The primary objective of the course will be the prayerful discernment and integration of the ministerial experience with the wisdom of Scripture, Tradition, and modern cultures leading to transformative action.

 

DM834              Theological Reflection IV

This course builds upon the previous courses on the process of theological reflection in the life and ministry of ministers. Focus will be placed on mastery of theological reflection skills and their employment in various ministerial experiences that involve real needs in a contemporary context. The primary objective of the course will be the prayerful discernment and integration of the ministerial experience with the wisdom of Scripture, Tradition, and modern cultures leading to transformative action.

 

DM836             Spiritual Direction

This course is designed to theologically reflect on the experiences of professional ministers through the perspective of Spiritual Direction with the hope of enhancing our understanding of those experiences as well as developing and refining skills to help us become better ministers. We will cover the basic concepts of spiritual direction and the theology of prayer, building on the work done previously in the course on Spiritual Theology.  This course is not designed to create spiritual directors as much as help ministers of the church guide and teach others how to grow in holiness.

 

DM839              Contemporary American Catholicism

This reading and discussion course will examine some of the topics and issues that the Catholic Church in the United States has faced since the end of the Second Vatican Council. The purpose of this course is to understand the various pastoral, social, and theological issues facing the Catholic Church in the United States in the third millennium. The historical roots of these issues, as well as, a comparison with similar issues from earlier periods of American Catholic history will be studied.

 

DM846              Resources from the Christian East

As the Christian faith traveled through the Eastern and Western Roman Empire, it came to be lived, understood and expressed in varied ways that deepened, and today continue to enrich, the Church. This course will draw upon the spiritual treasures of Eastern Christian Greek, Syriac and Slavic writings and teachings to explore the path of the Christian spiritual life as a transformative process of following Jesus Christ and becoming increasingly perfect in likeness and union with Him. We will examine the particular terminology, concepts, stages and goals that the Christian East employs to describe this path, and will turn to primary texts by spiritual masters to expand our understanding. Spirituality, however, can never be a purely academic subject; to be comprehended it must be lived, and so this course also will look to the practical and living application of this spiritual path.

 

DM853              Prophets

This course provides an overview of the classical biblical prophets. It pays particular attention to the prophet’s call to be God’s messengers, to their unique contributions to divine revelation, and to the distinctive and haunting style that they employ to engage their contemporaries and to persuade them to adapt their personal views and priorities to those of their covenant God.

 

DM868              Leadership

This course examines contemporary leadership and its theories and practices with a special emphasis on leadership in ministry including styles, tasks, and the influence that the pastoral setting has on leadership efforts. Attention will be given to the development of effective church leadership and the implementation of growth indicators for pastoral performance.

 

DM869              Pastoral Theology: Systems

Parish life is made up of complex and dynamic systems. Too often constrained by ingrained practices, rigid ministerial scripts, and structured workflow, ministers can become overwhelmed with the tasks of managing ministry rather than leading the community of faith. This course provides an overview of systems thinking and offers strategies and models to enhance organizational effectiveness.

 

DM869              Theology and Social Science

A basic understanding of the philosophy assumptions, and methods of social science is presented. Particular attentions paid to the gathering and analysis of data. The interface between data and theological norms is explored.

 

DM870              Resources from Tradition: Homilies as Theological Reflection

The homily suggests a useful method of theological reflection. This course will consider the special questions the homily asks of the lections, in preparing to preach them as “a part of the liturgy itself.”

 

DM889              Bible: Paul

To discover Paul’s pastoral strategies, we will pay attention to the intended effects upon the audience of Paul’s letters. For this purpose, we will read and study 1 Corinthians, an epistle in which Paul seems to be most “pastoral.” We want to ask, among other questions: “What effect does Paul hope to have on his audience?” “What strategies is Paul using to achieve these effects?” “What relevance might Paul’s pastoral strategies have for our own ministries?”

 

 

DM895              Ongoing Thesis Writing