Should I undertake a Doctor of Ministry program?

This is the title and the appreciation I put with it on the website I created as a vehicle to share it:

Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization
for the Illinois Great Rivers Conference

 A TRAINING MANUAL/STUDY GUIDE SUBMITTED TO THE FACULTY OF THE SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE DOCTOR OF MINISTRY
BY DAVID O. KUEKER SEPTEMBER, 2007

My days as a Doctor of Ministry Student at Fuller Theological Seminary 2000-2007 were some of the most wonderful and valuable years of my life. I am thankful to many wonderful people who’ve played a role in my learning and writing by your involvement in my life over twenty-eight years of ministry and seven years at Fuller.  There are literally too many of you to individually mention, but many of the words on these pages began as words in many blessed conversations we shared. I am very thankful for the educational opportunity represented by the Doctor of Ministry program at Fuller and recommend it to any pastor.

I came to the DMin program at Fuller after 20 years of full-time ministry. After all the scars and disappointments of those years, I was very much in need of an overhaul, both spiritually and professionally. As the miles build up and maintenance lags, ministers move toward breaking down like any overworked machine. Fuller offers a great variety of classes, so that I was able to tailor my learning to the subjects that most interested me and spoke to my particular needs. And the environment that blended intellectual teaching with experiential learning allowed me to get in touch again with everything that is important to me. I was able to bring up again out of my heart all the interests and enthusiasms that had been neglected in 20 years of adapting to meet the needs of other people. The DMin time was a time for me to adapt again both to God and how God made me to be, a rediscovery that comes close to a resurrection as I again connected with the emotions and the principles that had inspired me not only to follow Jesus but to serve as a pastor. The project allowed me to focus those principles for application in my life and also to share them more widely throughout my spiritual community. As the project was taking final form, I decided that it should be put online so that anyone whom God might wish to direct to it might be blessed by it. And that the remainder of my life and ministry would involve sharing the information I had learned during this seven year period of spiritual and professional renovation. Just as I was revitalized by the DMin program, I hope that what I learned their would revitalize others.

So, I recommend a Doctor of Ministry program for pastors, and especially at midlife; it’s a time when we typically need rejuvenation. If you read voraciously and attend seminar after seminar, you might as well do this learning in a pattern where it all coordinates and cooperates. There are many good reasons, but this one is mine.

David Kueker

Links: Right Click, select “Open in New Tab:”

The Doctor of Ministry program at Fuller: http://www.fuller.edu/academics/school-of-theology/dmin/dmin.aspx

Disciplewalk.com  Source: http://www.disciplewalk.com/DMinProject.html

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