Specializations

McAfee School of Theology Banner

Students seeking a Doctor of Ministry choose to study in one of eight specializations. The focus of the program is to cultivate in students a theologically informed praxis of ministry that manifests the unity and interrelatedness of theory and practice. All acts of ministry are seen in the light of an informed theological vision of the nature and mission of the Church in the world, and in turn, the actual practice of ministry continually shapes and reforms that theological vision.

 

Christian Spirituality
This specialization focuses on ministry designed to enhance spiritual formation and disciplines of prayer, and to equip congregants to develop their faith commitments through the leadership of a minister as spiritual guide. Spiritual formation focuses on the needs of congregations and individuals to continue growing in faith.
 

Justice and Peacemaking
This specialization focuses on the application of the ethical mandates of the Kingdom of God. Students will engage biblical, historical, and theological understandings of the minister as ethical guide.
 

Leadership and Ministry
Students will study how to lead congregations in transformational processes, adapt to changing community contexts and develop creative initiatives such as coaching. Students explore the principles of effective leadership and management.
 

Mission and Community Development
This area offers opportunities for students to develop projects that focus on the Kingdom of God as a redeeming reality. Students examine issues that affect the church's mission such as postmodernism, cultural shifts, social justice, and demographic changes. The church is viewed as the communal embodiment of Christian faith joining with others in concern for ongoing redemption, renewing social order, and promoting justice and peace.
 

Pastoral Care/Chaplaincy
Students engage in ministry projects related to pastoral counseling, chaplaincy services, and congregational care. The primary competencies of pastoral caregiving are explored through reading, clinical supervision, and ministry coaching.
 

Preaching
Students who wish to focus on preaching will explore creative ways to communicate the gospel through the spoken and written word. Effective methods of communication and research into the ways congregations and readers understand the gospel are explored. Faith communication through the arts, story, written communication, and visual and electronic means are researched as ways to enhance the minister's sharing of the word of God.
 

Scripture and the Life of the Church
Students reflect upon the importance of a biblically based ministry and are challenged to evaluate their ministry in terms of scripture. Students are introduced to the latest in scholarship, tools, and resources that will help them formulate a ministry project emphasizing biblical understanding.

 

Theology/Christian Worship
Students engaged in ministry projects related to worship focus on how congregations address differing worship traditions. Worship styles are explored to give insight to the student regarding the meaning, development, and history of various approaches.Students focus on the continuing task of theological formation in light of worship, Scripture, the Church's faith, and contemporary experience.