In our postmodern world, the pulpit can either be surrendered as a relic of a bygone era or powerfully reclaimed as a locus of renewed and faithful proclamation for a life-giving future. This D. Min. concentration engages the latter choice by offering experienced clergy and lay practitioners an opportunity to hone the art of preaching in response to the unique homiletical challenges of the early 21st century.
In integrative and interdisciplinary courses, this D. Min. track will enable preachers to accomplish the following goals:
- Strengthen their biblical reflection and theological grounding for communication of the Gospel.
- Practice creative styles in light of an increasingly multicultural and technological society.
- Nourish the pastoral sensitivities at the heart of pulpit proclamation.
- Articulate prophetic responses to the biblical mandates for justice in today’s global contexts, in the tradition and mission of CRCDS.
- Develop lifelong resources for sustaining preaching excellence.
- Students are required to complete a total of nine courses. Five courses must be approved preaching courses; three courses are free electives (at the D. Min. level), and the final course is the actual writing of a thesis.
- Each student will be assigned a faculty advisor upon admission to the program. By the beginning of the student’s fifth course, the student must identify and confirm a faculty mentor, who will direct the student’s remaining course work and thesis writing.
- Guidelines for candidacy review and thesis defense are the same as for the D. Min. in transformative leadership outlined in the Campus Life handbook.
Courses are taught in an intensive format during the first two weeks of January and June. This schedule allows students to enroll in up to four courses each year. Courses include three elements:
- readings and responses, completed before the course is taught;
- a final course project.
To facilitate the work that needs to be done before classes begin, students receive syllabi and all required reading lists. Students can expect to receive these materials no later than November 1 for the January residency and April 1 for the June residency.
Requirements for the Doctor of Ministry degree can usually be met within 36 months of enrollment. Students may complete program requirements over a longer time provided all requirements are met within six years of first enrollment.
No grade of less than “B” shall count for credit toward the D.Min. degree.“B-“ is not an acceptable grade for the D.Min program. Students receiving a “B-“ are automatically placed on academic probation. Students who receive two grades lower than “B” are automatically terminated from the program.
Students may take two courses as directed or independent study for the D.Min. degree if warranted by their program or circumstances. Directed or independent study may be taken only after the completion of at least three courses.
Approved Preaching Courses
The following courses may count toward satisfying the preaching requirement for the degree:
INT 715 Preaching to the Powers: The Task of Transformative Leadership
The prophets of Scripture and the voices of our times teach us about the importance of “Preaching and the Powers” and the cost involved. This class will focus on the identification of “the powers” in one’s context and the necessity of self-education and communal congregational education regarding the recognition and activity of these systems and institutions and our challenging call as Baptized Christians to address the impact of “the Powers” in the lives of those around us. The use of the pulpit is a powerful and necessary tool in this enterprise.
INT 716 Preaching the Power and Promise of the Old Testament
Recognizing that the Old Testament—the whole Old Testament—is no less ‘Scripture’ than the New, we shall engage with a wide selection of texts, both the well-known and otherwise, and consider how they might function in preaching and the pastoral setting. Chosen passages will include narratives, prophecies, and Psalms, and these will be read in dialogue with commentators, theorists, and theologians.
INT 717 Preaching the Prophetic Passages of the New Testament
Prophetic preaching has the dual focus of exposing and addressing the powers that make up the systems of domination and of equipping God’s people to respond to those powers with strategies for resistance, faithfulness, and hope. This course will assist students in developing a biblical theology of prophetic preaching and in identifying relevant texts for proclamation. Biblical themes for proclamation will be discussed and exegesis will be performed on specific New Testament passages.
INT 718 Preaching for Social Change
Preaching is more than a reflection on the Word. It is, in addition, a challenge to the preacher and the listener to transform their lives and the structures in which they find themselves. Prophetic preaching is a critical art in our day as we address the “Powers” that surround and impact us.
INT 719 The Art of Creative Preaching
To minister in our time, proclamation must not be so much telling the Gospel as revealing it to our hearers. With that goal in mind, this course is designed to develop the craft of homiletics by exploring the interface between the arts and the pulpit. A number of creative approaches to engage the imagination will be cultivated, including the use of narrative, autobiography, and multimedia in preaching.
INT 720 Preaching in the African-American Tradition
The purpose of this course is to introduce the student to the basic features of preaching in the African-American tradition. The course will consist of lectures, group discussions, actual preaching services led by distinguished area pastors, and guest presentations. Students will have the opportunity to study the diverse styles and approaches that make up the African-American preaching tradition.
INT 721 Womanist Preaching (TBA)
INT 722 Ethical Issues in the Pulpit (TBA)
INT 723 The Spiritual Discipline of Preaching (TBA)
INT 724 Special Topics in Preaching (TBA)