The D. Min Begins

That's Due West, SC in the picture...

I recently began my D.Min studies at Erskine Seminary. The Doctor of Ministry is a practical doctorate for pastors to apply in their churches. Unlike a Th.M or Ph.D, it is not geared towards teaching. It is for pastors, not professors.

Naturally, I'm excited about the D.Min for personal growth, but my hope is that it will enhance our church's ministry at Effingham, too. For me, my course of study will be through the Institute for Reformed Worship. I'll split my time between Due West and Columbia, SC.

I'm looking forward to what I hope will be my next step in following God's plan for me as an individual and a pastor. By studying in the IRW, I expect to tap into my interests in art, music, theology, and worship. By studying at Erskine, I expect to continue the unexpected journey I've taken in being an ARP--and to return to Due West yet again after thinking I was a done for good in 2000.

I had considered RTS' new D.Min in Church Revitalization. While it looks like a great program, I couldn't deny my excitement at digging more deeply in Reformed worship history. I'm excited about the prospect of having a better understanding of how to bridge the gap that exists in Biblical, Reformed worship and modern trends.

In working toward a D.Min instead of another degree (the Th.M was another consideration), I expect to grow in my time management skills and ability to relay specialized information to a general audience. I'll be challenged to study in depth what I might have studied shallowly on my own.

I can't mention ETS without acknowledging some of the difficulties it's faced in recent months. Most recently, they were reported on here and here. I trust that there is truth on both sides of the story, and as such, I'm comfortable hanging my hat at ETS again. Perhaps more importantly, so are our church's elders.

The seminary is not all good, nor is it all bad. If I begin studies and find that it is all good, I'll wonder why they let me in. If I find that it is all bad, I'll prayerfully consider my options. That said, my Erskine experience in the past was life-changing, and I expect no less this time around.

You can check out my first two classes here and here.


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