D. Min Update (February EPC Newsletter Article)
I recently returned from a week-long class session at Erskine Seminary’s Columbia, SC Campus. We meet right off Lady St., just a few blocks from the State House. There, I finished the work that began last October at a conference in Powder Springs, GA. This is my seventh class out of ten. When I complete the tenth class, I’ll begin work on my dissertation, which I hope to complete over the course of a year. With much of my classroom work done in the Doctor of Ministry program, I thought it would be a good time to share a few things with my beloved church family.
First, as I said before, Thanks! The Session has been gracious in allowing me ample time for study-leave each semester. In addition, the Church has been generous with a continuing education fund for which I’m very grateful. Combined with Scholarships from Erskine, this opportunity has been much more affordable than I expected.
Second, many folks kindly ask me about what I’ve been working on. Some brave souls even ask about reading some of my papers. I must say the best of what I have to offer usually comes out in a sermon on Sunday, but If you’d like to read more, you can now access my papers online at Scribd.com/flyingfleet2000 . All I’d ask is that you consider them “works in progress” and not my final thoughts on anything. Several sermon series are the direct result of my studies. Stop and Smell the TULIPs, The Mission of God, Thanksgiving Psalms, and Epiphany: God is Here come to mind-- you can listen to these at EffinghamARP.org
Thirdly, I’d like to share how the D.Min program works and what it offers pastors and their churches. Pastors interested in continuing their studies after seminary typically have the choice of a PhD or a D.Min. the PhD is geared towards “contributing something new” to a given field and often includes in-residence work at a University. The D.Min is focused on the “practical application” of a project or idea-- usually within the local church. In fact, I’d say it would be impossible to work on the D.Min without serving in a church. My gifts tend towards the D.Min work, and Erskine’s “Institute for Reformed Worship” seems tailor-made to my interests. I haven’t yet decided on my focus for the dissertation, but I can see how the Lord brought me to this season of life where such a program exists just 90 minutes from home.
I enjoy talking about my course work and my travels. Please stop by anytime if you’d like to hear more. In addition to the classroom-time, I often meet new friends, experience good food, and squeeze in a bike-ride or two. Thanks again for blessing your Pastor with this opportunity. I hope it will continue to be a blessing for us all.