This post may surprise you, but I want to defend a degree that's received a bad rap, in my opinion. I’m a professor who has been doing this work long enough to know that some people view the D.Min. degree as a watered-down doctoral degree. I’m sure it can be (as all degrees can be), but I know institutions that have really strong degrees – including where I serve now at Southeastern Seminary. Here’s why you might want to consider this option:
- It challenges you to keep learning. Pastors who stop growing in knowledge stunt their growth as leaders. A practical doctoral degree like the D.Min. can push you to grow in ways that might surprise you.
- It provides you a cohort and network with other leaders. Most D.Min. programs I know are in a modular, cohort model. Some students develop friendships with D.Min. classmates that last the rest of their lives.
- It’s doable. You may not think it is, but it is. D.Min. work is so connected to daily ministry that it’s accomplishable. I tell my D.Min. students, “We want to help you earn a degree for doing what you should be doing in your ministry role anyway.”
- It’s accessible. Many, if not most, programs allow you to complete the degree while remaining in your current ministry context. On-campus time is typically 1-2 weeks at a time.
- It will help your church. That’s because this degree will help you to be a better leader. It might even make you a better follower of God.
- It’s applicable. If you worry that more education will simply be facts and ideas that seem irrelevant to your day-to-day work, let go of that concern. A D.Min. is particularly designed to apply in your ministry setting.
- It’s specialized. Unlike other ministry degrees, the D.Min. is often specialized in particular areas. You can spend your time digging deeply into areas like preaching, biblical counseling, leadership, church planting, and church revitalization.
- It’s a God-given opportunity. Many believers around the world would long for such an opportunity to study at this level. When God gives us opportunity and ability, we must at least consider the possibility.
- It might even get you a job. I’ve seen it happen – a student enters the program praying about where God wants him, and he meets a classmate who links him to his next job. You never know . . . .
Let me know if you have questions.