As in most traditional seminaries, the Doctor of Ministry of ITS is the highest professional degree designed for those who are in full-time pastoral ministry. It is the highest professional degree in the sense that the purpose of the D. Min. program is to provide ministry skills for a pastor to achieve a higher level of competence in ministry than that achieved in the M. Div. program. ITS seeks to achieve the following goals though offering a variety D. Min. courses:
- To reinforce the sound foundation of biblical and theological understanding of ministry.
- To provide students with ministry skills applicable to contemporary culture.
- To cultivate in students a renewed awareness of calling and ministry through critical reflection.
The key requirements for admission are:
- An applicant must be an ordained pastor with a minimum of three years of experience in pastoral ministry.
- A Master of Divinity degree from an accredited institution, or its equivalent.
Applicants who have a M.A degree, instead of a M. Div., are eligible to apply for admission, but, if admitted, they will be required to complete the M. Div. Equivalent program of ITS (48 units) before taking D. Min. courses. (See M.Div. equivalent checklist.)
Due to the fact that some of ITS D. Min. students are full-time students from Third World countries, D. Min. courses are offered in two modes: regular courses in the quarter system and modular courses in one or two weeks to accommodate active pastors in ministry. For full-time D. Min. students, the program is designed in the following way:
- Normally, all D. Min. courses are five-unit courses.
- All 50-level courses are open to D. Min. students.
- Elective courses listed in the class schedule of each quarter are open to D. Min. students
- D. Min. students’ attendance of 10-level courses is subject to the approval of the instructor.
- A total of 54 units must be completed for the D. Min. degree:
|Four (4) core courses (Practical studies)
Five (5) elective courses
A dissertation (project paper)
The D. Min. modular courses include the following three components:
- Each course requires 30 clock hours for lecture, evaluation, and discussion.
- An assigned reading of no less than 2,100 pages to be completed before or after attending the classroom session.
- A project growing out of the reading and class work, leading to a final written report of no less than 30 pages is required for evaluation.
Procedure for the D. Min. Dissertation
The dissertation is the culmination and the last requirement for completion of the D. Min. program. Although students are allowed to write on diverse topics, they are strongly advised to develop a project, apply it in his/her own ministry, and evaluate the outcomes of the application. The following are the steps to be taken from the beginning to the completion of a dissertation:
- Choosing a project topic and making a proposal in consultation with a supervising professor.
- Submitting the proposal to the Academic Dean for an arrangement of an oral exam. Questions in the oral examination are two types: questions to measure a student’s general knowledge of the Bible and questions directly related to the topic of the project.
- Writing a dissertation under the supervision of the professor and through the application, analysis, and evaluation of the project.
- A proposal of a thesis must be prepared and approved by the supervising professor.
- Defending the dissertation orally before a three-member committee.
- The approved proposal is to be submitted to the Academic Dean for an arrangement of an oral examination. Questions in the oral examination are two types: questions to measure a student’s general knowledge of the Bible and questions directly related to the topic of the thesis.
- The student starts writing his/her thesis after the approval of the proposal.
- In order to graduate after the Spring Quarter, a final draft should be submitted to the Academic Dean by March 25.
- Upon receiving a final draft, the date of an oral defense will be set from April 13 to April 27.
- After a successful oral defense, two final copies must be submitted for binding on June 6.
Graduation Requirements for Doctor of Ministry
Candidates for the Doctor of Ministry degree will have met the following requirements for graduation:
- Completed all course requirements with minimum grade point average of 3.0 (B), and with no grade below a “B-” counting toward the degree.
- Successfully written and defended his/her project dissertation and finalized the format of the dissertation to the satisfaction of the librarian.
- Settled all financial obligations with ITS Administrative Office.
- Completed all requirements for the degree within five years from the time of matriculation. A fee of $100 per quarter will be charged for extension granted for the completion of the project dissertation beyond the fifth year.
- Failure to obtain an extension beyond the prescribed study period (five years) will be considered withdrawal from the program.