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Doctor of Ministry

Ministry Project Report

Definition of the Ministry Project

A Ministry Project includes specific, planned involvement in the practice of ministry in which a student seeks to develop his or her own skills as a minister, through theological reflection and practical application implemented within the student's own ministry setting. The Ministry Project must be something in which the student is not already engaged. The completed Ministry Project should demonstrate the student’s ability to relate professional knowledge, documented in research, with professional performance in reference to a particular ministry situation, problem, challenge, or need. The Ministry Project allows the student to meet specific spiritual, intellectual, and emotional needs related to his or her professional objectives. The Ministry Project must be something that meets a critical need in the student’s place of ministry. It hopefully will prove to be useful to others sharing similar interest or meeting similar needs in ministry. It should also demonstrate the student’s ability to communicate clearly and effectively by means of the written word.

Submission of the Ministry Project Proposal

The Ministry Project Proposal should result from the student’s work in the first two seminars, the first two Contextualized Learning Experience courses and the Research Methods and Ministry Project Proposal Workshop. Specific assignments will be given to guide the student in the process of developing ideas and a template for the Ministry Project Proposal. The student should also consult with his or her Faculty Supervisor/Chair and Field Mentor concerning ideas for a Ministry Project and the Ministry Project Proposal.

The actual Ministry Project Proposal is not to be presented for final approval until after the student completes the Research Methods and Ministry Project Proposal Workshop. After completion of this Workshop the student will submit four copies of the Ministry Project Proposal to the Doctor of Ministry Office for the candidate's Faculty Supervisor and the Director to review, evaluate, and approve.

The Ministry Project Proposal should be between 25 - 30 pages in length exclusive of the bibliography. Careful attention should be given to both content and form. This Ministry Project Proposal will eventually become the major portion of the first chapter of the Ministry Project Report. Ministry Project Proposals containing errors in grammar or style will be unacceptable. The Ministry Project Proposal should demonstrate that the student has reached a level of competence that qualifies him or her in the research and writing phase. Students should follow the guidelines found in Appendix C, Project Proposal Guide, and generally include the following requirements:

  1. State the area of ministry in which the student will be engaged during the Ministry Project and Project Report stages of the program.
  2. State and describe the clearly defined need to which a specific ministry project will be directed.
  3. Define and describe the ministry or research which will be undertaken, and state spiritual and methodological objectives for this ministry and/or research.
  4. Provide a basic outline or the five chapters of the Ministry Report including an initial bibliography.
  5. State the learning objectives the student plans to achieve through the Ministry Project and how the student will make use of consultation with his or her Supervisory Committee.
  6. List in detail other processes, methods, and resources (meetings, procedures, schedules, persons, books, equipment, etc.) that will be utilized in the achievement of this project.
  7. List criteria, norms, or methods (testing instruments, inventories, questionnaires, interviews, etc) by which progress in the development of this project toward its goals will be measured and evaluated.

Completing the Ministry Project Report

Upon the approval of the Ministry Project Proposal, the student begins the next phase of research and writing while completing the rest of his or her coursework.

Following the third seminar, the student can submit chapter two of the Ministry Project Report to the Faculty Supervisor/Chair for approval. This chapter researches and provides the biblical and theological foundations for the Ministry Project. It should be between 25-30 pages, double-spaced. This must be written prior to conducting the actual Ministry Project activity.

Following the fourth seminar the student submits chapter three of the Ministry Project Report to the Faculty Supervisor/Chair for approval. This chapter will provide an examination of the historical, theoretical, sociological, and contemporary treatments and models relating to the ministry problem or issue to be addressed. It should be between 25-30 pages, double-spaced. It will also be written prior to conducting the actual Ministry Project. These chapters are submitted one at a time in consultation with the Field Mentor to the Faculty Supervisor/Chair for approval.

Upon the completion of all coursework and the submission and approval of chapters one, two, and three the student may conduct the actual Ministry Project. The Project requires a minimum of 15 weeks under the supervision of the committee.

The candidate must maintain enrollment in the DMN 8151 or 8152: Ministry Project and Project Report Writing Course I and II while conducting the Project and until the final Project Report is submitted and approved. If an extension of time is required, the student must petition and enroll in Continuous Enrollment status each semester. This course will require additional fees equal to three hours of tuition.

Upon completion of the Ministry Project activity itself, the candidate submits a copy of chapter four in consultation with the Field Mentor to the Faculty Supervisor/Chair for approval. This chapter describes the Ministry Project in extreme detail to the extent that an uninformed reader could reproduce the experience if their ministry context was appropriate. Chapter four should be between 25-30 pages, double-spaced.

Once chapter four has been approved by the Faculty Supervisor/Chair, the student may write and submit chapter five to the Faculty Supervisor/Chair. This chapter provides a critical analysis of the Ministry Project and lessons learned by the student. Chapter five should be between 25-30 pages, double-spaced.

Planning, Executing and Writing the Ministry Project Report

In planning and carrying out the Ministry Project the student must carefully consider the following:

  1. The general and specific contexts within which the Ministry Project is to be carried out.
  2. The purpose or objectives that will explicitly guide the formulation and execution of the Ministry Project.
  3. The methodology chosen and the reasons for its selection, together with the rationale behind the rejection of alternate proposals, if such indeed exist.
  4. The relationship between theology and practice in the specific Ministry Project chosen.
  5. The utilization of relevant resource persons and materials.
  6. A careful evaluation of the influences brought to bear upon other persons    involved in the ministry chosen.
  7. Any changes in one's own conception of the ministry to which the student has devoted himself or herself.

The Ministry Project Report should include the major outline of topics as presented in the Ministry Project Proposal.  The actual body of the Ministry Project Report should be between 125-150 double-spaced pages in length not including the table of contents, appendices, bibliography or other extra pages. The bibliography and appendices should not exceed 50 pages. Students may exceed these page limits only if the Supervisory Committee Chair and the Director of Professional Studies grant permission (see Appendix D for a Project Ministry Report Outline).

A summary of the chapter topics are as follows (average length is 25-30 pages):

      Chapter One – Introduction, Ministry Project Proposal expanded
      Chapter Two – Biblical/Theological Foundations
      Chapter Three - Theoretical/Historical/Sociological/Contemporary Models
      Chapter Four – Ministry Project details
      Chapter Five – Ministry Project analysis

The Ministry Project Report shall also include the following:

  1. A detailed description of the need addressed by the Ministry Project.
  2. A critical interpretation of the methodology, organization, administration, tools, and process of the Ministry Project.
  3. A descriptive exposition of the theological reflection that led to the conceptualization of the Ministry Project that guided the planning process for the Ministry Project, that guided the implementation of the Ministry Project, and that aided the student in properly evaluating the Ministry Project at its conclusion.
  4. Suggestions for possible further implementation of the ministry exploredin the Ministry Project.   

Submission of the Ministry Project Report Draft

Following the approval of chapters 1-5 and extra pages (appendices, bibliography, etc.) by the Faculty Supervisor/Chair, the student will submit a copy of the complete final draft of the Ministry Project Report to each member of his or her Supervisory Committee. This draft for review must be submitted at least 90 days prior to the date on which the candidate expects to receive the degree. These are to be good quality copies prepared by photocopier or a letter quality.

Oral Examination Evaluation and the Completed Ministry Project Report Draft

The D. Min. Ministry Project Report draft will be academically evaluated by each member of the Supervisory Committee.  Final evaluations will be submitted at the Oral Examination.

After individually reading the final Ministry Report Draft, the members of the Supervisory Committee will convene for a conference and conduct an Oral Examination with the candidate at least 60 days prior to graduation. All Oral Examinations are to be scheduled through the Doctor of Ministry Office.

The Doctor of Ministry Office will schedule the Examination so as to allow time for post Examination corrections to the Ministry Project Report to be made prior to the established deadlines. Prior to the candidate joining them, the members of the Committee will decide how they wish to report their evaluations and invite response from the student.

The student will join the Supervisory Committee for the Oral Examination. The Oral Examination involves an intensive and critical examination of the research, contributions, implications, presuppositions, and methodology of the Ministry Project and Report. The Examination typically requires one to two hours.

The Committee will ask the candidate to leave the room following the oral exam while the members discuss, compare and agree upon the final ratings for both the report and the oral.

Each member of the student's Supervisory Committee will give final ratings on the D. Min. Ministry Project Report criteria for evaluation (DM Form 15).

The criteria for evaluating the Oral Examination will include:

  1. The candidate was able to articulate and defend the treatment of the perceived problem, intended direction, planned objectives and the rationale guiding the project.
  2. The candidate was able to adequately state the strengths and weaknesses of the process of the project and the evaluation of the outcomes.
  3. The candidate was able to effectively express evidence of personal development, professional competence, and teachability.
  4. Other specific objective criteria/concerns raised by a member of or the Committee as a whole.

The criteria for evaluating the Ministry Project Report will include:

  1. Clarity of the purpose of the Ministry Project including the perceived problem, intended direction, planned objectives, and the rationale guiding the Ministry Project.
  2. Integration of biblical and theological principles and practices in defining the problem, assessing the critical need, and interpreting the outcome of           the ministry.
  3. Engagement in action that meets a need with a ministry clearly identified as an expression of the mission of Christ's Church.
  4. Identification and appropriate use of resources needed for carrying out the project, including the use of appropriate research, consultation, training experiences, and needed materials.
  5. Evidence of the student's personal development in the project including self-awareness, self-evaluation, professional competence, and teachability.
  6. Clear description and critical interpretation of the process of the project itself.
  7. Statement of a process that includes the intended objectives of the project, the method of evaluating progress toward the objectives, the assessed outcomes, and adequate documentation of the outcomes.
  8. Presentation of the report in a form and style that includes clear writing, effective arrangement of material, cogent presentation of empirical data, and appropriate documentation of the use of written resources.

The student will rejoin the Committee for a report of the ratings, receive any needed further instruction from the Committee, complete any other necessary forms and bring closure to their work together. The Doctor of Ministry Office will provide four copies of the final version of the Approval Form at the time of the Oral Examination for signatures (see Project Report Approval Sheet Sample DM Form 16).

The Faculty Chair will complete a single summary copy of DM Form 15, one signed copy of DM Form 17 and the four signed copies of DM Form 16 and bring them to the Doctor of Ministry Office.

Any needed corrections to the final Ministry Project Report as directed by the Supervisory Committee during the Oral Examination will be made and submitted back to the Faculty Supervisor as directed for approval by the student at least 45 days prior to graduation.

In addition, the student will schedule a meeting with the  Administrative Assistant  to the Director of Library Services on the same day, following his or her Oral Examination, to be clear on final copy format and binding issues and prices.      Students must also submit the completed DM Form 17.

The Ministry Project, the Ministry Project Report, and the Oral Examination are graded on a pass-fail basis.  Committee approval of the final, completed Ministry Project Report is required before credit is granted. Final approval of the Ministry Project Report will be determined by a majority of the candidate's Supervisory Committee.

Following all final and approved corrections, the four required copies of the completed Ministry Project Report should be submitted to the Administrative Assistant to the Director of Library Services at least 30 days prior to graduation. These four final copies must conform to the regulations provided by the Director, the library and this handbook. These copies are to be delivered in four separate boxes along with any personal copies of the Report to be bound, and payment for the binding and microfilming of all copies. The copies of the Project Report must be in the library for binding no later than the Catalog deadline for submission, or an extension of enrollment may be necessary and graduation may be delayed.

If additional bound copies are desired by the student, they must be ordered at the time of this submission. Additional fees will be required. Additional information concerning the submission of the final Project Ministry report can be found in Appendix E, Library Technical Requirements.

The final disposition of the four required bound copies is as follows:  (1) one to the Faculty Chair of the Supervisory Committee; (2) one for circulation in the Library; (3) one to be kept in archived storage; and (4) one to be returned to the student.  The Library arranges for microfilm copies of the Ministry Project Report to be made and will make copies of the microfilm copy available at cost for inter-library loan upon request.

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