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Doctor of Ministry

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  • Program requirements
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By virtue of the federation of Saint Paul University with the University of Ottawa, the Faculty of Theology at Saint Paul University offers graduate programs leading to degrees conferred jointly by the senates of both universities. These programs operate within the framework of the regulations of Saint Paul University and of the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies of the University of Ottawa.

The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) is an applied research degree program which combines the resources of theological study and reflection with the methodologies of the social sciences. This online program is designed to give professionals, who are already engaged in the practice of ministry in its varied forms, advanced study and pastoral reflexion as well as a deeper appreciation of the plurality of forms and understandings of ministry. It assists students in developing knowledge and appropriate methodologies for the advanced critical study of ministry through applied research.

Graduates will be equipped to discern and promote the forms of collaborative and transformational ministry best suited to the human values, cultural expressions, and multiple dynamics of their given context.

This hybrid program combines distance learning and on-campus intensive sessions - during the first two years, 2 weeks of on-campus presence are required twice a year.

The D.Min. is a bilingual program. D.Min. students must be partially bilingual, that is to say, have mastered all the active functions of one official language and the passive functions in the other.

To be admitted to the D.Min. program, the candidate must :

  • hold a Master in Pastoral Theology or equivalent, with an average of B+ or better. Candidates with master’s degrees in Theology, Religious Education, or other related disciplines must have completed 60 credits in theology plus 30 credits of graduate-level study in a related field (e.g., pastoral counselling, religious education, etc.), with a component of relevant supervised field experience.
  • provide proof of five years of sustained professional experience in ministry.
  • master one of the two official languages of the University and have a passive knowledge (ability to follow lectures and read) of the other. One of the following is required to demonstrate language proficiency in the second official language:
    - a certificate of competency from the Alliance Française
    - a score of 4.5 in the CANTEST or TESTCAN administered by the University of Ottawa
    - a minimum score of at least 550 in the written version of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or 213 in the computer version
    - a minimum score of 6.5 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • provide two confidential letters of reference from experienced professionals in the applicant’s area of ministry attesting to the applicant’s skills in pastoral practice and suitability for the program. One of these letters must be from a supervisor in the applicant’s ministry context, indicating support for his or her program of study and an appreciation for the need for stable placement, insofar as possible, during the period of study.
  • write a letter indicating the goal of his program of studies and area of research interest.
  • have an interview with members of the Admissions Committee.

Student Transfers from Other Universities

Students registering in the Doctor of Ministry program at Saint Paul University after having completed graduate courses at other universities may be granted the equivalent of up to two optional courses (6 credits) of advanced standing for successfully completed courses that pertain to the course of study in the Doctor of Ministry. Courses must have been completed within the past five years.  

Some additional documents, and in some cases specific forms, are required. For more information, please see the page Step 4: Gather the documents needed for the assessment of your application.

The Doctor of Ministry (DMin) is a 33 credit program.

Compulsory Courses (12 credits)

  • IPA7120 METHODS FOR APPLIED RESEARCH (3cr.)
  • IPA7121 THE SOCIAL AND CULTURAL CONTEXT OF MINISTRY (3cr.)
  • THO7191 METHODS OF THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION (3cr.)
  • THO7192 THE ECUMENICAL AND INTER-RELIGIOUS CONTEXT OF MINISTRY (3cr.)

Elective Courses (6 credits)

Students must complete two elective courses either from the graduate courses offered by the Faculty of Theology, or from another faculty or university, approved by the Director of the DMin program, Faculty of Theology.

Research Practicum (12 credits)

Year One:

  • IPA8107 RESEARCH PRACTICUM I (Part 1 of 3) (0cr.)

  • IPA8108 RESEARCH PRACTICUM I (Part 2 of 3) (0cr.)

  • IPA8109 RESEARCH PRACTICUM I (Part 3 of 3) (6cr.)

Year Two:

  • IPA8110 RESEARCH PRACTICUM II (Part 1 of 3) (0cr.)

  • IPA8111 RESEARCH PRACTICUM II (Part 2 of 3) (0cr.)
  • IPA8112 RESEARCH PRACTICUM II (Part 3 of 3) (6cr.)

Comprehensive Examination (THO 9998)

Thesis Project Presentation (THO 8998) (3 cr.)

Thesis (THO 9999)

Minimum Standards

The passing grade in all courses is C+. Students who fail two courses (equivalent to 6 credits), the thesis proposal, or the comprehensive exam or whose research progress is deemed unsatisfactory are required to withdraw.

Residence

The program is considered a full-time program of study and all students must complete at least six sessions of full-time registration. Even though students may not be physically on-campus throughout this period and on-campus instruction will be offered in intensive two-week modules, students are required to follow a schedule of readings and assignments and to engage in on-going research based on their professional practice of ministry.

Duration of the Program

Students are expected to complete all requirements within four years. The maximum time permitted is six years from the date of initial registration in the program.

IPA 7120 - Methods for Applied Research

Research methodologies and their application to the study of the context and practice of ministry. Understanding and planning the research process. Qualitative, quantitative, and action-based methods in data gathering and analysis. The use of social-scientific methods in theology. Research ethics, especially as it pertains to research with human subjects.

IPA 7121 - The Social and Cultural Context of Ministry

Social-scientific analysis of the society in which the religious community exists. The relationship and function of the religious community with the wider social, cultural and civil community. The structures of the religious community and their functioning: especially in reference to authority, interaction, freedom, and growth. Study of the needs, hopes, aspirations of the religious community and society at large, and the resources, (material and personnel), obstacles, etc. in order to answer to these.

IPA8107 - RESEARCH PRACTICUM I (Part 1 of 3)

Application of the appropriate methods of social-scientific analysis and theological reflection to the work of the ministry practitioner and his or her community of insertion. Identification of key issues, resources, and strategies to sustain the development of holistic human and faith communities.

IPA8108 - RESEARCH PRACTICUM I (Part 2 of 3)

Application of the appropriate methods of social-scientific analysis and theological reflection to the work of the ministry practitioner and his or her community of insertion. Identification of key issues, resources, and strategies to sustain the development of holistic human and faith communities.

IPA8109 - RESEARCH PRACTICUM I (Part 3 of 3)

Application of the appropriate methods of social-scientific analysis and theological reflection to the work of the ministry practitioner and his or her community of insertion. Identification of key issues, resources, and strategies to sustain the development of holistic human and faith communities.

IPA8110 - RESEARCH PRACTICUM II (Part 1 of 3)

Development and implementation of an appropriate research design to explore an identified research question in depth. Test and evaluate the implementation of new models and approaches of ministry. Work towards the precise formulation of a hypothesis that will form the basis of the doctoral thesis project.

IPA8111 - RESEARCH PRACTICUM II (Part 2 of 3)

Development and implementation of an appropriate research design to explore an identified research question in depth. Test and evaluate the implementation of new models and approaches of ministry. Work towards the precise formulation of a hypothesis that will form the basis of the doctoral thesis project.

IPA8112 - RESEARCH PRACTICUM II (Part 3 of 3)

Development and implementation of an appropriate research design to explore an identified research question in depth. Test and evaluate the implementation of new models and approaches of ministry. Work towards the precise formulation of a hypothesis that will form the basis of the doctoral thesis project.

THO 7191 - METHODS OF THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION

Theories and models of theological reflection. Principles for the selection of appropriate methods and their application in the critical analysis and interpretation of the context and practice of pastoral ministry.

THO 7192 - THE ECUMENICAL AND INTER-RELIGIOUS CONTEXT OF MINISTRY

Critical examination of the impact of theological and religious pluralism on the context and practice of ministry. Investigation of particular issues, authors or trends related to the theory and practice of ecumenical and inter-religious collaboration and dialogue.

THO 7196 - BIBLE AND CONTEMPORARY CHRISTIAN IDENTITY

Exploration of the interaction of the Bible and contemporary Christian identity: the dialogue between Bible, church, and society. The Bible and world religions. Recent approaches to interpretation and the rise of fundamentalism.

THO 7197 - ETHICAL ISSUES IN THE PRACTICE OF MINISTRY

Critical reflection on ethical issues arising in diverse contexts of ministry. Theoretical, methodological, and theological dimensions of these. Religious traditions and public debates on contemporary ethical questions.

THO 7198 - THEOLOGIES AND PRACTICE OF MINISTRY

Critical examination of the biblical roots and historical evolution of the structures for ministry in the life of the Church. Recent theological developments giving rise to new forms of lay and ordained ministries. Identifying the operative theologies of ministry in diverse faith communities and their consonance with stated theology and mission. Evaluating their capacity to respond to issues arising from the contemporary social, ecumenical, and interreligious context.

THO 7199 - THE DYNAMICS OF FAITH

Various social-scientific understandings of faith development in the human person and faith communities. Critical study of different theories of faith development and of the inner dynamics of religious communities. Evaluation of the coherence between the stated faith development objectives and the means to attain them.

THO 8311 - DIRECTED READINGS AND RESEARCH I

THO 8998 - PRÉSENTATION DU PROJET DE THÈSE / THESIS PROJECT PRESENTATION

THO 9998 - EXAMEN DE SYNTHÈSE DE DOCTORAT / PhD PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION

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