Doctor of Ministry

 

 

The Doctor of Ministry Program (D.Min)

BTS has designed its Doctor of Ministry program to accommodate both the bi-vocational pastor and the full-time pastor active in the ordained ministry. At the present time we offer two major tracks for our Doctor of Ministry Program: l) Pastoral Leadership and 2) Biblical Counseling. Each member of our program faculty has obtained a terminal degree but they are also fulltime ministry practitioners. They have learned to integrate biblical, historical, practical and theological resources into successful ministries; therefore, they serve as academicians as well as mentors to the student.

 

Applicants may secure an application form from the seminary office. Applications must be submitted prior to admission to the program. International students whose primary language is not English must submit TOEFL scores. In addition, procedures required for foreign students in relationship to immigration policies are applicable.

Consideration by the doctoral committee will include the completed application, evidence of cultural appreciation, evidence of the application of Scripture to the care of souls, and administrative skills in managing the ministry. These matters will be assessed through personal references, a personal interview and/or whatever testing the administration deems useful.

 

 

Doctor of Ministry Pastoral Leadership Program

 

Nature of the Program

Believing that there is a need for advanced education and training in Pastoral Leadership; BTS has developed an online program that is academically, theologically, and functionally sound. A new class of a cohort will be initiated when there are at least 6 students and not more than 12 students committed to participate in the cohort. The initial class will require on campus presence for two full days. This will provide opportunity for cohort members to become personally acquainted. There will be a faculty dessert on the first evening to provide faculty the opportunity to meet and greet students.

 

Students should bring a laptop computer to this class as the computer program used for the courses will be introduced. Cohorts will be subdivided into sub-cohorts for the purpose of collaborative learning during each course.

 

In order to maintain consistency for everyone’s planning, Tuesday nights will be designated as DMin class night. Class will operate on CST so students from other times zones will need to adjust. Classes will run 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with appropriate breaks determined by the professor. There will be 7 class sessions per course. Students will be expected to be fully prepared for each class. Alternative arrangements may be instigated by the teacher, but appropriate class time will be expected and all students will be expected to participate in each class.

The program will operate on a three semester year with one course being taught each semester. It is the desire of BTS to enable those participating to advance their academic training without leaving their ministries. The program is designed to be completed in four years.

 

Program Requirements

This Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Leadership degree requires a satisfactory completion of 30 hours of course work as prescribed in the curriculum and a 6 hour project/dissertation. The student is expected to maintain a GPA of at least 3.1, with no more than one C grade in the entire program. The Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Religion or Theology or its educational equivalent (including at least one biblical language) and three years of ministry experience are prerequisites for admission. (For students who have not taken languages a one semester non-credit course of intensive of Basic Greek and Hebrew will be offered). At the committee’s recommendation up to 15 hours of perquisite courses may be required. [The student may be permitted to complete some of these hours concurrently with the DMin program.] All applicants are required to submit a scholarly paper of 15-20 pages reflecting research skills with their application for evaluation. This scholarly paper may be a paper written for the MA or MDiv degree program. The doctoral committee will determine any additional prerequisites that may be required.

 

The degree must be completed in seven years from the date of enrollment. Students may apply to the doctoral committee for one-year extensions after the fourth year.

 

Course Requirements

Each Doctor of Ministry course offered includes approximately two to three thousand pages of reading that must be completed in the increments prescribed by the professor. Each student must have Logos Bible Software (Bronze Standard Library meets the minimum requirement). The professor must receive the following in evidence of the completion of the reading assignment not directly utilized in the class (delineated by the professor for each course):

An analysis of the theological implications of the material

A presentation of the distinctive features of the material

A personal reflection paper giving evidence of the student’s personal interaction with the material

All papers, including the Capstone Project, must be double-spaced in Times New Roman 12 point font and presented in accordance with A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations by Kate L. Turabian (8th edition). All papers must be footnote/bibliography style. All papers must have a title page in accordance with Turabian standards. Papers must be mailed (a SASE must be enclosed with US mail submissions) or emailed to BTS Administration and not to the professor. (Birmingham Theological Seminary, 2200 Briarwood Way, Birmingham, AL 35243) or emailed to BTSadmin@briarwood.org.

 

Program Progression

Doctor of Ministry students will be required to complete the program at a pace of one course per semester along with their cohort. There will be 6 to 12 students in a cohort. However, a student may request an exemption for one semester in writing to the Registrar (must be submitted at least two weeks before the beginning of the class) and will not be charged a fee for the exemption. If the student fails to file for the exemption there will be an automatic tuition fee of $600.00 charged to the student’s account.

All classes except the orientation class will be taught entirely online. Students will be required to be on campus for two full days for orientation. The purpose of this arrangement is to provide opportunity for students to become personally acquainted with the members of their cohort and to give the faculty opportunity to get to know the students. There will be six hours of class time on each day of orientation and a faculty dessert on the evening of the first day. Students should arrange their schedules to be available on the first day of class at 9:00 a.m. and should plan to be on campus until 5:00 p.m. the second day of class.

 

A student will be considered to have a lapsed registration after missing one semester. The student will be required to request reinstatement and will incur a fee of $90.00.

 

Program extensions after the initial four years will be granted for a maximum of three years, on a per year basis. An extension fee, in addition to tuition, will be incurred at year five of $200.00; year six $300.00; and year seven $575.00. All extensions must be requested in writing at least thirty days prior to termination date. Students granted extensions beyond year seven will be by special action of the Vice President and must satisfy any and all catalog/curriculum changes.

 

Candidacy

The Doctor of Ministry Committee will grant candidacy status based upon the successful completion DM9121, the Candidacy Exam, and Integrative Paper.

There are three components to the candidacy exam.

  • Demonstration of an understanding of Reformed Theology as summarized in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the other 3 historic creeds as outlined in the catalog (the student need not agree with this position, but must be able to articulate it).
  • The demonstration of application of theology in practical ministry situations.
  • The demonstration of the ability to properly exegete a passage of Scripture and present application in regard to pastoral leadership.

 

Dissertation or Project Program Capstone Paper and Oral Defense

BTS requires that the Doctor of Ministry Pastoral Leadership degree program have a final Capstone Project.

 

The capstone paper rough draft along with five independent peer reviews of paper is due by February 15 of the year of anticipated graduation. At the least three weeks before the final date of submission of the rough draft of the capstone paper which is April 1st, the student needs to schedule an oral defense, contact the Director of the DMin program.

 

The oral defense will be comprehensive in nature. At the discretion of the committee, other faculty members or outside examiners may be part of the review depending on the nature and subject matter of the project/dissertation.

 

The student will receive a pass, a suspension, or a failing grade on the Capstone Project. A failing grade has no recourse and the student must complete another dissertation or thesis project if he desires to complete the program. A suspension means that the committee believes that there is a shortcoming either in the dissertation or in the student’s ability to defend his work or sustain the interview. In such cases, it will be at the discretion of the committee as to how the student may resolve the difficulty. The grade shall be determined by a majority vote of those eligible to vote.

Presentation of Capstone Project Paper

Following the oral defense based upon the completed and approved rough draft, the student will present the final draft to the DMin Director for approval. Three copies of the final draft are required at least three weeks prior to commencement. The final draft copies must be printed on 20-24 pound acid-free paper of 20% rag content. Typeface should be Times New Roman 12 point font.

 

Other Matters

All administrative concerns not specifically addressed with reference to the Doctor of Ministry Program in Pastoral Leadership should be referenced to the Director of the program or the Vice President. The Doctor of Ministry in Pastoral Leadership degree is awarded to students upon the successful completion of the curriculum, completion of the Candidacy Exam, Oral Defense of Capstone paper, and the satisfaction of all financial obligations.

 

Application Fee                                 $175.00 (non-refundable)

Binding Fee                                         established annually by cost ($30-50)

Extension Fees                                  Year 5-$200, Year 6-$300, Year 7-$575

Graduation Fee                                   determined annually

Reader Fee                                           $400

Editing Fee                                       $500

Reinstatement Fee                            $90

Tuition                                                 $200.00 per credit hour

Administration                                 $50.00 per credit hour [This will be administrator’s pay for overseeing the program.

 

 

Curriculum

 

DM9120 Research and Design                                  Dr. Thad James Jr. (3 hours)

Required of all students, this course will prepare the student to do the necessary research for the dissertation or project. Students will become acquainted with the latest in research methods and research tools, including the internet.

 

DM9102 Counseling Methodologies for the Pastor     Dr. Larry Dozier (3 hours)

This class will examine a biblical theological framework of counseling as well as exploring methods to help Christians work through daily living problems with counsel, prayer, evangelism and discipleship. The development of the pastor will be the focus through understanding principles of biblical counseling methodologies. Application is made to premarital, marital, family crisis, grief and substance abuse counseling, with emphasis on developing strategies and applying scriptural principles.

 

DM9103 Contemporary Theology and the Church     Dr. Jay Haley (3 hours)

The objective of this course is to instruct the student in understanding contemporary theological thought within a biblical-theological context. Emphasis will be given to developing a biblical-theological response to contemporary and emerging theological thought relevant to the Church today.

 

 

 

DM9101 Church Revitalization                                 Dr. Harry Reeder (3 hours)

At the heart of the DMin program is the vision for healthy churches. The Church Revitalization Seminar held annually at Briarwood Presbyterian Church serves as the catalyst of this course. This intensive seminar stimulates pastoral self-examination and church structural examination. In addition to the seminar, students will complete assigned readings and present a paper interacting with the seminar content, readings and ministry site.

 

DM9105 Personal Leadership Development             Dr. Thad James, Jr. (3 hours)

The personal development of existing and new leaders is the focus of this course. The purpose is to assist the student in the critical task of self-evaluation or examination. The course will look to the inward training, to the heart of the leader, and facilitate the further development of good and faithful servants of our Lord to lead the church in spiritual and numerical growth.

 

DM9106 Developing and Training Effective Church Leaders Rev. Larry Cockrell (3 hours)

This course is designed to help leaders disciple and train effective church leaders for the local church. It seeks to provide students with the tools to impart a world and life view and to equip others to become leaders who, through personal discipline and commitment, influence others to accomplish goals and objectives for the glory of God.

 

DM9108 Preaching in a Neo-Pagan World                 Dr. Jim Maples (3 hours)

The objective of this course is to inform students regarding the world in which they live and to understand how to address the culture that has infiltrated the church. Utilization of the medium of expository preaching will be explored and developed. It will help the student grasp the issues that need to be addressed in the church today and realize the importance of the preaching of the Word as one seeks to speak to those issues apologetically.

 

DM9109   Pastoral Ministry in a Cultural Context              Dr. Jay Haley (3 hours)

The objective of this course is to instruct the student in pastoral ministry in relationship to the cultural challenges and opportunities that confront the Church. This will include a historical survey of pastoral leadership and response to cultural conflict.

DM9111 Independent Study The Program Director will assign a faculty mentor appropriate to the subject matter of the proposal                                                   (3 hours)
The student will submit a proposal to the Director for this Independent Study. The proposal must include at least 3000 pages of reading and a scholarly paper of not less than 25 pages. Additional direction for this paper will be found in the course syllabus. The paper must include a practical application to some ministry in the student’s church.

 

DM9121 Understanding the DMin Dissertation/Project      (3 hours)

The dissertation project is the cumulative capstone of the Doctor of Ministry. This course will explore methods, models and process of writing a DMin project. The final product will be the production of a project proposal

 

DM9122 DMin Dissertation/Project                                     (6 hours)

Student will be assigned a committee, submit a proposal and complete the final project.

 

Honors D.Min.

Students with a GPA of at least 3.3* at the master’s degree level may apply for the Honors Doctor of Ministry. The Doctor of Ministry Committee will carefully consider the application and may require a personal interview and if the student is not a BTS graduate or former BTS student, the committee may require the submission of scholarly paper written in the master’s degree program for consideration. The student will attend a two-day orientation for the program in which the nature and requirements of the program will be developed.

The program must be completed in five years. Graduation from the program is contingent upon the dissertation/project publication. The student must keep a bibliography and journal of his reading for the program, which must be at least 30,000 pages. Tuition is $7200.00 and all other DMin associated fees are applicable.

The student will be assigned a committee of three readers. The chairman will be a BTS faculty member. The student will develop a proposal in conjunction with the mentor that must be approved by the committee. One committee member may be a non-BTS faculty member who is approved by the Vice President and DMin Director. The mentor will be the advisor for the program and may be anyone in the area of study with proper credentials approved by the DMin Director. The student must have a personal interview with the Vice President and/or DMin Director in which he presents his proposal for the mentor. The student will be responsible for negotiating a contractual arrangement with the mentor regarding time and financial remuneration. A copy of this contract must be filed with the Vice President and DMin Director and both must approve the contract. See Student Handbook for tuition and fees.

*Prospective students with a GPA of less than 3.3 may be considered upon the following criteria: 1) At least seven years of ministry experience which reflects above-average abilities. 2) Demonstration through an interview with the Vice President or Director of the Doctor of Ministry program that he has acquired the necessary skills to complete the program.

 

 

 

Doctor of Ministry Biblical Counseling Program

 

Nature of the Program

Believing that there is a need for advanced education and training in the Biblical Counseling community, BTS has developed an online program that is academically, theologically and functionally sound. A new class of a cohort will be initiated when there are at least 8 students and not more than 15 students committed to participate in the cohort. The initial class will require on campus presence for two full days. This will provide opportunity for cohort members to become personally acquainted. There will be a faculty dessert on the first evening to provide faculty the opportunity to meet and greet students.

 

Students should bring a laptop computer to this class as the computer program used for the courses will be introduced. Cohorts will be subdivided into sub-cohorts of four or five for the purpose of collaborative learning during each course.

 

In order to maintain consistency for everyone’s planning, Thursday nights will be designated as DMin class night. Class will operate on CST so students from other times zones will need to adjust. Classes will run 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. with appropriate breaks determined by the teacher. There will be 13 class sessions. Students will be expected to be fully prepared for each class. For five of these classes students will meet in their collaborative cohorts with each student taking responsibility to lead at least one cohort session. Alternative arrangements may be instigated by the teacher, but appropriate class time will be expected and all students will be expected to lead the class.

 

The program will operate on a three semester year with one course being taught each semester. If a cohort starts in September the student should be able to complete the academic courses in a year and a half. Depending on the ministry of the student, after the first two courses and the successful completion of the qualifying exam, counseling conducted concurrently with studies may become part of the required internship hours.

 

This is intended to be a practitioner’s academic program. It is the desire of BTS to enable those practicing to advance their academic training without leaving their ministries. It is also designed so as to complete the program in two and a half to three years with course work being completed in five semesters.

 

Program Requirements

This Doctor of Ministry in Biblical Counseling degree requires a satisfactory completion of 30 hours of course work as prescribed in the curriculum and 15 hour practicum/dissertation. The student is expected to maintain a GPA of at least 3.1, with no more than one C grade in the entire program. The Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Biblical Counseling or its’ educational equivalent (including at least one biblical language) and three years of ministry experience are prerequisites for admission. (For students who have not taken languages a one semester non-credit course of intensive of Basic Greek and Hebrew will be offered.) At the committee’s recommendation up to 15 hours of perquisite courses may be required [The student may be able to complete some of these hours concurrently with the DMin program.] All students are required to submit a scholarly paper of 15-20 pages reflecting research skills with the application for evaluation. This scholarly paper may be a paper written for the MA or MDiv degree program. The doctoral committee will determine any additional prerequisites that may be required.

 

The Doctor of Ministry program, including the Internship, may not be completed in less than three years. The degree must be completed in seven years from the date of enrollment. Students may apply to the doctoral committee for one-year extensions after the fourth year.

 

Course Requirements

Each Doctor of Ministry course offered includes approximately two to three thousand pages of reading that must be completed in the increments prescribed by the professor. The professor must receive the following in evidence of the completion of the reading assignment not directly utilized in the class (delineated by the professor for each course):

An analysis of the theological implications of the material

A presentation of the distinctive features of the material

A personal reflection paper giving evidence of the student’s personal interaction with the material

All papers, including the Capstone Project, must be double-spaced in 12 point

Times New Roman font and presented in accordance with A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations by Kate L. Turabian (8th Edition). Footnotes are required for citations. All papers must have a title page in accordance with Turabian standards. Papers must be mailed (a SASE must be enclosed with US mail submissions) or emailed to BTS Administration and not to the professor. (Birmingham Theological Seminary, 2200 Briarwood Way, Birmingham, AL 35243) or emailed to BTSadmin@briarwood.org.

 

All students are required to purchase at least the Standard Bronze library of the Logos Bible Software and the Counseling Library (See website for further explanations and discounts also feel free to contact the seminary office with any questions.

 

Program Progression

Doctor of Ministry students will be required to complete the program at a pace of one course per semester along with their cohort. There will be 12 to 15 students in a cohort. However, a student may request an exemption for one semester in writing to the Registrar and will not be charged a fee for the exemption. If the student fails to file for the exemption there will be an automatic tuition fee charged to the student’s account.

 

All classes except the initiating class will be taught entirely online. Students will be required to be on campus for two full days for the first class. The purpose of this arrangement is to provide opportunity for students to become personally acquainted with the members of their cohort and to give the faculty opportunity to get to know the students. There will be six hours of class time on each day and a faculty dessert on the evening of the first day. Students should arrange their schedules to be available on the first day of class at 7:30 a.m. and should plan to be on campus until 5 p.m. and the second day of class.

 

A student will be considered to have a lapsed registration after missing one semester. The student will be required to request reinstatement and will incur a fee of $90.00 in addition to the continuation fee.

 

Program extensions after the initial four years will be granted for a maximum of three years, on a per year basis. An extension fee, in addition to tuition, will be incurred at year five of $200.00; year six $300.00; and year seven $575.00. All extensions must be requested in writing at least thirty days prior to termination date. Students granted extensions beyond year seven will be by special action of the committee and must meet any and all catalog/curriculum changes.

 

Candidacy

The Doctor of Ministry Committee will grant candidacy status based upon the following criteria:

 

After the completion of at least 10 DMin credit hours the student should submit a request to the Director of the Program to execute the qualifying examination. It is highly recommended that the student proceed to candidacy immediately following the completion of 10 hours of credit so that the Internship can be consummated.

 

There are three components to the qualifying exam.

  • Demonstration of an understanding of Reformed Theology as summarized in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the other 3 historic creeds as outlined in the catalog (the student need not agree with this position, but must be able to articulate it).
  • The fundamentals of Biblical Counseling.
  • The demonstration of the ability to properly exegete a passage of Scripture and present the counseling application.

 

Internship Program

The setting or place of the internship program is to be arranged by the student with the DMin Director. The internship program should begin after accumulation of 10 hours of course work at a pace suited to the student, accumulating 150 hours of supervised counseling before the last semester in which the student graduates. Ideally, the setting of the internship should reflect the commitment to biblical counseling. The purpose of the internship program is to provide the student the opportunity to apply biblical counseling principles. If this is not possible, the student shall inform the DMin Director how he or she is going to apply biblical counseling in a less than ideal setting. It is incumbent upon the student to set up the internship program with the DMin Director in conjunction with the Director of Internships to insure that the setting and location of the internship will be appropriate and qualify to be an internship program. The internship program then provides the framework from which the student will write his or her project. In conjunction with the course DM9552 Biblical Counseling Internship Practicum the student will be issued and Internship Manual which will explain in details how to set up the internship.

 

Dissertation or Project Program Capstone Paper and Oral Defense

BTS requires that the Biblical Counseling Doctor of Ministry degree program have a final Capstone Project. This project is also explained in the Internship Practicum Preparation Seminar. The student should be careful to meet all requirements of timing, form, and style (see below for details) when submitting the Capstone Project. The Capstone Project requires an oral defense before the DMin committee the composition of which will be: Supervisor and two other members appointed by the Director of the Program and may be conducted online.

The capstone paper rough draft is due by February 15 of the year of anticipated graduation.

Subsequent to the submission and acceptance of the rough draft of the capstone paper, the student shall schedule an oral defense of his/her paper, preferably three weeks before the final date of submission which is April 1st, or six weeks before the date of graduation.

 

The oral defense will be comprehensive in nature, covering the whole of biblical counseling since the internship is comprehensive of the discipline. In addition, because of its comprehensive nature, the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is all relevant material for discussion.

 

Presentation of Capstone Project Paper

Following the oral defense based upon the completed and approved rough draft, the student will present the final draft to the DMin Director for approval. Three copies of the final draft are required at least three weeks prior to commencement. The final draft copies must be printed on 20-24 point acid-free paper of 20% rag content. Typeface should be Times New Roman 12 point font.

 

Other Matters

All administrative concerns not specifically addressed with reference to the Doctor of Ministry Program in Biblical Counseling should be referenced to the Director of the program or the Vice President. The Doctor of Ministry in Biblical Counseling degree is awarded to students upon the successful completion of the curriculum, completion of Qualifying Exam (after completion of 10 hours), Oral Defense of Capstone paper, and the satisfactory completion of all financial obligations.

 

Application Fee                                 $175.00 (non-refundable)

Binding Fee                                        established annually by cost ($30-50)

Extension Fees                                   Year 5-$200, Year 6-$300, Year 7-$575

Graduation Fee                                   determined annually

Reader Fee                                          $400

Editing Fee                                       $500

Reinstatement Fee                             $90

Tuition                                                   $200.00 per credit hour

 

It should be possible for the doctoral student to complete this entire program for approximately $10,000. If the student has explored the options it should be obvious that this is about a third of the cost of equivalent programs without the expense of extensive travel.

 

Curriculum

 

DM1111 Care and Curing of Souls                                               5hrs Dr. Eyrich and Dr. Blackmon

Students will identify requisite qualities and skills necessary for successful biblical counseling along with effective strategies to implement the effective use of the biblical model. Evaluation of psychological assessments will also be a component of this course. Dr. Blackmon will explore essentials of counseling women and children.

 

DM1112 Biblical Counseling and Human Physiology and Psychology            5hrs   Dr. Jones

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with knowledge of the relationship between human physiology, psychology and human behavior, and thereby the application of biblical counseling principles to this relationship and appending problems.

 

DM1113 Biblical Hermeneutics for the Practice of Biblical Counseling         5hrs   Dr. Jeff Forrey

The purpose of this course is to explore the interpretation and application of Scripture to human problems and the theoretical implications for the integration of psychology and theology.

 

DM9221 Biblical Counseling: Marriage and Family      5hrs   Dr. Matthews and Dr. Blackmon

The theology of marriage, the uniqueness of man and woman with appending counseling issues are considered. The student will explore preventative measures that can be employed in the church to diminish family problems as well as biblical strategies and methods of counseling to provide the rebuilding of broken relationships. Dr. Blackmon will address counseling children of divorce and women dealing with pornography issues in their marriage.

 

DM9222 Biblical Counseling: Ecclesiology, Legal Issues, Peace Making        5hrs

Mr. Glenn Waddell and staff

This course will explore the role of counseling in the church, contemporary legal issues and the proactive role of the counselor in peacemaking and meditator. As part of Ecclesiology the administration of a Lay Counseling Program will be discussed.

 

DM9551 Biblical Counseling Internship Seminar                                  5hr Dr. Dozier

This seminar is designed to prepare the student to conduct the Biblical Counseling Internship Practicum. The seminar is considered a substantial part of the Dissertation process.

 

DM9552 Biblical Counseling Internship Practicum       10hrs   Dr. Dozier, Director of Internships, assisted by Dr. Eyrich, Dr. Spooner, and Staff as needed

Student will complete 150 hours of counseling and case analysis (up to 15,000 words). Since this is a professional degree the Capstone Project will flow out of the Practicum experience and consist of a 12,000 to 15,000-word personal reflection paper developing his/her development – both professionally and personally – drawing upon the counseling cases conducted in the internship, and integration of the knowledge acquired in the program.