D.Min. Distance Learning Program Approved: Accepting Applications
22 April 2014 • D.Min. Hybrid Program • Deborah (Malacky) Belonick
St. Vladimir's Seminary is now accepting applications from priests, chaplains, and other professionals in ministry who want to earn an accredited Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree, through a new hybrid program that combines online coursework with on-campus intensive training. In the coming months the seminary administration will begin reviewing applications to admit 15 students into the first cohort of the new program, set to commence fall semester 2014. There also will be an on-campus orientation this summer.
The Association of Theological Schools (ATS) approved the hybrid D.Min. program in fall 2012, and more recently, on March 21, 2014, the State of New York's Office of College and University Evaluation also granted its approval. Additionally, The Danilchick Family Endowment for Pastoral Studies, a fund set up by The Rev. Protodeacon Peter M. Danilchick and his wife, Tanya, will help support qualified D.Min. students with their tuition, through need-based scholarships.
The Very Rev. Dr. J. Sergius Halvorsen, assistant professor of Homiletics and Rhetoric at St. Vladimir's and the program's director, observed, "Receiving authorization for the D.Min. from New York State is a great accomplishment for everyone at St. Vladimir's Seminary, and I'm extremely happy to complete this stage of initial planning and authorization. Now our world class D.Min. faculty can begin the essential work of strengthening the ministry of priests, chaplains, and others involved in institutional and professional ministry."
The D.Min. Program will integrate doctoral level academic work with applied pastoral practice, and members of the St. Vladimir's faculty, along with Orthodox Christian scholars from other institutions, will teach the eight core courses:
The Very Rev. J. Sergius Halvorsen, Ph.D., Advanced Preaching and Communications
Gayle E. Woloschak, Ph.D., Bioethics for Ministry
The Very Rev. Nicholas Solak, D.Min., Counseling in the Parish
The Very Rev. John A. Jillions, D.Min., Ph.D., Ministry in a Secular Age
Daniel B. Hinshaw, M.D., Ministry to the Sick and Dying
The Rev. Gregory Edwards, Ph.D., Missiology
The Rev. Eugen J. Pentiuc, Ph.D., Scripture: Exegesis for Preaching
The Very Rev. Joseph F. Purpura, D.Min., Youth Ministry
A project that combines research at the doctoral level with the intentional application of pastoral theory in pastoral ministry will comprise the final phase of the program.
"Pastors today face immense challenges," emphasized Fr. Sergius. "The depth and intensity of suffering and spiritual darkness in the lives of the people we serve is startling. Facing such serious challenges, there has never been a greater need for excellence in pastoral ministry."
Program applicants must have at least three years experience in ministry subsequent to their first theological degree; be currently serving in a position of ministry; and be capable of doing doctoral level academic work.