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After all core and program concentration coursework is completed, students synthesize the learning experience in a required Mid-Course Profile. This written reflective exercise, along with the written project proposal form the basis of the Integrative Examination conducted by a faculty committee. After passing the integrative examination, students enter D.Min. candidacy. In this status they develop and complete the D.Min. project and dissertation, generally a one-year experience. This portion of the program requires no campus visits for coursework-only for the Dissertation Defense and graduation.
The integrative examination is a culminating exercise in which the students demonstrate scholarly, professional, practical and spiritual integration of the D.Min. experience.
To fulfill this requirement, students prepare a 5-7 page reflective exercise based on a series of questions outlined on the Mid-Course Profile. At this time, students are encouraged to reflect upon how achievement of the leadership profile has been facilitated during the program. Students also submit a ministry project/dissertation proposal. The proposal is equal to chapter one of the dissertation.
The integrative examination is a discussion/interview based on the content of the Mid-Course Profile and the project proposal. A passing grade on both parts of the integrative exam marks the beginning of doctoral candidacy. After successful defense of the project proposal, the research and writing phase is conducted under close supervision by the faculty. Major portions of the ministry project and dissertation have been planned into the development of the D.Min. course sequence.
Ministry Project and Dissertation
The final experience of the D.Min. program is a two-step, in-ministry reflection process.
The first step is a ministry project. Students identify a problem in ministry and propose solutions. The ministry project is a specialized application of the curriculum to the student's ministry context. The project may be scheduled to occur over several months after the student's coursework is completed.
After the students have collected, interpreted and evaluated the ministry project sufficiently, the second step begins: writing the dissertation report. Using the skills and materials provided in the prerequisite research component of the D.Min. Orientation, students write a publishable multi-chapter report about their ministry project.