A unique partnership between Methodist Theological School in Ohio and Trinity Lutheran Seminary has produced a Joint Doctor of Ministry Program offering the benefits of both schools' resources.
The joint program is a tangible benefit of the deepening cooperative relationship between MTSO and Trinity, as well as the agreement between the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to enter into full communion. Delegates to the United Methodist General Conference approved full communion in 2008. The ELCA added its approval in 2009.
"The Joint D.Min. Program enhances doctoral education at MTSO by inviting two faculties from different denominationally based theological schools to contribute to broader and deeper study in the practical fields of ministry," said Lisa Withrow, MTSO's Dewire professor of Christian Leadership and director of the Doctor of Ministry Program. "We have learned from accrediting bodies that few programs in the U.S.A. have this level of institutional and denominational collaboration."
The joint program is a direct descendant of the program that MTSO developed eight years ago—and which attracts students nationally and internationally. The D.Min. is a new offering for Trinity. MTSO will house the administration of the joint program. Each degree will be awarded by a single school; a student enrolling at MTSO will earn an MTSO diploma.
"Our program sets us apart in terms of attractiveness to prospective students, availability of excellent and diverse resources, varied fields of interest, and as theological school participants in the wider ecumenical agreements between the UMC and the ELCA," Withrow said.
MTSO offers three D.Min. specializations: Leadership for Transformational Change, the Mission and Practice of Preaching, and Pastoral Theology and Care. Classes meet on campus in two intensive sessions a year—one week each in late July and January—for 3 1/2 years. The remainder of the work toward a D.Min. can be done off-campus.
New cohorts of D.Min. students begin studies each July. Applications for the next cohort are due April 20.
Danny Russell, director of communication