Monday, July 15, 2013

After an excellent summer session with Doctor of Ministry students and instructors, attention in the D.Min. offices turns again to curricular design, promotion and recruitment, and core and adjunct faculty development. We have a unique thing going here at VTS with our D.Min. program tracks in Ministry Development, Educational Leadership, and (starting in January) Christian Spirituality. This summer session was a testimony to the deep integration, reflection, and development of new capacities that happens among students for wiser, more faithful, and more committed Christian leadership.

It is a great pleasure – and a great puzzle – to work with colleagues and advisory groups to create and interweave three strands of curriculum focused on transformation. As we near completion of curricular design for the D.Min. in Christian Spirituality, we have found that this new design suggests ways to strengthen the curricula for the D.Min. tracks in Ministry Development and Educational Leadership. Kathy Brown and I spend long hours together, drawing from input from fellow faculty, bishops, and leaders in church and educational settings and healthcare to put together an educational plan that will give new shape to an already strong D.Min. program.

The D.Min. at VTS will continue to awaken, stir, strengthen, and focus people’s ministries for the sake of Spirit-led transformational mission. Within each program, we hope that students and instructors alike find personal transformation from cynicism to stirring hope, from weariness to wakefulness and vigor, from narrowed thinking and perceiving that comes from long steady commitments to routines and expectations to expanded visions of how it might actually be possible to help foster new and changed life in individuals and communities, as partners with the Holy Spirit who is already at work in the contexts we serve and lead.

The Rev. David T. Gortner, Ph.D.
Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program and
Professor of Evangelism and Congregational Leadership