Why A DMin? 3/3

Final instalment of why a DMin!

You can check out previous posts here and here.

And this is not just a general “why a DMin program” post. It is specifically: why a DMin program at Talbot School of Theology?

The first answer to that is that as mentioned before, the DMin is cohort based and designed for pastor-practitioners. As a result, the program does not rip you out of your ministry context. Rather, it seeks to come alongside. Part of that is expressed in their annual intensives.

Most programs run 2 week long intensives on campus where you get to interact with your professors and fellow students. And that’s just a really great way to step outside of your ministry context for a brief period in order to be refreshed and rejuvenated. It’s a space to reflect on ministry practice and learn from others.

So that’s a key part of the answer – rather than uproot you from your ministry context, DMin programs are designed to keep you in your churches and enable you to study via a combination of distance education and in-person intensives.

But then, the unique aspect about Talbot is that it enables students to go on campus once per year for a length of two weeks. This is different to many places where you go for twice a year for one week at a time. The difference may seem minor but they are significant – especially for international students.

For me, this means that I only need to fly into the US once per year. That’s one set of return airfares rather than two. But significantly, it also means that when I go, I get a good chunk of time to actually read, learn, study, and reflect.

You’ve probably heard it said that it takes you one week to get into the mode of having a vacation, another week to actually have the vacation, and another week to wind down. So if you only take a week off from work, you’re actually missing out on the opportunity to really rest.

I suspect the same principle applies. There is an intensity to ministry that requires a wind down period. And if I just went for a week and returned right away, I feel like it would be too rushed. But going away for 2 weeks seems like a really sweet spot. I’m only removed from parish ministry once a year. But when I go, I go for a good amount of time.

Surprisingly, few schools in the US do this. And I understand. There is also something unique about going on campus twice a year. That probably works really well for those living in the US. But for international students, the arrangement at Talbot is great.

Oh – bonus comment: another reason why I chose Talbot is that it is a straight flight from Sydney to LA. No internal transfers! I had thought of a few schools located in Chicago, Boston, and Philadelphia. But the thought of spending a few extra hours on the plane threw me off a little. It wasn’t the deciding factor. But it certainly played a role!

And that’s it! 3 reasons why I decided to enrol in the DMin.

I just received my reading list for the semester and I’m excited to sink my teeth into it! Some of the books I ordered just arrived yesterday as well.

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