2016-2017 Student Catalog | Doctor of Ministry Program | Admissions

Application Essays

Guidelines for Application Essays

Ministerial Experience and Program Paper

The paper called Ministerial Experience and Program Expectations that applicants will submit will be reviewed by each member of the admissions committee. As stated in the “Admissions Requirements” section, this is: “A narrative of approximately 1,500 words on “Ministerial Experience and Program Expectations” in which the applicant (1) reviews and reflects on her or his ministerial experience and (2) offers a possible dissertation topic.” This paper will be one of the main sources from which the committee can evaluate the scope and quality of the applicant’s experience and understanding of how the Doctor of Ministry program can enrich ministerial skills.

The following should be a part of the paper:

  • A good style with attention to grammar, syntax, spelling, choice of words, development of argument, and felicity of expression
  • A clear articulation of the applicant’s vocation and a narration of the types of ministerial assignments that she or he has assumed, together with an assessment of how these assignments have matched the vocation
  • An evaluation of how the applicant has fulfilled these ministerial assignments, including successes and failures, the skills that have been developed, and the possible weaknesses and gaps in skills that need further attention
  • An identification of how the applicant believes the D.Min. program will enhance future ministerial work
  • An assessment of the challenges that participation in the D.Min. program will present to the applicant, such as guaranteeing adequate time for family and leisure, with a description of the support structures and plans in place to meet these challenges
  • A projected dissertation topic which identifies a concern or challenge in ministry that requires research the applicant hopes to accomplish in the D.Min. program

Graduate-level Paper

The graduate-level paper that applicants will submit will be reviewed by each member of the admissions committee. As stated in the Admissions Requirements, this paper should demonstrate the applicant’s best work and ability in the following areas:

  • Knowledge of theological disciplines
  • Use of research methodology
  • Use of Chicago or another recognized style of writing research papers

This paper, of about 15 to 20 pages in length, may be a paper the applicant has written earlier in their graduate studies. It will be one of the main sources from which the committee can evaluate readiness for doctoral-level work in theology. Among other things, the following should be considered in drafting this paper:

  • A good style with attention to grammar, syntax, spelling, choice of words, development of argument and felicity of expression
  • Rich usage of appropriate biblical passages and non-biblical theological authorities with careful documentation of all sources
  • Awareness of the complexity in theological debates and fairness in the presentation of divergent viewpoints
  • Awareness of how the theological issue being examined might be applied to the complexities of contemporary ministry
  • Clear and logical articulation of the applicant’s own viewpoint