Course Information and SequenceCourses are normally offered in intensive one-week sessions in January and July. Students receive pre-course assignments that include assigned readings and/or written papers. At the end of the sessions, students receive post-course assignments that may include a written project requiring the students to apply course material.
Academic Requirements for CompletionAll requirements for the Doctor of Ministry degree must be completed within six years from the time of matriculation. Petitions for an exception to this requirement mush be approved by the Program Committee. The candidate will complete a total of 30 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. This includes successful completion of eight seminars (24 credit hours) plus the major project (six credit hours). Upon completion of the major project, the candidate will make a successful oral presentation of the work to the Program Committee and the Project Committee for evaluation. Upon successful completion, the student is awarded the Doctor of Ministry degree. The Theological Exegesis Track is uniquely designed to equip students in the art of theological exegesis of the Bible. The track fosters are appreciation for a reading of the Bible that is canonical, creedal, and contextual. Students learn how to draw on the rich history of exegetical theology for the sake of interpreting the Bible for the church today.
Program OutcomesStudents will be capable of:
- Understanding the integration of biblical teaching with the disciplines of systematic and historical theology.
- Interpreting the whole Bible in a Christ-centered way
- Using the history of exegesis (classical and modern) for their own ministry
- Reading the Bible in a canonically, creedally, and contextually sensitive way
DMin Theological Exegesis Course Descriptions
These courses are designed to offer both theoretical and practical expertise in theological exegesis:
Scripture and Doctrine (3 hours)
Doctrine begins and ends with scriptural interpretation. By working with and testing this basic thesis this course will commend an account of the relationship between scripture and doctrine in which doctrine is understood as a reading of scripture and as that which enables us to read scripture well. To consider this reciprocal relationship – theology flows from scripture and returns us to scripture as better readers – this course will explore the character and content of the Bible, the relationship between the Old and New Testament, the process and history of interpretation, and a number of case-studies demonstrating the biblical basis for doctrinal formulations and, conversely, how doctrinal formulations can aid biblical interpretation. Throughout, attention will be given to the effectiveness and creativity of God’s word, indicating that ultimately it is not we who interpret scripture, but God who interprets us through his word.
Reading the Bible with the Dead: Using the History of Exegesis (3 hours)
We do not read the Bible alone. We read within the “communion of saints” and reliant upon the Holy Spirit’s illumination of this biblical text throughout the centuries and around the globe. In this course, students learn how to make use of the exegetical resources drawn from church history. We familiarize ourselves with the interpretive work of the patristic, medieval, and Reformation eras, so that we can employ not only contemporary but also classical voices in our ongoing conversations about the Bible. We learn how to glean the strengths of the history of exegesis, while doing so critically and faithfully.
Old Testament Book Study: Exegesis and Theology (3 hours)
Theological exegesis is not a theory. It is a practice. In this course and the following one, we give sustained attention to the actual work of interpreting a specific biblical text from each testament. Here, as we study one Old Testament book in great detail, the class focuses especially on the distinctively Christian approach to the text. We consider the varied ways that Old Testament texts point to the one gospel of Jesus Christ and, thus, inform our continuing faith and practice. We make use of the resources gleaned from the first two courses, in particular drawing on the classical and contemporary exegetical tradition. Books studied include Deuteronomy and Job.
New Testament Book Study: Exegesis and Theology (3 hours)
Like the previous course, this class involves careful and ongoing focus upon a single biblical book. This New Testament book study emphasizes the content and theology of the text and involves reading scripture with an eye to preaching and teaching it. This includes putting the interpretative resources explored in the previous classes into practice by drawing on resources from the classical and modern eras and tuning into to the book’s place and shape in the wider canon. Whereas the Old Testament book study considers the various ways the Old Testament anticipates Jesus Christ; this investigation of a New Testament book will focus on the announcement of Christ crucified as the good news that is the power of God unto salvation. Books studied include Romans and Hebrews.
Elective hours: 12
(Note: for Logos students, one elective will be used toward the "Using Logos Software" class taught by Dr. Samuel Lamerson)
Major Project Dissertation
The Major Project Dissertation is an applied dissertation. It should be a minimum of 120 pages and demonstrate the student’s ability to build an adequate bridge between significant ministerial concerns in a creative and meaningful way. Final project (6 hours): The final project is meant to be a concrete case study. The student will offer theological exegesis of some portion of Scripture, showing its canonical testimony, its creedal importance, and its contemporary relevance for the author’s or other contexts. In so doing the student will draw on classical and modern resources and demonstrate an ability to read critically within the tradition of Christian theological exegesis. The project concludes with a practical guide to employing this material in the church, whether as a teaching series or a framework for some other ministry.