Being a life-long learner should be a high priority for every pastor who wants to grow personally and stay relevant in ministry. The Doctor of Ministry degree is an advanced professional degree program designed for the continuing development of those involved in pastoral ministry.
This program is designed to enhance professional competence by expanding upon an initial foundation of theological studies and ministry experience, to enable those in vocational ministry to enhance current strengths, address areas of weakness, and increase overall effectiveness.
There are two concentrations: Pastoral Studies and Intercultural Studies.
Examples of courses in this major:
Required of all D.Min. students, this course is designed to prompt students to rethink the foundational values that drive them and to gain personal feedback from those closest to them. The instructors will seek to help participants reflect upon needs for personal growth and ministry skill development, as well as issues for appropriate theological investigation and cultural relevancy. Opportunities will be given to assess strengths and weaknesses, including the use of testing tools and the development of a plan for enhancing areas of potential growth.
This seminar coordinates study and discussion of current theological issues and trends that are impacting the church. Special attention is given to the application of these issues and trends to real life settings. This course is team taught by visiting professors and the faculty of Grace Theological Seminary.
This course prepares the student to fit evangelism, church planting, church development, and relief ministries into the social and cultural context of the receiving people. It majors on preparing missionaries to plant Christianity in the soil of the targeted people group so it will grow up within their context rather than to spread a veneer of Christian values over that culture. The contextualization of methodology, theology, and forms and expressions in the local church is discussed. The danger of Western values being expressed in biblical interpretation and the importance of taking into consideration the religious worldview and the definitions used in the receiving culture are discussed. Consideration is given, as well, to the differences of the cultural context within which the biblical text was written. This course also prepares pastors for multicultural situations in preaching and teaching ministries.
This course provides basic understandings in cultural anthropology for effective cross-cultural and multicultural ministries. It shows the importance of knowing anthropological concepts to gain and maintain that effectiveness and gives the student an understanding of culture with its behavior, values, beliefs, and the assumptions that lie behind them. Among other concepts, the course covers social systems, role and status, rites of passage, enculturation, acculturation, and culture shock. Also discussed are cultural values on time, thinking, decision- making, morality, individualism, conflict, logic, and ambiguity. It deals with the complexities of culture change and how worldview affects that change. Students will discover many of their own cultural values through the course, an essential element in understanding and working with a second culture.
A basic understanding of this foundational element in all intercultural ministries is developed in the class and in assigned reading. Communication itself is discussed in its various facets, and then each facet is considered as to how it creates meaning in other cultures for real communication. Social, cultural, linguistic, and psychological barriers to good communication in a second culture are considered. Other areas covered are intercultural education and leadership training.
The individuals who will challenge you to learn:
B.A. in Economics, Millersburg State College; M.Div., Grace Theological Seminary; M.A. in Biblical Counseling, Grace Theological Seminary; D.Min. in Pastoral Studies, Denver Seminary
Dr. Ken Bickel was originally in banking when he was saved and called to the ministry. He served as a full-time senior pastor for eleven years and part-time instructor at Grace Theological Seminary before coming full-time to Grace in 1990. He has served as a visiting instructor in Homiletics at Philadelphia Biblical University and as a church consultant on numerous occasions. He is a past President of the FGBC National Ministerial Association. He is a charter member of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and regularly presents papers at the annual meetings. He is active in community related activities and serves on the elder board in his local church. His latest research can be seen in Interpreting the Psalms for Preaching and Teaching, edited by Herb Bateman and Brent Sandy (Chalice, 2010).
B.S. in Communication, Ohio University; M.Div., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Ph.D. in Biblical Theology (New Testament), Wheaton College
Dr. Matt Harmon brings a passion to equip people to encounter Christ through the Scriptures and lead others to do so as well. His research interests include the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament, Biblical Theology, Pauline studies, and the life/ministry/theology of Jonathan Edwards. He served as full-time staff with Campus Crusade for Christ for eight years, doing evangelism and discipleship with college students. He taught courses at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Wheaton College, as well in the local church. On a regular basis, Dr. Harmon also teaches for Campus Crusade for Christ, helping to train staff in interpreting and teaching Scripture. In his spare time, Dr. Harmon also teaches training workshops for Bibleworks. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Society for Biblical Literature. Dr. Harmon is married to Kate and has two sons.
B.A. in Christian Education, Wheaton College; M.A. in Christian Education, Talbot School of Theology; Ph.D. in Educational Studies (Character Development and Spiritual Formation), Talbot School of Theology
Dr. Hill brings her passion and training in spiritual formation to facilitate the holistic development of students while at Grace. Her research interests include personal and interpersonal development with empirical work conducted in the area of adult attachment styles and relationship with God variables. She taught at Biola University and Talbot School of Theology before coming to Grace in 2006. While she focuses primarily in women's ministries, she has served in a variety of leadership roles cross-culturally, in the local church, and in the para-church context. Dr. Hill has developed a number of Bible study materials, published in the Christian Education Journal and presented research findings at the North American Professors of Christian Education Conference, a society of which she is a member.
B.A. in Pastoral Studies, Moody Bible Institute; M.Div., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Th.M. in Practical Theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; D.Min. in Preaching, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Dr. Rock LaGioia has been heavily involved in pastoral work since 1987. A member of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and the Evangelical Theological Society, he has authored numerous magazine articles and written book reviews. Dr. LaGioia has taught a wide variety of college courses such as spiritual formation, preaching, and theology at Moody Bible Institute and Taylor University. He has also taught graduate level homiletics and theology courses at Trinity International University and Huntington University Graduate School. Dr. LaGioia and his wife, Kathy, have been blessed with two sons.
Diploma in Advanced German, Goethe Institute; B.A. in History, Grace College; M.Div., Grace Theological Seminary; D.Min. in Intercultural Studies, Grace Theological Seminary
Dr. Roger Peugh came to Grace in the fall of 1989 with three years of pastoral experience followed by 20 years of missionary experience as a church planter in Germany. While at Grace, he was involved as an elder in a church plant for 13 years. He is an active Bible conference speaker as well as guest-lecturer in several German Bible schools. In addition to his role as Professor in the School of Ministry Studies, Dr. Peugh serves Grace College as Campus Prayer Coordinator and is serving as the Interim Dean of Chapel. Dr. Peugh, who has authored on the topic of prayer, is married to Nancy and they have four children and eight grandchildren.
B.S. in Urban and Regional Planning, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; M.Div. in Biblical Languages, Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary; Ph.D. in Theological Studies (Old Testament), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Dr. Rata came to Grace Theological Seminary from Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, where he served as Assistant Professor of Divinity. Before that he taught at Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois, and Emmanuel Baptist University in Oradea, Romania. He has also pastored churches in California and Alabama, and served as an interim pastor in Michigan and Indiana. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Institute for Biblical Research and has presented papers at the national conventions of the Evangelical Theological Society. Dr. Rata is chair of the undergraduate Department of Biblical Studies. He and his wife, Carmen, have two sons.
B.A. in Bible, Appalachian Bible College; Th.B. in Bible and Theology, Appalachian Bible College; M.A. in Religion, Liberty University; M.Div., Th.M. in Theology, D.Min. in Pastoral Theology, Grace Theological Seminary; Ph.D. in Preparation, Capella University
Dr. Mark Soto teaches in the School of Ministry Studies and is the program director for the M.A. in Ministry Program. His background in curriculum design enables him to provide faculty development and training in this area. He works extensively with the institution's hybrid-online programs while also completing a Ph.D. in Instructional Design for Online Learning at Capella University. Prior to coming to Grace College, he had 12 years of experience in the pastoral ministry and was a counselor for a Christian residential childcare facility. He continues to serve as an interim pastor for two churches. He served as a part of the Grace College Student Life staff as the Associate Dean of Men before assuming a full-time faculty position. Dr. Soto and his wife, Carol, have two grown daughters.
B.A. in Communications, Grace College; Th.M. in Bible Exposition, Dallas Theological Seminary; D.Miss., Western Baptist Seminary
Dr. Tom Stallter has 18 years of missionary experience in the Central African Republic and Chad in the areas of church planting and development, leadership training, mission administration, and famine and economic relief. In addition to his teaching in the School of Ministry Studies, Dr. Stallter is the Executive Director of the institution's GTS Center for Korean Studies. Areas of research for Dr. Stallter include, cultural intelligence, business as mission, multicultural worship, ethics in missions, cultural values, cultural identity assessment, culture discovery, and matching missionary candidates to contexts. He is a member of the Evangelical Missiological Society and the National Ministerium of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches. Dr. Stallter and his wife, Sharon, have three grown children and one granddaughter.
B.S. in Psychology, The Ohio State University; M.Div., Grace Theological Seminary; D.Min. in Pastoral Studies, Denver Seminary
Dr. Jeffrey Gill was the senior pastor of the Delaware, Ohio Grace Brethren Church for 20 years (1982-2002). He started at the church when it was little more than a church plant. It experienced substantial growth over the years and is now well-known in the FGBC as a healthy and influential church body. He assumed the role of Dean of Grace Theological Seminary in July, 2002. In 2008, he was named Dean of the School of Ministry Studies, which includes both the Seminary and the undergraduate Biblical Studies Department at Grace. He was the National Moderator of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches in 2002. He and his wife, Kathy, have two grown daughters.
Some of the positions you can obtain:
Immersion within and forming relationships with the people of another culture with the purpose of sharing Christ in word and in deed. Often times missionaries will form relationships through the application of their gifts and talents, meeting the needs of the people within the culture. Those talents may be in the areas of construction, agriculture, literacy, teaching, or business to name a few.
The Associates Pastor's role is to support the senior pastor and fulfill whatever duties both of them, along with the congregation, agree he should fulfill. Duties usually include most of the same responsibilities as a full-time pastor. One main difference is that a senior pastor leads the entire congregation while the associate pastor reports to him. However, some associate pastors work in a specialized area of ministry, such as community care, children, youth or worship.
Being a Children's Pastor is not very different from being the senior pastor of a church. A Children's Pastor ministers specifically to the children of the congregation from nursery age to high school.
The Senior Pastor of a church provides spiritual and emotional support to the congregation, preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and teaching the principles of the Word of God. The Senior Pastor should not only be proficient in talking church talk, but must actively walk the Christian walk.
A Worship Pastor/Leader should be someone with a deep love for Jesus Christ and His people; someone with a passion for music and the role it plays in congregational worship; someone who is able to thrive in a team environment; and someone who is able to envision and energize a community that is grounded in both the great hymns of the past and the current expressions of worship.
A Youth Pastor is concerned with today's youth and leads teenagers in their spiritual and personal development. They need to possess great leadership qualities and experience in sharing Gods word with teenagers. They lead the youth activities, outreach programs and youth services within the church and often work with motivating and training other staff members. A youth minister should be disciplined, self-motivated, organized, possess good communication skills, spiritual maturity, have a good understanding of the Bible, demonstrate Godly character and lead by example.