WATS Doctor of Ministry program involves a minimum of three years of in-service study, requiring participation in six visits (residencies) to campus to connect with fellow students and faculty members. The residencies occur in late January and July. A variety of internet tools will facilitate interaction with others in your cohort. The “transformational project” (dissertation) will culminate at the final residency. To assist in achievement of the educational goals, the program follows a professional development approach that will enhance the student’s Christian formation process.
The main objective of this program generally follows the original template for Doctor of Ministry studies obtainable at Asbury Theological Seminary during earlier discussions between the two institutions. It is married with the objectives outlined in the WATS mission statement. The short form of the WATS mission statement is: “WATS exists to train men and women for holy living, for carrying the gospel to the unreached, and for catalyzing national spiritual awakening.”
The Description of the Program
The Doctor of Ministry program is an advanced, professional theological degree for ministers and as such exists to serve the Church. It is an integral program within West Africa Theological Seminary. It offers specialized tracks that will equip pastors and church leaders with a significantly higher level of competence than that achieved during their Master of Divinity studies.
The DMin Program contributes in a general way to the mission of WATS “to train men and women for holy living, for carrying the Gospel to the unreached, and for catalyzing national spiritual awakening.” Specifically, it supports our intention “to assist students to grow intellectually, emotionally, physically and spiritually in their lifetime quest of becoming and doing all that God intends.”
We believe it is paramount that WATS deeply impact African leaders to pursue scriptural holiness personally and through their ministries to others. Our doctoral students must see how the holiness mandate should positively impact the future of the African Church and how to promote clearer understanding and implementation of the scriptural call for purity of heart and life. Likewise, the WATS DMin program must produce leaders who will pioneer the next generation of cross-cultural missions outreach around the continent and beyond. With equal vigor we must also become a continental center for the study and promotion of biblically sound revivalism. We believe it is paramount for us to become a catalyst for the next wave of regional and even continental revival.
Each entering cohort into the DMin program would comprise of persons whose interests relate to one of the three areas of major emphasis. The course offerings vary from year to year, with at least one course from each of the three areas of study offered for each term. This structure affords participants a range of choices and enhances the possibility of their finding electives that relate to a particular interest. Participants develop their course of study by:
1. Completing required seminars, (i) Theology and Life of Holiness, (ii) Contemporary Missiological Challenges in Africa, (iii) African Revivalism in the 21st Century, (iv) Project/Dissertation Research
2. Completing five additional courses, a minimum of two or which must be from within their area of concentration; and
3. Implementing a project that is the centrepiece of the dissertation in their area of concentration.
The DMin program consists of a total of 30 semester credit hours. A minimum of nine units (3 semester credit hours each, or a total of 27 semester hours) is required, representing one full year’s work beyond the MDiv degree, plus a dissertation-project for which 3 semester hours of credit is given. The program will normally be completed in three to five years, with a maximum of five years allowed.
All DMin seminars are offered as one-week intensives. In both January and July at least two units are offered back-to-back so that students might reduce the number of trips to campus. Required seminars are offered each January and July. Wherever possible, electives are also offered back-to-back so that a participant may take two units consecutively. The WATS DMin program utilizes an action-reflection educational model and makes use of those components and methods that will provide maximum opportunity for the integration of theory and practice in one’s own ministry.
There are four required courses:
DM801: Theology and Life of Holiness: The biblical theology of holiness as revealed both in the Old Testament and New Testament and its implications for the spiritual life of individuals and the Christian community as a whole, especially within the context of the contemporary African Church.
DM802: Contemporary Missiological Challenges in Africa: An in-depth look at the changing demography of global Christianity, including the decline of Christianity in the West and the rise of African Christianity and the implications, challenges and opportunities for cross-cultural missions confronting the African Church in the 21st Century.
DM803: History of African Revivals: An examination of Christian revivals on the African continent over the past 200 years, starting in South Africa and covering all the geographic and ecclesial sectors of the continent. Includes examination of near and remote causes, characteristics, reasons for decline and aftermath of revival movements.
DM804: Project/Dissertation Research: Mastering of the processes of proposing and bringing to completion a potentially publishable and award-winning doctoral dissertation/project. Includes gaining competency in the use of relevant research tools and methods typically needed in a professional doctorate.
Five additional courses must be chosen, from among the following:
DM812: African Revivalism in the 21st Century: The relevance of modern revivalism, from the 18th Century onward, for the contemporary African Church. The primary focus is on lessons to be learned from the past, effective contextualizing of historic revivalism for the present and future, and need to address rising nominalism and materialism.
DM813: African Christian Leadership Studies: A survey of sixty years of Africa Independence reveals weak to moderate advancement of the continent as evidenced by poor scores in all indices of development. In this course, we shall examine the leadership paradigm that has created leadership crisis in Africa and the poor developmental outcomes. We shall examine the role of the Church in discipling nations by enforcing basic values and processes found in the Scriptures. We will examine how the Church can develop and deploy Christian leaders in the society who have the character and the functionality to serve as salt and light in the world as portray by Jesus. We will then conclude by examining the critical issues the Lord expects the end-time Church to address in preparation for his coming.
DM815: Spirituality of Leadership: A close look at the theology and practice of nurturing spiritual depth in the life of an effective leader, the peculiar challenge entailed, and effective means for success. Includes case studies of the spiritual life of men and women renowned for their leadership success in the Christian Church.
DM816: Nurturing Revival in the Local Church: An in-depth study of effective pastoral leadership in the nurturing of congregations toward spiritual health and spiritual renewal. Maximizing the preaching, mentoring and small group ministries of the local congregation that create an atmosphere and reality of revival.
DM817: Leading Muslims to Christ: An examination of evangelism within the African context that focuses on presenting the gospel through the most effective and proven means possible to the Muslim population around us.
DM818: Fostering Spiritual Formation in the Local Church: Studies the inculcation of spiritual disciplines within the congregational context, including tools and means for measuring the spiritual progress of members and methods for nurturing genuine spiritual growth.
DM819: Revival Preaching: A study of homiletic with specific focus on preaching that prepares the groundwork for revival that moves congregations toward spiritual renewal, that carries them through to genuine reawakening, and that prepares them for ongoing spiritual vitality.
DM820: History of Holiness in Africa: A examination of the holiness influences brought to Africa through the historic Wesleyan-holiness movement from America, the Keswick impact from the UK, and the Pentecostal influence through Azusa. Tracing how these influences have continued to shape the African Church of the 21st Century.
DM821: Cross-cultural Evangelism, Church planting and Discipleship: Understanding and mastering the theories and practices involved in fulfilling the Great Commission cross-culturally especially within Africa, including case studies where unusually positive results have been obtained.
DM822: Field Immersion: Guided group research and immersion related to the dissertation or project of the student. Normally, a minimum of three students must be engaged in a specific research field experience. Examples could include: (1) Study of the history and impact of the East Africa Revival, e.g. in Kenya, Rwanda or Uganda, (2) Study of the history and impact of the Civil War Revival in Nigeria (3) study of the history and impact of the Keswick movement in England.
Completion of Dissertation/Project: 3Units
Final Total: 30Units
The DMin program spans three calendar years and calls for the student to engage in both self-directed study and cohort-oriented meetings. This involves the gathering with colleagues and faculty mentors on six occasions during those three years. The time frame looks like this:
Year 1: Foundation
Orientation – 2nd week in December
Entry Stage – January: A 30-day guided, self-examination period (The Examen Retreat).
January: First visit to Campus Taking two of the Core courses during a two-week stay on campus
July: Second two-week visit to campus. Taking another Core course and Dissertation Research
Year 2: Exploration
January: Third two-week visit to the campus Taking two courses of your choice from the additional courses listed in the program contents
July: Fourth two-week visit to the campus
Year 3: Immersion
January: Taking one additional course of your choice and two-weeks visit off campus for immersion at a “Metaphor Site.”
July: Sixth two-week visitTaking Ministry Transformation Colloquium for hearing a public presentation on the transformational projects. Publishable papers due at the end of this residency.