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PSR offers an opportunity for creative, focused, and advanced professional studies in its cluster Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree. Unlike the PhD or ThD, the DMin is not a degree in a specialized academic discipline, but rather is a professional degree in ministry that brings together theory and praxis rooted in the academy and the community of faith.

PSR’s DMin program is interdisciplinary in design, cross-cultural in content, and ecumenical in intention. The program attracts and encourages interaction among an especially multicultural and multinational group of students. The DMin provides an opportunity for you to:

  • use your skills in critical engagement with texts and traditions and contextual analysis to advance your understanding of the nature and purpose of ministry in a particular context.
  • be able to work in partnership with people in other ministry settings to develop greater skill in communicating the Christian faith and in developing leadership styles for effective social change.
  • create new knowledge and research about the practice of ministry that contributes to the understanding and practice of ministry.
  • enhance your ministry skills and competencies through discipline study using research and conversation with peers and instructors.
  • integrate these understandings and competencies into theologically coherent analysis of the practice of ministry.
  • develop a more aware engaged spirituality.

Program Manual

Student Policies Catalog

Statement of Understanding

DMin Forms

Forms for students entering 2011 and after

 FORM

 WHO SUBMITS

 WHEN FORM IS SUBMITTED/USED

DMin Elective Learning Outcomes in Relation to Program & Thesis/Project form  Student
(who entered 2015 and after)
By the end of Late Registration for any term in which electives are taken.
DMin Progress Report form  Student  before every Intersession DM 6021 Annual Continuing Seminar course
DMin Request to Proceed with Project form Student submit before registering for your two semesters of DM 6011 and after you have a thorough Project Proposal with Human Subjects approved and committee assembled
Human Subjects Protocol Guidelines Student with Permission to Proceed form
DMin Project Project/Thesis Assessment Rubric & Defense Certification form  Advisor  after project/thesis defense (ideally by April 15th)
DMin Publishing and Binding form (needed for binding and publishing) Student After the defense has passed and final format and printing of two copies has been made
Physical Format for Thesis or Dissertation for the GTU

not submitted; for mostlystudentreference only before printing final two copies of project/thesis after successful defense
DMin Criteria for Doctoral level work not submitted; for mostlyfacultyreference only when faculty are approving SRC-9999 (independent study) or SRC-8888 (upgrades)  courses for DMin students
TO UPGRADE LEVEL:Special Reading Course (SRC) 8888 form Student before semester in which you wish to upgrade a course with level lower than 4000

DMin Program Assessment Rubric

Courses eligible for the PSR DMin must be 4000 level or higher (8400 level or higher for online) and must be taken for letter grade except in the case of required seminars or thesis/project courses which may be graded on a pass/fail basis. In general, instructors of DMin-eligible courses must possess at least doctorate level degree or equivalent. This list compiles all 4000 level or higher courses offered for the 2015-2016 year which are eligible toward the completion of the PSR DMin program. The list is current as of June 2015 and may be subject to change. If you would like to inquire about the eligibility of a course not on this list, please send that inquiry along with a copy of the syllabus for the course to the Assistant Dean or DMin Director Randi Walker.

GTU Courses Eligible for PSR DMin 2016-1017

The DMin program requires a minimum of 24 credits, 6 of which are thesis credits (DM 6011), and 18 of which are in courses (the equivalent of one year of full time study or spread out over 3 years part time).

  • DM 6000: The DMin Seminar (3.0 credits, previously DM 6012)
    over 2 weeks in January Intersession is a requirement for all PSR DMin students.
  • DM 6021: The DMin Annual Continuing seminar (0.0-1.5 credits)
    over 1 week or weekend in January Intersession is also a required course for all DMin students who entered 2011 or later.
    3.0 credits total (or at least two Intersessions worth) of DM 6021 required before graduating
  • DM 6011: DMin in Thesis (3.0 credits)
    This is a required thesis course that does not meet regularly and is registered for typically in the Fall and Spring semesters of your final defense year in the program and is registered for after your Request to Proceed with Project form (or Integrative Review Certification for pre-2011 students) is completed and filed.
    6.0 credits total of DM 6011 required before graduating

You may select remaining course work, in consultation with your committee chair, in order to deepen and enrich your understanding of your ministry and provide an academic foundation for your research project. These courses must be at the 4000 level or higher and be taken for a letter grade.

Other Degree Requirements

Course work, approval from your DMin Committee to proceed with your project, and a research project comprise the  main components of the DMin degree. Students may complete the degree by taking courses full time the first year, then completing and defending the project in the last two years. Alternatively they may also spread out their coursework as part time students over the three years and work on their project concurrently. For students who work full time or may be out of the Berkeley area for the majority of the year, the only required courses that meet are: 1) the DMin Seminar and 2) the DMin Annual Continuing Seminar meet each January Intersession over a series of weekends, so student may fly in to stay in Berkeley for a couple weeks a year and complete the remainder of their course with a combination of online, blended, intensive, and regular courses. Advisement for the project with committees are expected to happen by conference calls, videoconferencing, and other distance-friendly technologies.

Request to Proceed with Project
After you complete course work, or when you have formulated in more detail your project, you are ready submit your initial project materials and have your committee sign off of your Request to Proceed with Project form. At this point your committee may evaluate your progress according to these criteria:
Your ability to identify a critical issue in your ministry context.
Your skills in selecting appropriate study resources.
Your capacity to translate study into professional practice in a community setting.
Your willingness to formulate a document useful for ministry in a multi-cultural world.
Your thesis, bibliography, and methodology
Your Human Subjects Protocol

Research Project
Following the completion of your course work and satisfactory performance on the integrative review, you may begin your 6-credit research project. You should register for DM 6011 during the last 2 semesters of your program. During this phase of the program, you should be involved in a full-time position of leadership in ministry. You will carry out your research project in that ministry setting. Normally this project is completed in the equivalent of one calendar year. Fulfillment of the research project requirement is certified by your DMin committee upon approval of the final research document.

For students at a distance, the PSR DMin requires that students be present at least each January for on-campus course requirements.

  • In Year 1: Students should plan to be at PSR two weeks in January to take DM 6000 DMin Seminar which span over two weeks with time in between to use our libraries and resources.
  • For every year after Year 1: Students should plan to be at PSR one week in January to take the DM 6021 DMin Annual Continuation Seminar
  • The rest of your courses may be taken in online or blended format. For more information on these formats, visit the Flexible Learning page. Keep in mind that all 8000 level courses are online, but for DMin students, you should choose 8400-8699 level courses. While we have a limited set of 8400-8699 level courses, you may in some cases with the approval of the instructor and your advisor also upgrade the level of  most courses that are 1000-3999 level (or 8100-8399 level for online courses) by:
    a) registering for an SRC 8888 01 course in WebAdvisor and
    b) submitting an SRC form to the registrar by the close of Late Registration.
    For distance students who wish to work with core faculty around the consortium on a focused topic not already offered in the catalog, registering for a directed study or SRC 9999 01 with that faculty person could also be possible.

In summer 2016, PSR began offering our DMin program in Hawai’i. This cohort of students will come from a wide range of places in the Pacific World and the focus of their work will be on the ministry issues that arise in the Pacific contexts.

Applications for the PSR Hawaii DMin program are accepted year round.

The program begins with the summer seminar and it takes about six weeks to process a DMin application, so ministers who want to start this summer should apply no later than June 24 to be sure the admissions process is complete by the time the seminar begins.

If you have any questions, please be in touch with the PSR DMin Program Director, Randi Walker. rwalker@psr.edu or 510/849-8221, or contact the Admissions Office at 510/849-8931 or toll-free at 800/999-0528.

Doctor of Ministry Dissertation by Rev. Dr. David Laurance Bieniek

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Read Rev. Dr. David Laurance Bieniek’s Doctor of Ministry dissertation, At the Deathbed: Using Symbols and Rituals to Connect with the Spiritual in Times of Death and Grieving, here.

This dissertation was presented to The Faculty of the Pacific School of Religion in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Ministry, Berkeley, California, April 2016.