First Summer Residency Overview

A Guide for Incoming Students
Entering into a doctoral program brings both anxiety and excitement. One way to reduce the anxiety and give scope to the variety of activity that will lay the foundation to your doctoral study is to offer an overview of what your initial residency sequence looks like. Your first time on ACU’s campus as a D.Min. student will draw together a wide variety of activities that are designed to fulfill the carefully framed elements of the Learning Outcomes. These activities possess social, academic, spiritual, and communal dimensions.

Orientation Weekend
Beginning on Friday afternoon and concluding early Sunday afternoon of the weekend prior to the first seminar class, students and their spouses participate in BIBM 701 Doctor of Ministry Orientation. Shared meals, introduction to the program, tours of the campus and library, worship, meeting your mentors and faculty, and even a visit with a therapist to review your testing make the weekend a time of community-building and, well . . . orientation!

Required Opening Courses
As entering students the first residency includes three courses, BIBM 702 Biblical and Theological Foundations of Ministry, BIBM 740 Practical Theology for Ministerial Leadership, and BIBM 740 Project/Thesis Seminar I. These three courses are integrated together, will introduce you to many of the faculty in the Graduate School of Theology, and will deepen your resources in many disciplines from biblical theology or historical theology to the interpretive work of understanding context and culture in your ministry setting. You will also begin the important work of framing what your doctoral project might look like.

Before you arrive on campus you will have read a lot and will have completed several writing projects. However, these two weeks are full of classroom time and remarkable conversations with faculty, peers, and mentors. Your imagination and spirit will be animated by lively dialogue and ideas that spark new possibilities and constructs for your practice of ministry.

Weekend Retreat
As ministerial leaders, most D.Min. students offer much to assist others in their spiritual formation. But when do ministers get to slow down and reflect? As a part of your D.Min. program at ACU, the weekend between the first and second weeks of residency will include a weekend retreat.

There is nothing to prepare; it will be a time to simply be. Led by an experienced retreat director, these 24 hours will function as an invitation to enter into the rest of God. The costs of the retreat are built into the program fee, and as a D.Min. student, you will participate in at least two retreats throughout the program.

At ACU, your D.Min. program is not merely about education. Your program is an entry into a deeper way of understanding your vocation and call as a ministerial leader. It is a place where academic rigor, theological reflection, increased skill in practices, and spiritual wisdom meet. And the opening residency in the program lays the foundation for what will be an extraordinary journey for you and your peers!

    Application Deadline:
 Summer 2016
  • January 31, 2016

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Featured Spotlight

For some, the journey to victory can be pretty grueling. Such was the case for Danny Mercer, preaching minister for Friendswood Church of Christ near Houston. After suffering from a cancerous brain tumor, he beat the disease and completed his Doctor of Ministry degree at ACU in 2013.


Read more about 
Danny's journey


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