University of Chester

Programme Specification
Doctor of Ministry DMin
2017 - 2018

Doctor of Ministry

Doctor of Ministry

Doctor of Ministry (Mattersey Hall College)

University of Chester

Mattersey Hall College

Mattersey Hall College

Professional Doctorate

Part-time

Residential and Open,

6 years part time, 3 years full time

7 Years

Annual - October

N/A

V600

No

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities Theology & Religious Studies

Theology and Religious Studies

N/A

Theology and Religious Studies

Wednesday 14th December 2016

Aims of the Programme are:

  • To enable students to acquire advanced critical understanding of material at the forefront of a particular specialist area of research, and to engage, critically, with a range of existing viewpoints.

  • To enable students to develop applicable techniques and appropriate methodological approaches to advanced academic enquiry, which will enable them to engage in original, independent, research that extends the forefront of the discipline.

  • To enable students to design and implement a project for the generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at, and extending, the forefront of the discipline, and to adjust the project design in the light of unforeseen problems.

  • To enable students to interpret and communicate new knowledge clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences – using appropriate academic conventions, and making judgements in the light of complex and incomplete data – in a way that satisfies peer review and merits publication.    

After successful completion of the programme, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to address, critically, analytically and evaluatively, a range of current questions in practical theology, biblical studies and leadership and ministerial theory and praxis, applying an advanced, systematic and critical understanding, and be able to interpret a range of sources using a variety of tools, critical approaches and methodological idioms from the forefront of the discipline (TH7401, TH7402, TH7405, TH7406, TH7407, TH7408, TH7409, TH7411, TH7412, TH7413, TH7414, TH7415, TH7416, TH7429, TH7430, TH7431, TH7432, TH7433, TH7434, TH7436).
  • The ability to acquire advanced critical understanding of material at the forefront of a particular specialist area of research, and to engage, critically, with a range of existing viewpoints (all modules).    
  • The ability to relate their more specialist knowledge to the wider discourses of Christian Theology and/or within a study specialism and be able to articulate the possible significance of their insights and research findings for the wider Theological and professional communities (TH8401, TH8402, TH8403, TH8404, TH8405, TH8406).
  • The ability to engage in original, independent, research that extends the forefront of the discipline (TH8401, TH8403), particularly in the development of the Dissertation (TH8402, TH8405, TH8406)

After successful completion of the programme, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to identify, locate, interpret and analyse primary texts and advanced secondary sources with confidence at a research level, including articles from major peer-reviewed journals and scholarly monographs, and engage with them critically and creatively (TH8401, TH8402, TH8403, TH8404, TH8405, TH8406).
  • The ability to exercise a critical awareness of their own and contemporary authors, differing stances, representing them with fairness and integrity and competently placing them within or between traditional outlooks or positions, and justifying both analysis and synthesis in relation to the contextual and developmental nature of intellectual, social, aesthetic and political responses (TH8403, TH8406).
  • The ability to manipulate, represent, evaluate and explore, critically, complex and potentially incomplete knowledge from the forefront of the field by constructing sustained arguments, drawing upon a range of sources and data, and routinely applying more than one mode of analysis. These skills will be particularly developed in independent study modules and/or the dissertation (TH7402, TH8401, TH8406).
  • The ability to apply techniques and appropriate methodological approaches to advanced academic enquiry, which will enable them to  design and implement a project for the generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at, and extending, the forefront of the discipline, and to adjust the project design in the light of unforeseen problems (TH8401, TH8404, TH8405, TH8406)
  • The ability to making judgements in the light of complex and incomplete data in a way that satisfies peer review and merits publication (TH8403, TH8405, TH8406)

After successful completion of the programme, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to employ at a professional level critical, analytical and presentational skills, showing a routine instinct to test evidence, assess arguments, evaluate commitments and detect bias. Students will be able to employ a variety of methods to solve problems and creatively present results.
  • The ability to make advanced use of library, IT, computer and internet skills to identify and locate sources, capture, analyse and present data, represent and manipulate knowledge, communicate with others, organise and backup work and operate safely online.
  • The ability to exercise personal responsibility and decision-making, necessary for employment and ministerial vocations.
  • The ability to work with others, as demonstrated in some learning and assessment methods develop 
  • Problem solving abilities. The threshold assessment criteria include assessment of the ability to deal with complex issues systematically, sensitively and creatively, and make sound judgements; and (where relevant to modular learning outcomes) collaborative or individual problem-solving, and planning and implementing of tasks appropriate to a professional context.
  • The ability to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources (e.g. refereed research articles and/or original materials appropriate to the discipline such as writings of theologians, historical sources/writings relevant to the study of church history, documents from key Christian conferences etc.).
  • The ability to make decisions in complex and unpredictable contexts.

These skills are related to each of the modules, i.e. TH7401, TH7402, TH7405, TH7406, TH7407, TH7408, TH7409, TH7411, TH7412, TH7413, TH7414, TH7415, TH7416, TH7429, TH7430, TH7431, TH7432, TH7433, TH7434, TH7436, TH8401, TH8402, TH8403, TH8404, TH8405, TH8406.

The following outcomes are more directly related to the development of the Dissertation, which leads to the full DMin award. 

  • The ability continue to undertake research at an advanced level, and to continue to contribute to the development of new techniques, ideas and approaches (TH8405, TH8406)
  • The ability to design and implement a project for the generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at, and extending, the forefront of the discipline, and to adjust the project design in the light of unforeseen problems (TH8404, TH8405, TH8406)   

After successful completion of the programme, students should be able to demonstrate:

  • The ability to present assessments with clarity of expression, observing academic form including, in written work, accuracy in spelling and grammar, and conclusions communicated clearly for specialist and non-specialist audiences as appropriate
  • Competency in the use of Information Literacy and Technology. Students must be able to use information technology and computer skills for data capture, to identify and retrieve material and support research and presentations
  • The ability to improve their own learning and performance. The threshold assessment criteria (where relevant to modular learning outcomes) assess the independent learning ability and self-evaluation required to continue to advance the student's knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills appropriate to a professional context
  • The ability to formulate a coherent argument, with appropriate use of data and evidence, and with an awareness of the implications of divergent views.
  • The ability to communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions (both orally and in written form) to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.

These skills are related to each of the modules, i.e. TH7401, TH7402, TH7405, TH7406, TH7407, TH7408, TH7409, TH7411, TH7412, TH7413, TH7414, TH7415, TH7416, TH7429, TH7430, TH7431, TH7432, TH7433, TH7434, TH7436, TH8401, TH8402, TH8403, TH8404, TH8405, TH8406).

The following outcomes are more directly related to the development of the Dissertation, which leads to the full DMin award.

  • The ability to design and implement a project for the generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at, and extending, the forefront of the discipline, and to adjust the project design in the light of unforeseen problems (TH8401, TH8402, TH8405, TH8406)
  • The ability to interpret and communicate new knowledge clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences – using appropriate academic conventions, and making judgements in the light of complex and incomplete data – in a way that satisfies peer review and merits publication (TH8406)

To be awarded the DMin, students must complete 540 credits, comprising:

  • 120 credits at Stage 1A (Level 7)
  • 120 credits at Stage 1B (Level 8)
  • 300 credits at Stage 2 (Level 8 - Dissertation)

The full list of modules (compulsory and optional) is given below (24b). For outline details please refer to the module descriptors which accompany this document. Note, too, that not all modules will be available in any particular academic year, though care will be taken to ensure that students continue to have a range of options.

Stage 1A

The student must complete 120 Level 7 credits selected from 24b below.

Because of the different ways these are taught al L7, not all combinations will be possible. Note, too, that not all modules will be available in any particular academic year, though care will be taken to ensure that students have a good range of options.

TH7401 Research Methods, Perspectives and Resources, is required, unless a close equivalent has been passed in the context of previous study at an approved institution and at the same or higher level.

Stage 1B

In addition to 120 credits at Level 7, students taking the DMin programme must also complete a further 120 credits at Level 8 (see the table below). These focus, particularly, on spiritual formation, reflection on practice in ministry, and preparation for the dissertation stage of the programme – including the dissertation proposal. Modules at Stage 1B must include

  • TH8403 Publishable Article (40 credits)
  • TH8402 Literature Review (20 credits), and
  • TH8405 Research Design and DMin Proposal (40 credits),
  • and either TH8404 Research in Ministry (20 credits) or TH8401 Independent Study Unit (20 credits).

TH8402 Literature Review and TH8405 Research Design and DMin Proposal must, normally, be completed prior to starting substantive work on the Dissertation.

Successful completion of Stage 1 brings 240 credits.

Stage 2

The final stage is the completion of TH8406 Dissertation, which attracts 300 credits.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
TH7401 7 Research Methods, Perspectives and Resources 20 Optional
TH7402 7 Independent Study Unit 20 Optional
TH7405 7 Biblical Pneumatology 20 Optional
TH7406 7 Biblical Theology of Mission 20 Optional
TH7407 7 Exegetical and Hermeneutical Methods 20 Optional
TH7408 7 Johannine Studies 20 Optional
TH7409 7 Lukan Studies 20 Optional
TH7411 7 New Testament Theology 20 Optional
TH7413 7 Old Testament Narrative 20 Optional
TH7414 7 Old Testament Theology 20 Optional
TH7416 7 Contemporary Issues in Global Mission: Strategy and Praxis 20 Optional
TH7429 7 Pentecostal Theology 20 Optional
TH7431 7 Leadership Development 20 Optional
TH7432 7 Leadership Strategy 20 Optional
TH7433 7 Organisational Leadership 20 Optional
TH7434 7 Self Leadership 20 Optional
TH7436 7 The World of the Bible 20 Optional
TH7437 7 Paul's Letters: Methods, Context and Theology 20 Optional
TH7438 7 Pentecostal and Revivalist History: 19th–21st centuries 20 Optional
TH8401 8 Independent Study Unit 20 Optional
TH8402 8 Literature Review 20 Comp
TH8403 8 Publishable Article 40 Comp
TH8404 8 Research in Ministry 20 Optional
TH8405 8 Research Design and DMin Proposal 40 Comp
TH8406 8 Dissertation 300 Comp

PG Certificate: 60 credits at Level 7 entitles the student to a Postgraduate Certificate
PG Diploma: 120 credits at Level entitles the student to a Postgraduate Diploma

MProf: 180 credits at Levels 7 and 8 entitles the student to an MProf exit award

DMin: 540 credits entitles the student to a Doctor of Ministry

All applicants beginning or transferring into the DMin programme will be interviewed. Where practical, the interview will take place at Mattersey Hall. Where that is not practical, interviews will take place by other means – including telephone or Skype. The interview will include discussion of the proposed area of research for the applicant’s dissertation; and it will help to assess motivation and intentionality.

Candidates beginning a L7, with a relevant degree, are normally expected to have achieved an upper second class or above in a discipline appropriate to their intended area of research.

Students entering the programme already possessing a relevant Masters degree will normally be expected to have achieved a mark of 60+ in most credits.

Students transferring from MA programmes with 120 L7 credits will normally be expected to have marks of 60+ in most modules.

Accredited Prior Certificated and Experiential Learning will be considered for students wishing to transfer into the scheme with prior part or intermediate qualifications from other UK universities, the rules followed will comply with the rules and processes for APCL and APEL of the University of Chester.

International Admissions

Those applicants offering overseas qualifications in place of the standard academic entrance requirements will be assessed using UK NARIC and UCAS Guides to International Qualifications. Such qualifications would need to be of a standard equivalent to an upper second class honours degree or above in order to ensure parity.

English language requirements

All students must provide evidence of appropriate competency in written and spoken English. For students whose first language is not English and who have not studied in English up to at least Level 3, the standard requirement will be IELTS 6.5, TOEFL 575, and equivalents.

The Theology and Religious Studies Benchmark Statement published by the QAA in 2000 and revised for 2007 and 2014 details the range of subject knowledge (TRS Benchmark 3.1), the qualities of mind (3.2), and generic skills acquired and developed in TRS degree programmes. These are listed below mapped, illustratively, against modules in the programme. Whilst the Benchmark doesn't offer direct guidance on level 8, the guidance on level 7 is applicable for a significant portion of the Doctor of Ministry.

Therefore, the Doctor of Ministry offers the following:

Subject knowledge:

1. A broadly based core, together with the wider context required for the subject area covered by the programme in question; and specialised study in depth of some aspects of the discipline or field. This implies not just the mastery of data but also the setting of these data within a theoretical framework, which includes critical analysis and debate about how to understand and structure the raw data into a coherent whole (TH7401, TH7402, TH7405, TH7406, TH7407, TH7408, TH7409, TH7411, TH7413, TH7414, TH7415, TH7416, TH7429, TH7430, TH7431, TH7432, TH7433, TH7434, TH7436, TH8401, TH8402, TH8403, TH8404, TH8405, TH8406).

2. One or more religions, ancient or modern, including the origin, history and developed or present character of each (TH7411, TH7414, TH7416, TH7429, TH7430, TH7431, TH7432, TH7433, TH7434, TH7436).

3. The reading, analysis and interpretation of texts, sometimes in the original languages, particularly texts that have been sacred to one or more practising communities. This study will often focus both on the historical context which generated the text(s) and on hermeneutical questions concerning its meaning and application for the appropriate community of believers in the present, or for other readers today (TH7405, TH7406, TH7407, TH7408, TH7409, TH7410, TH7413, TH7430, TH7431, TH7432, TH7433, TH7434, TH7436).

4. Engagement with some of the major religious thinkers, prophets, teachers, ascetics, mystics, healers or leaders through their extant work or subsequent influence (TH7405, TH7406, TH7408, TH7409, TH7411, TH7413, TH7414, TH7415, TH7429, TH7430, TH7431, TH7432, TH7433, TH7434).

 

Qualities of Mind:

1. Independence of mind and initiative, capacity for reflexive learning, capacity to modify, suspend or otherwise change position when warranted, ability to gather, evaluate and synthesise different types of information, particularly in relation to critical analysis of the more complex aspects of the subject matter, analytical ability and the capacity to formulate questions and solve problems (TH7401, TH7402, TH7407, TH8401, TH8402, TH8403, TH8404, TH8405, TH8406). 

2. The application of a variety of critical methods of study, often adapted from those of other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, to the study of texts, practices, religious communities as social or cultural entities, or their diverse art forms (TH7401, TH7402, TH7429, TH7430, TH8401, TH8402, TH8403, TH8404, TH8405, TH8406).

 

Generic Skills: 

1. Presentation skills, both oral and written, IT skills, including word-processing, communicating by email and using the web, accessing information from electronic as well as non-electronic sources, writing skills, including accurate referencing and clarity of expression, ability to attend closely to the meaning of written documents, ability to read texts in a different language (TH7401, TH7402, TH7405, TH7406, TH7407, TH7408, TH7409, TH7411, TH7413, TH7414, TH7415, TH7429, TH7430, TH7431, TH7432, TH7433, TH7434, TH7436, TH8401, TH8402, TH8403, TH8404, TH8405, TH8406).

2. These skills are developed and are reflected in the assessment criteria. The Benchmark also lists these as skills, empathy and imaginative insight, with a tolerance of diverse positions, self-discipline, ability to attend to others and have respect for others' views, commitment to lifelong learning, teamwork skills, and ability to work with others (All modules but especially TH7401, TH7407, TH7431, TH7432, TH7433, TH7434, TH8401, TH8402, TH8403, TH8404, TH8405, TH8406). 

The Benchmark Statement also states that a Master’s degree must build on these standards demonstrating ‘a high degree of independence and self-direction in learning, taking responsibility for their own learning experience’ (Appendix A.6).  The Doctor of Ministry allows these standards to be developed through the independent learning ethos of the programme and specifically through formative learning methods such as class discussion, group seminar presentations, assignment proposal development, dissertation research and presentations. Self-discipline and self-direction are particularly tested with the Independent Study module (TH7402) and the level 8 components (TH8401, TH8403, TH8405), in particular the dissertation (TH8406).

In keeping with the statement’s indication that Master’s study in TRS should stimulated a ‘high degree of engagement, interaction, and independent thinking and ability to find their own source material and literature’ (Appendix A.6) the Doctor of Ministry has modules that require independent research throughout (TH8401, TH8402, TH8403, TH8404, TH8405, TH8406), whilst taught modules also offer assessments requiring high levels of engagement from the individual in shaping the assessment (TH7401, TH7406, TH7407).

Student learning experience is supported by class-delivered and seminar-based activities. A range of learning and teaching methods is used: lectures, seminars, workshops, group-work activities, individual and group-centred projects, presentations. Tasks and other formative exercises may be set, and readings, reading lists and/or guided learning notes provided. Two or more residential seminars will be held each year at Mattersey Hall. These seminars will include lectures, and also plenary sessions, where students will be given the opportunity to give presentations on aspects of their recent research work, and receive feedback from fellow students and from faculty. The seminars will also include individual tutorial sessions with members of faculty.

These seminars develop a sense of community among those studying on the DMin programme, and promote the offering of mutual encouragement and support.

In addition to scheduled contact with tutors, students will also normally spend most of the credit hours of a module in independent study.

All 20-credit modules will be assessed by means of a 4,500-word essay, with the exception of Research Methods, Perspectives and Resources that is assessed by means of 3 shorter assignments adding up to 5000 words in total. All 40 credit modules will be assessed using an 8000 word essay. The dissertation will be assessed by way of a 50,000-word dissertation and a viva voce. There will be no exams.

The reason for choosing written course work over against exams is that, at Levels 7 and 8, this appears the best way of assessing a student’s mastery of and critical engagement with the specialist literature in his or her chosen field, and whether or not an original contribution to knowledge has been achieved from the student’s research.

Following the acquisition of this award, students will be equipped to

  • Conduct independent research into a particular area of study
  • Gather, organise and assess data from primary and secondary sources
  • Critically analyse and evaluate the views and arguments of others 
  • Organise their own workload towards the meeting of deadlines
  • Show critical self-awareness and open-mindedness towards other cultures and viewpoints
  • Present an argument to support their own view
  • Demonstrate improved IT skills. Successful students will be able to apply the methods and techniques that they have learned to review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding, and to initiate and carry out projects; critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data (that may be incomplete), to make judgements, and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution - or identify a range of solutions - to a problem; communicate information, ideas, problems, and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Make informed judgements on complex issues in specialist fields, often in the absence of complete data, and be able to communicate their ideas and conclusions clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  • Continue to undertake pure and/or applied research and development at an advanced level, contributing substantially to the development of new techniques, ideas or approaches.

Students will also have qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and largely autonomous initiative in complex and unpredictable situations, in professional or equivalent environments.

A number of modules on this programme offer opportunities for addressing questions of gender, sexuality, age, disability, race and religious identity, whether in the context of biblical backgrounds, church history or contemporary cultural and church contexts.

The Doctor of Ministry programme conforms to the University of Chester’s policies and priorities regarding admissions, widening access and participation, equal opportunities and AP(E)L; and it offers individual academic support to all its students.

N/A

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