A Jesuit, Filipino, and Asian Ecclesiastical Faculty of Theology

Saturday, April 29, 2017
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To begin applying to the DMin Program, please click here.

The Doctor of Ministry is designed for Religious Educators, Catechetical Coordinators, Retreat Directors, Seminary Formators, Chaplains, Spiritual Directors and Pastoral Counselors. Being a Professional Ministerial Performance degree program, it is distinct from the Doctor of Philosophy in Theology program which focuses primarily on academic creative research.
 
The primary aim of the Doctor of Ministry degree is to provide opportunities for the integration of the personal, professional, spiritual, and theological capacities and charisms of the minister with the practice of ministry in the Philippines and in the countries of origin of our international students. Specifically, it aims to:
 
1. develop critical awareness of the ways by which theological reflection and research can both inform, and be informed by the practice of ministry;
 
2. sharpen ministerial skills and competencies in areas of ministry like religious education, spirituality and retreat direction and pastoral counseling;
 
3. develop the capacity to integrate biblical, theological, spiritual, and educational insights, skills, and practices toward the delivery of faith-based services to Christian communities and organizations.
 
Areas of Specialization
 
Upon application to the program, the applicant must choose from any of the following fields of specialization:

Religious Education

Since the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines, integral formation in the faith has been officially proclaimed as the top pastoral priority of the Catholic Church in the Philippines. The need for professionally trained catechists and religious educators especially for catechetical coordinators in Catholic and public schools, as well as those in charge of the diocesan catechetical ministry offices, has been constantly growing and never more urgently felt than at present.

In response to this objective, nationwide need, the DMin Program, major in Religious Education focuses on the professional formation of catechetical or religious educational leaders and coordinators on the performance level. This essentially involves a developed integration of theory and practice and experience in leadership ministerial skills, and the like.

Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Care

Distinct from Guidance or Clinical Counseling, pastoral counseling involves human and spiritual care and as such is a standard ministry in the Church, a practice of religion, which is avowedly and explicitly psycho-spiritual in its one-on-one helping approach.

Rooted in the best of Catholic Christian tradition of cura animarum (care for souls) and by integrating theology and spirituality with modern psychological thought and method, the DMin with a concentration in pastoral counseling and spiritual care aims to train pastoral counselors who can continue the tradition of healing, sustaining, guiding and reconciling. Healing beyond emotional illness to wholeness; sustaining beyond hurts to endure; guiding beyond confusion to clarity; and reconciling beyond broken relationships to right relationships.

The Doctor of Ministry Program does not aim to prepare students to take the Philippine Licensure Examinations intended specifically for guidance counselors, psychologists and psychometricians. While guidance counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers are licensed and regulated by various governmental boards, pastoral counselors such as priests, pastors, chaplains, lay pastoral counselors in the parish, hospital or prison setting are regulated by various ecclesiastical governing structures such as the diocese or various religious congregations which run such pastoral counseling centers, like the Center for Family Ministries and the Emmaus Center for Psycho-Spiritual Formation of the Society of Jesus, both affiliate units of the Ateneo de Manila University.

Fields of ministry of religious and lay pastoral counselors today are parishes (e.g. marriage preparation, marriage counseling), convents and seminaries (religious formation), military, police, hospital and prison chaplaincies, mortuaries, rehabilitation centers.

Spirituality and Retreat Direction

The general aim of this area of specialization is to explore the various Christian spiritualities, with special focus on Ignatian spirituality, and their significance and fruitful application to different peoples and cultures in a rapidly changing world. The specific objective of this specialization is the advanced training and formation in Spiritual Direction, Retreat Direction and Supervision of Spiritual Directors and Retreat Guides.

As a ministry-oriented program, the DMin in Spirituality and Retreat Direction aims at those already working in the field of retreats, recollections, spiritual direction and lay and religious spiritual formation in general, who desire to step beyond their Masters’ educational level in developing and updating their performance, knowledge and skills.
 
Admission Requirements

Applicants to the Doctor of Ministry program must satisfy the following requirements:

1. hold an MA in Theological Studies or Pastoral Ministry (or their equivalent titles) or any masters degree with at least eighteen (18) graduate units in Theology or Religious Education;

2. should currently be doing ministry in the field of religious education, spiritual direction, retreat direction, seminary formation, or pastoral counseling and spiritual care;
 

3. follow the basic requirements for application and acceptance to the civil degree program indicated here; these documents should be submitted to the Office of the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs;
 
4. for submission to the LST Vice President for Academic Affairs:

a) a 10-page essay presenting the applicant's professional history, goals in ministry and area of interest or special concern in the ministry;
 
b) a copy of their master’s thesis or its equivalent; those with a non-thesis MA degree must submit a major research paper of 15-30 pages written during MA course work.
 
If accepted, graduates of the following MA Programs of the Ateneo de Manila University are admitted directly to the DMin proper:
 
MA, major in Theological Studies (FIRE Program)
MA, major in Religious Education (TMP and FIRE Program)
MA, major in Pastoral Ministry: Family Ministry and Counseling
MA, major in Pastoral Ministry: Spirituality and Retreat-Directing
 
For other MA graduates, bridge courses will be required prior to definitive admission to their respective DMin specializations.
 
DMin Course Work
 
Course requirements include a total of 45 units composed of the following: 9 units of core courses, 15 units of major courses, 3 units of electives, 6 units of apprenticeship courses  and 12 units of DMin Dissertation.
 
A. Core Courses (9 units)
 
Theo 307      Research Methodology in Ministry
Theo 309      Ethics in Pastoral Care and Ministry
Theo 345.8   Theology of Ministry
 
B. Major Courses (15 units)

 
1. Religious Education

Graduates of the Formation Institute for Religion Educators (FIRE) of the Ateneo de Manila University are admitted directly to DMin proper. Non-FIRE graduates are required to take the following MA-level bridge courses prior to their definitive admission to the DMin Program:

Theo 203       Effective Methodology in Ecclesial Ministry
Theo 206.1    Religious Education as Instruction in the Mystery of Faith
Theo 231.1    Religious Education and Holistic Approaches to Scripture
Theo 231.2    Basics in the Renewal of Religious Education

In the DMin proper, five (5) courses are chosen from the following 3-unit courses in Biblical, Systematic and Moral Theology during the semester when they are offered at the Theology and Ministry Program:

Theo 304       Multi-Disciplinary Foundations for Theological Reflection
Theo 304.1    Faith and Culture
Theo 304.2    Ministry of the Word II
Theo 308       Practical Theology
Theo 316       Exegesis: Pentateuch
Theo 317       Exegesis: Prophets
Theo 318       Exegesis: Psalms
Theo 319       Exegesis: Wisdom Literature
Theo 320       Theology of the Old Testament
Theo 325       Exegesis: Synoptics
Theo 325.1    Exegesis: Luke-Acts
Theo 326       Exegesis: New Testament Letters
Theo 327       Exegesis: Johannine Literature
Theo 328       Theology of the New Testament
Theo 334       Mariology
Theo 343       Theologies of the Paschal Mystery
Theo 343.1    Theology of the Cross
Theo 343.2    The Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Theo 345       Topics in Ecclesiology
Theo 345.2    Discovering Vatican II Through Film
Theo 345.3    Exploring Mission Through Film
Theo 345.4    New Ecclesiologies and Ministries in the Catholic Church
Theo 345.5    Religion, The Catholic Church and Society
Theo 345.6    Themes Related to Evangelization
Theo 345.7    Themes Related to Evangelization II
Theo 356       Liturgy and Time
Theo 358       The Theology of the Eucharist
Theo 357       The Sacraments of the Church
Theo 380       Christian Morality and Moral Education
Theo 383       Contemporary Moral Problems Related to Marriage
Theo 384       Contemporary Moral Problems Related to Sexuality
Theo 385       Contemporary Moral Problems Related to Human Life
Theo 389       Themes Related to Christian Social Ethics I
Theo 389.1    Themes Related to Christian Social Ethics II

With the permission of the Program Director, the student may take other doctoral-level courses related to the ministry of Religious Education.

2. Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Care

Graduates of the MA in Pastoral Ministry: Family Ministry and Counseling of the Ateneo de Manila University are admitted directly to DMin proper. For non-MA PM FMC graduates, the following MA-level bridge courses will be required prior to their definitive admission to the DMin Program:

Theo 289       Pastoral Psychology and Counseling
Theo 262.1    Family Spirituality and Sexual Ethics
Theo 292.3    Assessment and Initial Intervention of Individual and Relationship Disorders
Theo 293       Marital/Premarital Dynamics and Counseling: A Psycho-Spiritual Approach
Theo 293.1    Family Dynamics and Counseling Approaches
Theo 294       Marital/Family Counseling Practicum
Theo 294.1    Family Spirituality Practicum

In the DMin proper, five (5) courses are chosen from the following 3-unit courses during the semester when they are offered at the Theology and Ministry Program:

Theo 368       Theories of Pastoral Counseling
Theo 368.1    Principles of Change: Human Development and Life Cycle
Theo 368.2    Principles of Supervision in Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Care  
Theo 368.3    Assessment, Diagnosis and Clinical Theology
Theo 368.4    Pastoral Counseling with Children and Adolescents
Theo 368.5    Advanced Group Process and Pastoral Counseling

With the permission of the Program Director, the student may take courses offered by the Department of Psychology.

3. Spirituality and Retreat Direction

Graduates of the MA in Pastoral Ministry: Spirituality and Retreat-Direction of the Ateneo de Manila University are admitted directly to DMin proper. For non-MA PM SRD graduates, the following MA-level bridge courses will be required prior to their definitive admission to the DMin Program:

Theo 282.1    Foundations for Directed Retreat
Theo 282.2    Fundamentals of Directed Retreat-Giving
Theo 282.3    Supervised Retreat-Giving Experience
Theo 282.4    Giving the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius

In the DMin proper, five (5) courses are chosen from the following 3-unit courses during the semester when they are offered at the Theology and Ministry Program:
 
Theo 304       Multi-Disciplinary Foundations for Theological Reflection
Theo 304.1    Faith and Culture
Theo 349       Christianity and World Religions
Theo 390       History of Spirituality
Theo 390.1    Christian Sanctity: Integration of Dogma, Spirituality and Life
Theo 390.2    Spirituality of Communion and Community: A Patristic and
                      Contemporary Approach
Theo 390.3    The Classics of Western Spirituality
Theo 391       Apostolic Spirituality
Theo 391.1    Spirituality of Consecrated Life
Theo 392       Ignatian Spirituality
Theo 392.1    Vocation and Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises
Theo 393       Discernment and Spiritual Direction
Theo 394       Giving Retreats
Theo 395       Dynamics of a Christian Vocation, Priestly and Religious Commitment
Theo 396       Development in the Spiritual Life
Theo 398       Mysticism
 
With the permission of the Program Director, the student may take other doctoral-level courses related to the ministry of Spirituality and Retreat Direction.
 
Note that completion of the bridging courses does not earn a Master's degree in the above areas of specialization.
 
C. Elective (3 units)
 
A course is chosen from among the other courses offered at the Theology and Ministry Program. With the permission of the Program Director, the student may cross-enroll at the Departments of Sociology-Anthropology, Education and Psychology.
 
D. Apprenticeship Courses (6 units)

Theo 310    Apprenticeship for Ministry I
Theo 311    Apprenticeship for Ministry II
 
The student enrolls in two (2) apprenticeship courses  under the guidance of an expert in a field of ministry. Each course includes 40 hours of apprenticeship in a more specific area of (a) Religious Education (textbook writing, designing catechetical programs, actual teaching, catechists’ training, etc.); (b) Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Care (e.g. assistance in teaching, weekend growth formation programs, etc.); and (c) Spirituality and Retreat Direction (spiritual direction, retreat-giving, lectures, etc.).
 
At the end of the semester, the professor or supervisor should have a clear basis for assessment and evaluation.
 
DMin Language Requirements

The DMin program requires a working knowledge of one other language, aside from English, Filipino and one's native language, that would be useful for ministry. The requirements may be satisfied either by (a) taking language courses of two semesters each language in any college or university provided that at least a grade of B is attained; or by (b) passing a proficiency test administered by LST in the language of choice. The test, lasting for 30 minutes, consists in translation of a page of the language concerned with the aid of a dictionary. The language requirements must be fulfilled before writing the DMin Dissertation.
 
DMin Comprehensive Examination

After the completion of all the course requirements, a comprehensive examination is given, covering the matter drawn from the student’s course work. The process is as follows:

The student formulates six thesis statements — each thesis supported by a short, pertinent bibliography — with the help of a professor who shall approve the thesis statements for submission to the school.

Once the thesis statements are approved by the Program Director, the student prepares for the comprehensive examination. The preparation time shall be not less than two months and not more than one semester. After the preparation, the student applies at the Office for an examination date.

Twenty-four hours before the examination proper, the student is informed which particular thesis he/she will have to present and defend. The examination board is composed of three professors. The student presents the thesis for 30 minutes. Presentation, however, should not be reading a prepared paper, but actually teaching the matter as if the examinee were before a class of students. He/she should teach the matter clearly and in a well-ordered way within the allotted time frame of 30 minutes.

Each of the three professors questions the student for fifteen minutes. The entire examination lasts one hour and fifteen minutes.

In case of failure, only one retake is allowed. Students who fail the retake are dropped from the program.
 
DMin Dissertation
 
After the Comprehensive Examination, the student enrolls in at least two semesters of DMin Dissertation Writing (6 units each) until he/she defends the dissertation. It should be between 180 and 220 pages in length with an upper limit of 250 pages. In addition, it should follow the LST Style Manual (based on Turabian, 6th edition).

The dissertation Proposal should include:
 
1. the issue or problem to be investigated, why it is of concern and the general goal of the Project, including how the research departs from or adds to present understandings and practices;
2. the context or background of the problem, including a review of pertinent literature;
3. the relevance of the issue for practical theology, and relevant socio-cultural analysis;
4. a clear explanation of the methodology or approach of the project inclusive of a theoretical framework for the analysis of the data and;
5. resources to be used, including major bibliographical and other resources.
 
The dissertation should consist of:
 
1. a preface and Introduction identifying the candidate’s role relative to the pastoral project and its context;
2. an explanation of the specific pastoral issue and description of the pastoral project;
3. a review and synthesis of the appropriate theological and pastoral issues and their relevant literature;
4. an explanation of the research methodology employed with a discussion of the theological implications and pastoral recommendations;
5. execution and implementation of the project, and
6. an evaluation of the project and implications for further research.
 
The results of the Project Paper should be:
 
1. of practical assistance to persons working in faith-based projects;
2. designed to increase the ability of the candidate to integrate theology, the practice of ministry and the learning acquired through supervision.
 
a) DMin Dissertation Proposal: Guided by a mentor officially appointed by the Program Director,  the student prepares a written proposal containing the following: [1] The Problem; [2] Scope and Limitation; [3] Significance of the Problem; [4] Methodology; and [5] Bibliography.
 
The proposal (excluding bibliography) should normally not exceed 10 pages and should follow the LST Style Manual based on Turabian, 6th edition.
 
Once approved by the mentor, five (5) copies of the project proposal are submitted to the Program Director who appoints a panel of professors to examine it. On a date specified by the school the student defends his proposal before the panel.
 
The oral defense consists in [1] a clear presentation (for about 15 minutes) of the written proposal by the writer, covering the basic problem or theme of the project, its scope and limitation, its importance, and the basic sources (bibliography) and methods to be used; [2] each professor reviews the proposal with the writer through questions, suggestions, etc., usually for a period of 10 to 15 minutes, depending upon the particular needs of the proposal.
 
The professors may offer brief written recommendations, analyses, suggestions, etc. to the writer, copies of which are also given to the mentor and the Program Director’s Office.
 
b) DMin Dissertation Writing: After the proposal has been approved by the panel, the doctoral student may now proceed to writing the project chapter by chapter. All throughout the writing of the project the student must seek the guidance of this mentor. Each chapter must be approved by the mentor one at a time.
 
c) DMin Project Public Defense: When the whole dissertation is finished and meets the approval of the mentor, it is submitted to the school. The Program Director appoints a second reader, who, ideally, should come from the panel that examined the project proposal. It is the task of the second reader to ascertain that the project is ready for public defense. He/she has the right to order any changes in the project he considers necessary for it to be truly ready for defense. In case of an unsolvable conflict between the second reader and mentor, an independent panel appointed by the Program Director will decide the issue.
 
After the second reader declares the project ready for defense, unbound copies of the project are submitted to the other readers who, together with the second reader, shall make up the panel of professors for the defense. A date for the defense is then scheduled.
 
After the successfully defending the project, the student must submit to the school seven unbound copies of the corrected and approved final edition of the project.