If you’ve considered a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree, here’s a great opportunity to do so through the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) Mid-Atlantic Cohort.
“An academic cohort refers to a small band of folks traveling together for a lengthy time on a learning kind of journey. This is a cohort in the truest sense of the word,” said Dr. Randy Millwood, who is overseeing the SEBTS D.Min. cohort.
“What makes this a unique opportunity is the seminars themselves,” Millwood said. “Four are taught at Skycroft, and others are done through Zoom.” Most seminars will bring in guest lecturers, but the cohort will use local leaders who are also SEBTS adjunct professors, including Millwood and Dr. Joel Rainey. SEBTS Director of D.Min. Studies Dr. Tate Cockrell will deliver some information online with other faculty, and Millwood and Rainey will direct the seminars and help with continued learning between seminars through contextualized learning experiences. The entire cohort is informed by life and ministry in the Maryland/Delaware area. Students work on programs that not only benefit them educationally but also benefit the churches where they serve.
There are also obvious financial and time benefits. You will only have to go to the SEBTS campus once. The cost of meeting at Skycroft for four days pales in comparison to the cost of hotels near SEBTS.
Millwood emphasized the students will earn a fully accredited SEBTS D.Min. degree.
Dr. Gordon Fox, the senior pastor of Grace Baptist Church (GBC) of Sunset Beach in Pasadena, graduated from the cohort program in May 2021. “The greatest benefit of the program was conducting the major project in my own ministry context, providing a tangible benefit for my church, and helping me to grow as a pastor and leader. For my project, I led a team at GBC to prepare a strategy for ministry evangelism in the community. We are currently pursuing that strategy and reaching people with the gospel whom we may never otherwise have encountered had we not implemented the strategy.”
Dr. Bruce Glisson, the executive pastor at Allen Memorial Baptist Church in Salisbury, said the D.Min. cohort through SEBTS was amazing. “I would not have been able to do a D.Min. degree without sacrificing a great deal of time from my church and family if this program had not been made available in Maryland/Delaware. This cohort was an amazing tool for our church as we seek to create a disciple-making culture. The other great part of it was they used professors who are serving in Maryland/Delaware. These are mentors that I am able to reach out to and seek counsel from, even many years after finishing the program, who understand the issues we face in our areas of ministry.”
Fox also commented on the great support from professors. “Dr. Randy Millwood served as a professor for the cohort as well as my faculty advisor. He was always compassionate, prompt, and helpful in responding to questions,” he remembered.
Dr. Andy Ehlers, who pastors High Tide Church in Dagsboro, Delaware, graduated from the cohort in 2019. “I thought I was done with school after my M.Div.,” Ehlers said. The opportunity to continue his education “right in our backyard” was tremendously helpful, Ehlers said. Within a couple of hours’ drive, I was able to complete my D.Min.
“We focused on leadership development and it was practical for my ministry setting.” Ehlers said, “Many times, the reading and assignments fit in with the sermon I was preparing or the challenge I was facing.”
The cohort registration deadline is set by SEBTS and requires application and acceptance in the D.Min. program. That deadline is June 15. Click here for more detailed information.
Feature photo: In this photo, Fox receives a diploma at the SEBTS graduation ceremony.
Sharon Mager is a BCM/D communications specialist and BaptistLIFE church correspondent.