Rationale/Purpose of the Degree
The term “doctor” basically means “teacher”. The Early and Medieval church designated great theologians such as Augustine, Ambrose, or Jerome as doctor ecclesiae, a “doctor of the church.” John Calvin developed this role more fully in distinguishing the doctors of the church as a fourth office of the church alongside deacons, elders, and pastors. These doctors were to “teach sound doctrine to the faithful” and “prepare youth for the ministry” to ensure that the “purity of the Gospel be not corrupted and to defend the Church from injury by fault of pastors.”
The Doctor of Ministry, a “professional doctorate” and a practical theology degree rooted in the practice of ministry, prepares experienced ministers/pastors for the practice of ministry and improves what they do as their ministry at an advanced degree of competence commensurate with a doctoral level of educational achievement. The learning experience will foster growth in pastors and allow them to enhance and expand their ministerial skills and competencies as well as reflect more profoundly on their theological and spiritual development as servants of God.
The CPU College of Theology offers this program because we need more pastors and preachers who will sharpen their preaching, teaching, counseling, and the like to be more effective communicators in the pulpit and in other avenues and ministries of proclaiming the gospel. Specifically, this program is responsive to the need for professional training for pastors/ministers of the Christian churches. Hence, the purpose of the degree is to enrich the ministerial competencies of students who have MDiv., or its equivalent degree, and have been involved extensively in the ministry of the congregation and church-related institutions for a considerable period of time.