Educational Effectiveness

The Educational Effectiveness of the Graduate Programs in Theology and Ministry is demonstrated best by the intentional education and formation of lay ecclesial ministers prepared to contribute fruitfully to their communities of faith through theological reflection, praxis, and leadership. The Doctor of Ministry program cultivates this preparation by fostering in our students the learning objectives/competencies delineated at each level of study which advance the mission of each program.

Doctor Of Ministry Program

Student-Centered Learning Objectives/Competencies

  • Objective 1: DMin students demonstrate an advanced integration of theology and ministry in relation to various disciplines. (F.2.1.1/Intellectual)*
  • Objective 2: DMin students formulate comprehensive and critical methods of ministry in which theory and practice interactively inform and enhance each other. (F.2.1.2/Ministerial)
  • Objective 3: DMin students manifest the skills and competencies, including methods of research in practical theology, required for ministerial leadership at its most mature and effective level. (F.2.1.3/Personal/Ministerial)
  • Objective 4: DMin students contribute new knowledge to the understanding and practice of ministry through the completion of a doctoral-level thesis project. (F.2.1.4/Intellectual/Ministerial)
  • Objective 5: DMin students exhibit spiritual, professional, and vocational competencies that witness to the development of ethical values in diverse contexts. (F.2.1.5/Spiritual/Pastoral)
  • Objective 6: DMin students engage the realities of diverse cultural, religious, and linguistic contexts of ministry. (F.2.1.6/Global)

*These objectives correlate with the standards of the Association for Theological Schools and the USCCB document Co-Workers in the Vineyard.

These objectives are specifically integrated and assessed in the following core courses:

Course/Objective Assessment Map

Learning Objectives/Competencies638800A800802 Units A, B, C
Objective 1: F.2.1.1/IntellectualXX
Objective 2: F.2.1.2/MinisterialXXXX
Objective 3: F.2.1.3/Personal/MinisterialXXXX
Objective 4: F.2.1.4/Intellectual/MinisterialX
Objective 5: F.2.1.5/Spiritual/PastoralX
Objective 6: F.2.1.6/GlobalXXXX

A variety of course requirements and assignments are used to assess these learning outcomes in the core courses of the curriculum. These assessments are scored through an extensive rubric.

Course Embedded Assessment (CEA): The rationale for the use of course embedded assessment to evaluate competency in each of the Student Objectives is threefold. First, CEA makes explicit and practical connections among the DMin Program Goals, the DMin Core Curriculum, and the specific Student Learning Outcomes that the effective ministerial leadership demands. Second, CEA requires that course content and assignments explicitly address and reinforce the Objectives designed to advance students’ theological and ministerial competency. Third, CEA ensures that these Objectives are assessed multiple times at different intervals during the student’s course of study in order to monitor progress in developing each of the Objectives and remediate as needed. The following describes the explicit connection in the course(s) between the assignments and the objectives assessed.

Assessment Rubric For Dmin Student Objective

531
Objective 1: F.2.1.1/Intellectual
Integrates theological and cognate research into the formulation and analysis of ministerial methods, issues, and praxes; demonstrates depth of reflection on the interplay between theory and praxis in this project.Demonstrates awareness of the implications of theological and cognate research in relation to ministerial issues/praxes; gives some evidence of reflection on the relation between theory and praxis for this project.Exhibits minimal evidence of relating theological or cognate research to ministerial issues/ praxes; reflects little awareness of the relation between theory and praxis.
Objective 2: F.2.1.2/Ministerial
Identifies, assesses, and applies theory and methods of research in theology as resources in ministry with accuracy, intentionality, and effectiveness.Identifies connections between theological theory and methods and ministerial life and praxis.Deems theological theory and method as of little or no value in his/her ministerial life and praxis.
Objective 3: F.2.1.3/Personal/Ministerial
Demonstrates commitment to and develops skills for sound theological reflection and research leading to personal, communal, and ecclesial transformationExhibits a willingness to engage in theological reflection and research; recognizes the capacity of such engagement to promote personal, communal, and ecclesial transformationResists opportunities/invitations to theological reflection or research; demonstrates lack of movement toward personal, communal, or ecclesial transformation
Discerns and applies wisdom and insights derived from theological reflection and research in ways that enhance ministerial effectivenessRecognizes that insights derived from theological reflection and research can enhance ministerial effectivenessDismisses the value of theological reflection or research for ministerial effectiveness
Affirms and espouses the integrity and legitimacy of diverse theological methods, symbols, and rituals to articulate and stimulate personal, communal, and ecclesial faithAcknowledges that diverse theological methods, symbols, and rituals have the capacity to articulate personal, communal, and ecclesial faithDenies the validity of theological methods, symbols, and rituals beyond one’s religious tradition to articulate personal, communal, and ecclesial faith
Objective 4: F.2.1.4/Intellectual/Ministerial
The thesis clearly describes the ministerial issue/praxis that stimulated interest in the research topic. Explicitly defines the parameters of the project and the research goals. Demonstrates keen awareness of underlying theological issues.The thesis presents general information concerning the issue/praxis to be addressed in the paper. Sets basic pattern for the unfolding of the project. Expresses the fundamental theological issues explored in the research. The thesis contains minimal exposition of the issue/praxis guiding the paper. Boundaries of project ill-defined. Uncertain of theological issues involved.
The thesis project explores, conducts, and integrates effective empirical research in ministry that both affirms and challenges claims made regarding the ministerial issue/praxis in question.The thesis project includes empirical research in ministry that relates to the ministerial issue/praxis in question.The thesis project includes empirical research in ministry that is tangential or unrelated to the ministerial issue/praxis in question.
Research selection represents breadth of recent theological scholarship on topic. Research selections clearly address issue at hand. Research clearly incorporates diverse theological viewpoints/ approaches. Referenced consistently formatted in Turabian style. Minimal unsubstantiated rhetoric.Research selection shows an awareness of recent theological scholarship on the topic. Research choices are generally on point. Research includes some evidence of diverse theological views/approaches. References inconsistently and/or incorrectly formatted. Noticeable unsubstantiated rhetoric. Research selection shows lack of engagement with recent theological scholarship. Choices minimally address topic of paper. Research gives one-sided perspective. No recognizable format for research reference. Significant unsubstantiated rhetoric.
Research applied clearly and insightfully to the ministerial issue/praxis in question. Implications of the research explored in relation to ministerial situation. Conclusions demonstrate depth of reflection on the interplay between theory and praxis in this project. Shows creative thought and expression.Research accurately applied to the ministerial issue/praxis in question. Implications of research noted in relation to project. Conclusions give some evidence of reflection on the relation between theory and praxis for this project.Research minimally or inaccurately applied to the issue/praxis in question. Minimal evidence of how the research relates to the issue/ praxis in question. Little evidence of reflection on relation between theory and praxis.
Objective 5: F.2.1.5/Spiritual/Pastoral
Demonstrates reflective and attentive communication with others in a consistent mannerMaintains attention to the communication of others and generally responds in a reflective mannerFormulates his/her opinion or argument rather than hearing or responding to that of others
Exhibits a moral conscience and social responsibility based on the teachings of the Gospel and traditionBrings moral and Gospel considerations to bear on most issues and practicesLacks moral sensibilities that cohere with scripture or tradition
Sets appropriate boundaries for ministerial and personal interactions and demonstrates respect for those of othersExhibits some interactions which transgress one’s own personal or ministerial boundaries of or those of anotherExhibits considerable confusion about personal and ministerial boundaries and fails to recognize or respect those of others
Listens reflectively, suspends judgment, and speaks intentionally with respect for the equality and dignity of all persons.Exhibits some tendency to judge or misconstrue the contributions of others; displays an inclination to value particular perspectives over others.Responds inappropriately and/or judgmentally to the insights of others; display clear biases against particular perspectives.
Objective 6: F.2.1.6/Global
Demonstrates capacity for sound theological engagement with diverse cultural and religious traditions through the effective and insightful application of critical and constructive theological and ministerial knowledge in discussion, research, and reflection.Engages diverse cultural and religious traditions with theological interest; satisfactorily applies insights to theological and ministerial issues.Exhibits reluctance to engage diverse cultural and religious traditions; fails to discern connection between such diversity and theological or ministerial issues.

Course Embedded Assessment

Assessment InstrumentData Collection/Frequency (assessment cycle)Objectives AssessedCriterion Score
Research/Application PaperDMin students in THE 638 (Theology of Ministry) submit a 20-25 page research paper that focuses in greater depth on ONE issue in the theology of ministry. The paper includes:
  • Introduction of the ministerial/pastoral issue or praxis that stimulated the student’s interest in his/her selected topic.
  • Scholarly research that adequately addresses the ministerial/pastoral issue.
  • Explanation of how the student’s theological research specifically applies to or addresses the ministerial question or situation.
  • Proposal concerning the relevance of the student’s research to the ecclesial or religious context of which s/he is a member.
  • Description of how the conclusions reached concerning the local issue might apply to the broader church or to other ecclesial or cultural contexts. This course is offered every two years in the Fall semester or in the Summer Residency.
1, 2, 3, 670% of students score 4 or more per Objective assessed on a 5-point rubric.
Course Embedded Assessment Results
YearEnrolledObjective 1Objective 2Objective 3Objective 6
2014580%60%60%100%
2017475%50%50%75%

Theological Reflection

DMin students in THE 800A (Fundamentals of Practical Theology) write a 5-7 page theological reflection on a ministerial situation using one of the seven methods of practical theology studied in this course with a rationale for choosing a particular method. The reflection is reviewed and critiqued by a peer from a cultural or religious context other than that of the student. When the critique has been returned, the student incorporates the critique and submits a copy to each instructor, along with the peer critique. In the reflection the students:

  1. Describes the ministerial question of concern.
  2. Describes the ministerial situation that provoked the question.
  3. Names the method used to reflect on this ministerial experience and the reasons for selecting this method.
  4. Works through each phase of the method with regard to the ministerial situation, making the ministerial situation accessible to the reader.
  5. Suggests possible historical, sociological sources; empirical tools; and systematic moves to use to help understand and explain the situation.
  6. Proposes a renewed praxis coming from the process.
  7. Provides an evaluation of the method.

This course is offered annually in the Winter Residency and is taken by students in the first year of their program.

1, 2, 3, 670% of students score 4 or more per Objective assessed on a 5-point rubric.
Course Embedded Assessment Results
YearEnrolledObjective 1Objective 2Objective 3Objective 6
2013650%67%83%50%
20154100%100%100%100%
2016250%100%50%100%
20175100%100%100%100%
20182100%100%100%100%

Thesis Project Proposal

DMin students in THE 800 (Integrative Seminar) prepare a Thesis-Project Proposal to demonstrate the development of an advanced understanding of the nature and purposes of ministry and a mastery of practical theology methodology. It must be correlated to the students’ ministry and to their ecclesial ministerial tradition. The Thesis-Project Proposal should be a simple text of no more than ten (10) pages, double-spaced, which states the ministry, purpose, method, and evaluation intended for the thesis-project. As a practical theology methodology, the proposal must reflect a praxis-theory-praxis-movement. The proposal follows this methodology by critically (i.e., hermeneutically) engaging a ministerial practice, its cultural context, and a religious tradition in a critical conversation to renew, reclaim, or reform that practice and the religious tradition.

Approval of the Thesis-Project Proposal is accomplished through Thesis-Project Proposal Defense before a community of scholars and peers. The defense of the thesis-project incorporates the subject matter and the use of practical theology inclusive of a theological discipline(s) in the development of the thesis-project. The process is as follows:

  1. The thesis-project proposal and initial IRB protocol are distributed to the Proposal Defense Committee for their review no less than two weeks before the defense date.
  2. Proposal Defense Session Format (duration: 1 hour)
    1. Introduction and explanation of Proposal Defense procedure (Director of the DMin Program).
    2. The mentor 1) identifies how the thesis-project proposal meets the criteria (4.a-b above), which practical theology and which discipline-specific theology are engaged, what research methodology will be used (e.g., for research with human subjects), and 2) facilitates the session.
    3. Open examination of the thesis-project proposal by the Proposal Defense Committee with questions posed to the student.
    4. Following examination, the student is asked to step out of the defense.
    5. The Thesis-Project Proposal Committee, after consultation with the other members of the Proposal Defense Committee, determines to: approve the thesis-project proposal, approve with revisions, or deny approval.
    6. The student is brought back to the defense and the results announced.
  3. If the Thesis-Project Proposal is approved or approved with revisions the student is promoted to Candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
  4. If the Thesis-Project Proposal is denied, a student may re-submit a proposal within one year’s time from the date of the defense.

After successful defense of the Thesis Proposal, the Candidate prepares and submit the Protocol for Research with Human Subjects with the Institutional review Board of Barry University. Studies involving human subjects as research participants through discussion groups, or as subjects of research, must meet all the requirements of Barry University's policies regarding research with human subjects and must be approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) before research begins. The candidate is responsible for following the research protocols of the IRB, published in "Guidelines for Submitting Research Protocols.”

This course is offered annually in the Summer Residency. Students may register for THE 800 after successfully completing no fewer than 21 credit hours in the program.

2, 3, 4, 680% of students score 4 or more per Objective assessed on a 5-point rubric.
Course Embedded Assessment Results
YearEnrolledObjective 1Objective 2Objective 3Objective 6
2014955%55%55%55%
2015475%100%75%100%
20162100%100%100%100%
20182100%100%100%100%

Case Study Analysis/Integrative Paper

DMin students in THE 802 A/B (Ministerial Formation) complete a formative experience designed to equip students for competent leadership in diverse communities of faith through the completion of the following courses:

THE 802A: Doctoral Ministerial Formation and Pastoral Skills (3 credits)
One of two required courses in ministerial formation for the Doctor of Ministry student, this course provides theologically discerning accompaniment of students with a focus on the development of pastoral skills and methods of theological reflection required for ministers. Through course readings, class activities, an integrative paper, and one-on-one meetings with the Director of Ministerial Formation, students engage the human, spiritual, intellectual and ministerial components of theological formation for ministry necessary for ministerial effectiveness. Pre-req: Master of Divinity degree program/equivalence

THE 802B: Doctoral Ministerial Formation and Professional Ethics (3 credits)
One of two required courses in ministerial formation for the Doctor of Ministry student, this course provides theologically discerning accompaniment of students with a focus on the development of professional behavior in accord with ethical standards for pastoral practice. Through course readings, class activities, an integrative paper, and one-on-one meetings with the Director of Ministerial Formation, students engage the components of professional functioning in a pastoral position in the context of moral theology and ethics for ministry and mission. Pre-req: Master of Divinity degree program/equivalence

2, 3, 5, 680% of students score 4 or more per Objective assessed on a 5-point rubric.
Course Embedded Assessment Results
YearEnrolledObjective 1Objective 2Objective 3Objective 6
2016 (B)580%100%80%100%
2017 (A)682%100%82%82%
2018 (B)2100%100%100%100%
2019 (A)3

Capstone Process: THE 801A/B: DMin Thesis in Ministry

DMin students in THE 801 complete the Thesis in Ministry. The thesis-project represents the candidate’s ability to integrate both the theoretical and practical dimensions of theological research. The thesis-project should demonstrate competent application of appropriate theological research methods and ethical guidelines in the investigation of the ministerial praxis. This research needs to be correlated to the candidate’s ministry under the guidance and supervision of the candidate’s thesis-project mentor and the committee, which guides the thesis-project.

Style: The thesis-project must be written in scholarly English. The student will follow the current edition of Kate L. Turabian A Manual for Writers.

Arrangement of the Manuscript: The general arrangement is as follows:

  • Blank Page
  • Approval Page
  • Acknowledgements and/or Dedication Page
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Tables or Figures
  • Title Page
  • Abstract: The Abstract briefly summarizes the thesis-project and its conclusions. It must be one page, single space. No more than 350 words.
  • Body of Text: The Body of Text of the thesis-project typically contains anywhere from four to five chapters and is presented with footnotes. Each chapter should be divided into subheadings. Chapters and subheadings should be indicated in the Table of Contents.
  • Appendices: Appendices provide material relevant, but not necessarily essential, to the text.
  • Bibliography: The Bibliography lists the sources used in writing the thesis-project.

The Thesis Project in Ministry is evaluated by the thesis mentor, a faculty reader, a peer reader, and the Director of the Doctor of Ministry program. The thesis is then printed and bound for the Barry University Library and the Department of Theology and Philosophy and submitted to UMI for publication.

Upon approval of the thesis-project and presentation of a summary of the thesis project at the Commissioning Ceremony before a community of peers, the student has fulfilled the requirements of the Doctor of Ministry degree and may participate in the University commencement.

This is accomplished through the following two courses:

THE 801A: DMin Thesis in Ministry I (4 credits)
The thesis-project represents the candidate’s ability to integrate both the theoretical and practical dimensions of theological research and to demonstrate competent application of appropriate theological research methods and ethical guidelines in the investigation of the ministerial praxis. Pre-requisite: Approved Thesis Proposal and IRB protocol

THE 801B: DMin Thesis in Ministry II (4 credits)
The thesis-project represents the candidate’s ability to integrate both the theoretical and practical dimensions of theological research. The thesis-project should demonstrate competent application of appropriate theological research methods and ethical guidelines in the investigation of the ministerial praxis. Students must have completed their empirical research and two reviewed and approved chapters of the thesis before registering for this course. Pre-requisite: THE 801A.

1,2,3,4,580% of students successfully complete the Thesis Project within the 7-year time limit allotted for degree completion

Capstone/Doctoral Thesis Assessment Results

Registration for THE 801 (semester/year)Students Registered% Graduated within 7-year LimitMet the Criterion of 80%
2006250%50%
2007475%No
2008333%No
20094100%Yes
2010978%No
2011250%No
20122100%Yes
2013633%No
20142100%Yes
2015250%No
Registration for THE 801A Students Registered
Spring 2016Spring 2016
Spring 20161
Fall 20162
Spring 20171
Fall 20172
Fall 20185
Registration for THE 801BStudents Registered% Graduated within 7-year LimitMet the Criterion of 80%
Spring 20173100%Yes
Spring 201820No
Fall 20181100%Yes
Spring 2019475%No


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