“Can I do this? Can I successfully complete a doctoral degree?”
All prospects ask this question as they contemplate applying for a DMin degree. So, it might help you to know B. H. Carroll starts our DMin program with two seminars which go hand in hand to produce successful students. Our program begins with:
- Our “Advanced Orientation Seminar,” where students learn strategies for, and expectations of, doing “doctoral-level research and writing.” This seminar serves as a foundation for being able to complete the rest of the program’s seminars.
- A “Core Reading Seminar,” which introduces students to doctoral-level readings in our four learning “clusters”—Scripture and Witness, Faith and Heritage, Ministry and Formation, and Worship and Mission. Students then have a clear understanding of reading expectations and they’ve practiced methodologies for effective reading/comprehension.
In other words, these two seminars lead students to know and practice what it takes to successfully complete the rest of their studies. In fact, right now, two professors work together to blend assignments and meetings, so they complement each other and allow the blending of assignments.
Who teaches these seminars?
Dr. William Bryan teaches the orientation seminar. Dr. Bryan comes out of a professional aerospace engineering background, believe it or not. Since then, he has served five churches, mostly as senior pastor. He has also been a professor at seven institutions, including teaching fourteen different subjects for B. H. Carroll since 2004. His academic degrees include a BS, an MBA, an MDiv, a DMin, and a PhD. The breadth of his experience and learning equips Dr. Bryan to navigate how he helps each individual student.
Dr. David Strawn, who holds a PhD as well, is a lifelong educator. He has taught at five institutions of higher education, including achieving the designation of Distinguished Fellow in Christian Education at B. H. Carroll, where he has served since 2004. Dr. Strawn has also blessed eight churches by leading their education (and sometimes administration) ministries. His professional expertise in education led to his joining B. H. Carroll’s Board of Governors this year, too.
Together, these exceptional professors can assure our students there are no surprises ahead that will trip up their journeys through the DMin program. In addition, Drs. Bryan and Strawn understand the combination of academic learning, and practical application, which creates a meaningful DMin experience.
But we must return to Dr. Bryan. After four semesters, DMin students will start on their professional projects. To achieve that status, however, they must first present an acceptable “prospectus” to the Carroll Doctoral Programs Council.
I’ve heard more than one horror story from DMin students in other programs who entered their project time with no professional preparation. Instead, they receive the encouragement of “good luck; you’ll figure it out.”
At B. H. Carroll, Dr. Bryan returns to the rotation and springboards off his earlier instructions on how to be a successful student. He breaks down the successful professional project prospectus into steps and expectations. Students actually start on each part of the required prospectus during the seminar. By the time the course is completed, the students know exactly what they need to do, and they’re well into completing the actual prospectus.
So, “Can YOU do it?”
Yes. You’ll not be “on your own.” A cohort will walk with you, to bounce ideas around, to encourage you (and you, them), and even to offer helpful suggestions. All your professors, too, will be FOR you. Their skills and desires, represented so well by Drs. Bryan and Strawn, will support your hard work in completing God’s call in your life.