In the last few blogs, we’ve looked at the outstanding faculty that makes up our professors for B. H. Carroll’s DMin program. These professors, and the seminars they lead, account for twenty-four “units,” in Carroll’s system. Students dive into their chosen area of concentration in nine of these hours. The Professional Project—a dissertation on praxis—adds six more units to one’s area of specialization. So, half of the DMin degree (15 of 30 units) will focus on the area where the DMin graduate becomes a bona fide expert. That’s serious doctoral credentials!
Advisor, Coach, and Encourager
To help you through your Professional Project, Carroll assigns supervisors in the last full semester of seminars. Our vision is that the supervisor ought to be an expert in the area that matches a student’s call, passion, and project. The supervisor will serve the student by being an advisor, coach, and encourager.
Supervisors are available to our students to hear their ideas, offer suggestions, play devil’s advocate, and challenge the concept and design of a proposed project (like the ability to measure and evaluate results). Supervisors are not proofreaders but will know when the prospectus and/or project are ready for doctoral scrutiny. They will not develop a student’s bibliography, but they will serve to expand the horizon of the student’s thinking and offer book suggestions. The supervisor walks alongside the student.
Support and Assistance
Imagine emailing your supervisor. You are asking for a meeting because:
- You have ideas about a project that you want to explore
- You’ve finished the rough draft of your project prospectus and are ready for critique
- Your planned project has hit a roadblock, and you need to rethink things
- You’ve implemented your project, but you need help interpreting the results
- After several rewrites, you think you have a completed project, but you want your supervisor’s agreement on that before moving forward to your project defense
That’s the kind of assistance a supervisor could give you.
Alignment Your Calling, Passion, and Project
Consider, too, how our students are matched with the experts who now serve as their supervisors:
- A Director of Mission, seeking to build a network to help his area’s pastors with their mental health, is being supervised by a Director of Mission on the other side of the country. The supervisor has built networks of pastors already. These two speak each other’s language.
- A DMin student, who will retire from a teaching post, plans to begin a teaching role to train deacons in local churches. He is supervised by a long-tenured pastor, who has “seen it all,” and has years of supervising students under his belt.
- A pastor wants to address the poor eschatology in his church with a series of sermons from Revelation. He will not only deliver sermons; he will utilize a specific preaching typology. His supervisor, a long-tenured pastor who is a superb preacher and theologian, understands the chosen preaching typology. In fact, the supervisor suggested it.
- An inner-city pastor, striving to add targeted social ministries to his church, is being supervised by a genius of targeted ministries, The supervisor leads one of the largest social ministries in America, after serving as president of a Christian college.
- A student, in a country where Christianity is oppressed, is trying to develop seminary-like education for pastors who will never have an opportunity to have any higher education, much less seminary training. He’s supervised by a seasoned church educator, experienced seminary teacher, and trustee of a seminary.
- A female student, striving to enter the role of preacher in a denomination that is less than receptive, will be supervised by a female executive director who has fought the good fight and now leads a state denominational entity.
- A pastor wanting to explore the combination of leadership and preaching will be supervised by one who is experienced as pastor, preacher, professor, and university president.
- Of course, all the supervisors have earned doctorates of their own.
Close Mentoring Relationship
If the idea of any of these being your supervisor intimidates you . . . I don’t blame you! On the other hand, push those fears aside. They will be brutally honest for YOUR sake (and the sake of your project), but you will develop a close relationship that includes mentoring and collegiality. They will assist you. They are on your side. These are the type of relationships that could last a lifetime.
Why not improve your knowledge and abilities with a DMin degree from B. H. Carroll that will do just that, while positively impacting your life in many other tangible and personal ways?