A Note From Dr. Karl Fickling
When I joined B. H. Carroll Theological Seminary as the Director of the DMin program, I had only a vague idea of what lay ahead. For one thing, COVID was early and in full swing. For another, we were relaunching the DMin degree using a new cohort concept, where students would journey together through the first two years of seminars.
The seminars stretched the students’ minds while furthering and improving their ministries. While they were always challenging, these seminars were sometimes fun, fulfilling the students’ passions. Plus, they prepared each student for the final hurdle–a Professional Project. What happened with the projects was truly remarkable–impacting Kingdom of God work in the students’ places of service.
Consider, for instance, Dr. Chuck Beem, the Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Baptist Association. With frequent published reports on the high rates of pastoral burnout and dropping out in the COVID and post-COVID world, he designed a project to discover, measure, treat, and prevent pastoral burnout and stress in his association.
Or, consider Paul X (name withheld to protect him and his ministry). He completed his entire degree in a foreign country, where Christians are often under threat. His project was to create seminary-type classes for protestant pastors who have no access to education of any type, and who took Paul’s courses at risk to themselves.
Today, both “projects” continue as a part of the regular ministry of these two DMin students.
But there’s more. The cohort, designed so students would travel academically together for two years, became something more. On their own, the cohort members met regularly via Zoom (no one lived close to another), even outside of class and outside of academic terms. Post-graduation, they are still close friends and strong encouragers of each other.
While I’m a biased voice, being an employee of Carroll Seminary, I’m also a willing backer of the efforts to equip church leaders into deeper and better ministries. Perhaps you can see why, and perhaps you’ll join in this effort.