Lunchtime blogging: extra letters

Yeah, expect a lot of lunch time posts in the months coming up. Without students around to fill up my lunchtime with meetings, I actually have a lunch hour in which I can write without guilt while eating my boring food (the refectory is closed, too).

So, I have just found out that my employer will pay up to $5000 a year in tuition for me to go back to school. It’s a 100% reimburse rate, because I’ve been here long enough.  Previously, I took one class toward an ill-fated DMin, but it was only a 50% reimburse.

With Selam being more settled, and a good chunk of the cost covered, it seems worth looking into–most likely for next summer.  Question is this: low residency MFA or DMin in preaching?

MFA: upside would be lots of fun, lots of writing. downside=lots of reading and critical papers, something I’ve never been particularly good at (and don’t enjoy).

Dmin: upside would be lots of fun, lots of sermon writing.  Downside=trying to convince a program to accept me.  Every preaching program that I’ve found has required a parish to be on board for the preaching part. Without that, I’m going to have to make a case. (And since I preach 20-30 weeks a year, I think I have a case.)

The programs that interest me are Lesley University’s MFA, which allows you to take courses in other areas (I would pick religion), and which is in Boston.  I also like McCormick Seminary’s D.Min. (bonus being I could live with my parents during the residencies, which would bring down the cost), Luther Seminary’s D.Min. and Seattle Pacific U’s MFA.

Anyone have insights into any of these programs?


4 thoughts on “Lunchtime blogging: extra letters

  1. I only know about one–McCormick’s D.Min. The dean is LSTC’s preaching professor. Words cannot adequately convey how much I love him–as a professor and a pastor. I’m an LSTC alum (M.Div, not D.Min) and hope when my life settles down to do the D.Min. in Chicago. I have also heard great things about the program from those who have done it.

  2. No insights except that I’ve looked at Luther’s DMin program and really like it. But I am too old and too poor to earn another degree (still paying of the ones I’ve got now).

  3. Let’s chat, if you’d like. A month from now I will have taught in both DMin programs at least 2x/each. I’d be happy to share the things that I think you’d probably appreciate about each and the things that might make you nuts. Structurally, they’re pretty much the same, but Luther might more easily be persuaded re: the whole lack-of-a-parish thing. The trick is to figure out how to have a “parish response group” over the course of a year to give ongoing feedback. Or, maybe persuade the chapel at your place to let you preach on the dates assigned by the course? In any case, If I can help with references/contacts, let me know.

  4. Indeed, Luther’s program does look easier to navigate, but McCormick has the free housing thing going for it! (i.e. mom and dad’s house–wait, I guess I’m assuming they’d let me come. Wait, who am I kidding, if I bring Selam, I can get in almost anywhere!). I have one site where I preach about 10-15 times a year that I think might let me use them as a parish response group.

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