An Invitation to a Doctor of Ministry Program in Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue
In January 2010, Wesley Theological Seminary (Washington, DC), in cooperation with the Washington Theological Consortium, will start a cohort on its way to a Doctor of Ministry Degree in Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue. This is our latest effort to train the next generation of ecumenical leaders.
Why are we offering this degree at this time?
- People keep asking me. I continue to get inquiries—will you begin another cohort?
- Our first cohort, begun in 2002, has graduated and has been doing good work ‘’out in the field” for several years now.
- I continue to believe that Reception of ecumenical agreements at the local level is a key element of ecumenism. The Doctor of Ministry Project is ideally suited to local ecumenism.
- I notice that ecumenists these days are continually asked to use their skills in interreligious dialogue. Thus we have two required courses in this area.
- The degree is ‘doable’ for clergy in local ministry and for lay ministers. Students are at Wesley four weeks per year for two years to cover the eight required courses. The professors and times are already set.
- The cost is reasonable [see below].
Dr. Lew Parks, Director of Doctor of Ministry programs at Wesley, and I firmly believe in the future of ecumenism. I have been kidding him that ‘since he and I are not getting any younger’ we should be helping to prepare future leaders now.
Who Should Apply?
The short answer is that those who are called by the Spirit should apply. Students in the previous cohort spoke of this call. More precisely:
- People come for personal growth. Ecumenical spirituality and theology challenge all of us to go deeper.
- Ecumenical Officers come to develop their base of knowledge and their skills. Some have said to me that they will never develop if they stay home-- because of other demands.
- Some local ecumenists come because they want to learn to work more effectively at the grass roots.
- Some do not know why they come. They say to me something like: ‘The Holy Spirit led me and will show me the next step later.’
We are looking for 15-20 people called by the Spirit—in the ordinary ways—to join us in this journey toward Christian Unity and interreligious understanding.
What are the details?
- The professors are distinguished—drawn primarily from the Consortium Schools and particularly from Wesley.
- The total cost is about $15,000 for tuition (30 credits) and books. Dormitory style housing is available on a limited basis at Wesley.
- For the previous cohort, Wesley was able to provide partial financial aid to students who had completed the first two courses and had financial need. This was because of the generosity of the Carpenter Foundation. We will know in the spring of 2009 whether we will be able to secure funds for this new cohort.
- For further information see wesleyseminary.edu or email email@example.com or call 202-885-8670. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202-832-2675.
I believe that slow but steady progress is being made in the ecumenical movement. This is almost invisible in the media. Sometimes we are walking uphill and sometimes downhill—and often we are moving forward on level ground, but moving forward.
I am inviting you to discern whether you are being called to join in our walk together.
Rev. John W. Crossin, OSFS, Ph.D.
Washington Theological Consortium