Date of Award

9-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

Department

Seminary

First Advisor

Mary Pandiani, DMin

Second Advisor

Mark Chironna, DMin

Third Advisor

Jason Clark, PhD, DMin

Abstract

The U.S. Assemblies of God Cooperative Fellowship (AG) remains one of the least educated, and least interested in education, denominations. A perceived disconnect between graduate-level learning and practical application deters many AG pastors away from continuing their education, leading to a nationwide trend of not being “welleducated.” AG pastors have a different set of values than mainstream evangelical denominations. Thus, the pastors seek their pastoral development from sources other than mainstream higher education. If universities can create more opportunities for practical training within typical course work, provide wisdom and character development, and facilitate mentoring relationships, then AG ministers would be much more likely to consider returning to higher education for further development.

This dissertation will focus on bringing online practicum learning experiences into leadership and ministerial graduate studies in the Assemblies of God denomination. This dissertation asks the question, in what ways will offering an online practicum experience increase higher education attractiveness and effectiveness to AG pastors, as opposed to a typical online program? This dissertation postulates that communicating the practical usefulness of a master’s degree in Ministry Leadership by incorporating practical learning within the MA will attract more AG pastors to higher education. Incorporating new-to-seminary methodologies, such as competency-based education, prior learning experience, a hand-picked lead mentor, and more concentrated peer interactions will encourage AG pastors to consider and attend higher education in greater numbers. This dissertation will explain the nature of this problem within the AG and the history of how we got there, show what some others have tried, and then present a new recipe made from old elements that will produce an entirely new product. Like in chemistry, how just changing the amount or method of delivery of a familiar compound can change the chemical entirely, so can this new combination of pedagogical ideas change the end product. The artifact presented with this dissertation will outline some of the technical requirements and aspects, such as a degree plan, course descriptions, and a course syllabus.

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Christianity Commons

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