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  • Tom Benjamin School of Ministry @ Wesley Seminary

    Master of Divinity Program Starts October 16, 2014

    Tom Benjamin PortraitWe are excited about this partnership between the academy and the local church. Here is a practical, innovative, and flexible program that promotes a culturally sensitive and theologically sound approach to achieving the Master of Divinity. Our desire is to present a 21st century model that gives adults options in their educational preparation for the ministry of Jesus Christ.

    Bishop Tom Benjamin, Tom Benjamin School of Ministry, Pastor Emeritus Light of the World Church

     

    After pastoring in the city of Indianapolis for 43 years, Bishop Tom Benjamin felt the Lord calling him to step away from his weekly pastoral duties and take his talents and experience into new avenues. One of those avenues is a cooperative initiative between the Tom Benjamin School of Ministry and Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University. Bishop Benjamin has a passion for educating pastors, a passion shared by Wesley Seminary. Through this mutual endeavor, Wesley Seminary draws on Bishop Benjamin’s life-long experience to bring seminary education to the city of Indianapolis and beyond in an intentionally contextualized manner.The first program offered through this partnership was a Master of Divinity which began in November of 2012. The Master of Arts in Ministry followed in August of 2013. Beginning October 16, 2014, the Master of Divinity will be offered for a second time. Email dianne.clark@indwes.edu or call 877-673-0009 for more information. You can review the admissions requirements here can apply online here

    The Master of Divinity program will be taught in a hybrid format. Students will meet at the IWU Indianapolis North Education Building on Monday nights from 6-10 pm. Each week 1-2 assignments will be completed online. This format allows working adults to engage in a face-to-face once a week while continuing the learning experience throughout the week. Assignments will often be connected to the student's own local ministry context, melding together the students' education and ministry experiences. 

    Master of Divinity Curriculum

    A note regarding our Master of Divinity curriculum:

    To understand the unique nature of this Tom Benjamin M.Div. curriculum, think integration. Each course integrates the practical with the biblical, theological, and historical aspects of the subject matter. This integrated method of learning enables you to develop a holistic approach to ministry. The praxis or practical portion of the course provides the “how to” of ministry. The foundational disciplines (Bible, theology, and history) provide the “why” of ministry. Each core course consists of two thirds instruction in praxis and one third instruction in foundational disciplines. Each core course also features texts written by African American scholars and practitioners. Think of the curriculum as a tapestry of knowledge and disciplines designed to equip you to conduct relevant ministry in twenty-first-century African American contexts.

    Course titles are subject to change.

    YEAR ONE

    MDIV 500 Pastor, Church, and World (3 hours)
    This course introduces and overviews the six praxis domains of the Master of Divinity curriculum: mission, congregational formation, congregational life, proclamation, worship, and leadership. It also presents the foundational components of each practical domain: biblical, theological, and historical. This course is a prerequisite for all subsequent praxis courses. (Onsite, one-week intensive)

    MISS 500 Cultural Contexts of Ministry (3 hours)
    This course explores the most relevant contexts in which a person’s ministry takes place, including the unity and diversity of local contexts, social and cultural contexts, denominational contexts, national and global contexts, as well as the kingdom context. Special attention is given to the cohort’s broader Christian context, such as the roots of American denominationalism for North Americans. (Onsite, one-week intensive)

    MISS 600 Missional Church (6 hours)
    This course is a comprehensive, integrative approach to missional Christianity, beginning with biblical foundations and ending with the tools needed to facilitate mission, church multiplication, and service in the church today. Topics range from the classical fields of evangelism, church growth, and global missions to volunteerism and service to the world in its economic and social dimensions. The course involves contextually appropriate missional ministry and so requires that a student currently be in an approved ministry setting. Significant biblical, theological, and historical outcomes are addressed in this course. See the explanation box at the beginning of this section for more information. Prerequisite: Pastor, Church, and World. (Onsite/Online, 16 weeks)

    SPIR 500 Spiritual Formation: Change and Transformation (1 hour)
    This course examines how change takes place in individuals. In addition to theories of personal change, special attention is given to historic examples of personal change. (Onsite/Online, 16 weeks)

    LEAD 600 Congregational Leadership (6 hours)
    This course is a comprehensive, integrative approach to the leadership and management of a congregation, beginning with biblical foundations and ending with the tools needed to lead in the church today. Topics range from the recruitment of staff and volunteers to managing conflict. The course involves problem-based case studies from the student’s ministry context. Significant biblical, theological, and historical outcomes are addressed in this course. See the explanation box at the beginning of this section for more information. Prerequisite: Pastor, Church, and World. (Onsite/Online, 16 weeks)

    SPIR 520 Spiritual Formation: Self Awareness and Appraisal (1 hour)
    This course focuses on self-discovery and personal appraisal through a variety of personal and professional assessment tools. Prerequisite: Change and Transformation. (Onsite/Online, 16 weeks)

    YEAR TWO

    BIBL 500 The Bible as Christian Scripture (3 hours)
    This course develops the two-fold skills of 1) reading the Bible in context and 2) reading it with the eyes of a Christian. The classic tools of inductive Bible study are presented alongside strategies for appropriating the Bible today. Significant biblical outcomes are addressed in MDIV630, 640, 650, 660, 670, and 680. See explanation box at the beginning of this section for more information. (Onsite, one-week intensive)

    THEO 500 Introduction to Christian Theology (3 hours)
    This course reviews the historic beliefs of orthodox Christianity, including the nature of revelation, God, Christ, the Spirit, creation, humanity, sin, salvation, the church, and the end of the age. Significant theological outcomes are addressed in MDIV630, 640, 650, 660, 670, and 680. See explanation box at the beginning of this section for more information. (Onsite, one-week intensive)

    WSHP 600 Christian Worship (6 hours)
    This course is a comprehensive, integrative approach to Christian worship, beginning with biblical foundations and ending with the tools needed to facilitate it in the church today. Topics range from administration of the historic sacraments and ordinances of the church to the use of music and media arts in contemporary worship. The course involves problem-based case studies from the student’s ministry context. Significant biblical, theological, and historical outcomes are addressed in this course. See the explanation box at the beginning of this section for more information. Prerequisite: Pastor, Church, and World. (Onsite/Online, 16 weeks)

    SPIR 540 Spiritual Formation: Goal Setting and Accountability (1 hour)
    This course begins the process of change in previously identified areas of need through goal setting and accountability. Prerequisites: Self Awareness and Appraisal. (Onsite/Online, 16 weeks)

    PROC 600 Christian Proclamation (6 hours)
    This course is a comprehensive, integrative approach to Christian proclamation, beginning with biblical foundations and ending with the tools needed to communicate effectively in specific settings. Topics range from a theology of revelation to sermon preparation and various kinds of sermons. The course involves the practice of proclamation and so requires that a student currently be in an approved ministry setting. Significant biblical, theological, and historical outcomes are addressed in this course. See the explanation box at the beginning of this section for more information. Prerequisite: Pastor, Church, and World. (Onsite/Online, 16 weeks)

    SPIR 560 Spiritual Formation: Mentoring and Spiritual Direction (1 hour)
    This course involves the connection of the minister with a spiritual mentor to whose spiritual direction they are willing to submit. The process of growth through mentoring is learned and implemented. Prerequisites: Goal Setting and Accountability. (Onsite/Online, 16 weeks)

    YEAR THREE

    CHST 500 Global Christian History (3 hours)
    This course surveys the progress and development of Christianity around the world from its inception to the present day, with special attention to the rise and anticipated dominance of two-thirds world Christianity in the southern hemisphere. Significant historical outcomes are addressed in MDIV630, 640, 650, 660, 670, and 680. See explanation box at the beginning of this section for more information. (Onsite, one-week intensive)

    CONG 600 Congregational Spiritual Formation (6 hours)
    This course is a comprehensive, integrative approach to the education and transformation of a congregation, beginning with biblical foundations and ending with the tools needed to educate and transform a congregation into a holy people today. Topics range from developmental theories to pedagogical techniques. The course involves the practice of education and formation and so requires that a student currently be in an approved ministry setting. Significant biblical, theological, and historical outcomes are addressed in this course. See the explanation box at the beginning of this section for more information. Prerequisite: Pastor, Church, and World. (Onsite/Online, 16 weeks)

    SPIR 570 Spiritual Formation: Personal and Corporate Disciplines (1 hour)
    This course covers the classical inward, outward, and corporate spiritual disciplines, which are carefully placed within the context of an overall process of change. Prerequisites: Mentoring and Spiritual Direction. (Onsite/Online, 16 weeks)

    PCRE 600 Congregational Relationships (6 hours)
    This course is a comprehensive, integrative approach to the care and fellowship of a congregation, beginning with biblical foundations and ending with the tools needed to facilitate wholeness in individuals and groups today. Topics will range from counseling theories to facilitating healthy relationships and assimilation in a congregation. The course involves problem-based case studies from the student’s ministry context. Significant biblical, theological, and historical outcomes are addressed in this course. See the explanation box at the beginning of this section for more information. Prerequisite: Pastor, Church, and World. (Onsite/Online, 16 weeks)

    SPIR 590 Spiritual Formation: Recovery and Deliverance (1 hour)
    This course focuses on the accomplishment of change and the goals set at the beginning of the spiritual formation sequence, with particular attention to recovery and/or deliverance from obstacles to healthy spiritual growth. Prerequisites: Personal and Corporate Disciplines. (Onsite/Online, 16 weeks)

    MDIV 695 Integration Capstone (3 hours)
    This course completes the Master of Divinity degree with an assessment of the progress made in the program, the collection of materials into a ministerial portfolio, and the creation of a five-year plan for future ministry and personal development. Prerequisite: Completion of all six praxis courses. (Onsite, one-week intensive)

    YEAR FOUR

    Electives (15 hours)
    Students take fifteen (15) hours of electives in either online or onsite, 8-week or 16-week formats. See a list of recent and upcoming electives.

    I had been a pastor for 19 years and didn’t think I needed to go to school for ministry but I am learning that I, like a rubber band, am most effective when I am being stretched.

    Hear more of Rev. James Jackson’s testimony about his time in the Tom Benjamin Master of Divinity program here.