Nazarene Theological Seminary delivered the first of four Doctor of Ministry seminars at Seminario Nazareno de las Americas (SENDAS) in San Jose, Costa Rica. One other seminar will be taught in Costa Rica with the other two being delivered at the Seminario Teológico Nazareno Sudamericano in Quito, Ecuador.
The first course was Wesleyan Theology for Ministry, co-taught by NTS Dean of the Faculty Roger Hahn and Jorge Julca, regional coordinator of Theological Education for South America.
The seminar explored a Wesleyan understanding of the being and mission of the Church and a variety of models for the Church’s mission. The curriculum for this course, as well as the remaining three, was contextualized for the unique challenges of the Latin American church.
“The Church of the Nazarene currently has more than 5,000 ministerial students in South America and Central America,” said Doug Hard, director of the Doctor of Ministry degree program. “Over the past 30 years in which there has been a contextualized master’s program for Latin Americans, there have been very few possibilities for doctoral studies. Theological education in Latin America, then, continues to have a glass ceiling for those who wish to continue their studies in pastoral ministry.
“NTS is responding to invitations from the regional directors of the Mexico and Central America and South America regions of the Church of the Nazarene to offer the DMin degree program on these regions again (a cohort of 26 students graduated from the first offering of the NTS DMin program there nearly 10 years ago). This second initiative to provide doctoral study in Latin America will provide another opportunity for leading pastors and theological educators to engage in robust reflection on ministry in a region where the church is growing rapidly.”
There are currently 12 students enrolled, representing 10 countries in Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. Among this cohort of students are pastors, district superintendents, evangelists, theological administrators, educators, and missionaries.
NTS is also in process of working to offer its DMin degree program in Africa. Up to 16 students are being recruited from across the continent. This cohort’s program will also include four residential seminars, two at Africa Nazarene University in Ongata Rongai, Kenya, and two at Nazarene Theological College in Muldersdrift, South Africa. Pending the completion of the admissions process for the first cohort of students, the first residential DMIN seminar is projected to be taught at ANU in the Fall 2013.