With the blessing of our church council, I am applying to Doctor of Ministry programs. The D. Min. is basically a three year program, with a few weeks per year of intensive courses on site, and online course work throughout the rest of the year. It is a degree program that does not take one out of the context of ministry; in fact, the whole focus is practical, and the course work and projects will relate directly to my call at Grace.
The following is a slightly edited (I took out some names) version of application essays for one of the programs. Pray for me, my family, and my church, for this is a major commitment of time and energy (especially for my family).
Assessment of Vocation and Ministry
Describe and reflect upon your practice of preaching, making explicit the theological themes, principles, and values that inform it.
I have been called and ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament: to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ, to make disciples, to baptize them in the name of the Triune God, and to “proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” through sharing the Lord’s Supper. My practice of preaching flows from this call. It is the specific form that the priesthood of all believers takes in my life, to “proclaim the praise of God and bear God’s creative and redeeming Word to all the world.” In the Augsburg Confession, the ministry of Word and Sacrament is explained as a means through which God gives the Holy Spirit, “who effects faith where and when it pleases God in those who hear the Gospel” (CA V). The Gospel is the message that we are justified, made right with God, not through our own efforts or merit but solely by God’s grace, through faith in Christ (CA IV). In my preaching, I strive to keep the Gospel at the center, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, by grace to be a means through which the Holy Spirit will effect faith in those gathered for Word and Sacrament.