Academic Programs

Bexley Seabury offers a range of theological education programs at the graduate level, with most courses in these programs open to non-program students for academic credit, continuing education units, or for enrichment.

Doctor of Ministry Degree (D.Min.): an advanced level graduate degree for ministry professionals who hold an M.Div. degree (or educational equivalent) and who seek to enhance their understanding of ministerial theory and their ministerial practice. Bexley Seabury offers two D.Min. degrees that are oriented toward particular ministerial competencies: The D.Min. in Preaching and the D.Min. in Congregational Development. Learn more…

Master of Divinity Degree (M.Div.): a post baccalaureate professional graduate degree for students preparing for ordained ministry within the Episcopal church. This program is also available for students preparing for other forms of ministry for which a Master of Divinity is required or desirable (e.g., chaplaincy). For full time students, this degree normally takes three years to complete the required 81 credits. Learn More…

Diploma in Anglican Studies (D.A.S.): a post baccalaureate graduate-level diploma for students who wish to focus study on the history, theology, ethics, spirituality and ethos, liturgy and canons of the Anglican/Episcopal church in diverse cultural and congregational contexts. This program is open to students who may be working toward or have earned an M.Div. degree in a non-Episcopal seminary, and to those who wish to gain a deeper understanding of the Anglican/Episcopal tradition. The diploma normally takes one or two years to complete the 27 required credits. Students may be eligible to transfer up to 12 credits in foundational requirements. Learn More…

Curricular Goals and Learning Outcomes

Master of Divinity

Goal 1:  To develop a knowledgeable and critically discerning understanding of the biblical, historical, and theological resources of the richly diverse Christian faith, and of the Anglican/Episcopal tradition in particular, and the capacity to apply this religious heritage to contemporary religious and public life in pastoral and prophetic ways.

Outcomes:

1.1. Broad knowledge and a deep understanding of biblical history, theology, content, and interpretive methods; and an ability to bring scriptural wisdom to bear on contemporary religious and public life in pastoral and prophetic ways.

1.2. General knowledge of significant developments and persons in church history, in the Anglican Communion, and of the history, polity and canons of the Episcopal church; and an ability to bring historical insight to bear on contemporary ecclesial, communal, and public issues.

1.3. Broad knowledge of systematic and contemporary critical and  constructive theologies and of theological ethics, both ecumenical and Anglican/ Episcopal; a capacity to address liturgical, pastoral and public issues from a theological perspective; and an ability to articulate one’s own theological perspectives with clarity and conviction.

Goal 2: To bring ecumenical Christian perspectives into critical and constructive engagement with the Abrahamic and other global faith traditions.

Outcomes:

2.1. General familiarity with the Abrahamic and other global faith traditions, their sacred texts, diverse contexts, and people; a critical awareness of the complexities of religious identity; and a non-exclusive confidence in the Christian gospel.

Goal 3: To become familiar with a variety of cultural resources and to develop the cultural competencies needed for effective, empowering, and contextually appropriate leadership in diverse, multi-cultural congregations and communities.

Outcomes:

3.1. A capacity to identify and creatively to employ cultural resources for the life of Christian faith, mission, and ministry in sensitive and contextually appropriate ways.

3.2. Familiarity with methods and strategies for engagement in multi-cultural ministry, and a capacity to use these tools to build collaborative relationships with people from different contexts and cultures.

3.3. An understanding of how the intersection of historical experience, social identities (such as race, class, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation), and related systems of privilege, power, discrimination, and oppression shape, sustain, and transform the social contexts in which mission is articulated and in which ministry takes place.

3.4. A critical awareness of one’s own social location, culture, preconceptions, and biases, and a sense of self that is informed by one’s own cultural narrative.

Goal 4: To grow in personal faith, spiritual depth, and moral integrity by developing self-awareness, cultivating personal and communal spiritual practices, and engaging in theological reflection, in preparation for living more authentically, responsibly, and sustainably into a life of ministerial service.

Outcomes:

4.1. The capacity to engage in various methods and techniques of theological reflection.

4.2. An ability to articulate one’s own beliefs and to reflect on one’s own spiritual and vocational experience and development.

4.3. An ability to appreciate the connection between spirituality and the pursuit of justice.

Goal 5: To develop theoretical knowledge, practical skills, an inquisitive mind, and a bold entrepreneurial spirit for wise, compassionate, and innovative ministerial and public leadership.

Outcomes:

5.1. Skill in exercising collaborative and dynamic leadership in a faith community in times of both stability and change.

5.2. Effective leadership of expressive and formative worship with an understanding of the theological implications of liturgical decisions.

5.3. The ability to use organizational, social, cultural and contextual analysis in order to facilitate discernment of congregational identity, to define and implant missional goals, and to respond to missional opportunities within and beyond the church.

5.4. The ability to practice culturally sensitive, inclusive, and compassionate pastoral care.

5.5. The ability to proclaim and preach the gospel of God’s love and justice with creativity, passion, and conviction in context-appropriate and accessible ways.

 

Doctor of Ministry in Congregational Development

Advanced understanding of nature and purposes of ministry

Goal 1. To develop a theologically informed, contextually grounded, and integrated understanding of the nature, purposes, theories, and practices of ministry in the specialized area of Congregational Leadership and Development.

Outcomes:

1.1  Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the dynamics, contexts, and organizational structures of a religious congregation in relation to the diverse communities they represent, and in which they are embedded.

1.2. Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of contemporary perspectives in ecclesiology, missiology, and the meaning of missional leadership and ministry in context.

Competencies in pastoral analysis and ministerial skills as reflective practitioners and leaders

Goal 2. To develop sociocultural, analytical, diagnostic, and entrepreneurial competencies and organizational leadership skills within congregational contexts.

Outcomes:

2.1. Demonstrates the ability to facilitate discernment of congregational identity, to define and implement missional goals, and to respond creatively to missional opportunities within and beyond the church by employing methods of organizational, social, cultural, and contextual analysis

2.2. Demonstrates skill in conducting ethnographic study, systems analysis, community organizing, asset-based community development, and in leading congregations through times of challenge and change.

Growth in spiritual maturity and ethical professional standards

Goal 3. To develop and appropriate a personal and professional ethic in keeping with sound organizational principles, high ethical standards, and mature conduct in the leadership and development of vital and healthy congregations and communities.

Outcomes:

3.1. Demonstrates the ability to subject leadership theories and congregational leadership practices to theological and ethical reflection and critique.

3.2. Demonstrates a critical awareness of one’s own social location, culture, preconceptions, and biases and a sense of self that is informed by one’s own cultural narrative

New knowledge about the practice of ministry

Goal 4. To design, implement and evaluate a research project that integrates theological, ecclesial, cultural and pastoral perspectives and contributes new knowledge and understanding to the practice of ministry for congregational and faith based community leaders.

Outcome:

4.1. Demonstrates the ability to identify a relevant topic significant to faith community leadership and development, and to develop an effective research model, using appropriate resources; to analyze and evaluate the results and successfully to articulate one’s conclusions; and to contribute original theological and practical knowledge to the field.

 

ACTS Doctor of Ministry in Preaching.

Advanced Understanding of Nature and Purposes of Ministry

Goal 1. Preach out of an articulated theology of proclamation 

Outcomes:

1.1 Demonstrates knowledge and understanding of a variety of approaches to preaching and can articulate why one or more approaches is best suited to student’s preaching context.

1.2. Demonstrates ability to articulate theology through preaching and about preaching.

Competency in Pastoral Analysis and Ministerial Skills as Reflective Practitioners and Leaders

Goal 2. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of one’s own (style of) preaching 

Outcomes:

2.1. Demonstrates the ability to analyze own preaching objectively based on stated goals and feedback received.

2.2. Demonstrates skill in preaching through times of challenge and change in the ministry setting and make appropriate adaptations to sermon style and content.

Growth in spiritual maturity and ethical professional standards

Goal 3. Collaborate with members of the ministry site in an ongoing process of reflecting on one’s preaching 

Outcomes:

3.1. Demonstrates the ability to listen to members of the faith community who help form and later critique student’s preaching.

3.2. Demonstrates a critical awareness of student’s own social location, culture, preconceptions, and biases and a sense of self that is informed by one’s own cultural narrative.

New Knowledge about the Practice of Ministry

Goal 4. Demonstrate an acquaintance with leading authors in homiletics

Outcome:

4.1. Demonstrates the ability to identify a relevant topic significant to faith community leadership and development, and to develop an effective research model, using appropriate resources.

4.2 Demonstrates the ability to analyze and evaluate the research results and to articulate successfully one’s conclusions; and to contribute original theological and practical knowledge to the field.

 

Assessment of Student Learning and Program Effectiveness

Bexley Seabury engages in a continuous and regular program of assessment of student learning and program effectiveness. The purpose of this program is to evaluate how we are measuring up to our stated goals and how well students are achieving desired learning outcomes; to identify gaps and implement changes which will allow us to close those gaps; and to alter our goals and outcomes in light of changing educational and vocational needs of our students. We also conduct an assessment in order to keep our various constituencies well informed of our progress, thus engaging them in the ongoing mission of the seminary. Our aim is to provide the highest possible quality of education, formation, and enrichment for all participants in our program offerings. Learn More…

Accreditation

Bexley Seabury is authorized by the Illinois Board of Higher Education to offer its graduate programs and is fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.