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How to Succeed
No one begins a trip expecting never to arrive at their final destination. The amount of time, money, and other resources you put into such an endeavor indicate your desire to see it through. So, why is it that some who start a journey – with good intentions – don’t finish it? This is a good question to ask, but we’d rather ask another question: What can you do to ensure that you will be able to complete your journey?
Here are some things our recent D.Min. graduates said helped them succeed:
- Calling. Our graduates knew that God was calling them to pursue a D.Min. degree. When the demands of their ministries and personal lives felt overwhelming and their confidence wavered, they remembered that the One who started this work in them would be faithful to complete it (Philippians 1:6).
- Support networks. Our graduates asked groups of people – their families, close friends, and churches – at the start of their program to regularly pray for them as they worked toward their D.Min. degree. Additionally, we place all D.Min. students into small bands of men and women called Legacy Groups, with the goal of spiritual formation and mutual encouragement all throughout their academic journey.
- Intentionality. Our graduates told us that planning was instrumental in accomplishing the requirements of their D.Min. degree. This meant placing appointments for both study time and writing time on their calendars. For instance, they might schedule a two-hour block of uninterrupted time for reading, or perhaps a four-hour block for writing. Some graduates even took a week-long sabbatical at crucial dissertation stages (e.g., prior to graduation) in order to work on specific chapters.
The men and women who pursue a D.Min. degree add this program to lives that are already very full with other things: families, ministry obligations, and various areas of interest/service. When their energy started to fail, or their passion began to wane, they found that God used these three factors – calling, support networks, and intentionality – to give them the strength they needed to persevere and achieve their D.Min. degree.
How will you set yourself up to complete YOUR D.Min. journey?