Tyndale Offers New DMin–Spiritual Formation Track
Beginning in 2014, Tyndale Seminary is offering a Doctor of Ministry (DMin) in Spiritual Formation. This three-year program will be offered in a retreat-style format starting this August.
Tyndale’s program is unique. Whereas other programs in Canada with a Spiritual Formation component tend to be academically-oriented, Tyndale takes a more practical approach.
Dr. David Sherbino, Professor of Spirituality and Pastoral Ministry, states that “in every course students will learn how to practice a spiritual discipline and integrate it into their life.” In one course a student may focus on “prayers of discernment,” whereas in another, they might learn about the concept of “Sabbath.”
“We don’t want the program to just be an intellectual and academic exercise for students. We want it to be transformational so that they can learn how to implement it within their own community of faith.”
This is where the “ministry project” comes into play as part of the course requirements. “This major component of the program will give students an opportunity to develop a project that they can apply in their own unique ministry context,” states Dr. Sherbino.
According to him, there are many benefits of doing a DMin in Spiritual Formation. “Spiritual formation is of the essence of ministry for those in leadership.” Alluding to the spiritual theology of Eugene Peterson, he says that “every leader needs to be a person of prayer, a contemplative exegete and a Spiritual Director.”
Another benefit is that developing a healthy practice of personal spiritual formation can protect leaders from ‘burnout’ and stress. According to the research, approximately 170 pastors leave ministry each month in Canada due to the overwhelming pressures that can accompany church leadership in our culture today.
“If ministry is about transformation, spiritual formation is where it begins,” states Dr. Sherbino. Referring to the recent findings by the Willow Creek Association, he says that “programming people” does not lead to transformation. What does bring transformation is developing spiritual disciplines.
He hears many people in ministry telling him that they’re tired out. “I don’t think Jesus intends to tire anybody out, but he does want people to live the abundant life.” The DMin-Spiritual Formation Track offers ministry leaders the unique opportunity to deepen their life with God; giving them a solid foundation for effective leadership.
Courses include invigorating topics in spiritual formation such as “Transformational Prayer” and “Social Spirituality.” Many of the instructors are Spiritual Directors, pastors of churches, professors of seminaries and authors of books relating to spiritual formation.
For more information about the DMin – Spiritual Formation Track or how to apply, visit http://www.tyndale.ca/seminary/dmin