M.Div./M.Min. Degree

Students who enroll full-time as M.Div./M.Min. degree seeking students through ESR Access should expect to come to Richmond, Indiana at least twice per year for two-week intensive classes (Aug., Jan., or May). During the Fall and Spring semesters, the full-time student takes one or more online classes. The full-time student, then, carries a minimum of 6 credits per semester, but more if the student wishes to complete the program in five years. At least one-third of the course work must be done on campus in the two-week intensives, not only to satisfy residency requirements but also to support the student's sense of community and an opportunity to utilize campus facilities.

Although students may begin the program in any course period, they should plan to take the August two-week intensive course Introduction to Spiritual Formation at their earliest opportunity. This course focuses on spiritual formation, and is also designed to allow Access students and ESR faculty to meet and become personally acquainted. This initial course provides an opportunity for students to experience life at ESR, and to meet fellow students with whom they will be interacting via electronic media in the on-line courses. This time together allows for periods of worship and Common Meals, each of which is important in our conception of learning in community.

Throughout the Access program, intensive courses offer an opportunity to come together for the purpose of learning a variety of practical ministry skills and of engaging topics important for a well-rounded theological education. Foundational, introductory courses, such as Introduction to Theological Reflection or Old Testament History and Literature, are offered on-line, as these courses generally demand longer periods of time to consume and process large amounts of information. This combination of course offerings creates stimulating learning opportunities that continue ESR's commitment to transformational educational experiences while meeting the logistical needs of many persons.

An important element of the M.Div./M.Min. program is the Supervised Ministry year. Students admitted to candidacy for this degree work with faculty to arrange an internship in which they can exercise and further develop their gifts for ministry. The Supervised Ministry program includes a year-long, nine-semester-hour seminar in which the case study method is used for reflection on class members' ministry experiences.

During their final year, students in the ESR Access M.Div./M.Min. program take Comprehensive Seminar, a year-long on-line course. This course enables the student to have an experience in integrating learning from all areas of the curriculum around a given problem. The seminar also serves to strengthen a student in areas of weakness. The experience requires students to draw deeply from their accumulated reservoir of learning and demonstrates their own readiness for ministry.

The ESR Access "competency in ministry" curriculum is designed to fulfill the needs of an M.Div./M.Min. degree with course work distributed over a five-year period.