Ecumenical Theological Seminary: Professional Education and Leadership D.Min.
ACPE News  |  July 8, 2019

The Professional Education and Leadership D.Min. from the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, MI celebrated its first graduates. Congratulations to Rev. Dr. Randy Meyers and Rev. Dr. Lisa Taylor!

This innovative program was started by ACPE Certified Educator Rev. Dr. Urias Beverly and further developed by ACPE Certified Educator Rev. Dr. Dennis Kenny, ACPE’s 2019 Distinguished Service Award recipient. The Professional Education and Leadership D.Min. connects a degree to ACPE’s certification process. It allows Educator Candidates and Certified Educators the opportunity to coordinate their ACPE growth and materials with a D.Min. degree and to receive credit for previous ACPE education. The degree is two years instead of the usual three.

ACPE funded two years of scholarships for students. Participants in the program share their experience and observations below.


Rev. Dr. Lisa Taylor
I was allowed to merge my Certified Educator Candidate (CEC) process and my Doctor of Ministry (D.Min) in Professional Education and Leadership, into one program, which created a hybrid kind of program. My Director of Pastoral Services and ACPE Certified Educator Rev. Dr. Karl Van Harn believes that ACPE’s model is experiential learning, so the theories come out of the experience. Additionally, my ACPE Certified Educator Rev. Kathy Bird DeYoung supervised me during part of my D.Min process. She witnessed how my dissertation, “Soul Work in the Transformative Process in Clinical Pastoral Education,” helped me identify, develop, practice, and experiment with my theories, which impacted my supervisory best practices and my students’ learning and transformation.

Attending Ecumenical Theological Seminary, ETS, gave me an edge for a few reasons. The CPE D.Min Program focused on the seven ACPE CEC training outcomes, offered a year’s credit for the work that we have already done as CECs in our residency program or certification process, enables you to obtain a D.Min in two years instead of three, provides flexibility, and allows you to meet and engage with other CECs and educators. In the CEC process, I have often heard, “Trust the process,” in which I would reply, “I can’t trust the process, but I can live into it.” Through my experience at ETS and the certification process, I have come to realize that I am the process. I am being renewed and transformed. Moreover, even though I share the process with other CECs, my journey is unique and specific to me. I would encourage other CECs to consider merging your CEC process with the D.Min at ETS. I would also encourage certified educators to consider pursuing their D.Min at ETS. You have already done the work, so why not be rewarded twice?

Rev. Dr. Randy Meyers
The practical nature of this degree program was an important added value to me.  This was especially true when it came to attending the four Emergent weeks, which my Director, Rev. Karl VanHarn, supported by working these into our program’s CEC curriculum.  Additionally, our ETS peer cohort functioned as an additional Community of Practice and helped in my transformation.  For the past seven years, my ministry context is serving as a pediatric mental health care chaplain. I’ve grown to understand the importance of assessments for identifying child and adolescent spiritual distress. This has focused my dissertation in the area of adolescent spiritual distress assessment. CPE interns were able to assist the project as part of their clinical work and together we improved patient care! ETS has been flexible throughout the entire process, which I experienced as a two-way street; the ETS D.Min helped me with the CEC process and the CEC process helped me earn my D.Min!

Rev. Kathy Bird DeYoung, ACPE Certified Educator
As an ACPE Certified Educator, the DMin program at Ecumenical Theological Seminary (ETS) has enriched my personal and professional life. I have been able to use some of the academic courses as a basis to augment my Level I and Level II ACPE units bringing depth and diversity to the curriculum. In addition, it was gratifying to use the materials I had developed in the certification process for academic credit. I also have enjoyed the interactions with the other ETS D.Min students. I have learned as much from interacting with them as I have from the academic work.

Rev. Greta Wagner, ACPE Certified Educator
As an ACPE Certified Educator, my future aspiration professionally and personally was to engage doctoral study to earn a Doctor of Ministry degree. Finding a meaningful way to continue my learning and contribute to ACPE at a doctoral level became a realistic goal when Rev. Kathy Bird de Young and Rev. Dr. Dennis Kenny introduced me to Ecumenical Theological Seminary’s [ETS] D. Min program in Leadership and Pastoral Education. ETS’s D. Min program supports my creative passion to imagine new ways to utilize my head and heart at a generative juncture on my life path. Developing my ACPE focused doctoral project will potentially offer an invitation for conversation among those designing and implementing the new certification paradigm. Mindful academic pursuit, mentoring past CPE students and others in process to ordination, participating in ACPE Communities of Practice and our professional organization, and exploring creative options to utilize my certification in my “senior” years, fill me with energy, curiosity, and excitement for all that is yet to be. Gratitude abides within me for all who have constructively contributed to my ACPE journey and rich doctoral learning. Rev. Dr. Urius Beverly’s inspiring leadership guided my glad decision to join our trailblazing ETS D Min cohort group of ACPE certified educators and certified educator candidates!

Rev. Trenton Elders, ACPE Educator Candidate
Entering the ACPE "new process” certified educator candidate program was daunting. However, I was encouraged to find the D.Min program at the Ecumenical Theological Seminary, it seemed to add a backbone to the new process. This curriculum not only aligns with the CEC competencies, but also allows me a peer group of other CEC’s and Educators outside of my center to learn from. The process of writing my dissertation has inspired me to get more creative with my own CPE curriculum which in turn has given me opportunities to meet many new people and form many new connections in the ACPE world.

For further information or questions about this program contact Dennis Kenny at Dennis.kenny@acpe.edu.
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