Rev. Brett J. Vander Berg, Pastor, First Reformed Church, Aplington, IA
“This D.Min. program is a pilgrimage into the sacred questions directing the longings of your heart. As you journey, you will form close bonds with a cohort, survey new heights and depths of your soul, and gather the gifts of your calling into a project that will edify the church and bless the world. Western Theological Seminary provides a well-worn pathway on which to travel and wise, experienced guides along the way. Prepare to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind,” because a great adventure awaits!”
Rev. Stephen DeWit ’18 (D.Min.), Pastor, Alger Park Church, Grand Rapids, MI
“Eventually, it struck me like a bold of lightning. All the learning units, all the fields of study, all of the questions I was asking, all the books I was reading, all the sermons, teachings, interviews, and papers–my participation in the DMin. program itself–was an expression of a (mostly) dormant ache within me. I had serious questions about my faith, my calling, and my life. If not for the spiritual autobiographies we were asked to write and the loving, persistent probing of my cohort, I’m not sure I ever would have made the connection between my program and the goings-on deep in my heart. My academic questions about mission, culture, and the nature of belief were more personal than I knew.”
Kevin Eastway, Associate Regional Director, Young Life – Western Great Lakes Region, and Donor Development Coach
“I had no idea how formational the D.Min. program was going to be in my own life and in the day to day activities of my ministry context. The work I am doing translates so well to the problems I face in ministry each day and has helped me develop the thoughts and skills necessary to navigate a practical spirituality of fundraising. I should have applied to this program years ago!”
Brian Telzerow ’99 (MDiv), Professor of Youth Ministry, Kuyper, Grand Rapids, MI
“I found the wisdom from our advisors and mentors to be extremely helpful and motivating. As an educator myself, I was humbled by the sheer knowledge and wisdom of our advisors and how they were able to speak into each of our areas of study with such grace and authority. I look forward to how this process will continue to shape me into the person God wants me to be.”
Rev. Brian Keepers ’17 (D.Min.), Lead Pastor, Trinity Reformed Church, Orange City, IA
“Western’s D.Min program was deeply transformational for me and the congregation I served. It provided enough structure but also left plenty of flexibility to customize the program so it truly intersected with my passions and the needs of my ministry context. It was a gift to share this work with a cohort of other pastors, as well as to have access to Western’s excellent faculty. It was challenging at points and required perseverance, but in the end it was well worth it. Not only did I experience personal renewal (I fell in love with preaching again!) but, equally important, it was a blessing to my congregation.”
Rev. Tony Stiff ’17 (D.Min.), currently working on Ph.D. at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland
“ ‘You are your D.Min. project.’ This is something you hear again and again at Western. While you can attend many seminaries in North America and at the end find yourself making good singular theological contributions to the broader church, at Western you will discover how to make ongoing contributions through a deeper grasp of your unique spiritual autobiography. Western attunes you to the nature of God, to your own story, and who He has gifted you with as your neighbor.”
Rev. Dr. Reggie Smith ’04, Pastor, Roosevelt Park Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, MI
“One of the things I was looking for in any Doctor of Ministry program was a sense that the professors would be there for me. Western’s professors were interested in my formation as a pastor.
The program maintained a careful balance with constructive feedback on my learning units and creative freedom to pursue the areas that fed my soul and heart in ministry.
The D.Min. program at WTS was not about getting a degree, but making new friends and walking together to lead the most creative thing in the world—the local congregation.”