Reflecting feedback from current students, alumni, and ministry practitioners, an understanding of generational preferences, and a focus on essential vocational ministry outcomes the MLM offers incorporates many unique elements that will benefit potential students:
1. Biblical & Theological Integration – A Practical Theology Approach at Every Level
At times, the practice of ministry can be disconnected from biblical and theological foundations, resulting in a pragmatic, “what works” approach to ministry and leadership. At other times, one can focus entirely on biblical and theological understanding without consideration of the impact on ministry practice. Building on Bible, theology, and philosophy courses taken at the undergraduate and graduate level, this program seeks to root all aspects of the curriculum in a process of practical theology, connecting biblical and theological foundations with everyday ministry praxis. Utilizing the student’s “In-Ministry”site for extended case study analysis, many of the major course projects will encourage students to apply theological, biblical, and social sciencefoundations to real-life ministry.
2. Experiential Education – A Hands-On Kinetic Learning Analysis
Whether it's touring historical sites in Israel, hiking the Jesus Trail, connecting with ministry leaders on location in the Chicago area, attending the Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit, or teaching a lesson in one’s ministry, students will engage in a variety of creative learning experiences designed to integrate with the program’s academic goals. This pedagogy is particularly attractive to the 23-35 year olds who are most likely to pursue this degree program.
3. Intensive Field Experience – An In-Ministry Model
Effectiveness in leadership and ministry is developed through a pairing of scholarly learning with practical experience. Working at least part-time in ministry leadership throughout the program, students will have multiple opportunities to apply the concepts discussed in classes and acquire ministry lessons that can’t be taught in the classroom. This process of feedback, analysis, and personal development will occur under the supervision of an experienced mentor.
4. Variety of Learning Formats – A Borderless Classroom through Multiple Onsite & Cohort Interactions
The MLM will combine online learning with face-to-face intensives, benefitting from the best of both learning formats, and will include learning on-location in the Holy Land and Chicago. The cohort-based format will enable us to intentionally build and integrate concepts sequentially while building a strong community of learners.
5. Tech-Friendly – An Enhanced Approach to Learning
Using a tablet computer (provided to students), research, presentation, and connectivity software (such as Logos, Google+, Skype, Camtasia, Google Docs, and eLearn/Moodle), the MLM program will take advantage of the latest in technology to stimulate learning, facilitate community, and assist ministerial and leadership growth.
6. Intentional Mentoring – A Guided and Supported Development
Mentoring is essential for leadership development and life-long ministry. Students will develop a mentoring relationship with a mature Christian leader for the purposes of spiritual and ministerial growth. They will also develop a ministry support team including peer leaders and mature lay leaders, who will encourage the student and speak into his/her development.
7. All Inclusive Tuition – Really, Everything!
The one set tuition will cover tuition, Israel trip, Chicago-area ministry visits, books, housing and food for onsite courses, a tablet computer, required software, and all other program expenses.