FORT WORTH—Beginning in the summer of 2014, a new doctor of ministry degree program focusing on cultural engagement will be offered at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in partnership with The Richard Land Center for Cultural Engagement.
Founded in 2007, The Land Center exists for the study and research of ethics, public policy and other cultural and philosophical issues. The D.Min. in cultural engagement will be an extension of that mission.
“We are living in a time where there is a lot of change and not for the good,” said Craig Mitchell, director of The Land Center. “I want to produce guys who go out and make a change in the world.”
The D.Min. program involves two years of course work, followed by a project. In addition to two weeks each summer on campus, participants will also spend a week each fall in Washington, D.C. and a week each spring in Austin or the DFW metroplex, meeting with politicians and members of think tanks, as well as others who are involved in the cultural, political and economic issues facing our world.
“We will be studying politics and economics from a Christian perspective,” Mitchell said.
“In the next 10 years, it is my goal to produce a hundred Richard Lands.”
Mitchell believes the D. Min. program will draw participants from a wide variety of Christian vocational fields. “It may appeal to pastors or denominational workers,” he said. In addition, he believes the program will benefit people who work in financial management, marketplace ministry, and government, as well military or police chaplains and those who work with moral concerns in society.
No more than a dozen students will be part of each cohort, according to Mitchell. The limited number of students will enable him to fulfill his goal of spending individual time with students, learning their interests and helping them develop D. Min. projects. Mitchell hopes these projects will produce change on the local, state, national and world levels.
“We are very excited about the new direction of the cultural engagement track in our doctor of ministry program at Southwestern Seminary,” stated Deron Biles, associate dean for the doctor of ministry program at Southwestern.
“We believe this to be the only program of its kind in the country. It will reflect how the issues of cultural engagement and political economy collide with the church and how we as leaders in the church can lead with integrity through them. Anyone interested in Christian worldview, public policy, Christian ethics, whole-life stewardship, or religious liberty and how those issues impact the church should consider the value of a DMin from Southwestern in cultural engagement.”