One of the most exciting aspects of the Acadia D.Min. is the opportunity you will have to engage in significant research in an area that really interests you. The preparation and writing of a thesis provides you with the opportunity to become an expert in a field of ministry and then to use that expertise to serve the church through writing, preaching, leading, conducting seminars, or in other ways.
Since the D.Min. is an in-ministry degree in the field of ministry, your thesis will focus on an area of practical ministry. Virtually any area of interest within the field of Christian ministry can be accommodated.
A typical thesis often includes five 8,000-10,000 word chapters. After an introduction, which helps clarify the purpose and issues to be studied, the first chapter typically presents the biblical content to set the stage for the study. The second chapter allows the writer to focus on theology, using a review of secondary literature to present the theological context for the study. In the third chapter you will present original research (either qualitative or quantitative, or both) conducted for the study. Based upon the scriptures, theology, and your own research, you will use the fourth chapter to propose a creative ministry program or initiative that will address the issue you have studied. The final chapter will summarize your research and propose areas for ongoing research.
Various aspects of the D.Min. program will help prepare you for the writing of your thesis. For instance, the required courses in biblical studies and theology will help you understand the level of insight and writing that will be expected in your thesis. The Research Methodology course will help you hone your topic and develop your research component. Your Thesis Supervisor will help you research and write clearly.
While you may come to the program with some ideas for your thesis (which may be discussed during the Orientation at the start of your program), it will be in your Research Methodology course where you learn how to develop your formal thesis proposal. When the Director is persuaded that your proposal is strong and complete, he will then present it to faculty for approval along with a recommended name of a Thesis Supervisor for approval. Supervisors come from both within and outside the Acadia faculty. Supervisors who are not Acadia faculty members normally have an earned doctorate and significant expertise (academic and applied) in the area you are researching. If you would like, you will have the opportunity to suggest the names of a couple of individuals as possible supervisors.
Depending on ministry and other life commitments, most students find they need 12-18 months to research and write their thesis. The process concludes with your thesis being read by internal and external examiners and you being invited to defend (discuss) the contents with the examiners. Many students enjoy this process because they finally find others who are interested in the same subject they are! Students’ families love the defense because after the defense, the student tends to stop talking about the thesis subject!
Have no fear, you can complete your thesis! We wouldn’t admit you to the program if we didn’t believe you had the intellectual and writing ability to complete it. Here is a list of some graduates who have successfully completed their thesis:
- Adekola, Moses. The Distinctive of Black Nova Scotian Culture and the Place of the Preacher in that Context..
- Barnes, Peter. Group Spiritual Direction Program for Depressed Persons.
- Bell, Alfred. Towards a Theology and Practice of Spiritual and Relational After Care for Offenders and their Families.
- Chroniger, Kenneth. The Covenant Document: A Tool for the Centering of the Community Inspired by the Trinity in the Seventh Day Baptist Congregation.
- Cook, David. The United Baptist Association Facing a New Millennium.
- Crabtree, Jeff. Colossians 3:16 and the Deliberate Growth of Disciples.
- Crawford, John. The Lord’s Supper and High Calvinism at Saint Matthew’s Presbyterian Kirk, Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.
- Gallant, Leo. Preaching Tomorrow Today: Preaching in a Postmodern Context.
- Hagerman, Bryan. The Church as a Countercultural Entity, Engaging the Culture in the Twenty-First Century Marketplace Context.
- Hagerman, R. Wayne. Occupational Stress and Clergy Support Within the United Baptist Convention of the Atlantic Provinces.
- Hanley, Perry. Identity Crisis: Is There a Role for Deacons in 21st Century Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches?
- Hicks, W. Bruce. Experiential Learning in Ministry.
- Hobbs, Patrick. The Impact of the Integral Ministry of Christian Community Development on the Lives of At-Risk Youth in the Slums of an East Asian City.
- Holmes, J. Peter. Towards A New Methodology for Preaching at Funerals.
- Jackson, Charles. Clergy Care—Who Heals the Healers?.
- Johnstone, Stanley G. Continuing Professional Development of Canadian Forces Chaplains: The Way Ahead.
- Kellough, Douglas. A Historical and Contemporary Assessment of Baptist Chaplaincy in the Halifax Hospitals.
- Lohnes, Peter. Leading While Learning: The Role of a Departing Pastor in Preparing a Church for a Healthy Pastoral Transition.
- MacDougall, Margo. Preparing Workers for the Harvest: Designing a Personalized Syllabus for Pre-Ministry Development to Facilitate the Transition from Calling to Effective Ministry in Convention of Atlantic Baptist Churches.
- MacRae, Karen. Glorify, Unify and Edify Through The Worship Planner’s Companion for The Book of Praise.
- Marshall, Derrick. A Ministry of Hospitality: St. Luke’s Chapel and its Contributions to Military Operations at Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, New Brunswick, Canada.
- McLean, Ronald. Sexual Abuse: A Guide for Ministry.
- Park, Min Hee. Forming the Christian as Steward: A ‘Kingdom of God’ Perspective.
- Reid, Peter. Spiritual Formation in Congregations.
- Rennie, Robert. Elements of Christian Conversion.
- Saunders, Judith. Celebration.
- Seeley, David. Setting Goals for the Hazelbrook United Baptist Church Using a Study of the Biblical and Practical Aspects of Church Growth.
- Scott, George. Transition from Seminary to Pastorate as it Occurs in the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec.
- Somers, Leslie. The Ministry Marathon: Exploring Longevity in the Single Pastorate.
- Starks, Janet. An Examination of and Recommendations for the Academic Advising Program at Bethany Bible College.
- Stirling, Candace. The Effects of Exposure to Traumatic Events in Missionary Children upon their Spirituality as Adult Missionary Kids Living in their Country of Passport.
- Thomas, Richard. Sexual Failure Among Spiritual Leaders.
- Thomson, Larry. The Effect of the Dayak Worldview, Customs Traditions and Customary Law (ADAT-ISTIADAT) On the Interpretation of the Gospel in West Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.