Doctor of Ministry (DMin), Pasadena campus
As a military chaplain, I learned some very practical ways to draw those I serve into an experience of Christ's redemptive love.
The Marines, Sailors, and Coast Guard personnel I serve as a chaplain are benefiting from my deeper inquiry into the pastoral and practical application of Christian ethics in the military environment.
My experience in the DMin program started when a fellow Navy chaplain invited me to attend with him a one-week long Ethics for Military Chaplains course taught by then-Fuller president Richard Mouw. The course excited me from the start because in preparation, each student was required to submit several real-life scenarios and then describe how he or she handled the situation. The pre-reading for the course energized and excited me. This "first taste" of the DMin program convinced me to fully commit to the process, and I looked forward to taking more classes. “Aha” moments came in each course I took over the next six years – deepening my faith in my Lord Jesus Christ and confirming that the Marines, Sailors, and Coast Guard personnel I served would benefit from my deeper inquiry into the pastoral and practical application of Christian ethics in the military environment.
Several encounters with Fuller students and professors kept me "fired up" about the program, and one surprised me completely. The Fuller program required me to take an intensive Greek reading course. I went into that course with a purely utilitarian perspective – I needed to take the class to complete the program. Yet the energy of the professor, Peter Hintzoglou, and the interaction with fellow students as we read Paul's epistles together were an absolute delight. The conversations over lunch about what fellow students were doing in their own contexts – small parish ministry, church planting, megachurch expansion – added much to the value of that one class.
I have changed over my time in the DMin program by expanding significantly beyond my own theological and ecclesiological understandings. While remaining fully grounded in my Anglican/Episcopal traditions, I have grown to appreciate other perspectives, particularly differing understandings of the importance of auricular confession and the power of God's words of forgiveness spoken through the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ.
For chaplains such as myself, who are almost daily called to help dress "soul wounds" resulting from things done and left undone by those who volunteer to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces, the Fuller DMin program provided a superb opportunity to more deeply experience God's grace, and learn some very practical ways to draw others into that experience of Christ's redemptive love as well.
Photos: Cameron with his wife, Paulette; Cameron with several Naval Submarine School students doing volunteer work at the Connecticut Veterans’ Home in September 2012.