The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Fuller Theological Seminary has been training pastors, academicians, mental health professionals, and missionaries for the better part of 60 years. The tens of thousands of students formed and trained by Fuller faculty in a formalized degree program have served the global church in untold ways with eternal significance.
In our work in the DMin and continuing education programs, we’ve found the state of education is in the same phase of transition as the church. The dwindling of denominations accompanies an increase in nondenominational congregations and missional communities. Fewer pensioned pulpits mean fewer dollars to train the church’s future leaders, not to mention doing kingdom work while trying to secure the lease to the empty space next to the nail salon leaves little time and money for those who want to take the next post-MDiv step in their ministerial training.
This world of change means that Fuller will have to adapt its model, but not its content—the knowledge and spiritual formation that ministry leaders have needed through the preponderance of church history is still needed today.
Enter the Advanced Diploma in Ministry Leadership. Patterned after Fuller’s world-class Doctor of Ministry program, the ADML utilizes DMin professors, topics, and seminars to expand access to those who have the intense desire for advanced ministry training but lack the time or financial resources to complete a traditional doctorate program.
If a student wishes to enroll in this practical training and formation regimen, the access and participation in the DMin program is unparalleled. While the reading and writing requirements are reduced in comparison to a doctoral candidate, the student will find the same experience of classroom and interaction. And while the ADML is a nonacademic diploma program as opposed to the formal DMin degree, those who are interested in ADML will find that the cost of tuition is greatly reduced.
The ADML is $3,500, compared to the DMin degree of around $18,000.
While we in the Doctor of Ministry and Continuing Education Program are excited and willing to sell you on our offerings for as long as you wish, this new opportunity is about more than tuition. The ADML signals a recognition by Fuller that practical ministry training can be done alongside formal ministry training for those who value the content and formation more than the academic standing. Further, the access to ministry training expands to a whole new audience, especially those who are busy in ministry with limited resources.
When the parameters and structure of the new generation of ministry leaders dictate change, Fuller is there to provide decades of academic practice and centuries of church thought into a new, more affordable, more accessible model.
Indeed, the more things change, they more they stay the same.