« TRACKS

Workplace, Theology, Ethics, and Leadership

Informing spiritual passions by…
Forming mentored learning communities, thereby…
Transforming ministers and ministries for a lifetime.

First Residency Dates: July 12-23, 2021
Campus: South Hamilton & Off-Site
Primary Faculty Mentors: Dr. Ken Barnes, and Dr. Lindsay McMillan

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Informing

Is the church ready to inform the ethical debates surrounding the rapid changes of our global economic landscape, while ministering to the needs of those most affected by them?

The Church has done much to bring the “salt and light” of Jesus and the Gospels into the workplace and helped pastors and congregants alike better appreciate the relationship between faith, work and economics. That said, as the economy itself evolves in ways that were unimaginable a few short years ago, the church must be prepared to re-envision its “theology of work” and must prepare itself for new pastoral challenges as well as new opportunities for evangelism, discipleship and prophetic witness.

Consistent with Gordon-Conwell’s commitment to “equipping Church leaders to think theologically, engage globally and live biblically”, this specialization
looks at the biblical, theological and pastoral implications of life in the global marketplace, including: the quest for “purpose and meaning” at work, the impact
of technological innovation, the ethics of financial management, and our stewardship of the natural environment.

Forming

As a Doctor of Ministry student, you attend three two-week intensive residencies (seminars), one each year for three years. One of your residencies for this track will be held outside the United States.

You also complete projects following each of the three residencies, including a major thesis-project following the third residency. You read widely in books and periodicals, and your reading and research contribute to the residencies and to your current ministry.

Here is a sample reading list from the first residency:

  • Barnes, K., Redeeming Capitalism. (Grand Rapids: Eedrmans, 2018)
  • Brooks, R. and Picard, R. A Place for Truth: Leading Thinkers Explore Life’s Hardest Questions. Edited by Dallas Willard. Dowers Grove, Intervarsity Press, 2010.
  • Keller, T., Every Good Endeavour. (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2012)
  • McMillan, L. “Delivering Purpose and Meaning.” A Future that Works Reports, February 2017. http://www.afuturethatworks.org.au/reports/.
  • Schwab, K. The Fourth Industrial Revolution. Geneva: World Economic Forum, 2016.
  • Witherington, B., Work; A Kingdom Perspective on Labor. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011)

To order these books through Christian Book Distributors, go to our online bookstore:

GCTS Bookstore

Transforming

Here is how your studies will transform you and your ministry by seeking to fulfill our general Doctor of Ministry goals in some track-specific ways:

  • To resource students through a biblically-grounded educational program taught by faculty who are committed to God’s word and the application of principles of Scripture to the issues of contemporary culture.
    • Right from the first residency, the faculty will focus on the theology and ethics of work and economics. What does the Word (logos) of God (theos) have to say about work, rest, calling, purpose, mission, vision, right and wrong, wealth creation, money, taxation, technological innovation, wisdom, ethics, customs, culture, character, stewardship, diligence and other foundational topics? How can these biblical insights be taken into today’s workplace and into the global marketplace in faithful, effective, constructive ways?
    • How can pastors and churches better communicate these biblical insights to their congregations, affirm the value of daily work, minister to those affected by rapid technological and economic change, and inform the wider economic landscape?
    • Global residencies bring an educational experience of today’s global markets and economic realities and calls for Christian leadership in these areas.
    • This cohort will convene in Massachusetts, U.S.A., to consider the intersections of faith, work and technological innovation (including the impact of artificial intelligence and robotics); London, Oxford and Cambridge, England to consider the intersections of faith, work and financial management (including access to capital markets, sovereign debt and taxation); and Melbourne, Australia to explore the intersections of faith, work and traditional industry (including the social impact of out-sourcing and the environment impact of mining, manufacturing and resource depletion).
  • To form in students a sound foundation of theological and biblical inquiry in their professional doctoral program’s specialized track that they are able to integrate into the life of Christian ministry.
    • In the final residency, students and mentors will gather to review the study adventure and think forward to their unfolding ministry possibilities and challenges. Students and mentors will focus on leadership in both church and marketplace and explore how Jesus and Scripture guide their approach to serving and leading others.
    • “(This track) provides the best program in the world to help us in this task. It is a well-designed and balanced program that includes all the issues needing to be addressed in the workplace. What is the meaning of work? How do we treat money and wealth?…What is the biblical perspective on these topics?” –James Chung, current DMin student
  • To provide students with the skill sets and understandings in a specialized area of ministry to such an extent that they can impact their congregation or community more powerfully for God.
    • “The workplace is a challenging context for ministry — but it is imperative for the church to boldly close the Sunday-Monday divide. (This track) made me radically change my perspective on work, money, technology, and my personal role in ministry.” –Kai Chan, current DMin student
      To create through the cohort model of the program a dimension of Christian community and spiritual nurturing so that students form strong friendships with one another and enter long-term relationships with the scholars who guide the learning experience.
    • The heart of the program is six weeks of intensive residential study. Students and mentors will meet from Monday to Friday, eating lunch and dinner together, working not just in the classroom, but also in academic, business and church settings of various kinds. The deliberate mixing of theologically-trained and business-trained members to the cohort is a critical success factor of the program.
    • “I have developed relationships and connections with my fellow classmates that are rich, enjoyable, and beneficial. It is amazing how quickly you will create bonds and friendships that center around your love of God and desire to serve in His Kingdom.” –Joseph Griffin, current DMin student
  • To develop in students a deeper understanding of Christ’s lordship in all areas of life for the common good of the contemporary world.
    • The purpose of the WTEL track is to “equip the equippers.” Over a three-year period, students will build a robust biblical understanding of the global economic landscape. Students will learn how to preach the workplace lessons of Scripture, encourage and equip people for faithful discipleship in their work, and speak prophetically to economic systems.
    • “I hear of new initiatives in the faith and work movement every day. Most recently I learned of a network of 12,000 Christian business leaders in China. Men and women who want to stay abreast and join what God is doing in the workplace should consider (this) unique (track).” –Bill Peel, current DMin student
  • To cultivate within students through critical reflection and careful research through the residencies and projects an enriched Christian witness in the places of society they are called to serve.
    • Students and mentors will dig deeply and widely into Scripture, read the best in both Christian and general market business literature and interact with company executives as well as people working in the trenches.
    • As in other D.Min. tracks, there are two individualized projects that will coincide roughly with the time periods allocated to the third and fifth residency weeks.
  • To instill in students a refreshed view of their ministry as it relates to the proclamation of the Gospel among all people.
    • Mentors and students will take a very close, participatory look at some best practice examples of local congregations that are supporting workplace discipleship, business schools that are promoting ethical business models, fellowships that are integrating faith, work and economics, para-church and mission agencies that bring biblical values and the Christian gospel to bear on the global marketplace, and Christian leaders who are at the cutting edge of technological and economic development.

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