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Learning Communities = Seminary credit for MDiv, MACM, DMin

February 28, 2012

We are very pleased to announce that we have officially entered into a partnership with Northern Seminary (a really entrepreneurial seminary outside Chicago) where our two-year Learning Community track will be fully accredited and can go towards the completion of a Masters in Christian Ministry, Divinity or a DMin. We are calling it the Scholar Track. For a Master’s degree it will be worth 27 credit hours and for DMin it is worth 16 credit hours. Also, if you are currently attending another school (or will be in the future), these credits are transferrable to other seminaries as well. (If you are unfamiliar with our Learning Community process, this is the main thing 3DM does to train leaders and communities in discipleship and mission for increasingly post-Christian contexts. You can find out more about it by clicking here.)

A few months ago we released a whitepaper and video engaging in the discussion of re-imagining theological education. Our belief is that significant steps are needed to re-shape the trajectory of theological education, but it will take many voices and many steps. In other words, it won’t happen over night! However, we do think this is one or two steps in the right direction.

Here are a few reasons we are excited about this:

  1. Better trained seminarians. This will truly allow many in seminary to feel better prepared as they engage ministry life. Those involved in this program will be starting Huddles (our discipleship vehicle) and Missional Communities (our missional vehicle) and will be  coached weekly via Google+ by their 3DM trained and faculty approved Northern Professor. It immediately integrates theology, theory and practice together.
  2. Huddles. This weekly coaching call will be 90 minutes long and will be with 4-5 other students and their Professor. The first 30 minutes will be active discussion of the assigned weekly reading, with the remaining 60 minutes a time for intentional investment, discipleship and coaching.
  3. Contextualization. At the conclusion of each of the 4 Learning Community immersion experiences, each student will have come up with a 6 month for their ministry context.
  4. It contains multiple modes of learning: Teaching, regular reading and active discussion, training, apprenticeship to specific skill-sets, writing, examinations, cohort-based, intensives, etc.
  5. Retroactive. For those who have already been through Learning Communities in the last 24 months, you won’t have to go to each leg of the Learning Community to participate.

Interested? Here’s a few details:

  • We are launching the two pilots for this year in Cincinatti, OH on April 16-19 and in Ft Wayne, IN on October 1-4. We hope by offering two starting dates, one in the spring, one in the fall, more people will be able to join us.
  • If you’d like to know more about a 3DM Learning Community, you can click here for more details.
  • To learn more about the details of this program with Northern, you can click here for more details, which will give you all of your next steps, contact info, etc.
  • If you have specific questions, you can email Greg Henson at Northern who will direct you to the resources and process you’ll need:

We really couldn’t be more excited about this and it’s been a year in the making. And don’t worry…we’ll periodically post stories from the experiences these students are having.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. brianawilliamson permalink
    February 28, 2012 1:37 pm

    This is great news! Bravo to all who contributed. Was so neat to be a part of the white paper presentation in Chicago and I look forward to how greater breakthroughs will come.

  2. Carol Simmons permalink
    February 28, 2012 1:48 pm

    Do you have any classes on the internet?

    • February 28, 2012 2:44 pm

      The way Learning Communities work is that you come for 4 days, twice a year, for what is often called an “intensive.” It’s then followed up with weekly Google+ Huddle/discussion calls. So the Learning Community route isn’t really an internet class. However, we do offer a cadre of webinars where you can explore some of the things we’re doing with discipleship and mission and these are all located online (but aren’t accredited).

  3. Blakely Page permalink
    February 28, 2012 3:59 pm

    So exciting! Well done 3dm Team!

  4. Kurt permalink
    February 28, 2012 4:15 pm

    Hey #3 is unclear…please clarify

    • February 28, 2012 5:05 pm

      What we are offering in our Learning Communities isn’t a formula but a process. As such, every team/student needs to take some of the practices and principles we’re sharing, training, discussing and teasing out in their own ministry context. Every church, leader, city, ministry and denomination is different so every plan should look different b/c of that.

  5. Kurt permalink
    February 28, 2012 4:16 pm


  6. February 28, 2012 5:25 pm

    Mike, any chance of this working with the Fuller D.Min.? I think I have 16 credit hours I still need to finish…

    • February 28, 2012 5:41 pm

      It might. Having some conversations with them in the next few weeks.

      • Blakely Page permalink
        February 28, 2012 10:23 pm

        Mike, check on the MAGL at Fuller too 🙂 I have 12 credits left

  7. Dennis Gulley permalink
    February 28, 2012 5:29 pm

    Thanks Mike and Team for creating this wonderful opportunity.

  8. February 29, 2012 2:58 am

    Contacted Fuller too…hoping something works out!

  9. Larry Avery permalink
    February 29, 2012 12:00 pm

    This is clearly huge, Lord, please put a hedge of protection around this new beginning, and we pray the Prayer of Jabez , amen.


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