The Diploma in Ministry Studies (DMS) is a two-year non-degree diploma designed for men and women over the age of 25 who are serving on a church staff or in other ministry positions, and who do not wish to pursue a degree or do not have an earned bachelor’s degree. The diploma provides you with the opportunity to develop servant leadership skills for local church ministry, as well as competencies in Bible and church history. The curriculum may be completed in two years, although students may take longer due to family, church, and job responsibilities.

DMS Program Objectives

The objectives of the Diploma in Ministry Studies program are as follows.

  1. Graduates will demonstrate a basic knowledge of the Bible and how to study and apply the biblical texts. (DMS-1)
  2. Graduates will demonstrate a basic understanding and appreciation of church history and historical core doctrines of the Christian faith. (DMS-2)
  3. Graduates will demonstrate an understanding of the theology of the five purposes of the church and their application to developing a growing and healthy church. (DMS-3)
  4. Graduates will demonstrate an understanding of how to share the gospel in a variety of forms and mediums. (DMS-4)
  5. Graduates will demonstrate a commitment to a lifelong, intentional process of spiritual development and professional growth. (DMS-5)

Diploma in Ministry Studies – 39 Hours

The following 13 courses are taken in the completion of the Diploma in Ministry Studies.

Required Diploma in Ministry Studies (DMS) Courses Credit Hours
R1300   Developing the Focused Life (Touchstone) 3
W1301  Theology & Practice of Worship 3
E1301   Theology & Practice of Evangelism 3
F1301   Theology & Practice of Fellowship 3
D1301   Theology & Practice of Discipleship 3
M1301  Theology & Practice of Ministry 3
W3303  Preaching/Teaching for Life Change 3
E1303   Contemporary Evangelism 3
D1303   Interpreting the Bible 3
D2351   New Testament Survey 3
D2361   Old Testament Survey 3
D3351   Church History 3
R4300   Practicing the Focused Life (Capstone) 3

DMS Level Courses in Recovery Ministry Studies

Students seeking to take only Recovery Ministry courses and not complete the Diploma in Ministry Studies (DMS) program take the following courses.

Recovery Ministry Courses Credit Hours
R1300   Developing the Focused Life (Touchstone) Required 1st 3
F3304   Personal Counseling Skills 3
M2302  Lead Like Jesus 3
M2305  Building an Effective Ministry Team 3
M3309  Recovery Ministry 3

 

DMS students can take these Recovery Ministry courses, but only R1300 Developing the Focused Life (Touchstone) is already part of the diploma program. The other Recovery Ministry courses do not count as substitutions for the other required courses in the DMS.

DMS Graduation Requirements

To graduate with the Diploma in Ministry Studies you must have completed the following:

  • the 39 credit hours of the diploma program
  • a passing grade of “B” (3.0) or higher in every course counted toward the 39 credit hours
  • a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0

DMS Course Notional Hours of Learning

To be successful in online learning, it is very important to invest sufficient time toward your learning. Though your personal study time will likely vary each week, the volume of learning in meeting all of the course objectives and completing the course is typically as follows.

Academic Engagement – 45 hours per course
Reading classroom materials, linked websites, and handouts
Viewing classroom audio and video media and linked media
Interacting with fellow students and the professor in discussion forums
Completing surveys, quizzes, exams, and other assessments

Academic Preparation – 90 hours per course
Reading textbooks for comprehension
Writing reports, developing projects, completing assignments, studying for exams
Interacting with mentor about course learning on a weekly basis
Practicing learning in current ministry context

Total Notional Hours – 135 hours per course

Course Copyright Restrictions

All course content, i.e., courseware materials in the classroom, the design of online learning, chat room and discussion forum postings, and any attached files are strictly for the use of Rockbridge Seminary students registered in the course. Course content and materials may be reproduced and used by students in the practice of ministry, assuming proper credit is given to the sources. Student discussion and chat room postings are strictly confidential and may not be copied or distributed apart for the normal learning process as directed by this course.

Academic Calendar

Please see the Rockbridge calendar of significant dates found under Academic Calendar appearing later in this Catalog.

Diploma in Ministry Studies (DMS) Worksheet

13 Courses – 39 semester credit hours – 3 hours per course

Required First Course Term Grade
  R1300   Developing the Focused Life (Touchstone)
 
Required Courses Term Grade
  W1301  Theology & Practice of Worship
  W3303  Preaching/Teaching for Life Change
  E1301   Theology & Practice of Evangelism
  E1303   Contemporary Evangelism
  F1301   Theology & Practice of Fellowship
  D1301   Theology & Practice of Discipleship
  D1303   Interpreting the Bible
  D2351   New Testament Survey
  D2361   Old Testament Survey
  D3351   Church History
  M1301  Theology & Practice of Ministry
 
Required Last Course Term Grade
  R4300   Practicing the Focused Life (Capstone)

 

An electronic copy of the Diploma in Ministry Studies Program Worksheet is also available online.

Diploma in Ministry Studies Course Schedule

You may register for up to two (2) courses per term, with the exception of the term in which the Touchstone or Capstone course is taken. Rockbridge Seminary reserves the right to change a course schedule without notice. Please see the Academic Calendar for the start dates for the terms in the course schedule.

School Year 2020-2021

Fall 2020-T5
D3351 Church History
M2305 Building an Effective Ministry Team
F1301  Theology & Practice of Fellowship
R1300  Developing the Focused Life (Touchstone)
R4300  Practicing the Focused Life (Capstone)

Fall 2020-T6
D1301 Theology & Practice of Discipleship
D1303 Interpreting the Bible
F3304  Personal Counseling Skills
R4300  Practicing the Focused Life (Capstone)

 Spring 2021-T-1
E1303  Contemporary Evangelism
M1301 Theology & Practice of Ministry
R1300  Developing the Focused Life (Touchstone)
R4300  Practicing the Focused Life (Capstone

Spring 2021-T2
D2361 Old Testament Survey
E1301  Theology & Practice of Evangelism
M2302 Lead Like Jesus
R4300  Practicing the Focused Life (Capstone)

Summer 2021-T3
D2351   New Testament Survey
M3309   Recovery Ministry
R1300    Developing the Focused Life (Touchstone)
W1301  Theology & Practice of Worship

Summer 2021-T4
F1301  Theology & Practice of Fellowship
W3303 Preaching/Teaching for Life Change

School Year 2021-2022

Fall 2021-T5
D1301 Theology & Practice of Discipleship
D3351 Church History
M2305 Building an Effective Ministry Team
R1300  Developing the Focused Life (Touchstone)
R4300  Practicing the Focused Life (Capstone)

Fall 2021-T6
D1303 Interpreting the Bible
F3304  Personal Counseling Skills
M1301 Theology & Practice of Ministry
R4300  Practicing the Focused Life (Capstone)

Spring 2022-T1
E1301  Theology & Practice of Evangelism
E1303  Contemporary Evangelism
R1300  Developing the Focused Life (Touchstone)
R4300  Practicing the Focused Life (Capstone)

Spring 2022-T2
D2361 Old Testament Survey
M2302 Lead Like Jesus
R4300  Practicing the Focused Life (Capstone)
W1301 Theology & Practice of Worship

Summer 2022-T3
D2351 New Testament Survey
F1301  Theology & Practice of Fellowship
M3309 Recovery Ministry
R1300  Developing the Focused Life (Touchstone)

Summer 2022-T4
D1301 Theology & Practice of Discipleship
W3303 Preaching/Teaching for Life Change

School Year 2022-2023

Fall 2022-T5
D3351 Church History
M1301 Theology & Practice of Ministry
M2305 Building an Effective Ministry Team
R1300  Developing the Focused Life (Touchstone)
R4300  Practicing the Focused Life (Capstone)

Fall 2022-T6
D1303 Interpreting the Bible
E1301 Theology & Practice of Evangelism
F3304 Personal Counseling Skills
R4300 Practicing the Focused Life (Capstone)

Spring 2023-T1
E1303  Contemporary Evangelism
R1300  Developing the Focused Life (Touchstone)
R4300  Practicing the Focused Life (Capstone)
W1301 Theology & Practice of Worship

Spring 2023-T2
D2361 Old Testament Survey
F1301  Theology & Practice of Fellowship
M2302 Lead Like Jesus
R4300  Practicing the Focused Life (Capstone)

Summer 2023-T3
D1301 Theology & Practice of Discipleship
D2351 New Testament Survey
R1300  Developing the Focused Life (Touchstone)
M3309 Recovery Ministry

Summer 2023-T4
M1301 Theology & Practice of Ministry
W3303 Preaching/Teaching for Life Change