12 Hours of Credit

DTS believes it is vital to link theory and practice. Instead of learning only in the isolation of the classroom, DTS supports learning happening within the community of faith as the student ministers in a ministry context and reflects on that experience. Master of Arts in Christian Leadership (MACL), Master of Arts in Christian Education (MACE) and Master of Theology (ThM) students have the option of completing either a three credit hour Ministry Formation Internship or a twelve credit hour Ministry Residency.

stock image of cross scaled

So what are the differences and which one is right for you?

wdt_ID3 Credit Hour Internship12 Credit Hour Residency
17-10 hours of weekly ministry in a local church or parachurch setting30 hours of weekly ministry in a local church or parachurch setting
212 months to complete8 months to complete
3Starts any semester (Fall, Spring, or Summer)Starts Fall semester only
4Does not require any time on campusRequires one week on campus in the Fall semester and one week on campus after the Spring semester

Students in the Ministry Residency program will come together on the Dallas campus before the start of the fall semester (early/mid August) for a weeklong experience with other residency students. After this week, the Residency students will return to their place of service and be placed in an online student cohort for encouragement and accountability during the rest of the school year. In addition, each student will have weekly interaction with an on-site Ministry Mentor and regular interaction (face-to-face or online) with their faculty member on the Dallas campus. The residency student then concludes with another week on campus after the end of the spring semester (mid May) for a weeklong celebration of what God did through the residency students and (more importantly) what God did in the residency students themselves.

Note: For MACL students, the Ministry Residency will replace 9 hours of leadership electives and the Internship (INT5150). For MACE students, the Ministry Residency will fulfill the Educational Leadership concentration and will replace 10 hours of education electives and the Internship (INT5160). For ThM students, the Ministry Residency will replace 9 hours of free electives and will replace the Internship (INT5130).

Ministry Residency students gain access to unique benefits:

  • Learning with fellow Residency students in a cohort format.
  • Mentoring from a ministry leader on the field
  • Interaction with a DTS faculty member
  • Studying in areas of leadership (personal assessment, ministry vision, change management, teamwork, organizational leadership development)
  • Applying leadership principles right away in one’s field of ministry

Approved Ministry Residency sites will provide the following for students:

  • At least 30+ hours/week of compensated ministry at the ministry site.
  • “Ownership” role of a ministry area (accountable for his/her leadership in that area).
  • Teaching/speaking/preaching venue.
  • Exposure to all associated areas of ministry at the site as deemed suitable (e.g., a pastoral role might include weddings, funerals, evangelism, visitation, etc.).
  • Cross cultural experience through local outreach or international missions.
  • Consistent mentoring time with the on-site Ministry Mentor.

Ministry Residency students must plan for:

  • Participation in a one-week Dallas campus experience (both fall semester and spring semester).
  • Consistent mentoring time with the on-site Ministry Mentor throughout the year
  • Participation in a learning cohort with other residency students throughout the year.
  • Professional development and spiritual development as a ministry leader.

Ministry Residency Prerequisites:

  • Completion of at least half of required degree courses (30 hours for MACL/MACE and 60 hours for ThM)
  • Fulfillment of student’s internship requirements based on selected degree (see the latest DTS Advising for more information)
  • Any degree specific prerequisites for a Ministry Formation Internship apply to Ministry Residency eligibility as well. Please see the Academic Advising for more information.