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This focus is designed to cultivate the Reformed emphasis on the minister as a theological leader of the Church. The adjective, "theological," calls attention to the formative role theological reflection and knowledge ought to have in the practice of ministry. The substantive, "leader of the Church," indicates that the context of such theological reflection is the Church's ongoing struggle to live out all dimensions of faithful service to Jesus Christ.
Since 1999, the Reformed Focus has been a cooperative program with the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Two of the two-week course periods are held in Scotland, with the other two at the PTS campus.
The goal of the program is to develop the ability of participants to formulate theologically based actions directed toward "the great ends of the Church," as these ends have been understood in the Reformed tradition. To accomplish this purpose, six "core" seminars develop the student's awareness and understanding of Reformed contributions in the areas of biblical studies, theology, ethics, and worship. In addition to these seminars, the Proposal Colloquium and nine hours of electives are required for the degree.
Three of these elective credits must be in the discipline most germane to the "practical" aspect of the student's project (education, pastoral care, homiletics, administration, etc.). Three other elective credits must be in one of the disciplines contributing to the "biblical and theological" foundation of the doctoral project. The final three elective credits are at the discretion of the student and the major adviser and should be considered additional research for the project.
Students in this focus, like those in the Parish focus, recruit an on-site committee which drafts a mission statement that informs the student's project. The committee also functions as a sounding-board for the student in the planning, execution, and evaluation of the project.