When Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi (M. Div., 2007) sought a way to inform her revitalization of the church from a global perspective, her research led her to the only Doctor of Ministry program that met her needs – at Wesley Theological Seminary.
Wesley Theological Seminary is one of the 13 United Methodist seminaries supported by the Ministerial Education Fund apportionment of the United Methodist Church.
The United Methodist bishop of the Western Pennsylvania Conference remembered why Wesley was her seminary of choice then.
"I chose Wesley because of its reputation for diversity and academic excellence, and because its location allowed me to continue to work while attending classes," Moore-Koikoi said. "I had a very positive experience at Wesley while I earned my M.Div., and was blessed by the diversity of the student body and teaching staff at Wesley."
Despite her busy episcopal schedule, she began exploring various Doctor of Ministry programs.
"The practice of ministry has changed so dramatically since I earned my M.Div.,"Moore-Koikoi said. "I realized that in order to stay relevant, I needed a more focused continuing educational experience than the occasional workshop or seminar could provide." All her research led her to the Wesley's Doctor of Ministry program, "Creative Ministry for Church Renewal in a Changing World," based at Wesley House in Cambridge, England.
"Wesley's D.Min. program at Cambridge stood out because it promised to allow me to benefit from the diversity of our global community," Moore-Koikoi said. And, for her, the program has lived up to its promises.
"The track that I chose has helped me grapple with the impact globalization has had on the church," she said. "This has helped me think more creatively about revitalization of the church and the leadership skills I need in order to help guide my annual conference and our denomination, in light of the ever-changing nature of our church and world. My Wesley D.Min. studies have done that and more."
The "more" includes the benefits of literally studying in the shadow of The University of Cambridge, on university grounds used since the Middle Ages.
"The international setting has allowed me to benefit and learn from the global nature of The United Methodist Church and the global Christian community," she said. "Having professors from Cambridge, other universities in England and around the world have been so valuable."
"The structure of the Wesley D.Min. program has helped me to carve out specific periods of time that I can focus directly on my studies," she said. "I have been able to communicate clearly with my Episcopacy Committee regarding the requirements of the program and the time I will need to complete those requirements."
Moore-Koikoi looks forward to her next residency in Cambridge and says she never doubts her choice of the Wesley Doctor of Ministry program at Wesley House.
"I have enjoyed this experience tremendously. This was a good choice for me and my ministry."
Wesley Theological Seminary website, Washington, DC
One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Ministerial Education Fund is at the heart of preparing people for making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The 13 United Methodist seminaries help students to discover their calling through the challenging curriculum. The fund enables the church to increase financial support for recruiting and educating ordained and diaconal ministers and to equip annual conferences to meet increased demands. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Ministerial Education Fund apportionment at 100 percent.