Mobility through a Marketed Ministry

In his classic essay, “The D-Min-ization of the Ministry,” David Wells describes the ministerial professionalization that occurred over the last several decades. Because of the lack of respect and influence in the wider culture, ministers sought ways of regaining their former standing. This was due in part to a conceptualization of the ministry as a career and a desire for increased upward mobility. Wells writes,

Many ministers now wander from church to church, seldom finding secure or lasting lodging. As a result, they have had to define their ministry in terms of its marketability (p. 178).

One major way to make a ministry marketable, Wells contends, is through the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree.

In the seventies many seminaries were hard pressed financially but now had, in the D.Min., a lucrative product to sell. At the same time, many ministers were hard pressed psychologically as they sensed their growing marginalization in society, the decline of their status, and the corresponding loss of power and influence. The shotgun marriage was consummated (p. 180).

Wells wrote this piece 20 years ago, but his insights are still fresh and serve as a reminder for ministers and their flocks to re-examine their understanding of pastoral ministryEven so, now that 2012 is coming to an end, I wonder if you can get a D.Min. in “vision casting.”

David Wells, “The D-Min-ization of the Ministry” in No God But God: Breaking with the Idols of Our Age, edited by Os Guinness & John Seel (Chicago: Moody Press, 1992).


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
On Key

Related Posts

Faculty Focus Interview with Jim Cassidy

This the first installment of a quarterly series of interviews highlighting the Lord’s work in the lives and ministries of our Reformed Forum faculty. Up

2018 Theology Conference Reading List

We have compiled a list of suggested reading to help those coming to the 2018 Theology Conference. We realize people like have neither the time