I'm a bi-vocational pastor. I work as computer analyst while at the same time serving as the senior pastor at Queensborough Church of God in Shreveport, La. And, of course, my wife and two sons take priority over both of my jobs.
I added the Doctor of Ministry Program to an already full schedule. But as a leader in the church, I want to be in a position in which I can muster up the greatest contribution for and toward the body of Christ to the glory of God. That is why I am pursuing the Christian Leadership Development Track within the Doctor of Ministry Studies Program.
I believe leaders ought to be lifetime learners. We must fight the ever-increasing trend that encourages people in the ministry to go after titles and roles of leadership without any real substantive information or preparation. I expect also to further develop the approach of critical thinking for ministry in this program. Anyone can borrow or mimic a formula or idea from another leader or church, but to be able to consistently serve in ministry while addressing issues with the ability to think critically is a must for effective and excellent leadership ability.
To successfully achieve these goals in the Doctor of Ministry Studies Program while at the same time giving quality time to my church and family, I've learned to get a head start in every class and begin to eat the elephant in small pieces. I've found that the professors who serve in this program are balanced with the workload they require prior to the class, during the class, and after the class. No class has ever overburdened me, and my ministry has not been short-changed. In fact, the readings I do for class have enhanced my ministry. I don't have to wait until I graduate from the program to use what I learn to bring new life into the church.
— Bart Riggins, Participant, Doctor of Ministry Studies Program