All DMin students, upon having completed the seminar requirements may choose, in lieu of pursuing the D/P requirement and completing the doctorate degree, to request a Diploma in Advanced Pastoral Studies. This option may be chosen for any reason, such as complete satisfaction with the coursework completed, change in personal circumstances, or change in career interests.
Students who have completed all coursework but make no visible progress on the D/P within two years may be invited to submit a request to graduate with a Diploma in Advanced Pastoral Studies in lieu of the DMin degree. The APS Committee may also determine, based on written work, teachers’ evaluations and in consultation with the student’s D/P advisor, that a student does not have the skills to complete an acceptable D/P. In such cases, upon withdrawal from the program, the student will receive the Diploma in Advanced Pastoral Studies in lieu of the Doctor of Ministry degree.
In all such cases, SFTS will charge the student a processing fee equivalent to the current graduation fee.
Students in good standing withdraw with the understanding that they can re-activate their studies in the DMin program within five years. Should the DAPS recipient seek to resume their DMin degree within the five year period they must make a written request to the APS program office that includes a statement that summarizes their current ministerial context and motivation to complete the D/P. The diploma must be surrendered upon continuation in the program. Any previously approved topic/design proposal is subject to review and may be rejected or require updating before proceeding to work on the D/P. If an advisor was approved, it is the student’s responsibility to communicate with their previously approved Advisor to determine his/her availability, or submit the name of new proposed advisor to the APS Committee.