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George Fox University school offers three-year doctoral program outside ministry.

George Fox University's Portland Seminary has introduced a new three-year doctoral degree in leadership in global perspectives, designed for those who are not in the church's ministry.

The degree will "provide Christian leaders with a faith-based professional doctoral degree that is broad, flexible and credible in a variety of environments, including faith-related PMG FILE PHOTO - George Fox University's Portland Seminary has introduced a new three-year doctoral degree in leadership in global perspectives, designed for those who are not in the church's ministry.

organizations and nonprofit ministries, and hospice, counseling, social work, administrative and parachurch settings," a release from GFU said.

The program features a lead mentor and a trio of in-person gatherings as students progress toward their degrees. These are for students to prepare for life inside and out of a church setting should they pursue this pathway.

"In our disrupted world, Christian leaders already know they need a different learning experience and we are thrilled to offer them our new Doctor of Leadership degree," program lead mentor Jason Clark said in the release. "This is a distinct and unique opportunity for Christians wanting to grow their leadership and better navigate our complex world -– and to do so within a Christ-centered, theologically informed perspective."

A survey of alumni led to the creation of the program. The school identified a need for a doctoral program for those outside the confines of the church.

"This new degree provides an opportunity for us to meet the need of a wider population of Christian leaders," Loren Kerns, director of the seminary's Doctor of Ministry programs, said in the release. "When we did our market research we discovered very few leadership degrees that engage the discipline of leadership from a Christ-centered, theologically informed and faith-affirming perspective. The seminary is uniquely qualified and best positioned to offer such a terminal degree."

Students will take a total of four courses under Clark and communicate through a public blog. There will also be peer groups available for students to interact in.

Three face-to-face events called "Advances" will mark different points in each student's academic journey. They are scheduled for unique international locations such as Washington, D.C.; Cape Town, South Africa; London and Singapore.

The program is receiving significant interest and has been forced to be selective in choosing students, officials say.

"We are currently turning away quality students," Kerns said. "Fifty-percent of current DLGP prospects are not admissible as doctor of ministry students because of master of divinity requirements, which is 72 credit hours of seminary training. They will be admissible under the new Association of Theological Schools' standards for a professional doctorate, as it doesn't require the M.Div. These prospects do not want a Ph.D., nor a business leadership degree. They want to study leadership from a theological and biblical perspective."

For more information on the program, visit seminary.georgefox.edu or call Michael Simmons, the program's admissions counselor, at 503-554-6168.


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