Some roads to a doctorate are smooth and easy, other roads are paved with more potholes and hardship. I thought earning the Doctor of Ministry would be the former, but it turned out to more of the latter – and I am okay with that. The goal in a doctoral program is to finish, and last weekend, I was able to spend a wonderful weekend with family celebrating my graduation after seven years.
It Take a Family to Earn a Doctorate
It is significant to me that I got to celebrate with family because you don’t really do a doctorate alone. My wife held down the fort when I would go away for class a week at a time. My kids moved their school work to the Wheaton College Library so I could study. Even my dad weighed in on my writing projects with helpful additions and critiques, and my mom spent dozens of hours serving as my project editor.
We did this together, and we celebrated together!
Friends and Colleagues Help Too
I also was blessed by the faithful friends of the Biblical Counseling Center whose gifts allowed me to scale back my counseling over the past six months to write and research. The BCC staff picked up the slack when I dropped projects to focus on my studies.
Dr. John Pratt and Dr. Bob Kellemen were helpful advisors who gave me consistent and helpful feedback to improve. Several churches helped out by allowing me to teach their leaders the materials I was developing. Their feedback is helping us improve the way we train churches to care.
New Project, New Opportunity
My doctoral project improved the way that we train churches and helped them develop a counseling culture and lay counseling team. The project is bearing fruit in increasing the number of churches that we can work with. So far this year, we have taught in Idaho, Maine, Indiana, Long Island, Illinois, and Upstate New York.
This fall, we will be in Minnesota, Kansas, Indiana, Texas and New York. Through dedicated research and analysis, the goal of a D. Min project is to improve some aspect of your ministry. Pray that this continues!
A doctorate is a doorway into new opportunity. Specifically, we hope to impact students who rarely get biblical counseling training in Chicago area theological institutions.
Pray that God opens door to challenge the schools to see biblical counseling as a necessary part of ministry training. There is also a hope to write resources that are helpful to the church and our church partners. Pray that the right doors with the right publishers open up so that the collective experience on our staff team can help churches increase their care.
Thank You for Your Prayers
So many of you have asked about my studies over many years, I want to say thank you to all who asked, prayed, or showed interest. I am grateful that this project is done but recognize that I couldn’t have done it without so many of you.
And you don’t have to call me Dr. Allchin, you can call me “Tim.”