The Project Assessment
Project documents are to be written according to the guidelines presented in Andrews University Standards for Written Work. Some flexibility is permitted in format. The project document will normally contain an introduction, a theological context for the project, review of literature, report of the actual field project or research, evaluation, recommendations, and conclusions. The reports generally run from 100-120 pages of text. Appendices that contribute to an understanding of the project are frequently added.
Presentation of your project (the "assessment event") is scheduled with the DMin office. It should be done after the advisor has agreed you are ready and within the time frames presented elsewhere on this website. Call the Doctor of Ministry office if you have any questions about this.
The purpose of the assessment is to test the candidate's ability to integrate what (s)he has learned into improved ministerial practice. However, the project document—its design, content, and written quality—are also examined.
We endeavor to create a comfortable and supportive environment for the entire session. We view this event as a presentation and dialogue regarding your project. It is not intended to quiz your memory. We do expect to benefit from the knowledge you have gained from your work.
The project assessment is to take place before an examining committee composed of the student's project advisor, second and third reader, and the director of the DMin program or person the director has designated to chair. Others may be asked to attend as determined by the DMin director. The director of the DMin program (or the person serving as chair appointed by the director) is to preside without voting at the project assessment. If (s)he is the advisor or a reader (s)he will participate in the voting.
DMin assessments are generally virtual. If you arrive in person, you should report to the DMin office. You will be greeted and directed to a waiting area. The assessment group begins its meeting at the time announced and after only a few minutes will lead you, your spouse (if present), and observers into the room. Observers are welcomed and seated around the perimeter of the room. Your spouse is seated with you. After a review of the process and prayer together you will have an opportunity for a brief 5- to 8-minute opening statement or presentation. There will then be two rounds of questioning, the first consisting of fifteen minutes for each group member and the second for follow-up questions, ten minutes per person. You will be asked to read your Ministry Development Plan (MDP) reflection paper before the session is concluded. The group members excuse themselves for deliberation and return in a few minutes to communicate their decision to you.
All assessment participants should schedule at least two and a half hours for the assessment event. Committee members are to review the field of study of the project, read the project, and bring questions that have resulted from their review or reading to the examination. There is one round of questioning. Each participant normally takes fifteen minutes for questions and responses, and ten minutes for a follow-up round. Members of the committee do not interfere with another member's allocated time unless invited to do so by the one doing the questioning. It is expected that as the examining process progresses, other questions may emerge.
The project assessment concentrates on the project and the MDP. It is designed to test the candidate's ability to defend the concepts and data of the project and to examine significant material related thereto. The MDP reflection assesses spiritual, relational, and professional change. The candidate is expected to demonstrate an understanding of the larger context in which the project lies.
At the end of the examining period, the committee dismisses itself to discuss its decision. All committee members remain together until the candidate hears the decision. The committee members will provide feedback to the candidate and communicate their actions.
The vote of the committee falls into one of the following three categories:
(A) Approval of the project presented.
(B) Approval of the project subject to major or minor revisions.*
In order to have defended the project successfully, the candidate must have a majority vote of approval from the examiners.
You can participate in the project assessment remotely via telephone or video conference if you are not near the main Andrews University campus.
For video conferences, you will need access to professional video conferencing equipment. Some Conferences and most Union and Division offices have this type of equipment. Many colleges and public school districts also have videoconferencing capabilities. It is your responsibility to find a site with video conferencing equipment and verify that it is compatible with our equipment. The specific protocol is H.323 or SIP. Show this message to the AV or IT, support staff, at the site you intend to use and they can verify if they have compatible equipment. Some brands of equipment that are commonly used are Polycom, Cisco, Tandberg, Sony, and LifeSize. This is NOT WebEx, Skype, or other similar products. You MUST have access to professional video conference equipment or licensed software to participate via video conference.
Have the tech support staff at your site contact the Andrews University Telecommunications office (firstname.lastname@example.org) to verify compatibility and set up a test call/connection. Reference the DMin participant’s name and date of the oral assessment event
For telephone participation, the use of a landline is strongly encouraged, not a cell phone.
Please do not hesitate to call and ask any questions about your project presentation.
*A degree is not conferred until the revised document is submitted to and approved by the committee advisor.