DPT Professional Doctorate in Pastoral Theology The Professional Doctorate in Pastoral Theology (DPT) is a new initiative offering a specialized course of study leading to a professional doctorate in theology and ministry. The programme aims to serve as a resource for the Christian faith community, to enable suitably qualified priests, ministers, lay pastoral workers, chaplains in a variety of roles and ministries, teachers and those in positions of leadership in their local faith communities to benefit and learn from a serious engagement with the tradition of Catholic pastoral theology.
The DPT differs from the PhD in Theology through its taught element, its overall structure, and the emphasis throughout on the acquisition of research skills appropriate to serious reflection on a variety of contexts for pastoral ministry.
Programme of Study The programme consists of two main elements: formal coursework, shared with existing postgraduate modules at Heythrop (phase 1), and a research thesis (phase 2). Unique to this programme is a continuing seminar on pastoral ministry, offering an opportunity for reflection on theological method as well as content.
PHASE 1 Students take five taught modules and will also follow a continuing seminar programme, running throughout the taught element, the aim of which is to explore a variety of contexts for pastoral theology and to deepen reflection on ministerial experience:
Research methods in Theology will enable students to analyse and critically present the main themes in contemporary theological debate and to develop the broad outlines of a research proposal in pastoral theology. Foundations of Pastoral Theology provides an introduction and basis for pastoral theology, looking at issues of ecclesiology, ministry, methodology and theological reflection. Religion: Context & Crisis addresses the critical issues of today’s context both sociologically and theologically, and interactively ‘models’ the pastoral theological approach and methodology. Optional modules these are taken from a range of modules available from the existing MA provision in Pastoral Theology, Christian Theology, Interreligious Relations and Contemporary Ethics.
PHASE 2 This phase is for completing the final research thesis.
TIME OF CLASSES The two compulsory modules in Pastoral Theology are currently taught during the daytime on a Thursday. The other taught modules are usually taught in the evening. The continuing seminar will be held at specified dates and times during the academic year.