Nokes (M.Div. ’03). He’s excited
about building similar ministry-long
relationships with APS students. Choy
is “committed to looking for ways to
innovate and enhance the D.Min. pro-
gram.” He is equally cognizant that his
duties as director of APS must involve
expanding certificate and other non-
degree education, especially for those
who do not meet current accreditation
standards for entry into the D.Min.
program. This leads him to approach
his new job with “bifocal strategic vi-
sion.”
During his studies at SFTS, Choy
benefited from the stimulation and
support from his colleagues in minis-
try. The “community of practice” he
experienced at seminary, being a part
of a collegium group, became an on-
going source of discipline, encourage-
ment and accountability. The inten-
tional way the SFTS D.Min. program
has been structured, with various em-
phases and tracks, makes it attentive
to diverse “communities of practice”
in ministry.
One local “community of practice”
is the Racial Ethnic Advanced Pastoral
Skills (REAPS) group, a fellowship of
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ministers
Tradition of commitment to advanced studies programs
San Francisco Theological
Seminary has been commit-
ted to post-graduate education
since 1928, when 16 active
pastors, mostly SFTS alumni,
gathered weekly for graduate
studies. The seminary’s Ad-
vanced Pastoral Studies pro-
gram, designed for working
pastors, was launched in 1961
and SFTS began offering the
Doctor of Ministry degree in
1970.
Throughout history, the
seminary’s advanced studies
programs have been marked
by the ecumenical and inter-
national character of the stu-
dent body and faculty. The
Doctor of Ministry program
combines academic excellence
and a pragmatic focus in order
to develop scholar pastors who
are creative in their ministry
contexts.
As a world leader in Chris-
tian graduate-level education,
SFTS is proud to offer several
concentrations in its Doctor
of Ministry program. The ma-
jority of students enroll in the
Multidisciplinary emphasis.
Other areas of emphases in-
clude Pastoral Care and Coun-
seling and Pastor as a Spiritual
Leader.
The SFTS faculty is also
deeply committed to Inter-
national Feminist, African
American Theology and Ur-
ban Ministry emphases. SFTS
plans to offer courses in these
areas, although the programs
are under review with the hope
of continuing these emphases
in the next few years.
Rev. Dr. Virstan Choy
preaches at St. Andrew
Presbyterin Church
in Marin City, Calif.
See Advanced Pastoral Studies
on page 28
SFTS CHIMES | Fall 2012 7
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