DMin 399 Research & Writing at the DMin Level

Course Level:

South East Asian Theological Schools, Inc. Syllabus for DMin 399
Research & Writing at the DMin Level
Michael J. Fast, Ph.D. 3 Units [12/72 hours in/outside of class]


The SEATS D.Min. Program’s goal is to develop leaders who are able to translate the Christian faith into local Asian contexts so that the deep cultural artifacts that exist in these contexts can also be impacted by the Good News of Jesus Christ. A key aspect to this strategy is developing functional churches but in order for these do be developed, the church must engage in theologizing. One key aspect to doing theology is through Biblical, theological, and empirical research and one way for this research to be known is by writing it down. This course will introduce the student to writing and research at the doctoral level including formulating a research question, preparing a review of related literature, creating a theoretical and conceptual framework, conducting research, and writing the dissertation proposal. Concepts such as IMRAD, mindmapping, concept mapping, and technical writing will also be covered.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this Course you should have demonstrated growth in the following areas:

1. Know what research is and how to design it.
2. Understand the concept of a thesis or problem statement and framing questions.
3. Understand Mindmapping and Concept mapping and their role in research and writing.
4. Know the ins and outs of technical doctoral writing including outlining, citations, formatting, and publishing.
5. Understand the research process and the IMRaD format.
6. Understand the concept of Reflexivity and how it impacts the research and writing process.
7. Theoretical frameworks.
8. Have written a proposal for their dissertation.

Learning Tasks (Assignments):

1. Your first learning task is to read through the set learning tasks given below (1 hour). You will be provided with a “contract” in which you affirm that you have read carefully through the learning tasks and commit yourself to completing them. As the purpose of the learning tasks is for you to provide evidence that you have made measurable progress towards the learning outcomes, I encourage your creativity and ownership by suggesting alternative tasks that better suit your learning style. However, your suggested task(s) must involve a comparable amount of out-of-class effort and must serve the learning outcomes. If you are interested in designing an alternative learning task or tasks, I encourage you to speak with me, and I will assist you in the process.
2. Attend the classes (or watch the recordings). If you plan to be absent, please inform the professor in advance via Facebook or Email. Absent students must also inform the professor once they have watched the recorded video lessons.
3. Write a proposal for your desired dissertation topic.
a. Must have a clear problem statement.
b. Must use proper citations.
c. Must have a bibliography.
d. Must be approximately 100 pages in length.
e. Due date is 6 months after the end of class (April 30, 2021). The professor will be available for consultation with you during this time to help you with your writing process.

Learning Activities:

As appropriate, class sessions will include some or all of the following:
• Personal testimonies, in which students will seek to connect great doctrines to their own
• spiritual experiences
• Small-group discussion of key issues through analytic, synthetic and evaluative questions
• Reflection on case studies in light of key theological issues
• Movie clips and theological reflection

Learning Resources:

Books and Articles:

American Anthropological Association. Code of Ethics of the American Anthropological Association. 2009. Accessed October 3, 2020.

American Psychological Association. (2017). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct (2002, amended effective June 1, 2010, and January 1, 2017).

Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and the Commonwealth. Ethical Guidelines for Good Research Practice. 1999.

Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and the Commonwealth. Ethical Guidelines for Good Research Practice. 2011.

Avramidis, Elias, and Brett Smith. “An introduction to the major research paradigms and their methodological implications for special needs research.” Emotional and behavioural difficulties 4, no. 3 (1999): 27-36. DOI: 10.1080/1363275990040306

Bazerman, Charles. The Informed writer: Using sources in the disciplines. Fort Collins, Colorado: The WAC Clearinghouse, 2010.

Birx, H. James, ed. 21st century anthropology: a reference handbook. Sage, 2010.

Brain, Lord. “Structure of the scientific paper.” British medical journal 2, no. 5466 (1965): 868.

Bryman, Alan. Social research methods. Oxford University Press, 2016.

Call-Cummings, Meagan, and Karen Ross. “Re-positioning power and re-imagining reflexivity: Examining positionality and building validity through reconstructive horizon analysis.” In Research Methods for Social Justice and Equity in Education, pp. 3-13. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2019.

Day, Robert A. “The origins of the scientific paper: the IMRaD format.” J Am Med Writers Assoc 4, no. 2, 1989: 16-18.

Krause, Steven D. The Process of Research Writing, 2007.

Kumar, Ranjit. Research Methodology A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners, Sage, 2019.

Labaree, David. “The five-paragraph fetish.” Aeon. Aeon Media Group Ltd. Accessed February 15, 2018.

Mewburn, Inger. “Creating research questions using Spider Diagrams.” Accessed October 3, 2020.

Novak, J. D. & A. J. Cañas, “The Theory Underlying Concept Maps and How to Construct and Use Them,” Technical Report IHMC CmapTools 2006-01 Rev 01-2008, Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, 2008, available at:

Reardon, Tiffani, Tamara Powell, Jonathan Arnett, Monique Logan, and Cassandra Race. “Open Technical Communication. (2019).

Santos, José António C. and Santos, Margarida Custódio. “Strategies for writing a research paper.” Tourism & Management Studies, 11(1) (2015), 7-13

Turabian, K. L. (). Turabian: A manual for writers. Citation quick guide.

Wu, Jianguo. “Improving the writing of research papers: IMRAD and beyond.” Landscape Ecology (2011) 26:1345–1349. doi 10.1007/s10980-011-9674-3 Accessed October 3, 2020.


Aldenlibrary. “Why Cite Your Sources.” Last modified March 29, 2010.

Cooperative Library Instruction Project. “Popular and Scholarly Sources.” Last modified Oct 8, 2015.

Downs-Jones Library. “How to Evaluate Popular Internet Resources.” Last modified August 10, 2012.

Downs-Jones Library. “Primary and Secondary Sources.” Last modified August 10, 2012.

Hastings, C. “Get Lit: The Literature Review.” Texas A&M University Writing Center. Last modified Sep 27, 2016.

Walden University Writing Center. “Crash Course in Scholarly Writing.” Last modified May 8, 2020.

Websites & Blogs:

There are a lot of web-based resources on doctoral writing.

Academic Writing in English Lund University. “Three versions of the RA.” Last modified July 16, 2017.

University of Saskatchewan. “How to Evaluate Information Sources: Home.” Last modified June 3, 2020.

University of Saskatchewan. “How to Evaluate Information Sources: Critical Questions for Evaluating Your Sources.” Last modified June 3, 2020.

University of Saskatchewan. “Citation Style Guides: Chicago/Turabian Style.” Accessed September 22, 2020.

Mutual Commitments:

Because this class is a D.Min. class, the primary responsibilities lie on you, the student, in learning. This class is also conducted in a modular format, which means that many of the activities will need to be done by you outside of class. Having said that, I am fully committed to helping you on your journey towards being a the minister of the gospel that you would like to be! Here is what I am expecting from you and what you can expect from me as we journey together.

What I expect from you as an emerging leader in the service of Christ:
1. I expect you to be diligent in preparing thoroughly for each session.
2. I expect you to submit work on time, or, if this is not possible, to request an extension adequately in advance of the deadline.
3. I expect you to participate fully and constructively in all course activities and discussions.
4. I expect you to show respect towards other students, being sensitive to national, cultural, gender and other individual differences, and listening courteously when others speak in class.
5. I expect you to provide accurate and constructive feedback on the course content and methodology that will help me as I teach this course and when I teach this material again in the future.

My commitments to you are:
1. I will prepare carefully for each class session.
2. I will encourage reciprocity and cooperation among you as a class of emerging leaders.
3. I will emphasize time on task, making the best use of the available time to promote quality learning.
4. I will promote active learning, respecting diverse talents and learning styles.
5. I will provide adequate opportunity outside of the class session times for you to discuss the course material with me.
6. I will do my best to provide prompt feedback on your work.

Contact Information:

I am available most times via email or social media to work with you. We can also set up an appointment to get together and discuss any issues or questions you may have. You can contact me via email at I am also on Facebook at My cellphone in the Philippines is +639999936072