In June, we welcomed the newest Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) cohort to campus. One of the students in this cohort is Tiffany Dahlman. Tiffany is an inspiration to many and we know you will enjoy getting to know a small piece of her story.
Tiffany graduated from York College with three undergraduate degrees: Secondary Education, Religious Studies, and English. After this substantial accomplishment, she later pursued a Master of Divinity (M.Div) from Asbury Theological Seminary. Her M.Div focused on Old Testament Studies and Spiritual Formation.
Feeling encouraged and nudged by God, Tiffany jumped right into the D.Min. She graduated just a month before she flew to Abilene to start her first D.Min. course! According to Tiffany, “Many fires were lit during my M.Div. studies, but there was a deeper nagging to continue learning about one specific area”. She also believes that as she continues to learn, she will be able to make an even bigger impact on her church. “That’s the point of it all, after all!” she remarked.
Just a few years back, Tiffany and two other ministers began what is today called Courtyard Church of Christ in Fayetteville, North Carolina. These three leaders share responsibilities by submitting to each other’s gifting. They have identified Tiffany’s gifting to be primarily (but not limited to!) theology, vision, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. The three generally rotate preaching, but Tiffany is the main Bible teacher and preacher each week.
Courtyard’s motto is “A community where all are welcome into the Trinity’s transforming Kingdom to become ministers of reconciliation to bless the world.” Gifts don’t have to be perfect to be used at Courtyard. They are nurtured for the sake of others. Everyone is welcome. Everyone is a minister.
Throughout her first week in the D.Min. program, Tiffany has heard God speak deeply through her fellow cohort. Due to their diverse nature of ministry contexts, everyone hears something different and translates the text differently. “It’s been powerful to see how the word of God is alive and translates into each context”, Tiffany explained. She has also seen how “God is the true minister and we are to partner with God in the work that He has already done in the past, present, and future to transform the world”.
Tiffany shared a few words of encouragement for women in ministry: “While the lack of ministry opportunities can be discouraging, ministry doesn’t have to be “official”. True, strong theology matters everywhere– to the person next to you on the subway, the child in front of you, everywhere.”