Doctor of Ministry

The new program is more accessible by offering courses in a hybrid format which gives you credit for the reading and preparation you do prior to the intensive week on campus. As a result your residential time is reduced from the previously typical 4-6 weeks per year to 2-3 weeks per year. Total course credits have also been reduced, while still keeping high standards. The redesigned program is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.

Program Description


The Doctor of Ministry degree (D.Min.) is the highest professional degree in the ministry. It is designed for pastors of demonstrated ability who have served at least three years in the public ministry of the church. The D.Min. Program combines classroom and field-oriented learning and in a variety of ways integrates biblical/theological knowledge and insights with pastoral effectiveness as a servant of Christ and a preacher of the Word. Pastors participate in the the D.Min. Program within the context of their ministries. The pastor and his congregation/agency participate together in analyzing problems and opportunities and in selecting a project for special attention, whereby both pastor and congregation/agency may benefit from a focused and sustained process of learning and growth. The courses and activities of the seminary provide students with a rich variety of research, study and peer group exchange. The results of the interaction with faculty and peers are then shared within the pastor’s local support group as they work together on their specific project.

Student Learning Outcomes

The pastors who complete the requirements for the D.Min. degree are expected to:

  1. Gain deeper theological understanding and insights and learn how to integrate theology and practice more effectively.
  2. Develop a mindset that searches for new strategies, analyzing strategies from theological and practical perspectives and testing these strategies while becoming more theological and practical in their ministry.
  3. Grow in the ability to recognize problems and challenges in the parish, to design and implement programs for action and to evaluate their worth.
  4. Learn to work more effectively with their professional peers and with the members of their congregations, each supporting the other.
  5. Become more effective leaders in their parishes or special ministries by engaging others other members of the Christian community in greater service to Christ and His Church.

Admission Requirements

  1. At least three years of pastoral experience, preferably five. Exceptions may be determined by the Committee on Graduate Studies, based on the applicant’s academic transcript and review of his sermons, case study, and statement of pastoral experience.
  2. The Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent from an accredited seminary.
  3. Ideally, service in their current ministry for the duration of the program. A change in the place of ministry would likely affect the length of time that must be devoted to the program.

Admission Procedures

Applicants may find the application on the site, or the Graduate Studies Department will send the application if requested. The application will require the following:

  1. Submit two sermons representative of their preaching interest and style.
  2. Submit a brief case study of a specific situation in their ministry.
  3. Submit a personal statement of 3-5 single-spaced typewritten pages describing their pastoral experience.
  4. Send official transcripts of all previous college and seminary work.
  5. Request evaluations from the following individuals:
    1. an ecclesiastical supervisor;
    2. another pastor;
    3. another person, layman or clergy, who is able to evaluate their pastoral performance;
    4. the presiding officer of the church council or a member of the church council.
  6. Request a statement from their church council (or executive agency) stating its willingness to do the following:
    1. encourage the applicant in the degree program;
    2. provide time to carry out the program;
    3. cooperate in that part of the program which affects the congregation or agency.
  7. Provide a statement indicating financial resources for carrying out the program.
  8. Include a statement that they are committed to work toward completion of the program outlined.
  9. Submit a current photograph.
  10. Remit the $35 application fee.
  11. Students whose native language is not English are required to demonstrate English proficiency by means of a standardized English examination prior to their taking D.Min. course work. In the D.Min. cycles for our non-English speaking students, this requirement is not necessary since language interpretation is practiced.

Degree Requirements

The D.Min. degree requirements of 36 hours, are ordinarily completed within four (4) years, and must be completed within six (6) years. Both the required and elective courses will be regarded as successfully completed only when a grade of B- or better is received.

Course Requirements:

  • PMMP 897 Research and Method in Pastoral Theology
  • 15 hours of core courses
  • 12 hours of electives
  • 6 hours of Project Dissertation

Three concentrations are available in the D.Min. Program: Pastoral Care and Leadership, Preaching and Teaching, or Mission and Culture. Students take 15 credits in their chosen concentration and 12 credits in other areas as electives.

D.Min. courses will typically be offered in one-week intensives during the fall, winter and summer terms in a hybrid format including residential classes and online assignments. Generally two courses will be offered each quarter.

The implementation of the project and the writing of the project/dissertation earns six (6) credit hours. Project activity continues throughout the program. Specific requirements for the project are discussed in course PMM P897 as well as procedures for gaining approval for the project concept and proposal, for summarizing the results after it is completed, and for the final examination of the project.