The Doctor of Ministry degree provides clergy with advanced-level training in their field of ministry.
Those applying for this program must have:
- An ATS accredited Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent with a grade point average of at least 3.0.
- Demonstrated competence in ministry for at least three years after the first theological degree.
- Motivation and ability to pursue further study at the doctoral level.
- Evidence of theological compatibility with the theological stance of Trinity’s Statement of Faith.
- When it is deemed appropriate, the Dean of the Doctor of Ministry program may require a personal interview with the applicant to assess readiness for the program or the appropriateness of the program for any given applicant.
The Doctor of Ministry degree is a 36-credit program consisting of:
- Nine theological courses, three credits each
- RW 901 Final Project Preparation, three credits total
- RW 999 Final Project, six credits total (see Final Project, in the following section)
Of the nine theological courses, four are required and five are electives. Each course will involve three phases:
- Pre-seminar reading of at least 1,500 pages plus written assignments varying by course.
- A one-week intensive on-campus seminar consisting of 42 hours of supervised instruction.
- Post-seminar assignments, some involving critical reflection papers, others involving practical projects in one’s context of ministry.
Elective courses will be offered which will allow each candidate to give a particular emphasis to their program. Areas of concentration include preaching, apologetics, liturgy/worship, spiritual formation/leadership, and evangelism/mission.
Students may take a maximum of two independent study courses with the permission of the Dean and the instructor.
A Time of Admission:
A Doctor of Ministry candidate may request to transfer up to 12 credit hours of work from another accredited Doctor of Ministry Program where the grade earned is B or higher. An official transcriptand at least the course description, preferably a syllabus should be submitted to the Dean of the Doctor of Ministry program. There is no fee for this evaluation.
Degree Specific Requirements
A student shall advance to the status of “Candidate” when the student satisfies three requirements:
- Successful completion of 10 courses (30 credits), one of which is RW 901.
- Articulation of a general idea for the Final Project and its methodology.
- Approval of the Doctor of Ministry Oversight Committee to advance to Candidacy.
Course Sequence and Time Limitations
The Doctor of Ministry Program requires that all work be completed within a six-year period. A minimum of one course per year is obligatory to remain an active student in good standing. The sequence of course participation is flexible, subject to the following requirements:
- All students are required to take the orientation course (DM 900, “Church and Ministry for a New Millennium”) as one of their first two courses and in the first year of their Doctor of Ministry program.
- Before registering for RW 901, “Final Project Preparation,” students are required to complete eight courses, including the required core courses (BI 900, DM 900, ME 900, and ST 900).
- Students are expected to register for RW 999 (“Final Project”) when they are notified of the successful completion of RW 901. Students will be assigned a project supervisor upon registration for RW 999.
- Students are expected to complete their thesis project within one to two years of their completion of RW 901. Extensions beyond this may be granted by the Dean for a special cause. Students desiring an extension must apply to the Dean and pay full course tuition for every additional semester beyond the normal two-year time limit.
Final Project, RW 999 (6 credits)
After the student has been accepted as a Candidate by the Doctor of Ministry Oversight Committee, the student will write the Final Project which will serve as the culmination of the program and in which the student will demonstrate competence in both a theological area and a specialized area of ministry related to the student’s interest. The research project will include both biblical and theological reflection and an analysis of an aspect of the practice of ministry. An important criterion for the paper will be the integration of the project’s theological foundation with the practice of ministry as an original contribution to the literature of applied theology. Candidates will plan to devote approximately one to two years for the completion of the Final Project (RW 999).
The Doctor of Ministry degree shall be awarded with the approval of the Faculty after the successful completion of the Final Project and its oral defense before the Final Evaluation Committee. This committee shall be comprised of the Candidate’s Final Project supervisor, a faculty reader and an external reader.
Other Learning Venues
Occasionally, courses offered through Extension Ministries for travel study are available for Doctor of Ministry credit. Occasionally, online courses are tiered to allow study at the master’s and doctoral level. Additionally, students may seek opportunities at the Alexander College in Jerusalem. Inquiries may be made of the Doctor of Ministry office.
Non-Matriculated, Guest, and Alumni Students
Because the Doctor of Ministry program utilizes the building of collegial relationships among students, and because it is conducted in an intensive mode, it is not possible to allow for auditing of courses. However, those students who have not yet been accepted into the program (non-matriculated students) may request permission from the Dean of the Doctor of Ministry program to take DMin courses for credit as follows:
- Any qualified minister who is considering applying for entrance to the program may take up to two courses with the permission of the Dean.
- Any minister who has already earned a Doctor of Ministry degree may take any course with the permission of the Dean.
- Any Doctor of Ministry student from another seminary may take up to two courses in the program with the permission of the Dean.
Students are encouraged to recruit a support/accountability group from their place of ministry. This group should meet periodically with the student to hear about progress in the program. It is hoped that, if the student is in parish ministry, the lay leadership board and congregation will consider this course of study a benefit both to their pastor and the congregation, as well as to the wider church. As such, the congregation through its lay leadership is strongly encouraged to provide their pastor with financial assistance.
Please refer to the Academic Bulletin section on Finances and Auxiliary Services for current tuition, fees, and related policies. Trinity Doctor of Ministry alumni can take further courses at 50% of the tuition. Some special incentives are available for certain denominational groups. Please contact the Dean of the Doctor of Ministry program for further information.