Doctor of Ministry

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The Doctor of Ministry (abbreviated DMin or D.Min.) is a professional doctorate, often including a research component, that may be earned by a minister of religion while concurrently engaged in some form of ministry. It is categorized as an advanced program oriented toward ministerial and/or academic leadership.[1] As a terminal professional doctorate, the Doctor of Ministry is primarily concerned with the "acquisition of knowledge and research skills, to further advance or enhance professional practice,"[2] and is, therefore, distinct from the Doctor of Philosophy in its aim.

Doctor of Ministry by country/region[edit]

United States and Canada[edit]

Under Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) standards, programs must require matriculants to have earned the degree Master of Divinity (M.Div.) or its equivalent[1] and to have engaged in no fewer than three years of full-time ministry,[1] though some programs require more.[3] The ATS requires students to complete at least one year of coursework followed by the completion of the doctoral dissertation or research project.[1] Normally, the degree requires between three and six years to complete.[1] The degree's purpose is to "enhance the practice of ministry for persons who hold the M.Div. or its educational equivalent and who have engaged in substantial ministerial leadership."[1] As such, Doctor of Ministry concentrations vary by institution and include applied theology, evangelism, pastoral counseling or the psychology of religion, homiletics, spiritual formation, ethics, church growth, church leadership, apologetics[4] and Bible translation.


In Australia, under the Australian College of Theology standards, the D.Min. degree is academically equivalent to a Ph.D. or Th.D. within the same Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF level 10) research doctoral award[5] which is to "qualify individuals who apply a substantial body of knowledge to research, investigate and develop new knowledge, in one or more fields of investigation, scholarship or professional practice."[6] As such, the admission requirements, length of study, and the overall academic requirements of the three degrees are the same: candidates must submit a final thesis of 80,000-100,000 words in order to complete the degree.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools. "Degree Program Standards: Doctor of Ministry". Standards of Accreditation (PDF). Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. pp. 124–126. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-11-19. Retrieved 2012-06-01.
  2. ^ Smith, Nancy-Jane (2009). Achieving Your Professional Doctorate: A Handbook. New York: McGraw Hill. p. 6. ISBN 978-0-335-22721-1.
  3. ^ "DMin Application Information". Duke Divinity School. Duke University. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  4. ^ "DMin Concentrations". Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Retrieved 17 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Our Courses – Australian College of Theology". Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  6. ^ Garland, Andrew (2015-02-06). "AQF qualifications". Retrieved 2019-01-14.
  7. ^ "Doctor of Ministry". Retrieved 2019-01-14.