Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)

D.Min. Program Structure

Context-Centered Collegial Learning

All students undertake their study from within a particular context of ministry so that every course and the practicum/project thesis become opportunities for reflection upon the practice and experience of ministry. Classroom work expects serious engagement with the theological disciplines grounded in the life of a congregation or other setting of ministry. Perkins Doctor of Ministry courses assume professional competence and the desire to engage in a collegial process of learning with other professionals with the guidance and direction of competent faculty and other practitioners. The practicum presupposes the active engagement of members of the congregation or other persons involved in the particular ministry in which the student is participating.

Course Structure and Format

The curriculum is designed with the expectation that students will continue their active practice of ministry while they are pursuing the degree. All students begin the program of study in either January or mid-June with two core seminars: The Theology of Ministry and The Person and Role of the Minister. These core seminars are three weeks long and taken simultaneously on the Perkins campus, earning six credit hours. See Course Information page for exact dates and syllabi.

After completing the core seminars, students generally will take four courses on the Perkins campus. A student will take one three-credit course per semester for four semesters. These courses comprise two-week-long sessions offered in January and June each year.  Students will take two Ministry Research Seminars. These seminars last two days and are usually held in January and June. The purpose of the first year seminar is to define a problem or thesis that the student wants to develop into a practicum experience that can be explored in their practice of ministry. The students are encouraged to choose persons who might serve on their committees at this phase. The second-year seminar will help the student to define the necessary research to undertake the project using an outline. 

After a student has taken the above courses, he/she earns credit hours working on the practicum and project. The practicum course involves the supervised experience in ministry in an agreed-upon setting and earns three credit hours. The professional project course involves the written essay based upon the practicum experience; successful completion earns three credit hours. Upon completion of the professional project, the candidate will participate in an oral examination covering the project and the student's integration of his/her theology and practice of ministry.

Time and Money

The minimum time for completion of degree requirements is three calendar years. All degree requirements must be completed within six years from the start of course work. Those who require additional time to complete the program will register for a D.Min. Research Course each term. Tuition is paid by the term and those costs are listed under Tuition Costs.

Applications

Applications are accepted throughout the year in the order in which they are received and are considered when they are complete. Early application is recommended so that required pre-class readings and assignments can be completed before classes meet.

Applications must be completed by October 1 for January admission and by March 15 for June admission.

Please refer to the Perkins School of Theology Catalog for more details concerning the requirements of the Doctor of Ministry degree.

For more information, please contact the Doctor of Ministry Office:
AdvanceMinistry@smu.edu
214.768.3161
FAX: 214.768.2117