Doctor of Ministry in Christian Ministries
The Doctor of Ministry in Christian Ministries (D.Min.) degree is an advanced professional degree for ministers.
The program of study requires a Master of Divinity degree from an accredited theological institution and sufficient experiences in ministry to ensure a level of maturity appropriate to engage the intensity of the program design.
The 30-hour degree program addresses ministry issues developing naturally from the global community, and it seeks to enhance the capacity of the minister to engage in theological reflection in the real world in the service of the church. The degree program identifies reflective thinking, or, more specifically, the ability to think theologically, as the primary skill essential to effective ministry. All aspects of the program build from that assumption. Both by academic design and supervision elements, the degree intends to reflect the interactive, laity-involved, team-oriented nature of ministry required to address the needs of the twenty-first century church.
The Doctor of Ministry in Christian Ministries degree program models holistic ministry. Worship, the encounter with God and offering of self to God, provides the foundation on which all else is based. The care of the self and care for the community of faith is the natural extension of the experience of God's love and care. Effective administration of resources enables ministry to achieve its purpose and effective Christian education enhances faith development. Committed ministry engages the world, living out the Christian gospel in both the near and distant world community. Committed ministry includes dedication to life-long learning which prepares the minister to address the world with the ever-relevant word of God.
With seminars offered on Thursdays and Fridays, the degree may be completed in three years. Accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), the Doctor of Ministry in Christian Ministries was the first doctoral degree offered by Gardner-Webb University.
- Original transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate study.
- Three references (one must be educational; the remaining two may be personal, professional, or educational).
- Church recommendation form.
- Immunization history.
- $40.00 non-refundable application fee.
- Proof of satisfactory criminal background record check for all states of residence for the past five years with a residence verification statement. Criminal background histories obtained for employment purposes are not acceptable for admissions to the School of Divinity. Information received pertaining to criminal background histories will become part of the student’s permanent academic file. Any conviction or pending criminal charges cited in the criminal history will be reviewed by the School of Divinity Faculty Admissions Committee. Any allegations or charges of misdemeanor(s) or felony(s) that occur after the Criminal Record Check has been submitted must be reported immediately to the School of Divinity Office of Admissions and the Dean of the School of Divinity. Failure to report allegations of such charges may result in immediate dismissal from the program.
- Completion of the Master’s of Divinity degree (or its equivalent) from an ATS-accredited institution.
- Minimum Grade Point Average of a “B” (2.75 on 4.0 scale) in Master’s of Divinity (or its equivalent) studies.
- Three years significant ministerial experience beyond the first graduate theological degree.
10. Placement in a full-time vocational ministry setting.
11. Ministry essay: a 10-15 page double-spaced ministry essay discussing the applicant’s call to ministry, theology of ministry, history in ministry, goals for ministry, and how he/she believes earning the Doctor Ministry in Christian Ministries degree will enrich his/her ministry.
12. Personal interview: applicants deemed worthy will be invited to the School of Divinity for a personal interview with the D.Min. Admissions Committee. Based on the applicant’s submitted materials, the D.Min. Admissions Committee will dialog with the applicant to assess his/her readiness for D. Min. study, and the applicant will be given the opportunity to share his/her understanding of ministry and the D.Min.
13. Aptitude Tests
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) is required for all candidates for whom English is a second language. The minimum acceptable score is 550 (non-computer test).
- Graduate Record Exam (GRE): Although not required of all applicants, the D.Min. Admissions Committee may request an applicant to take this test to evaluate more fully his/her readiness for D.Min. studies.
- Miller Analogies Test (MAT): Although this test is not required of all applicants, the D.Min. Admissions Committee may request an applicant to take this test to evaluate more fully his/her readiness for D.Min. studies.
The Doctor of Ministry in Christian Ministries degree seeks to enhance the capacity of the minister to engage in theological reflection in the real world in the service of the church. Given the diversity of ministry interests, candidates may design their courses of study with the following Program Objectives in mind. Theses seek to:
- Develop an appropriate biblical theology of worship and, in light of that theology, a capacity to lead effectively the community of faith in corporate worship;
- Develop an appropriate pastoral theology, a level of personal, interpersonal, and spiritual awareness commensurate with mature ministry and the requisite skill to practice pastoral care in a ministry setting;
- Develop an understanding of the process of faith development and to administer within a ministry setting effective structures and systems for the nurturing of the same;
- Develop an understanding of the church, and his/her role in it, within a global context and the capacity to reflect theologically on the implications of that global context for the nature and mission of the church;
- Understand the ministry as a commitment to life-long learning and to develop appropriate educational strategies within the ministry setting to realize that commitment; and
- Demonstrate the ability to reflect upon the nature of one’s ministry by conceptualizing and executing an original project in ministry, reflecting theologically on that project, and defending the project to a committee of faculty and other ministry professionals.
The Doctor of Ministry in Christian Ministries degree is a thirty-hour degree program comprised of three major components: seminars, supervision, and a ministry project. Five seminars are required for which eighteen credit hours will be awarded. Two of the five seminars are required courses for all Doctor of Ministry students. The remaining three seminars may be chosen at the discretion of the student and her/his faculty advisor.
Doctor of Ministry in Christian Ministries Seminars
Required Seminars (6 hours)
- The Ministry as Life-Long Learning (2 hrs.)
- The Ministry of Biblical Interpretation (4 hrs.)
The student will register for three of the following seminars:
- Educating the Church through Christian Spirituality (4 hrs.)
- The Ministry of Worship (4 hrs.)
- The Ministry of Preaching (4 hrs.)
- The Ministry of Christian Education and Administration (4 hrs.)
- The Ministry of Leadership in the Church (4 hrs.)
- The Ministry of Pastoral Care (4 hrs.)
- Conflict Resolution in the Church (4 hrs.)
- Issues in Advanced Pastoral Care and Counseling (4 hrs.)
- The Ministry and the World (4 hrs.)
- Mission and Ministry in a Pluralistic World (4 hrs.)
- Mission and Cross Cultural Ministry (4 hrs.)
- Mission Strategies for Ministry (4 hrs.)
Doctor of Ministry in Christian Ministries Supervision
The student will complete a minimum of two semesters of Peer Learning Supervision, for a total of six hours. Peer Learning Supervision is directed by a Field Supervisor who has been appointed by the School of Divinity. The student will participate in structured supervised peer-learning experiences related to her/his ministry. In lieu of one semester of Peer Learning Supervision, the student may register for one basic unit of Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) with prior approval of the D.Min. in Christian Ministries Director. Candidates will participate in structured supervised peer-learning experiences related to their ministry.
Candidates will design, implement, and reflect upon a self-directed, original project of ministry conducted in the minister’s own ministry setting (minimum 6 hrs.). Students who do not complete the project in two semesters must register for DSDM 593 each semester until completion.