Doctor of Ministry

Advancing the Kingdom with an advanced degree


The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min) degree is a second professional degree for those who seek to improve practical expertise, explore the concerns of their own ministry setting, and challenge the heart and mind. It is both affordable and workable for persons in full-time ministry. The program seeks to enhance the practice of ministry for persons who hold the MDIV degree, or its equivalent, and have engaged in ministerial leadership.

The Doctor of Ministry Program equips participants for more effective ministry through classes and ministry projects that are connecting, renewing, healing and transforming. That is, our program is rooted in our Seminary’s core values of community, academic excellence, Scripture and spiritual formation. Students have opportunities to develop relationships with faculty and one another in a learning community in which spiritual formation is foundational.

The program is tailored to meet personal needs within the context of ministry. It will not take the student away from ministry responsibility for extended periods of time. The process combines the stimulation of the classroom with a deep understanding of the demands of full-time Christian ministry. Most courses are one-week or two- week intensives.

Admission Requirements for the Doctor of Ministry Program

  • A Master of Divinity degree from an Association of Theological Schools accredited seminary or university, or its equivalent. Other documents may be requested. (An equivalency evaluation will be processed upon receipt of the student’s transcripts.)
  • A grade point average of at least 3.0 (4.0 = A) in all graduate work.
  • Current involvement in a ministry context (pastoring, teaching, missions work, administration of a Christian organization, therapeutic ministries, etc.)
  • At least three years of ministry experience, usually (but not always) experienced after receiving the M.Div.*

*Students not having the M.Div. but who do hold a master’s degree in another theological degree program, such as Pastoral Counseling, Theology or Christian Ministries, may satisfy equivalency by taking courses outlined by the Dean of the Doctor of Ministry Program.

Contextual Learning Experience

Ashland Theological Seminary’s D.Min. program uses a contextual model of learning that is dependent upon the student’s participation in and reflection upon ministry. Several ingredients contribute to the integration of theory and practice in the program:

  • Integrative projects, such as case studies, case reports, and notes from ongoing ministry that are used in many of the classes.
  • A participant group of students will interact with and challenge one another in the development of the student’s specialized concentration and project.
  • A core faculty that will include a project advisor appointed by the Director of the D.Min. program, a field consultant, and a resource person selected by the student.
  • A support group from the student’s ministry context that will help relate the project to that context; a minimum of three individuals selected by the student.
  • he ministry project which relates theory and practice, theology and ministry.

Final Project

For the final project, students apply what they have learned to a ministry task in their local context (including both the nature and practice of ministry). This is the culmination of the Doctor of Ministry experience in which the ideas and applications of the program are measured and evaluated. The project will reflect careful planning, theological reflection, purposeful implementation, and appropriate assessment. The project is a document of approximately 150-250 pages (minimum 25,000 words).

Areas of Study

Black Church Studies

To develop quality leaders for the Black Church in the 21st century through quality academic reflection in the primary disciplines of Bible, theology, ethics, church history, spiritual formation, and practical ministry, as well as the opportunity to engage the best African American academicians and practitioners of our time.

Formational Counseling

To equip students in the ministry of Christian caregiving by integrating pastoral care, spiritual direction, and Spirit directed counseling with a view to bringing hope, healing, and spiritual well-being to broken people.

Independent Design

The Independent Design Track is designed to give students greater flexibility in the area of elective courses.

  • Electives can be chosen from the other Doctor of Ministry tracks.
  • Students can transfer approved doctoral courses related to their ministry interests from other accredited seminaries.
  • Students can work with a professor to create their own electives. Guidelines have been developed to help students design an elective that meets their specific interest and need. Such coursework can include an experiential component (e.g., travel, retreats, seminars, interviews) and/or a research component (library research, social science research, biblical research). Each elective will have a reading and writing component that serves as a foundation for the course and a record of the learning process.
  • Electives can also be designed from Master’s level courses offered in the Ashland Seminary Catalog which include a variety of specific interests such as Homiletics, Biblical Studies, Theology, Christian History and Philosophy, Missions and Evangelism, Worship.

Transformational Leadership

To equip students with the competencies to deal with the realities of leadership as they seek to position the church for renewal that will result in profound change.

DMIN Videos

Norman Brown

When Norman experienced a stroke in 2007, the Lord used that trial to very specifically call him into ministry and a seminary education. The road to recovery has also been a road into full-time ministry!


The Doctor of Ministry degree is for men and women whose vocation and calling is ministry. It is specifically designed for the individual who seeks to improve practical expertise, explore the concerns of their own ministry setting, and challenge both heart and mind. The Doctor of Ministry degree is affordable and accessible to persons in full-time ministry. Concentrations include Transformational Leadership, Formational Counseling, Black Church Studies, Canadian Context, and Independent Design.

Who to Contact

Matthew Bevere, DMin 216-264-4622