Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the purpose of the D.Min. degree?
The Doctor of Ministry degree is a professional doctorate for ministers and other leaders in ministry-related organizations. The goal is to develop students as reflective practitioners and enhance practical skills for the art of ministry leadership. In doctoral studies, the Ph.D. is oriented toward research and academic teaching; the D.Min. is oriented toward the practice of ministerial leadership.

2. Why should I get a D.Min. from ACU?
ACU's D.Min. program began in 1987. The history of this program gives depth and experience that benefits every new student. At ACU, you will participate with a growing group of students and alumni that make up an ongoing learning community that meets electronically and in person last year.  Additionally, you will interact with excellent faculty who bring both research and the practice of ministry into the collegial and dynamic learning that comprises ACU's D.Min. program.

3. What if I don't have an M.Div.?  
M.Div. equivalency can be granted to those students who have a theological master's degree from an ATS accredited school and who have taken additional hours of graduate coursework.

4. How long will it take to get my D.Min. degree?
ACU's Doctor of Ministry program is designed to be completed in three years. This includes the completion of nine seminar courses and the completion of a project/thesis. Some students elect to take four or five years to complete the program. However, students have a maximum time frame of six years from start date to complete the program.

5. What if I don't have three years of ministry experience post graduation?
The Doctor of Ministry program is an advanced theological degree designed for persons who are in ministry. Students are expected to demonstrate a high level of competence in the practice of ministry. Applicants will need to demonstrate their practical ministerial knowledge by meeting this minimum three year ministry requirement. Occasional exceptions are granted, but will need to be explored with the program director.

6. I'm in ministry and have a family. Can I still find time to complete the D.Min. program?
The Doctor of Ministry program is designed for adult learners, serving in full time ministry. Some students spend about one day a week on program assignments. The good news is that the work you will be doing for the program will not be busy work. Your reading and assignments will integrate into much of what you are already doing in ministry. The Doctor of Ministry program will help you develop strong skills in time management and learning to balance the precious commodity of time!

7. What is a project/thesis?
The Project/Thesis is the culmination of the participant's work in the program and is a requirement to obtaining your D.Min. degree. Rather than a research document, the Project/Thesis is a doctoral level exercise of ministerial leadership. You will identify and address a practical ministry issue relevant to your ministry context, develop theological and theoretical framework to respond to that issue, and then plan and execute a response.

8. When should I apply?
The program cycle begins in June each year. Although the application deadline is January 31, we strongly encourage to begin the process early!

Video Spotlight
Dr. John Knox of Granbury, Texas
Dr. John Knox of Granbury, Texas explains how a Doctor of Ministry was the best educational path for his ministry and why Abilene Christian University was the right choice for him.
    Application Deadline:
 Summer 2015
  • January 15, 2015

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