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.  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 earned by students who have a theological master's degree from an ATS-approved school and who have taken additional hours of graduate coursework.

4. How long will it take to finish 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 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?
Because the Doctor of Ministry program is an advanced theological degree designed for persons who are in ministry, applicants are expected to demonstrate a high level of competence in the practice of ministry by gaining at least three years of ministry experience following the completion of their first theological master's degree. 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 actually 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 student's work in the program and is a requirement to obtaining the 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 frameworks to respond to that issue, and then plan and execute a response.

8. When should I apply? 
The application deadline is January 31, but we strongly encourage you to begin the process early!

    Application Deadline:
 Summer 2017
  • January 15, 2017

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Featured Spotlight

For some, the journey to victory can be pretty grueling. Such was the case for Danny Mercer, preaching minister for Friendswood Church of Christ near Houston. After suffering from a cancerous brain tumor, he beat the disease and completed his Doctor of Ministry degree at ACU in 2013.


Read more about 
Danny's journey


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