M.Div. Equivalency

What is the M.Div equivalency?
The Association of Theological Schools stipulates that "admission to the D.Min. program requires the possession of an ATS-approved M.Div. degree or its educational equivalent" and that "ministerial experience is not considered the equivalent of or substitute for the M.Div. degree" (ATS Standards, p. 114). M.Div. equivalency means that while some applicants may not possess an M.Div. degree, they have completed the courses that would be required for an accredited M.Div. degree.

Why would someone need to consider M.Div. equivalency?
Reasons for pursuing M.Div. equivalency and not receiving an M.Div. degree from an accredited institution may include the following: (1) exceeding the maximum time limit allowed; (2) relocating before completing the degree and therefore taking courses from multiple institutions; (3) completing the M.A. degree earlier but not wishing to do all the extra hours required to complete an additional M.Div. degree.

How is M.Div. equivalency evaluated?
The standard for evaluating M.Div. equivalency is the ACU 84-hour M.Div. degree plan. All acceptable graduate courses recorded on all the applicant's graduate transcripts are fit into the degree plan categories to grant as many credits as possible. The number of credits still lacking is then set as the number of credits required to achieve M.Div. equivalency.

Who evaluates the applications for M.Div. equivalency?
The Doctor of Ministry Committee evaluates each application and determines the number of courses needed for M.Div. equivalency.

Does admission to M.Div. equivalency mean automatic admission to the Doctor of Ministry program?
No. Admission to M.Div. equivalency means that the applicant is approved to complete the hours needed to qualify as an applicant for the D.Min. program. After completing all courses needed to achieve M.Div. equivalency, the applicant can then apply for admission to the D.Min. program.

Where can courses needed to complete M.Div. equivalency be taken?
These courses can be taken at ACU or any ATS-approved institution and then transferred to ACU for credit toward M.Div. equivalency. Financial aid is available for courses taken at ACU.

Are the courses taken in the M.Div. equivalency program for credit?
Yes, all courses taken in the M.Div. equivalency program will be tracked by the Registrar's Office and placed on the student's ACU transcript.

How do I apply?
To apply, please complete the following steps:  

  1. Request that official transcripts of credit from your college, seminary, and all other institutions of higher learning be sent directly to the D.Min. Office. No action can be taken on this application until the required transcripts are on file.
  2. Enclose the application fee of $20 to cover the cost of processing your application. This fee is non-refundable. Please make the check payable to Abilene Christian University.
  3. Please mail application and transcripts to:
         ACU Doctor of Ministry Office
         ACU Box 29405
         Abilene, TX 79699

Dr. Tim Sensing, Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Theology

Dr. Carson Reed, Doctor of Ministry Program Director

    Application Deadline:
 Summer 2015
  • January 31, 2015

Request Info 

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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 
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