The Doctor of Ministry is an advanced program oriented toward ministerial leadership. Its purpose is to enhance the practice of ministry for persons who hold the Master of Divinity degree and have engaged in ministerial leadership in non-profits or congregational contexts. The program requires 30 credit hours of curricular work. Those hours include eight seminars (24 hours) and a project/thesis (6 hours). The project/thesis allows the student to engage in structured research methods which will result in an effective ministry intervention in a specific setting, a thesis which demonstrates the integration of theology and practice, and an oral examination.
Distinguished from academic research programs such as the Ph.D. or Th.D., the primary emphasis of the Doctor of Ministry program is on excellence in the practice of ministry and is not intended to be an academic research degree. Rather, the aim of the Doctor of Ministry program is develop advanced skills and capacity to practice the deep wisdom of integrating informed theological reflection with practice in churches, non-profits, and other ministry-related contexts.
The aim of ACU's D.Min. degree is provide the context for deepened spiritual formation for ministerial leaders, to advance skill development for leadership in faith communities, and to promote critical theological reflection that informs mission and practice. With ACU's history in doctoral level education for ministry and the many skilled practitioners who are linked to the program, D.Min. students enter into a collegial community of learners that will foster formation and learning throughout the program and beyond.
"My training has been of great value to me. It not only prepared me for more effective ministry, but, even more importantly, it helped make me wiser in the ways of the Lord. It also opened an opportunity to teach in a Christian university that I don't believe would have been as available to me without the D.Min. degree." --Russ Cole, class of 1998
"Most ministers are concerned about changing people, but the idea of the D.Min. program is to develop an adequate spiritual skills set to lead people into the experiences that broaden their awareness of what it means to be created in the image of God and to live a life that glorifies his name."
--Kevin J. Kelley, class of 2006