Graduate School of Theology - Doctor of Ministry Degree


Charles Siburt, Advisor
ACU Box 29405, Abilene, Texas 79699-9405
Biblical Studies Building, Room 297
Phone: 325-674-3732
Fax: 325-674-6716

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. It is a 30-hour program that requires a project/thesis which includes 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 PhD or ThD, 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
teaching degree.

The program is designed for those whose ministry will focus in the area of public proclamation of the Word and the development of churches, both domestic and foreign. This program includes biblical interpretation, theological reflection, applied leadership theory and congregational studies.

The format of the DMin program is built around a series of eight one-week intensive short courses taken in residence on the ACU campus or at the ACU Education Center at DFW in Irving, Texas. After the initial two-week period, students may take up to three courses per year, which are offered one week in January and two weeks in June. Each course consists of (1) advanced readings assigned several weeks before the first class meeting, (2) five days of class meetings on campus and (3) a project paper(s) to be submitted several weeks after the class meetings. All requirements for a course must be completed before a student is permitted to enroll in an additional course. A minimum of three years and a maximum of six years are allowed for completion of the degree.

In-Progress (IP) grades are assigned to all students at the conclusion of each course. After assignment deadlines are met and work is graded, the IP is changed to a letter grade. The student is expected to maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.25 during the program. A grade of “C” in a course automatically puts the student on academic probation.

Transfer of credits from other accredited programs must be approved by the DMin Admission and Procedures Committee. No more than two courses may be transferred.

The Doctor of Ministry has a program fee instead of standard tuition. Contact the advisor for more complete information regarding scholarships, financial aid, housing and admission.

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Admission Requirements
An application for admission may be obtained from the Doctor of Ministry office. A student may
be granted admission to the program in a given year if the following requirements are met by
January 31:

          1. The applicant is in full-time ministry and has at least three years of experience as a
              full-time minister;

          2. The student has earned within the past five years a minimum score of 450 on the
              verbal section of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or a minimum score of 396 on
              the Miller Analogies Test (MAT);

          3. The applicant has submitted to the Doctor of Ministry office official transcripts of all
              undergraduate and graduate work, with degrees posted;

          4. The student has a minimum GPA in prior graduate work of 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale);

          5. The Doctor of Ministry office has received a letter from the applicant’s elders or
              supervisors acknowledging their approval of the minister’s participation in the program
              and letters of recommendation from four persons familiar with the applicant’s personal
              character and performance in ministry;

          6. The applicant has completed the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
              and the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF) and returned them to the
              Doctor of Ministry office; (A fee for this testing package is assessed. If the applicant
              is admitted, the fee will cover interpretation of the individual results during the
              orientation course. Additional tests will be administered at that time without charge).

          7. The student has filed a four- to six-page, typed, double spaced, self-reflection 
              statement describing the applicants values, needs and objectives for growth as a
              Christian minister; and

          8. The applicant has had a personal interview with the Doctor of Ministry director.

Upon completion of all the above requirements, the applicant’s file is reviewed by the Doctor of Ministry Admissions and Procedures Committee for official action. Students are informed by letter of their admission as soon as a decision is reached.

Course work in the program begins in June of each year. If an applicant does not enter at the first June residency period after being accepted into the program, the admission will be honored for one additional June residency period. The Doctor of Ministry program is composed of eight courses and the project/thesis.

Candidacy Process
The Doctor of Ministry is a formational degree that requires students to make progress in their academic, personal, and professional development. Therefore, students will be required to apply for candidacy after the first nine hours. Students should submit the Application for Candidacy Status form to the Doctor of Ministry Office. Students must be approved prior to beginning second-year studies.

A Master of Divinity degree, or its educational equivalent, from an institution accredited by a nationally recognized regional accrediting agency or by the Association of Theological Schools is required for admission to the program. Ministers who hold an accredited master’s degree in religion, other than the Master of Divinity, will be required to complete graduate courses equivalent to the standard requirements for the Master of Divinity degree at Abilene Christian University.

An equivalency application may be obtained from the Doctor of Ministry office.

Major Code: BIBM

Requirements for the DMin are:

          1. BIBM 701 Orientation

          2. Core courses, 9 hours:
              BIBM 702 Biblical and Theological Foundations for Ministry
              BIBM 706 Christian Leadership Development
              BIBM 725 Project/Thesis Seminar

          3. Electives, 15 hours: consult with advisor.

          4. Project/Thesis, 6 hours: consult with advisor.

          5. Oral exam: consult with advisor.

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