Graduate School of Theology - Doctor of Ministry


Charles Siburt, Director
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 three 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; the project/thesis must have a grade of “B” or above to graduate.

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 post-master’s degree as a full-time minister;
  2. The applicant has submitted to the Doctor of Ministry Office a completed application form and $40 application fee;
  3. Recommendation forms from four persons knowledgeable of the applicant’s personal character and performance in ministry;
  4. The student has taken the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) within the past five years and has earned a satisfactory score;
  5. The applicant has submitted to the Doctor of Ministry office official transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work, with degrees posted;
  6. The student has a minimum GPA in prior graduate work of 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale);
  7. 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;
  8. The student has filed a four- to six-page, typed, double spaced, self-reflection statement describing the applicant’s values, needs and objectives for growth as a Christian minister; and
  9. 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.

Upon admission to the program, new students must complete a battery of psychological tests. A fee for this testing is assessed.

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.

Return the application, $20 application fee, and transcript(s) of all masters level work to the Doctor of Ministry Office for review and development of an equivalency degree plan.

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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