Minister and congregation

Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)

Earn your D.Min. wherever you live.

ACU’s Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) is an advanced professional degree designed to enhance your competency and skill in performing the essential tasks of ministry. But a D.Min. from ACU is not merely about being a better minister; this program is designed to develop your theological skills and leadership awareness.

Our program is flexible: Earn your D.Min. wherever you live. Travel to Abilene or Dallas twice a year for residencies - one week in January and two weeks in June.

Our program is committed to spiritual formation, mentoring, contextualized courses held in live and dynamic ministry contexts, and ways of fostering collegiality and peer-learning through networks and online tools. This commitment begins with your initial summer residency - which will introduce you to the social, academic, spiritual, and communal dimensions of our D.Min. program - and continues throughout your D.Min. studies and beyond.

Spiritual Formation

The capacity of any person to lead and sustain a ministry rests not in some technique or skill. Intellectual prowess, academic rigor, and advanced people skills are no substitute for the real catalyst for ministerial leadership. Before one can lead others, one must learn to follow. That is why the heart of our program beats with a commitment for the spiritual formation of the student.

This commitment takes shape through a mentoring program that connects students with D.Min. alumni who understand the rigors of ministry, scholarship, and a vibrant life with God. Additionally, D.Min. students gather each year for a retreat designed specifically for persons who are engaged in ministerial leadership.

Learn More

Download the D.Min. brochure for more information about program format, degree plan, accreditation, and distinctives that set ACU’s D.Min. program apart. See also this information about Graduate School of Theology affordability and scholarships.  

Are you ready to be a part of a dynamic, flexible, challenging program that will take your ministry to the next level? Apply today or request information.

Program Overview

Credit hours 33
Degree Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)
Program length 3 years; Sample Completion Schedule     
Tracks 4
Application Deadline      January 31

Coursework

You will take courses such as:

  • Theological Foundations for the Practice of Ministry
  • Forming Communities of Faith
  • Culture, Context and Community
  • Preaching in Contemporary Contexts
View All Courses View Department Website

Tracks

  • Christian Spiritual Formation
  • Leadership for Missional Renewal
  • Preaching for Community Transformation
  • Generalist Program
Danny Mercer

Alumnus Spotlight: Dr. Danny Mercer ('13)

Read More

What outcomes can you expect?

 

Integrative Reflection: Advanced synthesis of biblical and theological foundations that inform Christian ministry through the practice of integrative theological reflection.

Contexts: Increased competence in reading, assessing, and interpreting varied cultural contexts of ministry.

Leadership Skills: Advanced leadership skills for missional renewal and transformation within ministry contexts.

Formation: Maturation in professional development, self-care, and spiritual formation.

Admission Requirements

  • Master of Divinity Degree: An M.Div. degree or its educational equivalent from an accredited institution is required for admission to the program.
  • Ministry Experience: Applicants must be currently involved in a full-time ministry, and must have been involved in full-time ministry for at least three years following the completion of their first theological master's degree.  
  • Grade Point Average: A minimum grade point average in prior graduate work of 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale) must be documented.  
  • D.Min. application form and application fee
  • Official transcripts of all the applicant's undergraduate and graduate work, with degrees posted. All transcripts from outside the United States must be accompanied by a course-by-course credential evaluation from an approved company. 
  • Documentation of Ministry Employment form, accompanied by a letter of endorsement from the applicant's elders or supervisors. 
  • Four recommendation forms from persons knowledgeable of the applicant's personal character and performance in ministry. At least one recommendation should provide an academic reference.
  • Admission essay, which should be 5-9 pages, typed and double-spaced, including the components detailed below:
    • Personal self-reflection statement (3-5 pages): The applicant should describe his or her values, needs and objectives for growth as a Christian minister.
    • Reflection on ministry context (1-2 pages): The applicant should present a brief description of his or her current ministry context, identifying the particular assets and challenges that impact his or her ministerial leadership.
    • Project/thesis interest statement (1-2 pages): The D.Min. program culminates in the design and completion of a project that addresses the practice of ministry in the student’s ministry context. The applicant should articulate a likely area of ministry practice that he or she hopes to pursue, and identify potential biblical, theological, and/or historical sources that might inform his or her research in that area of practice. 
  • Personal interview with the D.Min. director may be required.

See full ACU graduate admissions requirements here

If accepted into the D.Min. program, students may begin classes that summer or defer their enrollment for one year. All application materials should be sent to dmin@acu.edu (preferred) or ACU Box 29405, Abilene, TX 79699-9405.

Ready to Be a Part?

We’re eager to see not only what you can accomplish with an ACU education, but how your unique perspective can enrich your fellow classmates and ACU as a whole.