Doctor of Ministry

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.

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Alum Danny Mercer standing with family.

Alumnus Spotlight: Dr. Danny Mercer ('13)

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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.

Learn More

Download the D.Min. brochure for more information about program format, degree plan, accreditation, and distinctive aspects 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.

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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.                                                                                                                                                         Application Materials                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • Documentation of Ministry Employment
  • 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.

All application materials should be submitted through 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.

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 to 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.

Degree Details


Christian Spiritual Formation

Leadership for Missional Renewal

Preaching for Community Transformation

Generalist Program

Required Hours

Program fee: $12,000

Program length: 3 years

Monthly payments for 3 years: maximum $333 per month

Credit hours: 33 ($363 per credit hour)

Example Coursework

Theological Foundations for the Practice of Ministry

Forming Communities of Faith

Culture, Context and Community

Preaching in Contemporary Contexts


Graduate School of Theology

Application Deadlines

Summer 2019: January 31, 2019