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Doctor of Ministry FAQs

As you prepare your application for our Doctor of Ministry program, you may have questions very similar to those of other applicants. Below are answers to a list of commonly asked questions.

Can I pursue a Doctor of Ministry without a Master of Divinity? 
To be admitted to the program, we do require a Master of Divinity or its equivalent, in accordance with accrediting standards set by the Association of Theological Schools. However, we offer a Master of Divinity equivalency program that allows you to take leveling courses to bring your theological master’s degree (e.g., M.T.S., M.A.C.M., M.A.R., M.A.Theol.) to the M.Div. level. We will review your graduate transcripts and determine which of the courses you have already taken will fit into our M.Div. equivalency plan, granting as many credits as possible. For students coming from Australia, a Bachelor of Theology (B.Theol.) plus a Master of Theology (M.Th.) from the University of Divinity (Melbourne) will satisfy this requirement. Learn more about M.Div. equivalency.

What is the structure of the Doctor of Ministry? 
Doctor of Ministry cohorts begin every June with the opening residency in Abilene. After that, we offer courses each January and June – generally for 1 week in January and 2 weeks in June. For domestic students, most June classes gather in Abilene, while January classes gather in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. For Australian students, a number of classes will be offered in Melbourne.

What are the Doctor of Ministry track options at ACU?
We offer specialized tracks in Christian Spiritual Formation (CSF), Leadership for Missional Renewal (LMR), and Preaching for Community Transformation (PCT). Alternatively, you may wish to pursue our generalist program, which simply means you would tailor your elective class selections to meet the specific needs of your ministry context and learning interests. Additionally, through our partnership with Stirling Theological College in Melbourne, you may select the Dual Enrollment track, which allows you to earn our D.Min. concurrently with a Graduate Diploma in Divinity (G.D.Div.). Learn more about our track options and Stirling partnership.

Can I afford a D.Min. at ACU?
Recognizing that doctoral studies can be an intimidating expense, we are dedicated to helping you pursue a degree without a heavy financial burden. Our D.Min. program is very competitively priced compared to other D.Min. programs and other ACU programs.

Before any scholarships or financial aid, our D.Min. program costs only $4,000 per year for three years ($12,000 for the entire program), which equates to only $364 per credit hour! We do offer scholarships that can lower the cost even further, and monthly payment plans are available. Please request a D.Min. scholarship application from us.

For Australian students, a significant portion of your D.Min. may also qualify for FEE-HELP, leaving a balance of only $6,000 US ($2,000 per year). Learn more.

How and when should I apply to the ACU’s Doctor of Ministry?
You can begin the application process at any time after July 15th. Within the application portal you can send recommendation requests, upload documents, and check your admission status. Applications for June 2021 are due by December 1, 2020 (international applicants) or January 31, 2021 (domestic applicants). The application process can take some time, so we recommend getting started as early as possible!

What types of recommendations should be included in my application?
We require recommendations from four people who know your personal character and performance in ministry. At least one recommendation should provide an academic reference.

When will I be notified of my admission decision?
With a rolling admissions process, you will be notified of your admission decision usually within a few weeks of submitting your completed application materials.

Can I schedule a campus visit?
Yes! Please contact Erik Masci, the Graduate School of Theology recruiter, at or 325-674-3735 to schedule a campus visit or learn more about this program.

What is Abilene like?
Please click here to learn more about Abilene, Texas!