the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Doctor of Ministry

Overview

The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree is an advanced professional doctorate degree in ministry. The purpose of this program of study is to equip persons who are committed to a Christian vocation for a high level of excellence in the practice of ministry.

The distinctive features of the Doctor of Ministry degree program include:

  • Participation in interdisciplinary academic seminars
  • Practical application of classroom learning to the student’s ministry setting
  • A written research project or thesis that is related to the student’s ministry setting
  • An oral defense of the written project

In the Billy Graham School, the Department of Leadership and Discipleship offers the D.Min. degree in two functional concentrations:

  • Family Ministry
  • Leadership

Registration

Students accepted into the Doctor of Ministry program must register for their first seminar no later than two years after acceptance to the program. After initial registration, a student is expected to register for seminars every term and for Applied Ministry Experience or Ministry Research Project writing every semester.

Unforeseen circumstances do at times require that students temporarily halt their studies. Any interruptions in study, however, are strongly discouraged for the following reasons. First, students who interrupt their studies must recognize that faculty supervision may be affected by prolonged interruptions. As a result, the student may not be readmitted back into the program unless alternate and acceptable departmental supervision can be arranged. Second, programs with a group experience are disrupted and progress toward graduation is delayed.

Students who must take time off from the program of study must request permission for “Continuing Enrollment Status” from the Director of Professional Doctoral Studies at least one month prior to the first day of classes in the semester. Students are allowed a maximum of two semesters of Continuing Enrollment.

Length of Time Allowed

Students in the program are expected to pursue their degree concurrently with full-time vocational involvement in ministry. Students should allow at least three years of study to complete their program. If a student officially takes time off from the program, that absence does not count toward the three-year limit. Students who take longer than three years will be assessed an additional fee for each semester of extension beyond the three-year limit. Under no circumstances shall a student extend the time of completion beyond six years.

Minimum Grade Point

For each individual component of the program, a student must receive a minimum grade of “B-” (2.7 on a 4.0 scale). If a student receives a grade that is lower than a “B-” on any individual component, that component must be repeated. Furthermore, that student is placed on probation. If a student receives two successive grades that are lower than a “B-”, the student will be terminated from the program.

Attendance

Because the foundational seminars are accelerated, attendance is required at every session for the entire duration of these seminars. Absence from any portion of any foundational seminar will necessitate retaking that seminar. Class participation will affect the student’s final grade.

Assignments

The accelerated plan for foundational seminars and applied ministry experience mandates that all assignments be completed on time, including reading and book critiques that are to be done before the seminar and any papers that are to be done after the seminar. Faculty will work with students to maintain a submission schedule for all assignments.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to demonstrate an advanced understanding and integration of ministry into various theological disciplines.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate applied knowledge & skills pertinent to his/her vocational ministry.
  • Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to use standard research tools and methods in the chosen field of study.
  • Students will be able to research, plan, and implement a project relevant to his/her vocational ministry and to communicate the plan and its results effectively.
  • Students will be able to contribute to the understanding and practice of ministry through the completion of a written project report suitable for inclusion in the seminary library.

Program Descriptions and Requirements

Doctor of Ministry — Family Ministry

Curriculum Plan

The program of study consists of four areas:

•Foundational seminars: 16 hours

•Applied ministry experience: 8 hours

•Project methodology: 2 hours

•Ministry research project: 6 hours

Total D.Min. credit hours: 32

Foundational Seminars

Four on-campus foundational seminars, for a total of 16 credit hours, are required:

• 80823 Models of Student and Family Ministry 4

• 80821 Christian Formation of Children and Adolescents 4

• 80822 Issues in Student and Family Ministry 4

• 80554 Marriage and Family Counseling 4

These seminars are not taken concurrently and may be taken in one of two ways. A student can enroll in the seminars when they are offered on the Louisville campus. Each seminar meets for five days (Monday through Friday all day and in the evenings) during a winter or summer term. A student also can enroll in the seminars when they are offered at selected extension sites.

Prior to the time the seminar meets, students are required to complete a significant amount of work (such as reading a minimum of 2500 pages plus completing written assignments). After attending the seminar, students are to write a reflection paper.

Applied Ministry Experience

Because this degree is a professional degree, it is expected that students will incorporate classroom material into their ministry setting. Through Applied Ministry Experience, students can develop higher competence and can increase skills in the performance of ministry. Students are to complete the following courses, each of which corresponds to a specific foundational seminar:

• 80834 Applied Ministry Experience – Family Ministry I 2

• 80834 Applied Ministry Experience – Family Ministry II 2

• 80834 Applied Ministry Experience – Family Ministry III 2

• 80834 Applied Ministry Experience – Family Ministry IV 2

Each course requires one or more projects or assignments related directly to course material covered in the foundational seminar that accompanies it. The projects accomplish two purposes:

• to reinforce, expand, and provide a practical experience relative to the seminar content

• to assist the student in preparing for the research project that will culminate the student’s degree program

Project Methodology

Students are required to complete one project methodology course for a total of 2 credit hours:

• 80600 Project Methodology 2

Course 80600 is attached to the third foundational seminar. The project methodology course is held during a three-day period of time and provides preparation for the research project.

Ministry Research Project

The ministry research project (course 80700) is the culmination of the program of study. Through a written report of 100-125 (+/–10%) pages, the student has the opportunity to apply professional knowledge and documented research into the context of ministry. The entire project is supervised by a committee comprised of the faculty supervisor and the professor who taught course 80600. Prior to beginning the ministry research project, the student must secure approval of a proposal. To secure approval, the student must submit a project prospectus to the two-person committee mentioned above. Once this committee approves the prospectus, the Director of Professional Doctoral Studies will recommend the prospectus to the Associate Vice President for Doctoral Studies for recommendation to the faculty for final approval. Once the prospectus is approved, the student engages in simultaneous research and practice to conduct the project. The results of the project are compiled in written form per specific guidelines. After the project paper has been written, the student must successfully defend the project in an oral exam before a committee of two persons. This committee includes the faculty supervisor and the professor of the project methodology course or a second professor selected by the Director of Professional Doctoral Studies.

Communities of Learning

Students are part of a community of learning that helps to foster collegiality and facilitate an open and effective learning atmosphere.

Faculty Supervision

Students receive program advising from the Office of Professional Doctoral Studies throughout the entire program of study. Upon completion of Project Methodology (80600), the student is assigned a faculty supervisor. The supervisor is responsible for guiding the student’s progress through the Ministry Research Project.

Doctor of Ministry — Leadership

Curriculum Plan

The program of study consists of four areas:

•Foundational seminars: 16 hours

•Applied ministry experience: 8 hours

•Project methodology: 2 hours

•Ministry research project: 6 hours

Total D.Min. credit hours: 32

Foundational Seminars

Four on-campus foundational seminars, chosen from the following, for a total of 16 credit hours are required:

• 80801 Theological and Philosophical Issues in Christian Education 4

• 80802 Foundations for Teaching/Learning in Christian Education Contexts 4

• 80803 Biblical and Contemporary Models of Christian Leadership 4

• 80807 Leadership and Management Theory in Church 
Administration 4

• 80808 Leadership of Effective Ministry Teams 4

• 80809 Leadership in Volunteer Ministries 4

These seminars are not taken concurrently and may be taken in one of two ways. A student can enroll in the seminars when they are offered on the Louisville campus. Each seminar meets for five days (Monday through Friday all day and in the evenings) during a winter or summer term. A student also can enroll in the seminars when they are offered at selected extension sites.

Prior to the time the seminar meets, students are required to complete a significant amount of work (such as reading a minimum of 2500 pages plus completing written assignments). After attending the seminar, students are to write a reflection paper.

Applied Ministry Experience

Because this degree is a professional degree, it is expected that students will incorporate classroom material into their ministry setting. Through Applied Ministry Experience, students can develop higher competence and can increase skills in the performance of ministry. Students are to complete four of the following courses, each of which corresponds to a specific foundational seminar:

• 80811 Applied Ministry Experience – Leadership I 2

• 80812 Applied Ministry Experience – Leadership II 2

• 80813 Applied Ministry Experience – Leadership III 2

• 80817 Applied Ministry Experience – Leadership IV 2

• 80818 Applied Ministry Experience – Leadership V 2

• 80819 Applied Ministry Experience – Leadership VI 2

Each course requires one or more projects or assignments related directly to course material covered in the foundational seminar that accompanies it. The projects accomplish two purposes:

• to reinforce, expand, and provide a practical experience relative to the seminar content

• to assist the student in preparing for the research project that will culminate the student’s degree program

Project Methodology

Students are required to complete one project methodology course for

a total of 2 credit hours:

• 80600 Project Methodology 2

Course 80600 is attached to the third foundational seminar. The project methodology course is held during a three-day period of time and provides preparation for the research project.

Ministry Research Project

The ministry research project (course 80700) is the culmination of the program of study. Through a written report of 100-125 (+/–10%) pages, the student has the opportunity to apply professional knowledge and documented research into the context of ministry. The entire project is supervised by a committee comprised of the faculty supervisor and the professor who taught course 80600. Prior to beginning the ministry research project, the student must secure approval of a proposal. To secure approval, the student must submit a project prospectus to the two-person committee mentioned above. Once this committee approves the prospectus, the Director of Professional Doctoral Studies will recommend the prospectus to the Associate Vice President for Doctoral Studies for recommendation to the faculty for final approval. Once the prospectus is approved, the student engages in simultaneous research and practice to conduct the project. The results of the project are compiled in written form per specific guidelines. After the project paper has been written, the student must successfully defend the project in an oral exam before a committee of two persons. This committee includes the faculty supervisor and the professor of the project methodology course or a second professor selected by the Director of Professional Doctoral Studies.

Communities of Learning

Students are part of a community of learning that helps to foster collegiality and facilitate an open and effective learning atmosphere.

Faculty Supervision

Students receive program advising from the Office of Professional Doctoral Studies throughout the entire program of study. Upon completion of Project Methodology (80600), the student is assigned to a faculty supervisor. The supervisor is responsible for guiding the student’s progress through the Ministry Research Project.

That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.