the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)

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Program Overview | Concentrations | Why a D.Min. at Southern Seminary? | Cost

D.Min. Program Overview

The D.Min. degree is a three-year, 32-hour program designed for those in full-time ministry. While providing a world-class education at an affordable price, our programs offer tremendous flexibility, allowing students to receive their degree without having to leave their current place of ministry.

The first two years consist of two 4-day seminars per year and two writing seminars, Intro to Doctoral Research and Writing immediately before the first seminar and Project Methodology immediately before the second seminar. The last year (2 semesters) consists of completing the research project and an oral defense prior to graduation.

Introduction to Doctoral Research and Writing is a one day seminar helping students acclimate to doctoral-level writing and research. This one day seminar also includes a campus tour and introduction to the history and theological legacy of Southern Seminary. Project Methodology is a five day seminar, allowing students to complete the first chapter (project proposal) of their research project, setting a foundation for successful completion for the remainder of their program. Project Methodology also affords students one-on-one interaction with their project proposal supervisor. Additionally, this course serves as a time of spiritual refreshment and accountability with a cohort of doctoral peers.

Prior to each seminar, students will complete pre-seminar work that typically consists of approximately 2500 pages of reading and several writing assignments. Seminars will require some assignments during the week of the seminar. Following each on-campus experience, students will continue their writing project through a Contextualized Writing Seminar component. Each seminar should allow students to write and receive approval for chapters 1-3 by the time he or she has completed their seminars and be on track to graduate in 36 months. These seminars are completed online and allow students to interact with their faculty supervisor via our online portal.

The writing project is a 100-125 page research project that applies specifically to the student’s interest and ministry context. The culmination of the degree is an oral examination over the written project. The oral examination will include your faculty supervisor and a second reader, both who have extensively engaged the project and will provide feedback and observations regarding the project methodology and outcomes.

Students also have the option of applying to write a research thesis. The research thesis is an option for D.Min/D.Ed.Min. students with exceptional writing and research skills. Students must apply for permission to present a research thesis in place of the Ministry Research Project by submitting a Research Thesis Request by a specified date within their first semester.

D.Min. Program of Study (32 Hours):

  • Four Foundational Seminars (16 hours)
  • Four Contextualized Writing Seminars (8 hours)
  • Doctoral Writing Seminars (2 hours)
  • Ministry Research Project OR Research Thesis (6 hours)

D.Min. Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to demonstrate an advanced understanding and integration of ministry into various theological disciplines.
  2. Students will be able to demonstrate applied knowledge & skills pertinent to his/her vocational ministry.
  3. Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to use standard research tools and methods in the chosen field of study.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

D.Min. Program Concentrations

Has your church membership plateaued? Do you find some types of texts easier to preach than others? Do you want to supplement your mission field experience with leading-edge research? Are you a Korean or an African-American church leader looking for ways to improve your leadership skills? Are you finding out that real world problems are not always easy to solve? Do you feel left behind by the current trends in education? If you are facing any of these issues, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary has a D.Min. program concentration for you.

  • Applied Apologetics (Coming soon!)
  • Applied Theology
  • Biblical Counseling
  • Biblical Spirituality
  • Black Church Leadership
  • Christian Worship
  • Evangelism & Church Growth
  • Expository Preaching
  • Family Ministry
  • Global Missions
  • Korean Church Leadership
  • Leadership
  • Urban Ministry

Why a D.Min. at Southern Seminary?


Cohort Learning

Southern’s D.Min. courses allow you to study with a cohort of other pastors, staff members, or missionaries who are often facing the same issues you are. Not only does the cohort system promote collegiality and friendships that may last a lifetime, but it also provides a ready-made base for prayer support.

Convenient Scheduling

Courses are offered in manageable, one-week segments (M-F) that allow you to complete the degree with less than twenty days on campus over the length of the degree. Our goal is to offer a solid academic and practical program that does not sacrifice your on-the-field time in the process.

Faculty Expertise & Experience

All of our faculty members are experts in their fields, having earned a doctoral degree and having significant experience in the local church or the mission field. Our professors are practitioners as well as scholars.

Guest Lecturers

In the Southern Seminary D.Min. program, you will learn not only from our on-campus faculty, but also from other practitioners in the field. Guests in the past have included Jerry Vines, Thom Rainer, James Merritt, Lee Strobel, Lance Quinn, Robert Coleman, Gary McIntosh, Buddy Gray, and other gifted church leaders.

Practical Application

The Applied Ministry Experience in each program allows you to apply what you learn in the classroom to your specific ministry context. Our goal is to provide assignments and projects that help you to do your ministry—not complicate it.

Faculty Guidance & Mentoring in Research

In the research and writing stage, you will work with a project methodology supervisor to compose a project proposal. Following proposal submission, you will be given a faculty supervisor to give guidance and support throughout your written project. In addition, our D.Min. office staff stand ready to help you in any way that we can. Thus, you will always have guidance as you move toward graduation.

Proven Track Record

Our D.Min. graduates are serving as pastors, staff members, missionaries, state convention and denominational employees, and adjunct professors. Our oldest graduates (having graduated in their 70s!) are still serving faithfully in ministry.

Intentional Evaluation

We evaluate our programs after every seminar and make necessary changes based on student critiques. Our goal will always be to be the finest D.Min. program in the country.

D.Min. Cost

Southern Seminary offers the D.Min. degree at an affordable cost with a workable payment plan:

Full Program
Tuition Costs*
Down Payment Payment Plan**
SBC $10,448 $1000 due
by first seminar
for 36 months
Non-SBC $13,650 $351.39/month
for 36 months
*Program Tuition shown is for the 2012-13 Academic Year. Additional fees are subject to the current catalog. Please see the current catalog for full listing of current fees.
**36-month payment plan is interest-free if payments are made on time.

D.Min. students pay $1000 prior to attending their first seminar. The remainder of the program fee is paid through a 36-month interest-free payment plan. All students beyond 3 years or 36 months in the program are charged a Continuation Fee each semester (currently $1000).

Textbooks, lodging, food, travel, and graduation costs are not included in the program fee.

The Cooperative Program of the Southern Baptist Convention helps pay for the tuition of students from Southern Baptist churches, which allows for the reduced price for SBC students. To find out how to join the SBC, Contact the SBC Executive Committee’s Office of Convention Relations.

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