Doctor of Ministry

The D.Min. degree is a three-year, 32 hour program designed for those in full-time ministry.
"God has indeed gifted you for kingdom service and it is our desire for you to increase in knowledge, competency, and commitment during your doctoral education. We invite you to become a part of the learning community at Southern and prepare yourself for the journey that lies ahead."
—Dr. Michael S. Wilder, Associate Vice President for Doctoral Studies

Program of Study

The Doctor of Ministry program exists to equip leaders, strengthen churches, and make an impact on the world with the message of Jesus Christ. The D.Min. helps ministers achieve excellence in their ministries and personal lives.

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 (a total of four seminars), a 1-day writing seminar, and a week-long Project Methodology section. All seminars are held in the Winter and Summer terms – typically January and July.

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 seminar, students will take a Contextualized Writing Seminar in which they will work toward the completion of their ministry research project.

The ministry research 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. Students are required to come to the campus for this examination.

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.

The Southern Learning Experience

Relationally Driven

In our cohort model, learning communities are formed that remain the same from start to finish, creating lasting bonds where leaders are challenged together.

Ministry Focused

Students work to test and refine their learning within ministry contexts. We place high expectations on all students to use their findings for their churches and ministries.

Academically Excellent

Within their learning communities, students are encouraged to produce scholarship for the church. There are even opportunities to publish alongside Southern faculty.

D.Min. Curriculum (32 Hours):

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

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to demonstrate advanced and critical study of Christian formation from theological and historical perspectives as well as behavioral and social science perspectives.
  2. Students will be able to demonstrate and advanced and critical study of organizational and leadership development and the social contexts for ministry.
  3. Students will be able to demonstrate an advanced and critical study of educational theory and practice as it relates to local church and other ministry contexts.
  4. Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to use standard research tools and methods in the chosen field of study.
  5. 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 select a field of concentration from one of the following tracks:


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 (Monday – Friday) that allow you to complete the degree with less than thirty 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.

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 Professional Doctoral 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 Professional Doctoral graduates are serving as pastors, staff members, missionaries, state convention and denominational employees, and adjunct professors. Our oldest graduates (having graduated in their 70’s!) 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.


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 $11,864 $1000 due before first seminar $301.78/month for 36 months
Non-SBC $15,501 $402.81/month for 36 months
*Program Tuition shown is for the 2015-16 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.

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