Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Years to Complete
The Doctor of Ministry (DMin) encourages you to flourish as a pastoral leader who makes and nurtures communities of disciples. Through the DMin program your ministry will benefit from intentional coursework, directed spiritual growth, and formative peer relationships.
Applied learning with direct impact on your ministry.
The guiding values of the Doctor of Ministry program
We believe God’s Kingdom is diverse.
We believe this degree program must serve local churches and leaders.
We believe that listening well is crucial for effective Kingdom leadership.
We believe that life and ministry are complex.
We believe that effective ministry is the product of excellent research and development.
We believe this degree program should make a difference.
The DMin program has been created with the church and ministry leader in mind. The courses, timelines, and flexibility are meant to accommodate the busy schedule of a ministry professional.
The program is designed for students who are actively serving in ministry, and is intended to be completed in 5 years. Each year, students are enrolled in class for 11 months of the year over two academic terms. There are no course requirements in December.
Online & Residential
Coursework is completed through our interactive online learning platform, with one required on-campus, learning session in the middle of each term, aptly named the Residential. Below is a general outline.
- Summer Courses: The DMin 2020 Summer Term is March 1 - July 31
- Winter Courses: The DMin 2021 Winter Term is October 1 - February 28.
Set Your Own Pace
Though a hallmark of the DMin is a peer learning community, students are not bound to a particular cohort. This enables students to complete the program at a pace that fits their particular life situation and learning goals.
The Building Blocks of your Program
The courses below will serve as the core of the Doctor of Ministry program. The themes and framework of these courses will serve as a foundation for your program.
Doctor of Ministry Coursework
Methods of an Investigative Leader
Interpreting Culture and Ministry Contexts
Mission of the Church
Theological Reflection on Ministry Experience
Return to the Abbey
Graduation Requirements and Outcomes
What to Expect
We are excited to come alongside seasoned ministry practitioners in the DMin program. Below are the requirements for graduation from the program, along with the outcomes we hope to see as a sign of a successful program.
- Coursework: Complete 36 credits of coursework, including up to 12 credits of electives and Directed Doctoral Studies.
- The Abbey: Participation in “The Abbey” and the “Return to the Abbey”, both significant episodes of self reflection and learning in the academic process
- Oral Exam: An opportunity to showcase theological and personal learning by way of an oral comprehensive exam prior to launching your research project
- Doctoral Dissertation: This is the culmination of your theological learning, peer learning and personal reflection. Your dissertation will be a demonstration of theologically informed and contextual thinking in which you display research findings and ministry models that will address the challenges of ministry in your context and in the broader context of effective ministry today
Graduates of Calvin Seminary’s DMin program will have:
- Demonstrated growth in theological integration, awareness, and ministry skills through critical thinking skills and applied research methods regarding the scope and practice of ministry.
- Developed the ability to assess diverse ministry contexts to determine effective transformational ministry models.
- Developed critical research skills enabling them to develop theologically informed, practically oriented ministry models rooted in qualitative/quantitative research
- Completed a doctoral-level project that contributes new knowledge and understanding of the practice of ministry.
- Demonstrated capacity to engage in ongoing learning, including acts of self-care, peer to peer relationships, and vocational growth for ministry longevity and vitality.
Tuition, Fees, and Financial Aid
How Much Will This All Cost?
We believe the Doctor of Ministry program can provide curriculum and conversation that will provide a tremendous benefit to any current ministry leader. While that has strong value, it does not make the questions about program costs any less important. In creating the DMin program, we aimed to keep these costs competitive and manageable. Our simple price tag for the program, along with financial aid and a straightforward payment plan, should provide some clarity, allowing prospective students to focus on whether the next step of a DMin program is right for them.
Tuition and Fees
Total tuition cost for the entire program for the 2020 cohort: $18,000
DMin students will also be required to pay for any fees related to course work including but not limited to:
- Travel costs to the semi-annual Residential portion of the program
- Additional technology-related costs (note: students will be required to have access to reliable high speed internet)
Scholarships and Financial Aid
A limited number of scholarships are available. The application for admissions to the DMin program will also serve as your financial aid application. You will be notified of any award at the time of admission.
Note: students in the DMin program will not have access to any federal loan programs.
Admission Process and Requirements
Applying to the Program
Ready to get started with your application for the Doctor of Ministry program? Below is the information you will need to begin the process, including a list of the requirements to be considered for admission.
Below are the basic requirements to apply for the Doctor of Ministry program. The DMin is a competitive program, so applicants who meet these requirements will merely be considered for admission. See the timetable below for more information.
Required Academic Background
Required Ministry Experience
Required Character and Competencies
Application Materials Needed
The following steps are required as part of the application for the Doctor of Ministry program:
- A completed application
- An up-to-date resume (you will be asked to upload this document within the online application)
- Within the online application, you will be asked to submit three essays, using the following prompts:
- Learning Goals: In an essay of up to 600 words, describe why you are pursuing a DMin, including some of your personal learning goals.
- Self Assessment: In an essay of up to 600 words, evaluate your own intercultural competence, spiritual maturity, and ministry skills/capacity.
- Problem/Purpose Statement: In an essay of up 1000 words, describe 2-3 ministry challenges from your own context which are significant challenges, and which could drive your participation and research in the DMIN program.
- Three online recommendations, including two ministry leader recommendations and one writing recommendation. The online application will ask for you to provide the email addresses of your three references. After your application is submitted, an email form will be sent to these individuals to be completed.
- In addition to the application, official transcripts from any college or university you attended will be required. They can be sent to: Calvin Seminary, attn: Admissions Office, 3233 Burton St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546
- If English is not your primary language, a TOEFL test will be required. In order to be considered for admissions, a score of 90 with a 23 in the Writing subsection (and a minimum of 20 preferred in the other subsections) is required. Note: exceptions to this requirement are handled on a case by case basis. Earning a previous degree at an English speaking college or university does not automatically exempt someone from the TOEFL requirement.
Calvin Seminary admits a new class of students to the DMin every summer.
In order to be considered for admission, all application materials must be submitted by April 9.
Admission decisions will be communicated to applicants by mid to late March. A limited number of students are admitted each year. Applicants will be either admitted, waitlisted, or declined admission to the program.
Admitted students must accept their admission by submitting a $250 enrollment deposit by early April, and can plan to begin their coursework by mid April.
Program Leadership and Contact Information
Find out if the DMin program is right for you
The DMin program directors and the admissions office is available and ready to help you discern if the Doctor of Ministry program is right for you.
DMin Program Directors
DMin co-Director, professor of Pastoral Care
DMin co-Director, Director of the Vocational Formation Office
The DMin program is designed to fit into your life and ministry. Coursework is tailored to serve both the needs and schedules of mid-career pastors and ministry leaders.
Read testimonies from current DMin students here.