Doctor of Ministry

Are you a church leader looking to develop an advanced understanding of ministry through rigorous academic life? The Doctor of Ministry (DMin): Spiritual Leadership in Unsettled Times degree at Saint Paul School of Theology may be the ideal program for you. Here, explore Scripture, tradition and ministry practices as you gain diverse, contextual experiences.

You have the option to study online or select in-person DMin courses at one of our two campus locations — Leawood, Kansas, or Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We encourage you to schedule a visit to one of our campuses to meet us and explore all we have to offer.

What Is a DMin Degree?

A Doctor of Ministry (DMin degree) is the highest degree in professional ministry and seeks to provide advanced-level leadership skills. Through study, reflection, engagement and field research, the DMin program at Saint Paul allows ministry leaders an opportunity to reflect more deeply on their theology, identity and practice while developing a model of ministry that can be commended to other leaders.

Compared to other ministry programs, a Doctor of Ministry degree emphasizes an advanced level of practical application, depth of study and reflection and integration. The length of the program also makes it distinct, as students rigorously develop their leadership skills over three years of full-time or six years of part-time study.

We encourage students who have not completed a theology master's degree to review our other offerings, like the Master of Arts in Theological Studies, Master of Divinity or Master of Arts in Christian Ministry programs. We are happy to answer any questions about which program is the right fit — please contact our Office of Admissions.

Why Choose the Doctor of Ministry Program at Saint Paul?

  • Integrative curriculum: The Doctor of Ministry program reflects the best of the seminary’s approach to a flexible learning experience by integrating theory with practice, peer interaction and a blend of online courses with on-campus intensives.
  • Designed for modern ministry: What issues are you facing in your ministry context? How might you create a new model to help resolve those issues? Saint Paul’s DMin degree helps you answer these questions and more with its focus on spiritual leadership in uncertain times.
  • Advance your career: The program enables you to lead communities for social justice ministries, guide congregations in times of polarization and change, employ contextual analysis to respond to contemporary issues and explore theological/theoretical approaches to leadership — valuable skills that help you excel in your vocation.
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DMin Courses

The Doctor of Ministry program takes an integrated approach that incorporates focused learning experiences representing Saint Paul’s long-standing commitment to a theological action-reflection model. Structured with a common core, the curriculum includes:

  • Orienting Seminar and three ministry seminars
  • Prophetic Ministry
  • Spiritual Traditions and Ministry
  • Theology and the Church’s Ministry
  • Four focus-specific courses
  • Praxis Thesis

Students admitted to a specific collaborative focus take their coursework in an established order with no electives. Saint Paul offers classes in various formats, including asynchronous online, synchronous online, hybrid and on-campus, but not every course is available in every format.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students who complete the Doctor of Ministry degree:

  • Exhibit advanced competency in integrating theory and practice in the service of ministry;
  • Demonstrate advanced methodological competence for the study of the Church and practice of ministry;
  • Analyze diverse cultural contexts and social issues and develop creative ministry practices informed by that analysis; and
  • Demonstrate spiritual and vocational maturity and moral integrity for faithful and innovative leadership in ministry.

Degree Requirements

The Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree is a 30-credit-hour program completed in a minimum of three years or a maximum of six years. The minimum full-time enrollment for a Doctor of Ministry student is two semesters a year, with a minimum of four semester credit hours per academic year.

Learn more about the DMin degree requirements.

DMin Admission Requirements

Admission to the DMin program requires:

  • An MDiv degree or equivalent from an accredited institution
  • A minimum grade point average of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) 

The Admissions Committee may consider exceptions to this policy upon receipt of such a request from the Director of Admissions or other designated staff. Applicants must have significant ministerial experience suitable for reflecting upon and integrating the Doctor of Ministry curriculum.

Application Deadline: June 1

Funding Opportunities

Funding your DMin degree shouldn’t be the barrier that prevents you from achieving your goals. That’s why Saint Paul emphasizes affordability through programs like the Each One, Reach One Scholarship. This allows you, as an admitted degree-seeking student, to receive a scholarship of 50% off tuition for the duration of your program.

You can also finance your education at Saint Paul through a combination of institutional scholarships, traditional financial aid, church support and annual conference assistance, in addition to external scholarship opportunities. Learn more about funding options on the Scholarships and Financial Aid page.

To learn more about the cost of the program, visit the Tuition and Fees page.

Careers in Ministry Leadership

Doctor of Ministry students enhance their practice of ministry and engage in substantial ministerial leadership, enabling them to grow in their vocation and seek advanced roles in church leadership positions. Saint Paul DMin graduates are well-prepared for careers as:

  • Chaplains
  • Church administrators
  • Interfaith and intercultural workers
  • Mentors or faith coaches
  • Pastor or ministerial leaders
  • Seminary educators

Get to Know Us - Learn from Our Theological Leaders

We enrich students’ education through events and lecture series that bring renowned theologians and scholars into conversation with Saint Paul faculty and students. These speakers delve deeply into the topics and issues facing today’s theological leaders. Attend an event or lecture to get to know us better and enhance your understanding of faith traditions and history.

Advance Your Leadership Skills in a Doctor of Ministry Program

The DMin degree program at Saint Paul School of Theology encourages your growth as a leader, enabling you to inspire and navigate changes in your community. With its focus on spiritual leadership in unsettling times, you learn how to adapt and respond to contemporary issues in your ministry context.

Earn your Doctor of Ministry degree online, in person or in a hybrid format. Request information to learn more!