The doctor of ministry degree is an advanced professional degree designed to enable students to practice ministry at a high level of competency. The program builds on the general theological preparation of the master of divinity, master of missiology or master of church ministries degrees and moves toward a concentration which combines theory and significant experience. The professional character of the degree is designed to prepare students to be effective in the practice of ministry rather than preparing for research and teaching vocations. There are three functional majors in the program: practical theology, missiology and Christian education. The practical theology major has three functional tracks: pastoral ministry, biblical counseling, and expository preaching. The missiology major includes two functional tracks, international missions, and North American missions.
The program of study integrates the classical disciplines of biblical, historical, theological, social, and linguistic studies with those significant tasks of one involved in the practice of ministry. It assists those whose responsibilities range broadly in pastoral, missionary, Christian education, or administrative ministries by enhancing both competency and excellency in the practice of ministry.
The Doctor of Ministry program is expected to accomplish the following objectives:
(1) To help students develop a theology of ministry which is responsive to both the leadership of God and
the needs of the church or ministry in which they serve.
(2) To satisfy the demand for continuing education in ministry.
(3) To renew the personal life of faith and servanthood of the participant.
(4) To stimulate continued growth in biblical and theological foundations.
(5) To develop skills that facilitate intellectual inquiry, creativity, and critical thinking.
(6) To enable the participant to communicate the truth of God's Word effectively and develop greater
competency in the total practice of ministry.
(7) To enable those serving in mission ministries to gain competence in the practice of mission ministries.
(8) To enable the participant to acquire a sensitivity for the needs of society, thus preparing the participant
for excellence in ministry leadership in a complex and changing world.
Modified Cohort System of Study
A cohort system of study operates on the principle that groups of people who share a common goal or experience are better able to learn and to finish a course of study within a defined period. Building on that principle, the system of study employed by the DMin Program at Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary consists of a “modified cohort system” designed to take three years to finish, with a five-year maximum.
The modified cohort system will operate as follows: Prior to entry into the Program, every student must take Graduate Research & Writing (GRW offered in January and June). Upon satisfactory completion of the GRW course and all the prerequisites required for admission, the student will receive an acceptance letter and will begin seminar work in September of the same year. From that point on, the student will follow the prescribed curriculum according to one of three tracks, Pastoral, Missions, or Christian Education.
Cohort System Advantages
There are various advantages to using the Modified Cohort System:
(1) Insures interaction with teachers from various fields of study.
(2) Allows for interaction between students in various fields of study (Core courses involve students from all
(3) Serves to provide built in incentives for members to finish together.
(4) Promotes camaraderie and fellowship within the specialty cohort groups while still allowing for interaction
with students in other tracks.
(5) Increased numbers in the seminars provides for a wider variety of inputs from the students enhancing the
learning environment. Increased numbers in the seminars provides for a wider variety of input from the
students enhancing the learning environment.
(6) Both on-campus and online offerings for the International Missions track provides flexibility and
convenience for overseas students.
Applicants must have a Bachelor of Arts degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university. Any exception must be approved by the Doctor of Ministry Committee.
Applicants must have completed the Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution. Other two-year master's programs may be considered, but the applicant must complete the Master of Divinity required courses of the Seminary to enter the program. In such cases, the Seminary does not grant the Master of Divinity degree but establishes its equivalency. An applicant must have maintained an average of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 in his Master of Divinity work.
An applicant must complete all procedures and requirements for approval by the Seminary's Doctor of Ministry Committee (see the Catalog for a full description of these procedures and requirements). Sixty days should be allowed for processing applications. Applicants will receive notice of approval from the Dean of the Doctor of Ministry Program.
The degree requires thirty-two semester hours of doctoral level work above the Master of Divinity or its equivalent. The student must complete a two semester hour Graduate Research and Writing seminar, six (6) four semester hour seminars plus the Major Project (six semester hours of credit). Students will be expected to have also completed 2 years of ministry experience by the time of graduation. The program is designed to be completed in three years with a five year maximum. Continuous enrollment is required.
For a complete description of all requirements, please see the Catalog.
Summary of Requirements
Graduate Research and Writing 2 Hours
Functional Major (six seminars) 24 Hours
Major Project 6 Hours
Total 32 hours
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