The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) requires successful completion of 45 quarter credit hours. Core courses are supplemented by courses in the chosen concentration area (pastoral ministry, worship ministry, and youth and family ministry). The courses for this program are conducted in an online delivery format through a competency-based education (CBE) approach. A faculty model is utilized designed for a 1:1 faculty/student relationship that promotes and involves substantive faculty/student interaction. The faculty engage students through a variety of multimedia presentations, conversations, and qualitative and quantitative feedback.
After completing an initial touchstone course that reviews academic skills an introduces the issues of advanced ministry leadership, students proceed to move through core courses that address theology of ministry, research for ministry, conflict mediation, and personal and professional development, along with courses from their specialty area. A summative capstone ministry project gives students an opportunity to address a ministry issue or practice in depth and work out an application for their ministry settings. The capstone combines biblical, theological, and theoretical perspectives with a detailed description and analysis of their current ministry setting, and a thorough investigation and application of best ministry practices.
The program is designed for students who are already in full-time, bi-vocational, or significant volunteer leadership roles. As a result, courses will deal with issues students face in their ministries and will provide resources that can be applied directly. Students will work collaboratively with instructors to created a personalized learning plan that individualizes each demonstration of mastery specific to their settings, rather than a predetermined theoretical application. Each course has a set of competencies that can be demonstrated through application of the topic in the students’ settings. To that end, the courses are designed to address the competencies rather than specific content topics. Each student will select a focus or specialization for their doctoral program that serves as the basis for the individualization of the competencies.
The mission of the Doctor of Ministry degree program is to provide students with advanced theological, theoretical, and practical knowledge needed to provide executive level leadership in their specific ministry settings. Graduates will become “reflective practitioners” who are proficient in articulating practical theological perspectives, analyzing and describing problems and opportunities in their setting, and using research to develop and implement solutions and initiatives that reflect knowledge of best practices.
Students interested in the Doctor of Ministry program are required to confer with an admissions representative and complete an application. The following items are required for consideration of admission:
- completed online South College application,
- official transcripts from each regionally or approved accredited institution of higher education attended for earned bachelor’s and graduate degrees,
- evidence of earning a M.Div. or MA degree in biblical, theological, and ministry studies with at least 54 quarter hour credits (36 semester hour credits) from an accepted accredited institution, and
- evidence of a minimum overall GPA of 2.75 earned in the bachelor’s degree and 3.00 for a graduate degree
- interview with the D.Min. Program Director.
Students with a graduate GPA of less than 3.00 may be considered for conditional admission. If they achieve a GPA of 3.00 or higher after the first quarter, they may be admitted as regular enrolled students.
International Student Admission
International students may be citizens of the United States with foreign academic credentials, permanent residents of the US, or non-resident students who must study from their home country. South College cannot issue paperwork for students in the Doctor of Ministry program to obtain a student (F-1) visa.
In order to be considered for admission, international students must meet the admissions requirements for the Doctor of Ministry program, subject to the following:
- Official College and/or University Transcript(s): Official transcripts (written in English or translation, if not originally in English) of students’ college or university work must be sent directly from the college or university to the Admissions Office at South College. If original documents are not available, certified copies will be accepted. The certification must clearly state that the degree completed is equivalent to a two-year graduate degree from a U.S. institution. Credentials earned outside the United States must be evaluated by a National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) member credential evaluation service.
- English Language Proficiency Documentation: Since all instruction, reading, and research in the Doctor of Ministry program is in English, it is essential that all international students be able to understand and speak English fluently. In light of this, the college requires for graduate admission a paper-based TOEFL score of 575, computer-based TOEFL score of 233, or an Internet-based TOEFL score of 90 for students whose native language is not English, or whose primary language of instruction on the undergraduate level was not English. A student’s TOEFL requirement may be waived if he or she is enrolling in a bilingual cohort or has scored above the minimum score for acceptance on either the GMAT or GRE.
It is highly recommended that international students applying to South College submit an application at least four months prior to the desired date of enrollment.
Program Purpose & Student Learning Outcomes
The Doctor of Ministry degree is designed to equip ministry leaders with advanced theological, theoretical, and practical knowledge needed to provide executive level leadership in their specific ministry settings. Graduates can become “ministry mentors” who are proficient in articulating practical theological perspectives, analyzing, and describing problems and opportunities in their setting, and using research to develop and implement solutions and initiatives that reflect knowledge of best practices.
- Goal 1: Students demonstrate reflective practice by integrating theological reflection with the practice of ministry and articulating it for the benefit of others.
- Objective 1.1: Students articulate the biblical foundation for the practices of ministry related to their specific callings.
- Objective 1.2: Students address the theological issues generated by the practice of ministry.
- Objective 1.3: Students are equipped to teach and mentor emerging leaders within their field of ministry.
- Goal 2: Students engage practices of personal and spiritual growth that promote longevity in ministry.
- Objective 2.1: Students demonstrate mature understanding of their unique skills and gifts, strengths, and weaknesses.
- Objective 2.2: Students articulate the ethical standards of ministry leaders in their settings.
- Objective 2.3: Students model sustaining personal and spiritual practices.
- Objective 2.4: Students articulate a sustainable professional career trajectory.
- Goal 3: Students practice ministry skills required by advanced levels of leadership and responsibility.
- Objective 3.1: Students practice the skills of effective conflict mediation and reconciliation.
- Objective 3.2: Students demonstrate an advanced level of leadership in individual, small group, and large group/organizational settings appropriate to their calling.
- Objective 3.3: Students identify and address challenges and opportunities in their ministry settings.
- Goal 4: Students utilize research in ministry and analysis of information to guide decision-making and problem-solving.
- Objective 4.1: Students conduct research using digital and print resources and locate resources that inform analysis and decision making for their ministries.
- Objective 4.2: Students develop a ministry initiative that addresses a specific need or opportunity in their ministry settings.