Information for Church and Ministry Boards about the DMin
As a ministry board, you know better than anyone the rigors of the ministry in today’s society. It’s no longer enough just to preach well. Your leader must excel as a visionary, communicator, implementer, financier, mediator, psychologist, and project manager. Those kinds of expectations heighten the need for their intellectual and spiritual development.
Going back to school is not an easy decision for Christian leaders who want to maintain the vitality and consistency of their ministry, but it’s an investment that pays huge spiritual dividends both for the leaders and the ministry.
It’s been our experience at Dallas Theological Seminary that the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) is the ideal tool for a ministry that wants its leader to move to a higher level of Christian leadership and service.
Your leaders have already expressed an interest in this area. As you support your leaders to improve the quality of their ministries, consider the DMin.
- Our leader already graduated from seminary. Why another degree?
- With the demands of today’s work, leaders can’t afford to be at the end of the education pipeline. It’s not enough to send your church leaders to a conference or a seminar and hope they “pick up” something useful. If Christian leaders are to have a high-impact ministry for the new century and millennium, it’s imperative that they invest in themselves intellectually and spiritually.
- Why a DMin Degree?
More than any other graduate-level program, a DMin is designed specifically for the working Christian leader. This degree is not about basics, but depth and breadth; nor is it well-suited for educators or researchers. Instead, it is widely recognized as the highest professional degree program for ministry.
DMin studies focus on the practical dimensions of ministry. Ideally, such a program is a challenge to vocational ministers. The stimulation of comparing notes with other Christian leaders, discussing new ideas for strategies, and studying under a forward-focused curriculum is a practical lift to any ministry.
- Why a DMin From Dallas Theological Seminary?
DTS has a long-standing heritage of equipping students with the tools and skills they need for effective ministry. We have a distinguished faculty whose credentials reflect their understating of the issues that affect ministry.
Moreover, our interests are closely aligned with yours. We place the highest priority on helping your leaders gain an increased satisfaction with their personal ministry. In fact, DMin graduates are quick to inform us of how they developed new programs and strategies that resulted in both numerical and spiritual growth for their ministries.
- How is the DMin structured?
A “tailoring model” serves as a foundation for the entire DMin program at DTS. Only two courses are required. The first allows students to evaluate their personal walk with God and ministry skills. The second course prepares them to an applied research project and dissertation—the culminating experience of DMin studies.
Between those courses, students choose seven others. They may focus on one area such as church administration or select from a variety such as preaching, Christian education, nurture, Bible, theology, communication, or leadership.
By tailoring courses to fit personal and ministry needs, leaders become better sever-leaders and their ministries benefit from the research, applied knowledge, and outside experience.
- Is it possible to add school to a full-time ministry?
- DMin students remain in their current ministries while enrolled in the doctoral program. They usually spend five to ten hours per week in their studies and much of that time related directly to matters in their current ministry.
- Does a DMin repeat other seminary courses?
DMin courses build on the foundation your leader earned with an MDiv or ThM degree with little if any repetition. Even students who have completed other degrees at DTS find that DMin studies differ significantly. First, it’s a different educational approach. Students are highly involved in the learning process and class size is intentionally controlled to facilitate interaction. The courses are graduate-level, life-situational, and ministry-relevant. Second, top practitioners in many fields of ministry join DTS's acclaimed faculty to participate in DMin instruction. As a result, the student is surrounded with the best-in-class faculty and curriculum.
Prior to gathering for a one- or two-week course residency, students complete practical assignments related to their own ministries. Though grounded in biblical theology and ministry theory, DMin studies always focus on practical outcomes. The DMin is a “put-the-product-on-the-street” degree.
The program culminates with an applied research project which focuses on implementing and evaluating ministry as it pertains to the students. They learn a process of recreating and assessing ministries that they will use throughout their lifetime.
- What are the financial considerations?
Most of our DMin students receive financial support in their studies from their churches or ministry agencies. Many students have found it helpful to draft an agreement with the church or board specifying an amount or percentage of the tuition that the ministry will pay.
Often organizations include a “continuing education” allowance in compensation which they can designate for DMin tuition. As part of the agreement, the DMin student may commit to remain in the present ministry for a specified length of time or agree to accept additional responsibilities upon completion of the degree. In addition, tuition loans are available