Deciding to pursue a doctoral degree can be both exciting and intimidating. As you consider the question “Should I get a DMin?” this page may help you in your discernment. We’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked questions to help you discern whether a DMin program is a good fit for you.
We accept applications on a continuous basis for all cohorts. At this time, we anticipate starting the following foci:
Application requirements include the following:
Generally, a 3.0 GPA from an accredited M.Div. degree program is required. If you do not hold an M.Div. degree but do hold a master’s degree in an area related to your ministry setting or vocational calling, you may apply as an alternate credentials student.
The Doctor of Ministry degree is an advanced professional doctorate that builds upon an accredited master’s degree in a ministry-related area and upon significant ministry experience. Students without an accredited M.Div. degree may be admitted with alternate credentials so long as they have
To receive merit or need-based aid, a financial aid application is required. See the website for more infomation.
The purpose of the Doctor of Ministry Degree Program at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is to engage the challenges, opportunities, and vocation of ministry through a systematic and sustained curriculum involving disciplined study and reflection over a period of three to four years. Students undertaking the degree are to develop a habit of reading and study, conversation and reflection, writing and rewriting that provides a pattern of deep theological engagement and invites renewed imagination for work in the student’s ministry setting. The program is based on a cohort model that facilitates peer relationships and shared learning throughout the D.Min. journey. Classes typically meet in two-week blocks twice per year for 2.5 years.
This emphasis on combining academic study and the practice of ministry is carried out through interactive teaching-learning styles in seminars and courses. The doctoral project at the end of coursework is undertaken under the supervision of carefully selected faculty. The project provides an opportunity for candidates to explore in-depth an aspect of their ministry to which they seek to bring new insight, knowledge, and imagination.
People often wonder what makes a Doctor of Ministry different from a Ph.D. Perhaps they’re looking at doing a D.Min. or Ph.D .and want to make sure they have all the facts straight, or maybe they’re comparing the two credentials.
One of the differences is that a Ph.D. culminates in a dissertation and is primarily focused on theoretical research, which may or may not have obvious practical application. A D.Min., on the other hand, culminates in a project focused on a particular ministry context. For examples of the differences between D.Min. project and Ph.D .dissertations, see “Does the Doctor of Ministry Require a Dissertation” below.
Another difference is the time length. D.Min. programs at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary typically take three to four years. Ph.D. programs range in length and typically take at least five years.
Often, Ph.D. programs prepare students for teaching or research, whereas the D.Min. degree prepares students for deeper or more effective ministry.
Ultimately, if you’re considering a D.Min. vs Ph.D., one of the best things you can do is talk to the director of Pittsburgh Seminary’s D.Min. Program to find out which is right for you! E-mail .
The D.Min. degree culminates in a final doctoral project consistent with The Association of Theological School’s standards. This project is different than other doctorate degrees which culminate in dissertations. In the Doctor of Ministry final project, each candidate demonstrates her or his ability to identify a specific theological topic in ministry, organize an effective research model, use appropriate resources, and evaluate the results, reflecting the candidate’s depth of theological insight in relation to ministry.
For example, a Ph.D. dissertation may be titled something like the following:
On the other hand, a D.Min. culminates in a project, typically with practical application. Here are examples of D.Min. projects:
Final D.Min. projects are bound and placed in Pittsburgh Seminary’s Barbour Library. Feel free to browse the theses in our catalog!
Several things are important in a D.Min. program.
Due to the current structure of the program and F-1 Visa constraints, international students are only able to apply to the Reformed focus. Applicants from Canada are able to apply to all foci. Please reach out to for further questions about your eligibility.