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.
Upon completion of the Doctor of Ministry Program, students will demonstrate the ability to:
The Doctor of Ministry Degree is generally a cohort-driven professional doctoral degree providing space for renewal, growth, companionship among peers, and rich dialogue with faculty. The key word for DMin is context. DMin focuses on bringing study and learing to bear on the student's particular ministry context.
We accept applications on a continuous basis for all cohorts. At this time, we anticipate starting the following foci:
You may be wondering "Can I do the D.Min. without an M.Div.?" Yes, but depending on the master's program field of study, candidates without an M.Div. may be required to complete courses in theological studies before begining their program.
The following admissions criteria are applied to all students in determining admission:
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!
The Doctor of Ministry degree is designed to enrich and deepen the ministries of its graduates. For examples of what DMin graduates go on to do, check out these profiles.
Several things are important in a D.Min. program.