Doctor of Ministry in Church Leadership

Doctor of Ministry in Church Leadership (DMin)

The Doctor of Ministry in Church Leadership at Oakland City University is an advanced professional degree offered by the Chapman Seminary to develop the leadership potential and the ministerial skills of practicing ministers among the General Baptists and other denominations. The program is designed to advance the general practice of the ministry.

The Doctor of Ministry is the highest professional degree for those engaged in pastoral and staff ministry of churches as well as those carrying leadership responsibilities in other Christian organizations. It is distinguished from other doctoral degrees such as the Th.D., Ed.D., and Ph.D. in that its primary emphasis is on the practice of ministry in the local church and Christian organizations. The course and project work is interdisciplinary in nature and involves applied exercises including library research and writing. A significant portion of the program’s requirements is to be met in the setting of the student’s ministry rather than in residence.

student singing in chapel

Thinking Theologically

  • Evaluate the nature and purpose of ministry
  • Formulate a Theologically Reflective Practice of ministry
  • Analyze contemporary models of the practice of ministry

Living Faithfully

  • Embrace continued growth in spiritual maturity
  • Internalize a personal and professional ethic

Serving Effectively

  • Perform enhanced pastoral analysis
  • Model advanced ministerial skills

Admissions Requirements

Admission to the Doctor of Ministry in Church Leadership is based on a recommendation to the Chapman Seminary by the Chapman faculty and the Coordinator of the DMin program. A majority vote by the faculty decides final admission. The entrance requirements for unconditional admission are the following:

  1. A Master of Divinity (MDiv) or its equivalent from a regional and/or ATS accredited institution with a minimum grade point average of B-. MDiv equivalency is defined as seventy-two (72) graduate semester hours or comparable graduate credits in other systems that represent broad-based work in theology, biblical studies, and the arts of ministry and that include a master’s degree and significant ministerial leadership. Ministerial experience alone is not considered the equivalent of or a substitute for the master’s degree.*
  2. A minimum of three (3) years of full-time ministry experience after the completion of the Master of Divinity or its equivalent before matriculating into the Doctor of Ministry program.**
  3. Formal application for admission to the Doctor of Ministry program.
  4. A letter of recommendation without reservation from a graduate professor who has had the applicant for a graduate level course.
  5. An official transcript from previous graduate level work.
  6. A typed autobiographical essay of no less than three pages describing the student’s personal educational history, ministerial experience, and reason for seeking a Doctor of Ministry degree must be submitted with the application.
  7. A letter of endorsement for involvement in the program from the congregation and/or board of the institution with which the applicant is affiliated.
  8. A personal interview with the Coordinator of the DMin program and one graduate faculty member from the Chapman Seminary. The student is responsible for contracting this interview through the Coordinator of the Doctor of Ministry program.
  9. For students whose native language is other than English, a TOEFL score higher than 500 is required. The student who fails to attain this minimal score will not be admitted into the Doctor of Ministry program.

* MDiv Equivalence for non-theological master’s degrees

Students who have completed a master’s degree in a non-theological discipline are required to take at least an additional thirty (30) semester hours of Master of Divinity work at the Chapman Seminary or another accredited institution. These additional hours can comprise both core classes and elective classes, but are intended to ensure that the student acquires the basic knowledge and can demonstrate the educational adeptness necessary to complete the Doctor of Ministry degree. The technical criteria for an MDiv equivalent must be met prior to admission into the Doctor of Ministry program.

** Ministerial Experience

Some students may want to enroll in the Doctor of Ministry program who have not had an opportunity for three (3) years of full-time service. Each of these applicants will be considered on an individual basis. Experiences in part-time ministries are evaluated differently from full-time experience. The responsibility to defend acceptance of part-time experience belongs to the student. An appropriate letter of reference must verify years of service. The final determination of whether a student can be admitted with the requisite experience will be left solely to the discretion of the Dean of the Chapman Seminary.

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