The Doctor of Ministry is a unique seminary degree designed for the enhancement of spiritual leadership in a specific ministry context. It is like a Ph.D. or Th.D. in that it is a terminal degree, but it is distinguished from other doctorates by its focus on applied research in the practice of ministry rather than classical research as a contribution to the academy. The D.Min. assumes each participant possesses the comprehensive theological grounding of the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) or its equivalent. It then goes a step beyond by requiring the benefit of at least three years of full-time experience since the completion of one’s first master’s degree in ministry or theology, and continuing ministry involvement for the duration of the doctoral program. The courses integrate theological reflection, practical scholarship, spiritual formation, professional development, and peer networking into a rich, life-changing experience.
The HST D.Min. emphasizes Transforming Leadership. The 34-hour program consists of a core sequence of six integrated courses that are offered in a two-year cycle. During these two years, students take at least one course each semester – fall, spring, and summer – which are offered as one-week intensive seminars. After the two-year course cycle, students may use the third year to fulfill electives and complete the final project/dissertation. One may finish the D.Min. in three years, though most take four to five years.
A highlight of the D.Min. is the synergy of peer networking. Everyone in the program brings the common academic background of the M.Div. (or its equivalent) and full-time ministry experience in established congregations, new church plants, foreign and domestic missions, non-profits, or other ministry contexts. This provides mutually enriching interactions and enjoyable camaraderie. Deep, lifelong friendships are formed in the D.Min.
The D.Min. culminates in either a traditional dissertation or integrative project. A sequence of research courses helps the project unfold. One may also arrange course assignments to contribute toward overall project design and completion.
A special feature of the Harding D.Min. is the requirement of six hours of electives which may be fulfilled through other HST courses taken from the ministry department, D.Min. courses at other accredited institutions, or other specialty programs. This could facilitate sub-specialties in numerous areas including spiritual formation, consulting, coaching, clinical education, or other needs and interests. Students work alongside HST professors to ensure the program relevance and academic content and objectives of the electives.
HST professors love teaching and mentoring D.Min. students. The curriculum captures their deepest professional passions, and allows them to share with participants not only a wealth of knowledge and practical experience, but also a heart-felt excitement about the course material and a sincere interest in the professional and spiritual development of each participant.
Click through the menu to the right and learn more about our program. Also, feel free to contact any of our D.Min. professors or our Director of Admissions for more information. We would love to talk with you about how the D.Min. may improve your ministry.