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    Harding University
  Oct 03, 2023
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
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2023-2024 Academic Catalog

Doctor of Ministry

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Description: The Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree is a 30-hour hybrid program designed to help ministers and ministry leaders to experience spiritual renewal, deepen theological foundations, and build capacities for missional leadership. A deep need in our world is for churches and ministries to join with God in redeeming a broken world. This program trains, equips, and develops leaders to lead others to join in God’s mission in the world. The program seeks to bring spiritual and missional renewal to the student, missional transformation to the student’s context, and encouragement for the student’s family.

Intended Educational Outcomes: All D.Min. graduates are expected to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to apply research tools to a particular ministry problem and effectively address the problem through managing resources available in the local ministry context.
  • Exhibit the ability to think theologically about contemporary ministry challenges.  
  • Demonstrate effective skills in oral, written, or media performance that will increase one’s communication and ministerial effectiveness appropriate to one’s particular ministry context.

Program Design

The program includes eight 3-hour seminars offered in a hybrid format (online engagement plus in-person instruction) over a three-year period. The fourth year is reserved for the 6-hour dissertation project. Students take classes in a cohort model, which means that they begin the program together and end together.

Each seminar contains a one-week residency in Memphis. Before the residency, students engage in readings, writing, and online interaction. After the residency, students work on ministry projects within their context.

Below is a sample schedule of the program:

Year 1:

Fall - Intro to D.Min. Research (3)

Spring - Old Testament and Christian Formation (3)

Summer - New Testament and Christian Mission (3)

Year 2:

Fall - Missional Ecclesiology (3)

Spring - Creative Practices for Preaching (3)

Summer - Missional Church Leadership (3)

Year 3:

Fall - Equipping and Empowering Leaders (3)

Spring - Research in Ministry (3)

Year 4:

Dissertation/Project (6)


Admission Requirements:

  • Master of Divinity Degree: One must have an accredited M.Div. degree for admission.
  • Ministry Experience: Candidates must have three years of appropriate ministerial experience beyond the first master’s degree.
  • GPA: Applicants must show by official transcript a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale). A student whose graduate GPA is between 2.70 and 3.0 may be considered for probationary admission for the D.Min. Probation will be removed upon completing 18 hours of course work that applies to the D.Min. degree with a GPA of 3.0.
  • M.Div. Exceptions: Those who hold an accredited master’s level theological degree other than the M.Div. may be able to qualify for admission by submitting official transcripts of all previous college and master’s work, a brief exegetical research paper and a sermon sample demonstrating contextual application of a biblical text, and by undergoing an interview. The admissions committee will determine any leveling requirements if necessary.

Application Process:

  • Complete formal online application: The full application process is found here. It includes a link to the application itself, information on transcript submission, evaluation and recommendation forms, and other questionnaires.
  • Schedule interview: When all credentials have been filed, the applicant should arrange with the chair of the Admissions Committee for an interview.
  • English proficiency: A score of at least 79 on the TOEFL iBT is required of all applicants whose native language is not English. For information on this English language proficiency test, write to TOEFL Services, Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6151, Princeton, NJ 08541-6151, U.S.A.

Transfer Credit: A maximum of six semester hours of doctoral credit from another ATS-accredited institution may be applied toward course requirements for the D.Min. degree, subject to approval. 

Auditing: A D.Min. candidate or graduate can audit any course for a reduced fee.

Financial Information: The tuition rate when you begin is locked in for the next four years. (For exact rate see the “Financial Policies ” section of the catalog.) If you complete the program within four years, you will pay the same rate for your entire program. If you go beyond four years you will pay the tuition rate in effect at that time.

Program: 30 hours

Additional Requirements

Seminars: D.Min. seminars are offered each fall, spring, and summer, each requiring a week on campus. Seminars are preceded by advanced reading and followed by ministry-related projects. These seminars are designed to apply directly to spiritual transformation of the local church and/or greater effectiveness in ministry.

Academic Advising: Students must advise with the director of the D.Min. degree program throughout his/her time of study. Students follow the seminar schedule as described in the cohort model. Students are encouraged to utilize core seminars for preparing and developing their final research project.

Dissertation: Upon approval of dissertation proposal, the candidate will be assigned a dissertation committee for consultation and evaluation of the research project.

Degree Candidacy: The student should apply for candidacy to the degree during the first week of November of the academic year in which he/she hopes to graduate. The student is responsible for notifying the associate dean if, after applying, he or she is unable to complete graduation requirements.

Level of Scholarship: A 3.00 GPA is required to graduate. D.Min. candidates are permitted only three hours of C.

Statute of Limitations: The D.Min. degree must be completed within six years from enrollment in the first seminar. If a student goes beyond the time limit, he or she may obtain a time extension of one year for each additional three-hour ministry course successfully completed at Harding School of Theology. A continuation fee of one credit hour is required for any fall semester in which a candidate does not take three hours or more. These credits will be applied toward the six credit hours required for the dissertation/project.

Probation: After completing 12 semester hours and thereafter, students with a cumulative GPA below 3.00 will be placed on academic probation. To remove probation, a student must achieve a 3.00 cumulative GPA during the next 18 hours of study.

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