Professional Doctoral Studies

Purpose and Nature of the Degree

The purpose of Professional Doctoral Studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is to develop reflective and expert practitioners in ministry who will grow not only in ministry comprehension and competence, but also in character and virtue. Because it is a doctoral degree program, the student is expected to pursue a high standard of expertise in ministry reflection and practice. Students will be challenged to think biblically and critically about the work of ministry and to articulate and demonstrate a thorough biblical and theological vision for ministry practice. When students graduate, they can be confident that they have achieved a level of excellence in their area of study and have been equipped for more effective ministry leadership.

Concentrations of Study

Students in both the DMin and DEdMin can choose from one of the following concentrations for their program:

  • Biblical Counseling
  • Christian Formation and Discipleship
  • Christian Leadership
  • Church Revitalization
  • Evangelism and Missions
  • Executive Leadership
  • Family Ministry
  • Great Commission Apologetics
  • Pastoral Theology (DMin only)
  • Text-Driven Preaching (DMin only)
  • Worship Leadership

Admission Requirements

Prospective students seeking to apply should complete the online admissions application at www.swbts.edu/applynow. Additional information can be requested from the Office of Professional Doctoral Studies by phone at 817.923.1921, ext. 6700, or by email at dmin@swbts.edu for DMin students and dedmin@swbts.edu for DEdMin students.

Students may apply at any time of the year. The seminar cycle begins in the fall semester so students are encouraged to complete the application process no later than May 1. This timing will ensure that students can enroll in and complete the online research and writing courses before their concentration seminars begin.

DMIN ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

1. An earned MDiv degree (72-hours) or equivalent from an accredited institution.

2. A 3.0 grade point average or above on a 4.0 scale for all graduate-level studies.

3. Three years ministry experience since the completion of the first theological Master’s degree.

DEDMIN ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS:

1. An earned MTS (36-hours) or equivalent from an accredited institution.

2. A 3.0 grade point average or above on a 4.0 scale for all graduate-level studies.

3. Three years ministry experience since the completion of the first theological Master’s degree.

ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS:

1. Ministry Employment: Applicants must be employed in vocational Christian ministry during the time they are enrolled in the degree. Exceptions can be made for special circumstances, such as missionaries on furlough or international students who will be returning to their home countries to complete the doctoral project.

2. Background Check: Applicants must complete a background check through the Admissions Office.

3. Transcripts: Transcripts from undergraduate and graduate degrees.

4. References: Two (2) Confidential Academic Reference forms. This form must be completed by professors from whom applicants have completed a graduate-level course. The professor must have an earned doctoral degree from an accredited institution. The student may contact the Professional Doctoral Office for permission to substitute for one personal reference if he is unable to obtain two academic references.

5. Statement of Ministry Endorsement form

6. Current ministry resume

7. A 3-5 page “History of Ministry-Related Experience.” This paper should note specific ministry responsibilities, significant relationships, influential works, and spiritual insights gained from them. It should also include how the specific concentration that students are applying to will enhance their current ministry practice.

Applicants must be approved for general seminary admission prior to consideration by the Professional Doctoral Office. Any former Southwestern student wanting to return for additional studies is asked to complete a re-admission process. An applicant who has not previously attended Southwestern Seminary should comply with current admission standards. Exceptions to any admission requirements must be approved by the Professional Doctoral Studies office prior to the student’s acceptance and enrollment. Due to the institution's doctrinal convictions, only male students will be considered for Pastoral Theology and Text-Driven Preaching majors in the Doctor of Ministry program.

Those applicants who have not completed an MDiv or ATS approved Master of Arts degree, but have completed another type of Master’s degree, must contact the Professional Doctoral Office to request a transcript evaluation. Some applicants may need to complete leveling work before their Master’s degree can be considered equivalent to the MDiv or Master of Arts degree. Please note that all leveling work must be completed before students can begin seminars.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENT REQUIREMENTS

1. Complete all the steps listed above for the normal application process

2. A transcript from an international institution will require certification to demonstrate its equivalence to graduate-level work in the United States. International applicants must contact and submit their transcripts to SpanTran (www.spantran.com; 2400 Augusta Drive, Suite 451, Houston, TX 77057; 713.266.8805; fax: 713.789.6022) for evaluation. The evaluation service sends evaluation results directly to the Office of Admissions.

3. Submit TOFEL scores as part of the application process. The minimum score for unconditional admission is 100 (those who score between 90–99 may enter the program conditionally; those who score below a 90 may not enter the DMin Program). The computer-based TOEFL will be accepted if it is less than two years old. The minimum score for unconditional admission is 250 (those who score between 233–249 may enter the program conditionally; those who score less than 233 may not enter the DMin Program). Citizens of the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada and other non-USA citizens who have successfully completed an accredited English language-based Master's degree from a North American institution may petition the Professional Doctoral Office to have this requirement waived. In addition to a passing TOEFL score, the Professional Doctoral Office reserves the right to require additional English proficiency courses taken concurrently with the DMin work where deficiencies are found to exist, in order to assist students in achieving their potential and to contribute effectively to the seminars. These courses may be taken at Southwestern Seminary or in other designated institutions.

An applicant from outside the United States must meet U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations to study at Southwestern Seminary in any program. Any approval of the applicant's admission to the DMin Program is contingent upon the applicant maintaining proper status. Southwestern Seminary’s International Student Services Office communicates regularly with the DMin Program to assure that all DHS regulations are followed.

KOREAN DOCTOR OF MINISTRY PROGRAM

Southwestern offers the entire Doctor of Ministry curriculum in the Korean language. This unique program requires students to attend seminars in Fort Worth two different times throughout the year. One seminar occurs in the summer semester and the other in the fall/spring. Each seminar is two weeks in duration, meeting eight hours a day for ten days. Students are required to do both pre-seminar and post-seminar assignments. Students must also be present in Fort Worth for at least three cohort meetings per year. In between the seminars and cohort meetings, students complete research and assignments that are submitted to faculty for evaluation at regular intervals. All of this yearlong seminar work is registered as a single 12-hour doctoral seminar.

ACCEPTANCE

Applicants will be notified of the final decision on their application in writing by the Professional Doctoral Office. Upon acceptance into the program, the Professional Doctoral Office will send a letter of acceptance as well as information pertaining to registration and other necessary program details.

DENIAL OF ADMISSION

Applicants who are denied admission, and who wish to reapply, must wait at least one year before doing so. All requirements not previously met must be satisfied before admission is possible.

ENTRY DEFERMENT

Those students who are approved to begin the DMin or DEdMin Program may delay initial seminars up to a maximum of one year by submitting a formal petition to the Director of Professional Doctoral Studies for approval. After this one-year period, students must submit a written request to begin the program, along with an explanation of the changes in circumstances which will permit the student to pursue the DMin or DEdMin degree.

Program Structure and Timeline

The Professional Doctoral Program at Southwestern presents a unique design intended to provide excellent instruction and distinct Christian formation while maintaining flexibility within a student’s ministry context. Thus, the program can be broken down into three major components 1) annual seminars, 2) guided discussions, and 3) ministry coaching. Additionally, students begin the writing process for their doctoral project soon after acceptance by means of two online seminars. These seminars are intended to acclimate the student to doctoral research and writing and the mechanics of the Ministry Research Project. The Ministry Research Project represents the culmination of their professional doctoral work. The doctoral cycle takes place as follows:

YEARS 1-2

Acceptance and Enrollment Introduction to Research & Writing
4 wks online
Contextualized Ministry Leadership
4 wks online
Students will also work on their project proposal in two stages, and a project supervisor will be assigned.
Fall Semester
Sept-Dec
LiveSync Guided Discussions
Monthly, Sept-Nov
Seminar 1 Assignments
Individual Coaching
Sept & Dec
January Annual Southwestern Seminar
Seminar 1 OR 3
(Mon-Wed)
Seminar 2 OR 4
(Thurs-Sat)
Chapel
Equipping Lunch
Fort Worth Experience
Spring Semester
Feb-May
LiveSync Guided Discussions
Monthly, Feb-April
Seminar 2 Assignments
Individual Coaching
Feb & May
June-Aug Contextualized Writing Chapters 1-2 (Year One)
Chapters 3-4 (Year Two)

YEAR THREE

Sept-Mar Project Conclusion Oral Defense
May Graduation Doctoral Ceremony

The annual seminar week is structured as follows:

ANNUAL SEMINAR WEEK SCHEDULE
Mon-Wed M-Tu
(8:00am-7:00pm)
Dinner will include a group learning exercise
W
(8:00am-11:00am)
Foundational Seminar 1 (Year One) OR Foundational Seminar 3 (Year Two)
Wed W
(11:00am-1:00pm)
W
(1:00pm-5:00pm)
Chapel and Equipping Lunch
Fort Worth Experience
Thurs-Sat Th-F
(8:00am-7:00pm)
Dinner will include a group learning exercise
S
(8:00am-11:00am)
Foundational Seminar 2 (Year One) OR Foundational Seminar 4 (Year Two)

The DMin and DEdMin can be completed in 3 years, but the maximum time allotted is 6 years. Students who extend their program beyond six years must submit an annual written request to the Office of Professional Doctoral Studies to extend their program.

SEMINARS OFFERED BY CONCENTRATION

Biblical Counseling
  • DMNBC 6014 Theoretical and Foundational Factors in Counseling Ministry
  • DMNBC 6024 Counseling Methodology: Historical and Contemporary
  • DMNBC 6034 Practical Application and Strategies in Biblical Counseling
  • DMNBC 6044 Marriage and Family Counseling
Christian Formation and Discipleship
  • DMNCF 6014 Biblical and Theological Foundations for Christian Formation and Discipleship
  • DMNCF 6024 Christian Formation and Discipleship in the History of the Church
  • DMNCF 6034 Leading Christian Formation and Discipleship in the Church
  • DMNCF 6044 Current Issues in Christian Formation and Discipleship
Christian Leadership
  • DMNCL 6014 Organizational Leadership for Christian Ministry
  • DMNCL 6024 Leadership Development for Christian Ministry
  • Concentration Seminar 3 (from another identified concentration)
  • Concentration Seminar 4 (from another identified concentration)
Church Revitalization
  • DMNCR 6014 Introduction to Church Revitalization
  • DMNCR 6024 Church Revitalization and the Great Commission
  • DMNCR 6034 The Role of Preaching and Worship in Church Revitalization
  • DMNCR 6044 The Role of the Leader and Pastoral Ministry in Church Revitalization
Evangelism and Missions
  • DMNME 6014 Theology of Evangelism and Missions
  • DMNME 6024 History of Evangelism and Missions
  • DMNME 6034 Anthropology and Contextualization in Missions and Evangelism
  • DMNME 6044 Ecclesiological Factors of Evangelism and Missions
Executive Leadership
  • DMNEL 6014 The Leader as Theologian
  • DMNEL 6024 The Leader as Innovator
  • DMNEL 6034 The Leader as Communicator
  • DMNEL 6044 The Leader as Strategist
Family Ministry
  • DMNFM 6014 Theological Foundations for family Ministry
  • DMNFM 6024 Family Ministry Models and Practice
  • DMNFM 6034 Biblical Response to Issues in Children’s Ministry
  • DMNFM 6044 Biblical Response to Issues in Student Ministry
Great Commission Apologetics
  • DMNGC 6014 Biblical and Theological Foundations for Apologetics
  • DMNGC 6024 The History and Practice of Apologetics
  • DMNGC 6034 Apologetics and the Great Commission
  • DMNGC 6044 Current Issues in Apologetics
Pastoral Theology (DMin only)
  • DMNPT 6014 Biblical and Theological Foundations for Pastoral Theology
  • DMNPT 6024 The History and Practice of Pastoral Care
  • DMNPT 6034 Theology of Church Membership and Polity
  • DMNPT 6044 Pastoral Theology and Leadership
Text-Driven Preaching (DMin only)
  • DMNEP 6014 Introduction to Text-Driven Preaching
  • DMNEP 6024 Preaching the Old Testament
  • DMNEP 6034 Preaching the New Testament
  • DMNEP 6044 Great Preachers and their Preaching
Worship Leadership
  • DMNWL 6014 Theology and History of Christian Worship
  • DMNWL 6024 Worship Leadership and Design
  • Concentration Seminar 3 (from another identified concentration)
  • Concentration Seminar 4 (from another identified concentration)

Program Fees

Program fees can be viewed at the Tuition and Fees section of the catalog found here.

Need More Information?

Additional information can be requested from the Office of Professional Doctoral Studies by phone at 817.923.1921, ext. 6700, or by email at dmin@swbts.edu for DMin students and dedmin@swbts.edu for DEdMin students.

Ready to Apply?

Prospective students seeking to apply should complete the online admissions application at swbts.edu/admissions/apply/.