Doctor of Ministry

Purpose

The D.Min. program of the Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions is designed to enhance the understanding and practice of ministry in the areas of evangelism and missions for those currently engaged in positions of ministerial leadership in North American and International Contexts.

Admission

Admission Requirements & Procedures

Prerequisites for Admission
  • Prior to admission into the D.Min. program, applicants must have completed the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree or its equivalent from an institution accredited by the American Theological Schools (ATS) or an affiliate of the council of regional accrediting groups.
  • Applicants must be employed or hold an official position in vocational Christian ministry during the time they are enrolled in the degree.
  • Students must have maintained a 3.00 GPA or higher on a 4.00 scale in master's level studies in religion or theology. If your GPA is below the standard 3.00, you will be required to submit original copies of your MAT and/or GRE test scores to the School of Evangelism and Missions D.Min. Office. Applicants wishing exception to the required 3.00 GPA rule must submit a letter to the D.Min. Doctoral Committee asking for the exception and explaining any unusual circumstances that contributed to the low scholarship level attained during their master's level work. Applicants must score above a 400 on the MAT or, on the GRE, a minimum of 500 on the Verbal Reasoning section and a minimum of 4.0 on the Analytical Writing section. Applicants with less than a 3.00 may be admitted on probation, upon approval of the D.Min. Doctoral Committee.
  • Applicants must have served in a vocational ministry position acceptable to the committee for at least 3 years after graduation with the M.Div. or its equivalent.

Instructions for Application Process:

  • Complete online admissions application at www.swbts.edu/applynow. All applications must be entirely complete by February 1 in order to begin in July of the same year.
  • As part of the online application, applicants must write a short essay about their 1) conversion and 2) call to ministry. D.Min. applicants must include in the call to ministry section a brief discussion of their reasons for applying to the D.Min. program and also their future vocational plans.
  • As part of the online application, applicants will submit two personal references. A personal reference may be anyone, who is not related to the applicant and must have current and/or previous knowledge of the applicant’s ministry. A personal reference may not be anyone that is under the applicant's leadership or authority. A space will be provided on the online application to enter an email address for these references and they will be automatically emailed a reference form.
  • Applicants must also complete the "Confidential Academic Reference" form and submit this form to the Admissions Office. This form must be completed by a professor with whom they have completed a graduate level course. The professor must have an earned doctorate degree from an accredited institution. Click here to obtain the "Confidential Academic Reference" form.
  • Doctor of Ministry applicants may omit the church endorsement form on the online application because the attached “Statement of Ministry Endorsement” will be accepted in lieu of a church endorsement. The purpose of this document is to demonstrate that the applicant’s place of service is in support of the applicant’s intention to enter the Doctor of Ministry program. Click here to obtain the "Statement of Ministry Endorsement" form.
  • The Admissions Office will need official copies of your graduate level transcripts. Please contact your school and send your official transcripts to the Office of Admissions, P.O. Box 22740, Fort Worth TX, 76122. If you attended multiple graduate schools/seminaries, the office will need original copies from each school. Those applicants who have not completed a M.Div. degree, but have completed another type of master's, must request a transcript evaluation to determine potential equivalency needs. Some applicants may need to complete leveling work before their master's degree can be considered equivalent to the M.Div. degree. Please note: All leveling work must be completed before applicants can begin seminars.
  • A transcript from an international institution will have to be certified that it is equivalent to graduate-level work in the United States.  Students must contact World Education Services in order to obtain transcript evaluations, www.wes.org.
  • The general admission application fee is $35.00. Applicants may pay by credit card during the online application process, or may mail a check to the Office of Admissions, P.O. Box 22740, Fort Worth TX, 76122. Checks should be made out to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Please note: once the application has been submitted the applicant may not go back and pay the application fee online.
  • The D.Min. application fee is $20.00. Applicants must mail a check to the School of Evangelism and Missions D.Min. Office at P.O. Box 22667, Fort Worth, TX 76122. Checks should be made out to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Please note: the application fee for the D.Min. program is separate from the $35 general application fee.
  • Applicants are required to submit a research paper he has written, as part of the application process, to the School of Evangelism and Missions D.Min. Office via email at dminfish@swbts.edu. The research paper should meet the following criteria:
    • The paper must indicate the ability to do doctoral level research. Applicants may utilize a previously written paper. However, the applicant should examine this paper for weaknesses in argumentation or logic as well as form and grammar and make appropriate corrections.
    • In the research paper, the student must make an argument and pursue a research question. Do not send exegetical papers (or any papers) that are in outline or bullet form and that do not show evidence of the student’s ability to do research.
    • The paper must demonstrate clear and succinct skill in developing and proving a thesis statement.
    • As needed, the student must demonstrate the ability to interact with the original biblical language(s).
    • The student must use primary sources rather than secondary sources.
    • We recommend applicants have someone else critique the paper as he or she might observe problem areas that otherwise might have gone unnoticed.
    • The paper should be approximately ten pages.
    • Please note: The paper can be a result of a previous master’s level assignment. However, it should be revised, edited, and conformed to an acceptable style form such as Turabian, MLA, APA, or the latest edition of the Southwestern Seminary Manual of Style.
  • In addition to the research paper, applicants must submit an autobiographical essay to the School of Evangelism and Missions D.Min. Office via email at dminfish@swbts.edu. The autobiographical essay should include:

Suggestions for an Effective Autobiographical Essay:

    • Primary life events (and what meaning they have)
    • Significant persons and relationships (including role models, the impact of the family of origin, and the nuclear family)
    • The minister's understanding of his or her spiritual pilgrimage (particularly focusing on conversion, times of doubt or struggle, and growth experiences).
    • The minister's understanding of motivation and call to ministry and significant persons and events in that process.
    • A brief history of both secular and ministry-related experiences (significant difficulties, successes, and epiphanies about ministry).
    • Be honest – admit and evaluate your personal strengths and weaknesses. Avoid statements that appear as prideful; however, do not be so self-effacing that it comes across as insincere humility.
    • Be specific regarding events and people that shaped your life. Avoid generalities that are unhelpful in the assessment of your life events.
    • Include how your life experiences influenced your theology.
    • You are encouraged to write this essay using the informal (first person) perspective in order to make the paper more personal.
    • Papers must conform to an acceptable style form such as Turabian, MLA, APA, or the latest edition of the Southwestern Seminary Manual of Style.
    • The paper should be approximately ten pages.
  • Interview: After submission of all application materials, schedule a personal interview with the Associate Dean for Doctoral Programs or a member of the Doctor of Ministry Committee. Applicants should be prepared to discuss the reasons why they are seeking a D.Min. degree and how this degree will better equip them for ministry.

 

Return D.Min. Application Documents to:
Office of Admissions
P.O. Box 22740
Fort Worth, TX 76122
1-800-SWBTS-01
817.923.1921 ext. 2700
Fax: 817-921-8758
admissions@swbts.edu
 

Notification Regarding Admission
All applicants will be notified of the decision in writing by the Associate Dean for Doctoral Programs. This notification is usually sent by mail within two weeks of the decision. Applicants who are accepted into the program will then receive information regarding registration for the first semester of seminars.

Conditional Admission
Occasionally applicants may be admitted to the D.Min. program conditionally with the understanding that their conditional status will be reviewed at a later date to remove the condition or terminate the student's further participation in the program.

Research and Writing Seminar
All accepted students are approved provisionally in the D.Min. program. The provisional status is lifted after successful completion of the Research and Writing Seminar that is conducted via the internet using Blackboard technology. The Research and Writing Seminar is a required six-week internet seminar that is conducted before a student can begin his or her first year of seminars. The online seminar will be conducted from April to May before the seminar year begins in July. The purpose of the seminar is to both strengthen a student's writing skill and facilitate growth in the area of doctoral research. The seminar is graded upon a Pass/Fail basis and students will not be allowed to begin the first year of seminars unless the Research and Writing Seminar has been completed successfully.

International Students

For admission, all non-USA citizens will be required to take the internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) as an admission requirement. The minimum score for unconditional admission is 100 (those who score between 90-99 may enter the program conditionally; those who score less than 90 may not enter the D.Min. 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 D.Min. program).Citizens of the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada and other non-USA citizens who have successfully completed an accredited English-language based bachelor's degree from a North American institution are exempt from this requirement. All TOEFL scores submitted should be less than two years old.

In addition to a passing TOEFL score, the Associate Dean for Doctoral Programs will reserve the right to require additional English proficiency courses taken concurrently with the D.Min. 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 or in other designated institutions.

All students applying for the D.Min. program must be citizens of the U.S., permanent residents, here on an R-1 visa, or plan to study on an F-1 visa.

Applicants 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 D. Min. program is contingent upon the applicant maintaining proper status. The International Student Services Office communicates regularly with the D.Min. program to assure that all DHS regulations are followed.

Overall Program Guide

The Doctor of Ministry Program is a thirty hour degree:

Research and Writing Seminar (completed before beginning seminars) Pass/Fail
Seminar Requirements (two seminars, one per year, worth 12 hours each) 24 hours
Professional Dissertation Seminar Pass/Fail
Professional Dissertation Prospectus Pass/Fail
Professional Dissertation in Progress Pass/Fail
Successful Dissertation Defense 6 hours
Total Program Requirements 30 hours

Curriculum

Students participate in two year-long seminars, including an online seminar in Professional Dissertation development. Prior to beginning seminars, students participate in training in research, writing and prospectus development, as well as an orientation to the D.Min. program.

Each seminar is structured for a variety of interaction in order to give a comprehensive and exhaustive examination of a particular issue of study. Typically students meet on-campus in July for two weeks of lectures and coursework with a blended cohort. This session may be preceded by online Blackboard instruction and assignments. The on-campus segment of a seminar is followed by readings and other assignments throughout the year, including participation in two, 2-3 day long, off-campus learning activities (one in fall and one in spring). A special allowance will be made for missionaries serving abroad, in which they will be allowed to complete alternative assignments in lieu of the required off-campus assignments. These activities are arranged between the student, faculty supervisor, and Associate Dean for Doctoral Programs. These activities are integrated into a cycle of pre-event readings, post-event research papers, and critical reviews/comments by others in the cohort or sub-cohort. Assignments and dialogue throughout the year are primarily maintained through online interaction. Students will participate in the Professional Dissertation Seminar which is an online prospectus writing course that occurs for two weeks at the end of the second seminar year during June.

Students successfully completing the two years of seminar study and the Professional Dissertation Seminar will advance to the Professional Dissertation Prospectus stage, and upon approval of the dissertation prospectus by the D.Min. Doctoral Committee, the student will advance to the Professional Dissertation in Progress stage. Upon satisfactory completion of the professional dissertation and the oral examination, students will receive 6 hours credit for such completion. The two years of seminars are designed to prepare the student for the actual task of preparing a Professional Dissertation prospectus.

Major Areas of Study
The D.Min. curriculum is divided into two areas of vocational interest (majors). Each D.Min. student is required to designate one area as his or her major.

North American Evangelism and Missions
Designed for advanced training in vital facets of contemporary evangelism and missions. This major enables students to translate academic and professional insights into skills for intercultural service, cutting-edge outreach, healthy church growth, church planting, and strategy development in North America. Contemporary challenges call for well-informed, experienced and responsible church leadership, in addition to new strategies for responding to the Great Commission.

Includes the following seminars:

  • Theological Rationale for Evangelism and Missions, DMNME 6112
  • Expansion of the Christian Movement: The History of Evangelism and Missions, DMNME 6212
  • Strategic Planning and Leadership Development, DMNME 6312

International Evangelism and Missions 

Intended to transform thinking and practice in reaching the world for Jesus Christ. Tailored to the needs of cross-cultural leaders, workers, and agencies. This major enables students to translate academic and professional insights into skills for international outreach, church planting, healthy church growth, and strategy development. The changing face of international evangelism and missions calls for a serious examination of the way evangelicals approach evangelism and missions in the years ahead. Please note: the only students allowed to choose this major are missionaries serving abroad or international students willing to complete their off-campus assignments abroad.

Includes the following seminars:

  • Theological Rationale for Evangelism and Missions, DMNME 6112
  • Expansion of the Christian Movement: The History of Evangelism and Missions, DMNME 6212
  • Strategic Planning and Leadership Development, DMNME 6312

Cost of the Program

Due to the Cooperative Program scholarship for Southern Baptist students, the total program cost for Southern Baptists is $8,275. The total program cost for non-Southern Baptist students is $11,275. The Program Costs are broken down in the following manner:
  • A D.Min. student (both Southern Baptist and non-Southern Baptist) will be charged a down payment of $1,000 - due by July 1.
  • Years 1-3 - $2,425 per year paid in its entirety by July 1 or divided into twelve monthly payments.  Note: A 12-month installment payment plan is available through a payment plan. Additional information is available through the SWBTS Business Office. Non-Southern Baptist students will be charged a yearly payment of $3,425 which can be paid in total or by monthly payments.
If a D.Min. student's program exceeds three years, there is no charge for year 4. However, an additional extension fee of $1,100 per year will be charged to the student for year 5 and every year thereafter. Please note that a student's program may not exceed six years in total.

Financial assistance is not available through the Fish School Office of Doctoral Programs. Applications for financial assistance may be made through the Student Financial Aid Office of the seminary.

All fees and dates are provisional and may be subject to change by the administrative offices of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Additional Information

Students interested in more complete information regarding the program should contact the School of Evangelism and Missions D.Min. Office, SWBTS Roy Fish School of Evangelism and Missions, P.O. Box 22667, Fort Worth, TX 76122-0667, call (817) 923-1921 extension 6476, or email dminfish@swbts.edu.

Established 1908 Fort Worth, Texas