Doctor of Ministry

Note: Information regarding the Doctor of Ministry Degree for the School of Theology, the School of Preaching, and the School of Evnagelism and Missions contained in this catalog is an overview of the basic requirements for completing the degree. Students enrolled in the program are accountable for the policies and procedures contained in the most recent edition of the Doctor of Ministry Degree Handbook.

Persons interested in additional information regarding entry into the program should contact the Professional Doctoral Office by mail at P.O. Box 22628, Fort Worth, TX 76122-0720, by phone at (817) 923-1921, ext. 6700, or by email at dmin@swbts.edu.

Doctor of Ministry Handbook PDF

Purpose and Nature of the Degree

The purpose of the DMin Program at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is to develop reflective practitioners in ministry who will grow not only in ministry comprehension and competence, but also in character. 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 practices of ministry and to articulate and demonstrate a biblical vision for ministry practice.

Admission Requirements for the Doctor of Ministry Degree

Applicants must be approved for general seminary admission prior to consideration by the DMin 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.

Educational Requirements

All DMin applicants must have a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree from a regionally-accredited college, university, or seminary or a degree which is equivalent to the MDiv from a regionally-accredited college, university, or seminary. A Master of Arts in Christian Education (MACE) may be considered if the student has completed the theological core requirements of the MDiv degree from an accredited seminary. Other Master’s degree graduates will be considered on an individual basis. All students not meeting the MDiv requirements are invited to submit their transcripts for evaluation and determination of any additional course work necessary to satisfy the requirements for admission.

Applicants must have a minimum grade point average of 3.00 on a scale of 4.00 in Master’s level studies in religion or theology. Applicants with less than a 3.00 may be admitted on probation, at the discretion of the DMin Office. Applicants may request an exception to the required 3.00 GPA rule by submitting a letter to the DMin Office asking for the exception and explaining any unusual circumstances that contributed to their failure to achieve the required GPA during their Master’s level work. The applicant will also need, in addition to the letter requesting an exception, to submit original copies of his MAT and/or GRE test scores to the DMin office. Applicants must score above a 400 on the MAT, or on the GRE, a minimum of 153 on the Verbal Reasoning section (500 on the old scale) and a minimum of 4.0 on the Analytical Writing section.

Prior to admission into the DMin Program applicants must have completed the MDiv degree from an institution accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) or an affiliate of the council of regional accrediting groups or its educational equivalent. The DMin Office has the right to prescribe any Master’s level courses that an applicant must take in order to apply for DMin studies.

The DMin Office will examine the academic transcript(s) of applicants who have earned an MA and are seeking entrance to the program in order to determine if the applicant has indeed attained MDiv equivalency. An applicant not meeting the MDiv equivalency requirement may take additional Master’s level coursework to achieve this equivalency. Such coursework will be considered leveling work. Students may not enroll in a doctoral seminar in a discipline in which leveling work is incomplete. An M.A. degree will be considered “equivalent” to the M.Div. when the following conditions are met:

  1. The student has completed three years (72 semester hours minimum) of Master’s level work, and
  2. The student has completed Master’s level course work in the following five areas:
    • Biblical Studies (15 hours)
    • Theological Studies (3 hours)
    • Historical Studies (3 hours)
    • Ethics and Philosophical Studies (3 hours)
    • Evangelism and Mission Studies (3 hours)
    • Preaching and Pastoral Studies (6 hours)

For the Expository Preaching cohort, one full year of Hebrew and one full year of Greek are also required.  Applicants without the minimum language requirements must complete them before they may progress to the seminar stage.  The language requirements must be completed in addition to the 72 hours of course work mentioned above.

Applicants with a BA degree in religious studies, Bible, or a similar field may submit a transcript of that coursework in order to provide a more complete picture of their academic preparation, but in no instance may courses taken toward an undergraduate degree be counted toward the three years of Master’s work.

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.

Ministry Requirements

Applicants must be employed, or hold an official position, 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 professional dissertation.

Applicants seeking admission must have served in a vocational ministry position acceptable to the DMin Office for at least three years after graduation with an MDiv degree, or its equivalent.

Due to our doctrinal convictions, only male students will be considered for Pastoral Leadership and Expository Preaching majors in the Doctor of Ministry program.

International Student Requirements

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 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 bachelor's degree from a North American institution may petition the DMin office to have this requirement waived.

In addition to a passing TOEFL score, the DMin 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.

Applicants applying for the DMin Program must be citizens of the U.S., permanent residents, hold an R-1 visa, or plan to study on an F-1 visa.

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 Ministry and Services Office communicates regularly with the DMin Program to assure that all DHS regulations are followed.

Please note that all international students who are studying at Southwestern Seminary under an F-1 visa status may complete the Ministry Practicum Seminars for each year they are in the residency portion of their program requirements. These Ministry Practicum Seminars are designed to facilitate one’s growth as a minister and enable one to develop greater ministry skills which can be utilized both now and upon one’s return to the country of origin.

Korean Doctor of Ministry Program

Southwestern offers the entire Doctor of Ministry curriculum in the Korean language. Students in this program 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. For more details on the calendar of meetings, please see page x of the attached handbook above.

Application Processes

When to Apply

All materials must be received in the DMin office by February 1 of the year the applicant anticipates beginning the program. Applications are good for one year from the date received. International Students wishing to apply for the DMin program must have completed and submitted their application by February 1st for the following reasons: 1) the interview process to obtain an F-1 Visa could take as much as 4 months in some cases, and therefore 2) we cannot guarantee their participation in the seminar for the upcoming year.

How to Apply

Complete the 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. Applications for the DMin Programs may be requested by contacting the Office of Admissions, P. O. Box 22740, Fort Worth, TX  76122, 817-923-1921 ext. 2700 or admissions@swbts.edu.

As part of the Admissions application, students will submit the following items:

  1. 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 doctorate degree from an accredited institution. The student may contact the DMin Office for permission to substitute for one personal reference if he is unable to obtain two academic references.
  2. A Statement of Ministry Endorsement form.
  3. Current ministry resume.
  4. A 3-5 page “History of Ministry-Related Experience.” This paper should note specific ministry responsibilities, significant relationships, and spiritual insights gained from them.

Applicants will be notified of the final decision on their application in writing by the DMin Office. Upon acceptance into the program, students will be assigned a faculty supervisor. The supervisor will work with the student throughout his/her program in registration for seminars and supervision through the Prospectus and Dissertation stages.

Research and Writing Seminar

The Research and Writing Seminar is a required seminar that is conducted prior to a student's first seminar.  The purpose of the seminar is to both strengthen a student’s writing skill and to 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 seminars unless the Research and Writing Seminar has been completed successfully.

 

Program Requirements

The DMin Program is a thirty (30) hour degree:

DMIN SEMINARS
  (two seminars, one per year, worth 12 hours each)
24 hours
  DMNRW 6000: Research and Writing Seminar
    (completed before beginning seminars)
Pass/Fail
  COLLM 8000: Professional Dissertation Seminar Pass/Fail
PROFESSIONAL DISSERTATION STAGE  
  COLLM 8010 A: Prospectus Writing Stage Pass/Fail
  COLLM 8020 A: Dissertation Writing Stage Pass/Fail
  COLLM 8026: Successful Dissertation Defense 6 hours
TOTAL PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS 30 hours

 

Major Areas of Study

Students may choose from one of four majors of study: Expository Preaching, Pastoral Leadership, North American Evangelism and Missions, or International Evangelism and Missions.  Students must complete at least four seminars in their major field of study.  They may choose up to 2 elective seminars which may be taken from any other DMin field of study.

Expositional Preaching

To train pastors to exegete Scripture accurately, applying biblical truths to culture, training them to communicate skillfully the glory of God. The Expositional Preaching major is offered in both Fort Worth and Houston.

Course Title  Course Number  Hours
Research and Writing Seminar DMNRW 6000  
Text-Driven Preaching DMNEP 6014  
History of Preaching DMNEP 6024  
Rhetoric DMNEP 6034  
Preaching Old Testament Genres    
·         Preaching Old Testament Narrative DMNEP 6114  
·         Preaching Old Testament Prophets DMNEP 6124  
·         Preaching Old Testament Wisdom and Poetry DMNEP 6134  
Preaching New Testament Genres    
·         Preaching the Gospels DMNEP 6214  
·         Preaching the Gospels DMNEP 6224  
·         Preaching the Gospels DMNEP 6234  
Professional Dissertation Seminar COLLM 8000  
Professional Dissertation Stage    
·         Professional Dissertation Prospectus COLLM 8010  
·         Professional Dissertation in Progress COLLM 8020  
·         Successful Dissertation Defense COLLM 8026 6
     
  Total 30

 

Pastoral Leadership

To equip pastor-theologians to be more effective leader-servants by enlarging their understanding of biblical servant-leadership, analyzing classical and current organizational leadership theories, and developing a spiritual leadership plan for their ministry setting.

Course Title  Course Number  Hours
Research and Writing Seminar DMNRW 6000  
·         Church Membership DMNPL 6114  
·         Pastoral Care DMNPL 6124  
·         Church Polity DMNPL 6134  
·         Church Leadership DMNPL 6144  
·         Conflict Resolution DMNPL 6154  
·         Current Issues in Pastoral Ministry DMNPL 6164  
Professional Dissertation Seminar COLLM 8000  
Professional Dissertation Stage    
·         Professional Dissertation Prospectus COLLM 8010  
·         Professional Dissertation in Progress COLLM 8020  
·         Successful Dissertation Defense COLLM 8026 6
     
  Total 30

 

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.

Course Title  Course Number  Hours
Research and Writing Seminar DMNRW 6000  
·         Theology of Evangelism and Missions DMNME 6114  
·         History of Evangelism and Missions DMNME 6124  
·         Anthropology and Contextualization in Missions and Evangelism DMNME 6134  
·         Ecclesiology for Missions and Evangelism DMNME 6144  
·         Evangelism and Missions in the Local Church DMNME 6154  
·         Biblical Foundations for Evangelism and Missions DMNME 6164  
Professional Dissertation Seminar COLLM 8000  
Professional Dissertation Stage    
·         Professional Dissertation Prospectus COLLM 8010  
·         Professional Dissertation in Progress COLLM 8020  
·         Successful Dissertation Defense COLLM 8026 6
     
  Total 30

 

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.

Course Title  Course Number  Hours
Research and Writing Seminar DMNRW 6000  
·         Theology of Evangelism and Missions DMNME 6114  
·         History of Evangelism and Missions DMNME 6124  
·         Anthropology and Contextualization in Missions and Evangelism DMNME 6134  
·         Ecclesiology for Missions and Evangelism DMNME 6144  
·         Evangelism and Missions in the Local Church DMNME 6154  
·         Biblical Foundations for Evangelism and Missions DMNME 6164  
Professional Dissertation Seminar COLLM 8000  
Professional Dissertation Stage    
·         Professional Dissertation Prospectus COLLM 8010  
·         Professional Dissertation in Progress COLLM 8020  
·         Successful Dissertation Defense COLLM 8026 6
     
  Total 30

 

Professional Dissertation Requirements

Professional Dissertation Seminar (COLLM 8000)

Students will participate in the Professional Dissertation Seminar during the spring at the end of their second seminar year. The seminar is an online prospectus writing course composed of a series of webinars and online assignments. The intent of this course is to guide students through the prospectus writing process. Students must complete all prerequisites for this seminar.

Professional Dissertation Stage

Upon satisfactory completion of all seminar requirements and the Professional Dissertation Seminar, students enter the dissertation stage of the DMin Program. At this stage, students will be registered in COLLM 8010-A: Professional Dissertation Prospectus. Upon approval of their prospectus, students will be enrolled in COLLM 8020-A: Professional Dissertation in Progress as they write their professional dissertation. Upon satisfactory completion of the Professional Dissertation and the oral examination, students will receive six (6) hours of credit in class COLLM 8026: Successful Dissertation Defense. The DMin office will inform the Office of the Registrar that the student has passed the professional dissertation. Upon that notification, the Office of the Registrar will register the student retroactively for COLLM 8026.

 

Termination from the Program

Students may be terminated from the D.Min. program for the following reasons:

  1. Failure to complete the program in the allotted time. The program is designed to be completed in four (4) years but the maximum time allotted is six (6) years. This time is calculated from the first semester of enrollment in seminars and terminates the day of graduation for the same calendar semester of the 6th year.
    1. A student who has not completed his degree by the six (6) year time limit will be dropped from the DMin Program, unless he submits a formal petition to the Associate Dean and DMin Committee for an extension and the petition is granted. An official petition for an extension must include the following: 1) the reason(s) why the student has not completed the degree within the DMin Program time limit; 2) documentation of the student’s effort to complete the degree within the time limit; and 3) a timeline that outlines the student’s plan to complete the DMin Program in consultation with his faculty and field (if applicable) supervisors. A student should not assume that his petition for an extension will be granted automatically. Requests for Extension must be received in the DMin office by March 31st.  Extensions are granted on a one-year basis from July 1 to June 30.
    2. If a student’s formal petition for an extension has been approved, but he has not submitted an approved prospectus by year eight (8), he will be required to retake the prospectus seminar. This will be at no charge to the student.
       
  2. Failure to maintain a 3.00 GPA (on a 4.00 scale) throughout the course of the program. Each student is required to maintain a 3.00 GPA (B average) in the DMin Program.
     
  1. Failure to remain in good standing with the seminary at large. All students of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary are required to adhere to ethical, financial, and academic standards as set forth in the seminary catalog.
Program Fees

Students are billed by the Business Office at the beginning of each DMin year.  Fees are due by July 1 for the upcoming year. Students should contact the Business Office to discuss payment plans.

Fees for the 2017-18 DMin academic year are as follows:

2018-19 DMin Program Fee

Due to the Cooperative Program scholarship for Southern Baptist students, the total program cost for Southern Baptists is $10,200.00 ($2,900 x 3 years + $1500 initial fee). The total program cost for non-Southern Baptist students is $12,300.00 ($3,600 x 3 years + $1500 initial fee).

Program Continuation Fee

If a DMin student’s program exceeds four years, an additional program continuation fee of $1,500 per year will be charged. Please note that a student’s program may not exceed six years in total.

Program Extension Fee

If a DMin student has NOT completed his dissertation by the end of six years, he may request a program extension. The Program Extension Fee is $1,500 per year.

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

Established 1908 Fort Worth, Texas