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Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

A ministry of lasting influence demands an intense focus on a message with eternal significance—the transformational gospel of Jesus Christ. This conviction defines the emphasis of the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program, a course of study aimed at achieving the most advanced degree in pastoral training.

You'll join a cohort from one of four areas of emphasis: Pastoral Ministry and Leadership, Preaching, Biblical Languages in Ministry, and Theology in Ministry. Each cohort is comprised of courses delivered by distinctive faculty, including internationally recognized ministry leaders like Bryan Chapell, Timothy Witmer, Scotty Smith, Ray Ortland Jr., Mark Futato, and Carl Trueman. Combining interactive classes with extensive reading and research, you'll produce a dissertation as you seek to make a unique and significant contribution to the field of pastoral ministry.




Reduce This!



Graduate in as little as three years



On and off-campus intensives mean no need to relocate






What Sets Our Doctor of Ministry Apart?

  • An emphasis in core pastoral disciplines: Gospel Spirituality, Pastoral Leadership, and Christ-centered preaching
  • Choose from one of four areas of cohort emphasis: Pastoral and Ministry Leadership, Preaching, Biblical Languages in Ministry, or Theology in Ministry
  • Renowned practitioners like Mike Jones, Paul Miller, Carl Trueman, Bryan Chapell, Scotty Smith, and Robert Smith provide an exceptional mix of academic credibility and pastoral experience
  • Program direction and personal mentoring by Dr. Steve Mathewson—a professor of pastoral theology, author, and lead pastor



See a list of courses

Required D.Min. Courses:
DM701 Effecting Gospel-Centered Transformation 3
DM702 Research Design and Methodology 3
DM791 D.Min. Dissertation 6+
Electives: 18 credits
Total: 30+ credits

Accessible Scheduling

We recognize the desire our students have to balance life and ministry alongside a doctoral program. Our goal is to help set our doctoral students up for success by providing a cohort-based program. One of the benefits of a cohort-based program is that all of your courses will be scheduled in advance, allowing you to effectively plan around the dates you will be in Portland for class.

A Practical, Publishable Dissertation

Your dissertation won't sit on a shelf in Western's library. Rather, you'll produce a practical and scholarly product that speaks to the field of pastoral ministry, will be a blessing to your fellow pastors, and is worthy of and appropriate for publication. Dr. Reid Kisling now oversees our dissertation process, and with his help your dissertation could make a significant impact upon pastors and ministry leaders everywhere.

Lifelong Learning

We want to invest in your ongoing, lifelong education. That's why every DMin graduate can audit one course per academic year, for free. With experienced and impactful ministry veterans teaching in our classrooms, there will never be a shortage of opportunities for further growth. 

Ministry Training That Keeps Debt Down

Ministry work can bring limited financial reward. That's why we encourage wise financial stewardship as you pay for school. It might surprise you to learn that a minority of our students utilize loans, with most choosing instead to pay out of pocket, with scholarships, or via a monthly payment plan. Look into your options for financial aid

Admission Requirements

In addition to a completed application for admission and the submission of all related admissions materials, applicants must present:

  • A Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree or a two year MA degree in ministry leadership consisting of at least 72 semester credits in theology, biblical studies, and the arts of ministry from an ATS-accredited school *
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in any of the above degrees
  • At least three years of full-time experience in a significant ministry leadership role after seminary graduation 

* The Doctor of Ministry degree is an advanced professional doctorate that builds upon a master’s degree in a ministry-related area and upon significant ministry experience. Students without an accredited Master of Divinity degree may be admitted, provided the school has publicly stated admissions criteria that address the following six areas and provided the school documents how each applicant meets each of these criteria: (a) the ability to thoughtfully interpret scripture and the theological tradition of one’s ministry context, (b) the capacity to understand and adapt one’s ministry to the cultural context, (c) a basic self-understanding of one’s ministerial identity and vocational calling, (d) a readiness to engage in ongoing personal and spiritual formation for one’s ministry, (e) an accredited master’s degree in an area related to one’s ministry setting or vocational calling, and (f) significant ministerial experience that enables the applicant to engage as a ministry peer with other students in this advanced professional doctorate.

As always, contact an Admissions Counselor if you’ve got further questions.