Frequently Asked Questions

Who teaches the D.Min. classes? 

Our aim is to bring in the most qualified pastors and scholars around, who have been undeniably marked by God and the Christ-centered Word. Every class, every instructor provides an opportunity for our D.Min. students to be shaped by pastoral theologians committed to the centrality of the Gospel for all of life and ministry.

One of the admissions requirements is that an applicant must have an M.Div. degree. What if I don't have an M.Div? Can I still apply? 

Students who have completed a ministerial or theological M.A. are still encouraged to inquire. Prospective students must have an M.Div. or its equivalent to be admitted, and some M.A. degrees may meet this criteria.  An M.A. with at least 72 credits and core theological, biblical, exegetical, and pastoral courses may be regarded as equivalent to an M.Div.

In addition, a prospective student may be admitted as a Pre-D.Min. student, wherein the student would be admitted into Western Seminary's D.Min. Program, but must complete several Masters credits before taking D.Min. courses. Please contact us for further information!

What if I've only been in ministry a short time? 

Involvement in vocational ministry is required for both admission and continuance in Western's D.Min. We are looking for individuals who demonstrate significant achievement in ministry. Once a student has graduated with their M.Div. (or equivalent degree), they should plan to be in full-time ministry for about 3 years before applying to the D.Min. program. However, an individual who has less than 3 years of full-time ministry experience post M.Div. is still encouraged to inquire!

Where do I stay when I am in Portland for D.Min. classes? 

We have a number of recommendations we can provide for local hotels. We also have a relationship with the World View Center, a dorm/apartment-style housing complex which may be able to provide overnight accommodations at a more affordable price than a hotel, and only walking distance from the Western Seminary campus.

How long does it take to complete the D.Min. program? 

Students can complete their D.Min. with Western Seminary in 3-6 years. The pace that students move through the D.Min. depends largely on how quickly they complete the course phase.  Western's D.Min. is 8 coures (24 credits) and a 6-credit dissertation.  Students generally take 2-3 courses per year, and about a year to finish the dissertation.  All students must complete their D.Min. within 6 years of admission.

How much does the D.Min. cost? 

Currently tuition for Western's D.Min. is $535 per credit. The program is a 30 credit doctoral program. Tuition rates do change from year to year, but students can anticipate the total cost of the program (including tuition, travel, and books) to be approximately $20,000.

Is there financial aid available? 

Western Seminary graduates are eligible for an alumni discount of up to 20% of total tution.  You may find more information regarding financial aid here.

Can I complete the D.Min. program via distance? 

Western's D.Min. is intentioanally accessible to those who live outside the greater Portland area. Our D.Min. courses are offered in an intensive format, where there is a period of pre-course preparation that the student completes independently, an intensive 4 day seminar on Western's Portland campus, and then a post-course period during which the student independently completes assignments. Students only need to travel to Portland for the intensive seminar. Depending on how quickly students plan to complete their course phase, this would mean 2-4 trips to Portland each year.

What is the D.Min. dissertation like? 

Western's D.Min. dissertation is a scholarly written product based on sound research with a strong practical emphasis. Our goal for every dissertation is to make a significant contribution to the field of pastoral ministry, with an eye toward publication. It is practical in that it is immediately related to the ministry of the writer, and is theological, Gospel-centered reflection applied to pastoral situation.  The dissertation represents the capstone of Western's D.Min. Program, and is a prerequisite for graduation.

How do I find a reader for my dissertation? 

The dissertation reader is an individual contracted by the seminary to assist the student in refining their ideas and content of the dissertation. Many students approach the dissertation phase with an idea in mind of who they would like to use as their reader. Others seek guidance from the D.Min. Director. Through a collaborative process, we work with students to find an individual who has the experience necessary to assist them through this process.