DMin Frequently Asked Questions

Who teaches the DMin 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 DMin students to be shaped by pastoral theologians committed to the centrality of the Gospel for all of life and ministry.

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 DMin We are looking for individuals who demonstrate significant achievement in ministry. A typical strong applicant will have at least 3 years of full-time ministry experience before applying to the DMin program. However, an individual who has less than 3 years of full-time ministry experience is still encouraged to inquire.

Where do I stay when I am in Portland for DMin classes? 

Students are asked to make their own travel and lodging arrangements for their on-campus intensives. Most students stay at local hotels or AirBnB rentals. Enrolled students will receive more specific suggestions from the program administration.

How long does it take to complete the DMin program? 

Students can complete their DMin with Western Seminary in three to six years. The pace that students move through the DMin depends largely on how quickly they complete their dissertation phase. Coursework should be completed within two and a half to three years, but may vary by cohort. Depending on the scope of preparatory work done on the dissertation during the course phase, the student could complete the dissertation within a year or less.

How much does the DMin cost? 

Please visit our Tuition and Fees page, noting that Western's DMin requires 30 credit hours for completion. In addition to required tuition fees and per semester ERF fees, students are responsible for their own travel, lodging, and books costs. A rough estimate of total costs for completing the DMin program (for just tuition and ERF fees, and not including travel, lodging, and books) is around $22,000.

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 DMin program via distance? 

Western's DMin is intentionally accessible to those who live outside the greater Portland area. Our DMin courses are offered in an intensive format, where there is a period of pre-intensive preparation that the student completes independently, an intensive 4-day seminar on Western's Portland campus, and then a post-intensive 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 2-3 trips to Portland each year.

What is the DMin dissertation like? 

Western's DMin 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 DMin 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 DMin Director. Through a collaborative process, we work with students to find an individual who has the experience necessary to assist them through this process.