1. What is the Doctor of Ministry program?
It is a 32-credit doctoral-level professional program for people in active ministry who wish to develop advanced competencies. The program builds on a Master of Divinity degree or educational equivalent. There are 25 credits of coursework and a seven-credit professional dissertation which is integrated into the program. The credits are registered at eight credits a year. Much of the learning design is embedded in ministry activity and reflection. A two- or three-week contact teaching portion (referred to as an "intensive") within each module is presented at various North American sites; a longer intensive is often scheduled for international sites.
2. Why should a pastor or other denominational leader pursue a Doctor of Ministry degree?
Participants have the opportunity to...
Deepen their spirituality, leading to enrichment of personal and family life and a greater commitment to ministry;
Understand the biblical model of leadership and develop competencies contributing to the strengthening of an Adventist perspective of evangelism, mission, and ministry;
Experience personal and professional transformation;
Learn to evaluate ministerial practices through theological reflection, aiding in the formation of a biblical model of servant leadership;
Learn to use appropriate tools to analyze the needs of churches and communities, to facilitate more effective ministry;
Develop a global view of ministry.
3. Why should a person choose Andrews for their DMin degree?
A person should choose the best program available for their particular needs. Our program mission responds to the needs of Adventist ministry: "Prompted by the promise of Christ's soon return, the Doctor of Ministry program at Andrews University is designed to develop spiritually mature and responsible professionals in ministry for worldwide church leadership." We offer focused concentrations in key areas of ministry. Andrews is striving to be the best. Our graduates become part of an alumni community unique within our church, and our graduates have favored access to the intensives in DMin modules to advance their lifelong learning.
4. What makes Andrews a high-quality program?
The Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University offers one of the most rigorous options for a Doctor of Ministry degree. The first goal in our master plan is "Quality Education." We have taken several steps to assure quality:
Academic and practitioner faculty teams
Year-long modules with two- or three-week intensives
Ministry-embedded curriculum for active professionals
Learning communities within the cohort
A ministry development plan
The Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.
5. What are the requirements for admission?
Always check with the current bulletin for the appropriate admission requirements. In summary, they are:
You must be active in some form of professional ministry.
You need to have three years of experience following completion of your first graduate theological degree (limited exceptions are possible).
The DMin program requires an MDiv degree or equivalent. See the location on this website titled Master of Divinity Equivalency for further detail on MDiv equivalency. In some cases, a portfolio alternative may be allowed.
The required minimum GPA is 3.25
You must have positive recommendations.
Include a 4-5 page essay that describes your personal spiritual journey and gives evidence of writing ability.
6. What courses are used to calculate my GPA?
The GPA is calculated on your MDiv or most recent graduate-level work. In the event that you have a master's degree and additional courses to satisfy the equivalency standard, the averaged GPA for all ministerial/theological graduate work applying to the equivalency is considered.
7. What if my GPA is below the standard?
If your GPA is lower than 3.25 but not lower than 3.0 you may be considered for admission on a provisional basis. If your GPA is lower than 3.0 but not lower than 2.75 you may be considered for admission after satisfying the minimum 3.25 GPA for 9 graduate-level ministerial/theological courses taken as remedial work prior to action on your application.
8. When do I need to apply?
Begin the application process at least six months prior to the start of your anticipated first intensive; for international applicants, begin twelve months prior. No applications will be considered if begun less than 60 days prior to your first intensive. Please note that pre-intensive assignments must be completed prior to the first intensive, and before the project seminar, regardless of when your application process began.
9. How much does it cost?
There is a 56% reduction from the full AU doctoral tuition charge. Further, many unions and conferences assist--usually 1/3 each--with the already-reduced tuition. Some conferences or sponsoring entities may help with additional associated expenses such as travel, lodging and books. Assistance varies in diverse fields. International cohorts have contracted rates. Persons employed in health care or the military may have other sponsorship or assistance opportunities according to employers' policies.
10. May spouses attend an intensive?
Yes! The Andrews Doctor of Ministry welcomes spouses to participate in teaching intensives. They need to notify the Doctor of Ministry office that they will be present as attending spouses. There is no academic or CEU credit, but there is also no tuition fee for such an arrangement. Of course, additional travel, food, and lodging costs will be your responsibility.
11. May someone who is not an enrolled program participant attend an intensive?
Sorry! No. The exception is your spouse or a program graduate availing themselves of the life-long learning benefit the program provides. Exceptions may be made in certain circumstances only for participants who applied prior to the application deadline for a new cohort but whose application process has not been completed. The DMin office advises students whose application process is ongoing that guest student registration and participation do not guarantee acceptance, and the student assumes financial responsibility; thus, such attendance is "at their own risk."
12. I'm interested in many subjects; may I attend classes beyond those required for my degree?
Graduates of the Doctor of Ministry program may continue to take advantage of professional enrichment opportunities in the DMin program. Alumni may attend, at no additional charge, as many additional intensives as they wish. There will be no audit or CEU credits.
This benefit is also open to those who have completed the required number of module credits for a degree (25), but have not yet finished a professional dissertation. Alumni must notify the DMin office in advance.
13. What are the time limits to the program?
You have six years to complete the program. Your official starting date is the semester containing the intensive of your first module. The program time limit is satisfied when your advisor and second reader confirm that your professional dissertation is ready for the defense event, and all course modules and seminars have final grades.
14. Am I charged a project continuation fee in addition to my tuition?
There is no separate project continuation fee within the six-year program limit. Persons who exceed the program time limit may petition for a one-year program extension, in which case registration and an extension fee are required each semester they remain in the program.
15. How long is the process for satisfying graduation deadlines, and where will I find that schedule?
From the time your advisor and second reader notify the Doctor of Ministry office that your professional dissertation is ready for the defense event until your actual graduation is approximately ten months. Carefully review the announced completion deadline schedule posted on the Doctor of Ministry website. It constitutes the current policy.
16. May I change concentrations after I have begun my program?
Yes, you can. You would begin from the start with the new cohort in your new concentration. Six years are allowed to complete the program, and the time limit will be reset with the start of your new concentration and cohort. It may be necessary to submit a new application if there is more than a three-semester lapse of program activity before starting with the new cohort. Registration with your new cohort will require financial clearance for all previous registrations. You will be expected to attend all modules with your new cohort, including GSEM706, GSEM790 and GSEM793. If you have received a grade of B or better for a module, including GSEM706, GSEM790, and GSEM793, you may retake them without registration or tuition charge. If the grade for the first time you took the module is below a B, you must re-register, and tuition for the repeat registration will be charged. Courses more than ten years old will need to be updated, possibly with some additional current work.
17. If I change cohorts will I have to repeat the required modules?
Yes. Your educational experience is largely an outcome of relational learning dynamics with your cohort and group. For that reason you are required to go through the entire program with your cohort. Although you must attend the intensives, you will not be registered for modules you completed at an earlier date if you received a grade of B or better. However, you may be required to do any reading assignments not included in the earlier version of the module, and resubmit your project chapter as required during that module. All assignments for GSEM790 will be required to be submitted. If you have taken a module earlier but did not receive a B or better, you must be registered and pay current tuition rates. A module may be repeated only once in this manner, and course expiration/update rules apply for registrations that exceed time limits.
18. If I change cohorts will I have to pay a second time for the same required modules?
You do not have to pay twice for the same module if a grade of B or better was earned for the first registration.
19. May I substitute a module from a different concentration and continue in my concentration?
No, since the educational experience includes relational contacts with your cohort and workgroup, you may not make such substitutions. You may attend and participate in other intensives as an alumnus once you have completed 25 coursework credits.
20. What happens if I miss an intensive for my cohort?
Intensives are required and the dates are announced long before you enroll in the program. You are required to attend each intensive, and generally, no excused absences are granted. Opportunities to take a missed course at a different time are limited by the four-year cycle of a concentration's curriculum, and in many cases, a course may not be available again within the six-year program limit. If you should become seriously ill or a member of your immediate household is hospitalized requiring your attention, you may speak to your lead faculty and request approval to do further study to make up for limited contact time lost in the intensive. You will be required to fulfill the usual assignments for that module in your cohort, as arranged. Your lead faculty may suggest an independent study registration if several days of an intensive are missed. Independent study credits are limited in the program. Any exceptions to normal cohort attendance, participation, or registration must be advised and approved by the program director.
21. Under what circumstances would I be dropped from the program?
Reasons students are dropped from the Doctor of Ministry program include (but are not limited to) missing an intensive, missing assignment due dates for a course module or the project seminar, exceeding the program timelines, voluntary withdrawal, failing to meet academic standards, or inactivity.
22. What immigration documents are required of non-US citizens to attend intensives in the US?
Program participants who are not United States citizens or permanent residents must make sure their immigration documents are in order before traveling to the United States each year for intensives. Current United States government policy requires a current I-20 document which is issued by Andrews at the student's initiative and must be renewed for each year's trip; and usually, a student visa is also required. You cannot be allowed to register for academic credits unless you have the proper documentation.
23. If I leave the program without completion, what are my options?
If 25 credits of course work have been completed (no grade below a B) with only the professional dissertation not completed, you may qualify to receive a post-graduate certificate. Persons who have left the program may reapply to start over from the beginning with a new cohort. Any previously completed courses with a grade of B or better that are included in the curriculum for the new cohort/concentration are not registered and charged again if they are not more than ten years old by the time of graduation. However, you will be expected to attend and participate fully in all scheduled modules and courses with the new cohort. Note: according to University policy, all degree requirements are to be met within a total of ten years.