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.
Why should a pastor or other denominational leader pursue a Doctor of Ministry degree?
A Doctor of Ministry degree offers pastors and denominational leaders the opportunity to:
Deepen their spirituality and enhance personal and family life, fostering a stronger commitment to ministry.
Gain a deeper understanding of biblical leadership and develop competencies that contribute to the Adventist perspective of evangelism, mission, and ministry.
Experience personal and professional transformation.
Evaluate ministerial practices through theological reflection, shaping a biblical model of servant leadership.
Utilize effective tools for analyzing the needs of churches and communities, facilitating more impactful ministry.
Develop a global view of ministry.
Why choose Andrews for a 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 strives to be the best, with a unique alumni community and favored access to intensives for lifelong learning.
What makes Andrews a high-quality program?
The Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University offers a rigorous Doctor of Ministry program. Our commitment to "Quality Education" is evident through several measures we take:
Faculty teams consisting of both academics and practitioners.
Year-long modules with two-week intensives.
Ministry-embedded curriculum for active professionals.
Cohort-based delivery and learning communities.
Emphasis on a ministry development plan, professional projects, and field research.
The Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).
Can spouses attend intensives?
Yes! Spouses are welcome to attend teaching intensives in the Andrews Doctor of Ministry program. They need to inform the Doctor of Ministry office about their attendance. While they won't receive academic or CEU credit, there is no tuition fee for spouses. However, they will be responsible for additional travel, food, and lodging costs.
May someone not enrolled attend intensives?
No, with the exception of spouses or program graduates taking advantage of the lifelong learning benefit. In certain circumstances, exceptions may be made for participants who applied before the application deadline for a new cohort but haven't completed the application process. However, attending as a guest student does not guarantee acceptance, and the individual assumes financial responsibility, attending "at their own risk."
May I attend classes beyond those required for my degree?
Graduates of the Doctor of Ministry program have the opportunity for ongoing professional enrichment. Alumni can attend additional intensives at no extra cost. There won't be any audit or CEU credits awarded. This benefit is also available to those who have completed the required number of module credits (25) but haven't finished their professional dissertation. Alumni need to inform the DMin office in advance.
What are the requirements for admission?
Please refer to the current bulletin for specific admission requirements. In summary, the requirements include:
Active involvement in professional ministry.
Three years of experience after completing a graduate theological degree (with some exceptions).
Possession of an MDiv degree or equivalent, with an alternative portfolio option available in some cases.
Minimum GPA of 3.25.
Submission of a graduate-level paper for writing/investigative skills evaluation.
What courses are used to calculate my GPA?
The GPA is based on your MDiv or most recent graduate-level coursework. If you have additional courses to meet the equivalency standard, the averaged GPA for all applicable ministerial/theological graduate work is considered.
What if my GPA is below the standard?
If your GPA is below 3.25 but not lower than 3.0, you may be provisionally considered for admission. If your GPA is below 3.0 but not lower than 2.75, you may be considered for admission after completing 9 graduate-level ministerial/theological courses with a minimum GPA of 3.25 as remedial work.
When do I need to apply?
Start the application process at least six months before your anticipated first intensive. For international applicants, begin twelve months prior. Applications started less than 60 days before the first intensive will not be considered. Pre-intensive assignments must be completed before the first intensive and project seminar, regardless of the application start date.
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.
What are the time limits to the program?
You have a maximum of six years to complete the program. The official starting date is the semester that includes the intensive of your first module. To meet the program time limit, your professional dissertation must be ready for the defense event, and all course modules and seminars must have final grades as confirmed by your advisor and second reader.
Am I charged a project continuation fee in addition to my tuition?
No, there is no separate project continuation fee within the six-year program limit. However, if you exceed the program time limit, you can petition for a one-year program extension. Each semester you remain in the program beyond the time limit, you will need to register and pay an extension fee.
How long is the process for satisfying graduation deadlines, and where will I find that schedule?
The process 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 takes approximately ten months. You can find the specific schedule for completion deadlines on the Doctor of Ministry website, so please review it carefully.
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.
If there is a gap of more than three semesters in your program activity before starting with the new cohort, it may be necessary to submit a new application. Additionally, registering 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
failing to meet academic standards
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.
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.