Ministry, D.Min.


The Doctor of Ministry program is designed to equip ministry leaders for a high level of excellence in the practice of ministry.

Program Description

The Doctor of Ministry degree is the highest professional degree for pastoral and ministry leaders. Talbot's Doctor of Ministry program is designed to help ministry practitioners make their maximum impact in ministry. Our goal is to help leaders develop the skills necessary to accomplish God's unique agenda for their lives and ministry.

The Doctor of Ministry program is designed to equip leaders of various Christian ministries for a high level of excellence in the practice of ministry. We offer an expanding number of specialty tracks that utilize a cohort-based faculty-mentor led model of education. Students meet for intensive two-week residencies every year for three years, and complete major projects between residencies. A doctoral project is required. Students have twelve semesters to complete all program requirements including the doctoral project.

Talbot's program is designed for people currently engaged in full-time ministry and builds upon the Master of Divinity degree.

The distinctives of Talbot's Doctor of Ministry program are as follows:

  • Specialty-focused. In order to help students maximize their particular ministries, Talbot offers a growing number of specialty tracks.
  • Cohort-based. Students participate in an academic pilgrimage with classmates who share their particular ministry passion (cohort).
  • Faculty-Mentor-led. Each cohort is led by a Talbot or Biola faculty member who is recognized as an expert in his or her field of ministry and who wants to share his or her life and insights. They walk with the cohort through every residency and guide the students' doctoral projects. Learning occurs within the context of relationship.
  • Practitioner-sensitive. Assignments are integrated into the students' life and ministry.
  • Spiritual Formation-oriented. With the assistance of Talbot's Institute for Spiritual Formation, we help students in the areas of spiritual growth and soul care. We help students develop the mind and spiritual character necessary for effective ministry.

D.Min. Program Timeline

Year One Residency

  • Pre-Residency Coursework (complete reading and assignments)
  • Two-Week On-Campus Residency
    • Spiritual Formation Module during the first weekend of the first residency.
  • Post Residency Project

Year Two Residency

  • Pre-Residency Coursework (complete reading and assignments)
  • Two-Week On-Campus Residency
  • Post Residency Project

Year Three Residency

  • Pre-Residency Coursework (complete reading and assignments)
  • Two-Week On-Campus Residency
  • Post Residency Project

Year Four Doctoral Project (with optional years five and six)

  • Submit an acceptable doctoral project proposal
  • Write a doctoral project
  • Present the doctoral project and be evaluated
  • Submit final acceptable copy of approved doctoral project

D.Min. Program Components

Part I. Residency Phase (3 years)

Pre-Residency Preparation (3 Times)

The semester before each residency, extensive reading and preparation are assigned by the faculty-mentor. Participants should plan to devote at least one day per week to their coursework in preparation for the residency.

Residency (3 Times)

Each year's two-week residency consists of ten days of classroom instruction and discussion. The courses are designed sequentially for the participant to acquire increasing competency in the selected area of concentration, both in terms of conceptual understanding and praxis. A principle focus of each residency is the participant's own preparation.

Post-Residency Projects (3 Times)

Following each of the residencies, students will complete a project in their place of ministry that relates to the coursework covered in the residency. This is known as a "post-residency project." During the residency, the faculty-mentor will inform the student about expectations for content, necessary components, matters of form and deadlines. Post-residency projects are completed during the semester following each residency.

Part II. Doctoral Project Phase (1–3 years)

Doctoral Project and Presentation (1 Time)

The doctoral project is the capstone project of the program. It is the culmination of previous learning in the program and a demonstration of the student's ability to conduct doctoral level writing and research in the area of specialization. In addition to the faculty-mentor, the participant will be assigned a second reader. With the faculty-mentor playing a lead role, these two faculty members form the doctoral project committee and guide the participant through the project, approving each aspect from the initial proposal through to the final draft. Doctoral project proposals will only be accepted from those students who have maintained a cumulative 3.0 GPA. The final requirements for degree completion are the participant's successful presentation of the completed doctoral project in an oral presentation to the doctoral project committee, and the presentation of acceptable final manuscripts. Fee: $500 per semester. Credit(s): 0.

Extension of Program

Students are granted twelve semesters to complete the Doctor of Ministry Program. Extensions are not encouraged. Students who have completed the doctoral project classes (TTMN 880, TTMN 881, TTMN 882, TTMN 883, TTMN 884, and TTMN 885) but have not completed an acceptable doctoral project, may apply for an extension. The student must complete the Doctor of Ministry Application for Extension. On the application form, the student must demonstrate that steady progress has already been made and furnish a compelling reason why additional time is needed. Furthermore, the student must describe an action plan with a proposed timeline detailing how he/she will complete the project within the extra time requested. On the application form, the D.Min. office must affirm that there is a reasonable expectation that the student will finish on time if an extension is granted. Applications are reviewed and extensions are granted at the discretion of the Dean of Academic Records. Extensions are granted one year at a time. Fee: $750 per semester. Credit(s): 0.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Doctor of Ministry, students will be able to:

  1. Integrate theological reflection with knowledge about the practice of ministry to assess the suitability of various solutions to a ministry problem (ULO 3).
  2. Utilize library resources and appropriate social science research to develop a research-based solution to a ministry problem (ULO 3).
  3. Implement a reasonable solution to a ministry problem (ULO 3).
  4. Demonstrate Christian virtues and spiritual maturity in academic work (ULO 2).

Each Program Learning Outcome (PLO) listed above references at least one of the University Learning Outcomes (ULO 1, 2, 3), which may be found in the General Information section of this catalog.

Admission Requirements

Students applying for the D.Min. degree must have completed the M.Div. degree or its educational equivalent with at least a 3.0 GPA from an accredited school, followed by at least three years of ministry experience, and be currently involved in a ministry. Applicants are encouraged to apply for admission as early as possible.

Admission of Non-Native English-Speaking Students

It is essential that non-native English speaking students be able to understand directions and lectures in English and be able to express their thoughts clearly in spoken and written English. The D.Min. department will determine English proficiency on a case by case basis, but will consistently look for at least one of the following criteria to be met:

  1. A TOEFL score of at least 600 PBT, 250 CBT, 100 IBT, or IELTS score of 7.5.
  2. An appropriate master's degree, from an accredited school, in an English-speaking program, with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.

The D.Min. program reserves the right to accept a student on a probationary basis if English language proficiency is in doubt, even if the applicant can demonstrate adequate satisfaction of either criteria mentioned above.

Some tracks may be available in other languages besides English. In these tracks, the English proficiency requirement may be waived.

Graduation Requirements

  1. Complete the six courses required for their chosen specialization.
  2. Achieve a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.
  3. Submit an acceptable doctoral project.
  4. Complete all program requirements within twelve semesters.
  5. Adhere to the academic standards of Talbot School of Theology.
  6. Submit graduation forms to the Doctor of Ministry office a semester before intended graduation.

Degree Specialty Tracks

Specialty tracks for the Doctor of Ministry Degree include:

  • Advanced Biblical Preaching
  • Advancing the Church
  • Asian-American Ministry
  • Discipleship for the 21st Century
  • Effective Congregational Care
  • Engaging Mind and Culture
  • Executive Pastor Leadership
  • Growing and Multiplying Churches in North America
  • Heart, Mind, and Soul
  • Ministry Skills
  • Multiethnic Church Ministry
  • Preaching the Literary Forms of the Bible

Some tracks may be available in other languages besides English.

Curriculum Requirements

Program Courses
TTMN 892Doctoral Project Proposal Submission0
TTMN 880Year Four Doctoral Project I0
TTMN 881Year Four Doctoral Project II0
TTMN 882Year Five Doctoral Project I 10
TTMN 883Year Five Doctoral Project II 10
TTMN 884Year Six Doctoral Project I 10
TTMN 885Year Six Doctoral Project II 10
Concentration Courses
Select a Specialty Track as detailed below36
Total Credits36

Registration for TTMN 882, TTMN 883, TTMN 884, and TTMN 885 are not necessary if the student submits the doctoral project at the end of year four. Visas for international doctoral students are valid for four years.


Advanced Biblical Preaching Specialty Track

TTMN 853Foundations of Biblical Preaching6
TTMN 854Communication and Persuasion in Preaching6
TTMN 855Preaching Biblical Narratives6
TTMN 856Preaching to Your Audience6
TTMN 876Preaching Prophetic and Wisdom Literature6
TTMN 877Preaching Apocalyptic Literature6
Total Credits36

Advancing the Church Specialty Track

TTMN 809Understanding Leadership6
TTMN 810Speaking as a Leader6
TTMN 811The Nature of the Church6
TTMN 812The Cultural Sensitivity of the Church6
TTMN 813Healing the Wounded Leader6
TTMN 814Healing the Wounded Congregation6
Total Credits36

Asian-American Ministry Specialty Track

TTMN 800Christ, Culture, and the Church I6
TTMN 804The Personal Life of the Asian-American Leader6
TTMN 805Christ, Culture, and the Church II6
TTMN 806The Challenges of Asian-American Leadership6
TTMN 807Lessons on Longevity for the Asian-American Leader6
TTMN 808The Asian-American Mentor6
Total Credits36

Discipleship for the 21st Century Specialty Track

TTMN 821The Biblical Context of Discipleship and the Person I6
TTMN 822The Biblical Context of Discipleship and the Person II6
TTMN 823Discipleship as the Ministry of the Church I6
TTMN 824Discipleship as the Ministry of the Church II6
TTMN 825Discipleship and Community Relationships I6
TTMN 826Discipleship and Community Relationships II6
Total Credits36

Effective Congregational Care Specialty Track

TTMN 833Developing Life Groups and Transforming Communities6
TTMN 834Counseling Individuals, Couples and Families6
TTMN 835Developing Redemptive Family Ministries I6
TTMN 836Developing Redemptive Family Ministries II6
TTMN 837Ministering to People in Addictive Bondage6
TTMN 838Ministering to People in the Wake of Crisis, Loss and Trauma6
Total Credits36

Engaging Mind and Culture Specialty Track

TTMN 839Understanding Worldviews and Culture I6
TTMN 840Understanding Worldviews and Culture II6
TTMN 841Engaging Worldviews and Culture I6
TTMN 842Engaging Worldviews and Culture II6
TTMN 843Reclaiming Worldviews and Culture I6
TTMN 844Reclaiming Worldviews and Culture II6
Total Credits36

Executive Pastor Leadership Specialty Track

TTMN 827Foundations of Executive Management6
TTMN 828Personal Strengths Assessment6
TTMN 829Finances, Facilities and Fundraising6
TTMN 830Legal and Ethical Issues in Executive Management6
TTMN 831Personnel Development and Human Resource Management6
TTMN 832The XP Tool Box6
Total Credits36

Growing and Multiplying Churches in North America Specialty Track

TTMN 845Foundations of Biblical Church Growth and Multiplication6
TTMN 846Evangelizing Secular Peoples6
TTMN 847Turnaround Strategies6
TTMN 848Church Multiplication6
TTMN 849Growing Ministries in the "New World" I6
TTMN 850Growing Ministries in the "New World" II6
Total Credits36

Heart, Mind, and Soul Specialty Track

TTMN 904Preaching to the Heart I6
TTMN 905Preaching to the Heart II6
TTMN 906Renewing the Mind I6
TTMN 907Renewing the Mind II6
TTMN 908Caring for the Soul I6
TTMN 909Caring for the Soul II6
Total Credits36

Ministry Skills Specialty Track

TTMN 851Discipleship I6
TTMN 852Discipleship II6
TTMN 857Expository Preaching6
TTMN 858Narrative Preaching6
TTMN 859Leadership I6
TTMN 860Leadership II6
Total Credits36

Multiethnic Church Ministry Specialty Track

TTMN 863Foundations for Multiethnic Ministry6
TTMN 864Principles and Procedures of Multiethnic Ministry6
TTMN 865Models and Strategies for Multiethnic Congregations6
TTMN 866Understanding the Peoples of Ethnic America6
TTMN 867Multiethnic Dimensions of Missional Leadership6
TTMN 868Leading and Managing Multiethnic Congregations6
Total Credits36

Preaching the Literary Forms of the Bible Specialty Track

TTMN 869Preaching the Bible6
TTMN 870Preaching to Listeners6
TTMN 871Preaching Narratives6
TTMN 873Preaching Apocalyptic Literature6
TTMN 874Preaching Poetic, Prophetic, Law and Proverb6
TTMN 875Preaching the Gospels6
Total Credits36