Ministry, D.Min. (Ministry Skills)

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 specializations that utilize a cohort-based faculty-mentor led model of education. Students in the Ministry Skills specialization meet for intensive two-week residencies every year for three years, and complete major projects between residencies. A doctoral project is required once coursework is completed. Students have twelve semesters to complete all program requirements including the doctoral project.

We know the challenges you face as a ministry leader. Even after receiving a solid and sound seminary education, you may still find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the unrelenting demands of actual day-to-day ministry. It does not take long to realize you need more — more knowledge, more training, more coaching. Talbot is committed to helping you to hone your abilities in three essential ministry skills — discipleship, preaching, and leadership. In the Ministry Skills specialization you will spend a year on discipleship — moving from a coherent theology of discipleship to developing strategies for making disciples in your own ministry context. You will also spend a year on preaching — learning how to preach biblical sermons that are faithful to the text and relevant to your particular audience. And you will spend a year on leadership — not just gathering information but learning how to lead your congregation in a way that is effective, practical and biblical. If you want to be the best minister you can be, join us.

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

Applicants must have a Master’s Degree in a ministry-related area with a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited school (or its educational equivalent). While this is evaluated by the Doctor of Ministry Office on a case-by-case basis, we typically look for at least 36 semester credits of graduate theological education in the areas of Biblical Studies, Christian Thought, and Ministry Praxis. Applicants must also demonstrate significant ministerial experience, typically at least three years of vocational ministry experience in church or parachurch organizations. We are also willing to consider appropriate part-time or full-time, paid or unpaid, ordained, licensed, or appointed ministry leadership positions. 

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.
  3. Completion of the Biola English Language Program (ELP) with passing status on the ELP’s final exit exam, which must be approved by the English Language Program Director in collaboration with the academic program committee. An updated TOEFL or IELTS score may be used at the end of a term to test directly into the graduate program for the following term.

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 specializations may be available in other languages besides English. In these specializations, 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. All D.Min. students are required to complete a 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.

Curriculum Requirements

Program Courses
TTMN 892Doctoral Project Proposal Submission0
TTMN 880Year Four Doctoral Project I 10
TTMN 881Year Four Doctoral Project II 10
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
Ministry Skills Specialization Courses
TTMN 851Discipleship I6
TTMN 852Discipleship II6
TTMN 857Expository Preaching6
TTMN 858Narrative Preaching6
TTMN 859Leadership I6
TTMN 860Leadership II6
Total Credits36

Registration for TTMN 880, TTMN 881, TTMN 882, TTMN 883, TTMN 884, and TTMN 885 is not necessary if the student has already submitted the doctoral project. TTMN 900 is not a required course but maintains students' full-time status during semesters in which they are not enrolled in a required course.