Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

The Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program is designed to help religious professionals deepen their understanding of and commitment to ministry by providing a context in which to update and refine their theological knowledge, sharpen old skills, and learn new ones. The aim is to help students bring together previous experiences and new academic studies to create a fresh synthesis of theory and practice.

Applicants must have the MDiv or equivalent degree from a seminary accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) with a minimum GPA of 3.3. Applicants also must have completed a minimum of three years of full-time professional ministry or its equivalent.

Coursework may be completed on a part-time or full-time basis. Full-time students could expect to complete the program in two-and-a-half to three years. All students must complete the program in no more than six years.

The Dual Degree in Doctor of Ministry and Social Work (DMin/MSW) program will require three or more years of study to complete (depending on the length of time the student takes to write the thesis), with a maximum of six years allowed. The second year of field education internship for the MSW satisfies the supervised ministry requirement of the DMin.

Specific Doctor of Ministry Course Requirements

The student is required to take 10 courses (40 credits minimum):

  • five courses from the plan of study (20 credits minimum)
  • one elective from another area that is related to the student’s area of interest (4 credits)
  • two semesters of supervised ministry for a total of 8 credits (STH TC 981 Supervised Ministry I for 4 credits and STH TC 982 Supervised Ministry II for 4 credits)
  • one theology course (course prefix TT; 4 credits)
  • one research methods course: STH TF 901 (1 credit)
  • at least four credits of 991/992 Continuing Student Directed Study (2 credits per semester) for which the student registers with his or her project director every semester after completing coursework and supervised ministry requirements until graduation; these directed studies focus on conducting the project and writing the project thesis

Theology Course: Because theological reflection about the practice of ministry is a critical area of the DMin program and the project thesis, all students will be required to take one course that explicitly focuses on the theological aspects of their plan and is chosen in collaboration with their advisor.

Supervised Ministry: Students will register for two semesters of supervised ministry in settings related to their plan of study. In consultation with the advisor and one of the codirectors of contextual education, the student is responsible for selecting an appropriate setting and arranging for a qualified supervisor. Options for settings are detailed in the DMin Handbook. Students must submit a total of two supervised ministry proposals—one for each semester. Proposals must be approved by the student’s faculty advisor in the semester preceding the student’s participation in the supervised ministry. The approved proposal must be signed by the faculty advisor and the student and submitted to the Advanced Studies Programs Office by the faculty advisor. Guidelines for the proposal can be found in the DMin Handbook. Upon approval, the candidate may begin the supervised experience.

Students must register for TC 981 DMin Supervised Ministry I, during the first semester and TC 982 DMin Supervised Ministry II during the second semester of supervised ministry. The student will be evaluated on a Pass/Fail basis by their faculty advisor. The supervisor prepares and submits the Mid-Term Evaluation to the Advanced Studies Programs Office. The supervisor and student each prepare and submit a Final Evaluation to the Advanced Studies Programs Office. The student’s faculty advisor will review all evaluations, sign, and return them to the Advanced Studies Programs Office.

All courses taken in the DMin program must be at the 800 or 900 level or equivalent courses designed for doctoral study. Undergraduate and 700-level courses will not count toward the required coursework for the DMin program. Directed studies will seldom be allowed and then only by petition to the advisor and Advanced Study Committee (ASC). Four of the seven courses must be completed at Boston University. If, in a semester, a student is taking a course at the Boston Theological Institute (BTI), an equivalent number of units needs to be taken at the School of Theology.

Plans of Study

It is important that students have a coherent plan of study to integrate a solid academic foundation with practical work in the field. For this reason, students must select one of the following plans of study, depending on availability of instructors.

Plan of Study: Pastoral Counseling

Students must choose at least one from each of the following sections for a total of five courses.

Psychology and Religion

  • TY 803 Psychology of Religion

Theories of Personality

At least one course from:

  • TY 806 Theories of Human Development
  • TY 864 Personality Theory, Counseling, and Psychology of Religion
  • TY 911 Object Relations and the Study of Religion

Integration of Theory and Practice

At least one course from:

  • TY 830 Pastoral Care in the Community
  • TY 948 Pastoral Psychotherapy
  • TY 956 Pastoral Theology and Psychology

Application of Theory: Special Interests

At least one course from:

  • TY 807 Pastoral Psychology of Women
  • TY 855 Pastoral Care, Community Justice, and Feminist Ethics
  • TY 926 Psychodynamics of Marriage and Family


Plan of Study: Spirituality

Students must take five core courses in this plan.

Foundation course (required for all spirituality studies students):

  • TC 912 Classics in Christian Spirituality

Choose four from:

  • TC 813 Spirituality and Ministry in Multicultural Contexts
  • TC 823 Spiritual Guidance in the Christian Tradition
  • TC 825 Prayer and Social Engagement
  • TC 828 Women’s Theologies and Ministry
  • TC 909 Spiritual Autobiographies
  • TC 937 Vocation, Work, and Faith
  • TJ 976 Church and Theology in the Contemporary World

Additional courses may be available upon consultation with the advisor.


Plan of Study: Evangelism

Required:

  • TC 835 Evangelism and Contemporary Cultures

Select any four of the following:

  • TC 890 New Church Development
  • TC 838 Church Renewal
  • TC 842 Urban Ministry
  • Any TM courses (Mission Studies)


Plan of Study: Liturgical Studies

Students are required to complete a total of five courses from the primary liturgical studies curriculum.

Five Core Courses

Foundation course (required for all liturgical studies students):

  • TZ 954 Proseminar in Liturgical Bibliography

The remaining four courses can be fulfilled in one of the following combinations:

Liturgical History

Choose at least one:

  • TO/TC 821 Book of Psalms
  • TA 810 Hymns and Their Music
  • TC 846 Liturgical Environment (arts/architecture)
  • TC 862 Liturgical Year—History and Arts
  • TC 863 Pastoral Offices (includes ritual studies, feminist liturgy)
  • TC/TH 868 Worship in the Wesleyan (and Anglican) Tradition
  • TC/TH 933 Liturgical Traditions of North America

Liturgical Theology

Choose at least one:

  • TC 825 Prayer and Social Engagement
  • TC 851 Preaching and Worship in the African American Traditions
  • TC 861 Theologies of Church Music (liturgy/culture)
  • TC 863 Pastoral Offices (if not counted as History)
  • TC 833 Doxology and Doctrine: The Trinity in Hymns
  • TC/TT 919 Sacramental Theology


Other Plans of Study

Consult with the Director of Admissions for additional plans of study that may be offered. Occasionally, substitutions will be permitted in the plans of study upon approval of a petition by the advisor and its acceptance by the Advanced Studies Committee and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Academic Requirements

A minimum grade of B is required for all courses. No grade lower than B is acceptable for use in satisfying the requirements for the Doctor of Ministry. An automatic academic review occurs if a student receives a grade lower than B. Two unsatisfactory course grades result in termination of candidacy, except by approved petition to the Advanced Studies Committee (see the DMin Handbook).