Doctor of Ministry in Transformational Leadership

The Doctor of Ministry degree (D.Min.) is a professional doctoral degree meant to enrich religious leaders in traditional and non-traditional settings, to deepen their understanding of and commitment to ministry, and to refine its practice. The focus of the Boston University DMin is Transformational Leadership, and persons admitted into the degree program may develop a specialization within this track based on their particular interests.

Boston University School of Theology’s Doctor of Ministry in Transformational Leadership seeks leaders who are called to transform their communities, their churches, their ministries, and their world.

  • Are you a leader who knows that your community needs significant change?
  • Do you realize that to create that change, you will have to develop additional skills in listening, analyzing, uniting, and visioning to forge a path forward?

Boston University School of Theology has designed its Doctor of Ministry Program for leaders who have at least three years of ministry experience and are seeking a plan for transformational change. The Doctor of Ministry program is a three-year, low-residency degree program that combines online learning with intensive classes.

  • Build connections with fellow leaders and Boston University faculty during two week-long trips to Boston University each year. Through the rest of the year, interactive online classes with full-time faculty and a student cohort allow you to study and learn from other leaders.
  • Sharpen your leadership skills and acquire new ones through a curriculum that includes classes such as Global Development and Faith, Transformational and Situational Homiletics, and Mission and Outreach.
  • Focus your studies on your own context, with a directed study project that gives you a strategic plan to move forward. Deeply analyze your unique context while also drawing from the experiences of a diverse cohort of classmates.

Applicants must possess an MDiv degree (or equivalent) with a minimum GPA of 3.3 from an institution of higher education accredited by a US agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation or approved by a Canadian provincial quality assurance agency. Degrees from institutions outside of North America may also be accepted (subject to review by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs). 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, but most students will enter the program on a part-time basis. Part-time students can expect to complete the program in three years. All students must complete the program in no more than five years.

To keep the variety of online courses fresh and provide Doctor of Ministry students with access to the widest possible variety of faculty members, the selection of courses will change from semester to semester. Courses address such topics as:

  • Global Development and Faith
  • Mission and Outreach
  • Radical Christian Spiritualities
  • Transformational/Situational Preaching
  • The Practice of Sabbath

Practical Matters

How much will the In-Service DMin cost to complete?

The In-Service DMin will cost approximately $22,000 in tuition and fees to earn the degree over the course of three years (six semesters) of part-time study. During the first two years of the program, students take twice-annual trips to Boston for the intensive seminars. Students cover their own flight or driving costs. Our summer housing is on the Boston University main campus; winter housing is a local retreat house. In the winter, all students are required to stay on campus so that weather does not prevent their attending the intensive course. It also helps to build the cohort relationship which is important to the development of the project. During the first year of the program, the intensive courses and cohort building last 9-nights for each stay (August and January). The Sunday is always a day off from course work. During the second year, the intensive courses each call for a 5-day commitment with the preceding evening optional.  Housing and board for daily breakfasts and lunches comes to approximately $1,000 for each stay during the first year and approximately $600 for each stay during the second year.

Students in the Doctor of Ministry in Transformational Leadership program are not eligible for financial aid from the School of Theology.  However, there are resources to assist these students with academic costs:

  • Additional Scholarships-To aid students in their scholarship search, the School of Theology’s Financial Aid Office maintains a large list of outside awards and scholarships, arranged by eligibility, here.
  • New England Education Society Loan– The New England Education Society is a private agency that loans up to $3,000 per academic year to students enrolled in seminaries in New England.  Further information can be found here.
  • Federal Unsubsidized Loan– Students taking at least 6 credits per semester are eligible to apply for a federal unsubsidized loan.  To apply, students need to submit the STH Financial Aid Application and FAFSA (with IRS data retrieval).  Both applications can be found here.

When will the Fall 2015 intensive course take place?

The Fall 2015 intensive course, entitled “Transformational Leadership” will take place on campus in Boston from August 4th until 13th, 2015.

Intensive Course Preliminary Schedule:

  • Tuesday, August 4th – 3pm – 6pm check-in and registration
  • Tuesday, August 4th – 6pm evening welcome dinner
  • Wednesday, August 5th – Wednesday, August 12th – “Transformational Leadership” course  (Students will have Sunday, August 16th, off from class to use as a day of study and rest.)
  • Wednesday, August 12th – 6pm cohort wrap-up dinner
  • Thursday, August 13st – morning check-out and return home

The Spring 2016 Intensive Course, “Contextual Analysis” will take place January 8th through 16th, with morning check-out and return home on the 16th. All DMin students are required to join their cohort in staying at the Walker Center during this week, even those who live locally or within commuting distance.  The requirement to stay at the Walker Center is meant to grow community within and among the DMin cohorts and to remove students from home responsibilities for this intensive week of study.