The Doctor of Ministry degree (DMin) at Baylor University’s Truett Seminary is a distinctive, practice-focused research degree. Our purpose is to connect the church and the academy at the deepest and best levels. The program brings together experienced ministers, acclaimed seminary faculty, and recognized ministry practitioners to encourage rigorous scholarship, courageous application, and innovative leadership in the pursuit of staying fresh and well-grounded for God’s ministry calling. We are convinced that ministers benefit richly from taking time to reflect both theologically and ministerially on what they are doing.
The Doctor of Ministry program is designed to provide an atmosphere and curriculum that will build on the student’s past and continuing experiences in ministry by directing each student toward expanded and enhanced competencies in ministerial leadership. It focuses on the development of ministerial skills, by enhancing the student’s ability to reflect theologically on life and ministry, and by guiding the student in a process of disciplined spiritual growth.
Student Learning Outcomes
The Doctor of Ministry program at Truett Seminary seeks to equip students with deeper theological and biblical reflection, continued spiritual formation, and advanced ministerial competency. The outcomes of this degree program include:
- Graduates of Truett Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program will be able to demonstrate how to bridge the cultural gap between a biblical text and a contemporary situation.
- Graduates of Truett Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program will be able to explicate an intentional theology of the church, the role of pastor and layperson, and the life and worship integral for congregations to flourish in the twenty-first century.
- Graduates of Truett Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program will be able to articulate a theological understanding of Christian spiritual formation and expound methods for tending to the spiritual maturation and companionship of both Christian leaders and congregational communities.
- Graduates of Truett Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program will be able to synthesize the meaning and values of the Kingdom of God with the practical demands of ethics and leadership in a congregational context.
- Graduates of Truett Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program will be able to demonstrate the ability to self-evaluate, choose readings that strengthen ministry gifting, and synthesize the learning and growth from that process.
Admission to the Doctor of Ministry program requires an earned MDiv degree or its educational equivalent from an accredited seminary or theological school. Applicants should have achieved at least a 3.00 cumulative grade point average on a 4.00 scale and have completed at least three years of significant ministry experience.
Applicants must submit or complete all the following on Truett’s web application. This includes:
- A strong affirmation from the ministry where the student currently serves
- Four letters of recommendation - one from a professor, one from a pastor, and two from other ministry practitioners
- An academic research paper in theology, biblical exegesis, or ministry-related topic
- A brief life in ministry summary
- A Theology of Ministry paper that includes a statement on the student’s calling and how she/he sees the Doctor of Ministry degree further enhances her/his development as a minister of the Gospel
- A pastoral reflection paper that shows the student’s ability to reflect theologically on a particular ministry situation/dilemma
- Baylor health form
- A personal interview with the Doctor of Ministry Committee
Transfer credit toward the DMin degree at Truett Seminary will be considered on an individual basis. Only coursework completed with a grade of B or better from accredited doctoral programs will be considered. It must be comparable to that required of Truett DMin students in subject matter and in quality. A maximum of 6 hours of directed study coursework and 6 hours of seminar or class work will be considered, and no more than 12 hours credit will be granted.
It is the student’s responsibility to become informed of and to observe all regulations and procedures for degree completion required by Truett Seminary. This includes strict attention to all internal deadlines, such as application, registration, and graduation as well as satisfying all requirements leading to degree completion.
Applications for admission and additional information concerning admission are available from:
Doctor of Ministry Program
George W. Truett Theological Seminary
One Bear Place #97126
Waco, TX 76798-7126
Truett's DMin program does not require residency except for four intensive seminars distributed over the student’s first 2 years. It is intended that each seminar will be led jointly by a faculty member and a recognized ministry practitioner. Students will also participate in an extensive program of Individual Guided Study (IGS) that centers on ministerial competency guided by a Field Supervisor from their local context. Every Doctor of Ministry student will have full access to the academic facilities and resources of Baylor University and its libraries through the duration of their enrollment.
Each DMin student will have four primary advisors. These are the DMin (Assistant) Program Director, a Field Supervisor, an Academic Supervisor, and a qualitative/quantitative research consultant related to the Culminating Project.
Individual Guided Study (IGS)
The IGS portion of the DMin runs for the duration of the three-year program and overlaps the seminar phase. It consists of two major sections, a competency section, and a concentration section. The competency section consists of a self-assessment report, a significant ministry practice reading list, field supervision, and spiritual formation. The concentration section consists of project development, academic supervision, a major academic reading list, project proposal, and completion of the Culminating Project Dissertation.
Individual Guided Study (IGS) focuses on three primary objectives.
1. Enhanced theological reflection on the student’s calling and ministry strengths/gifting through guided readings, conversations, field supervision, and major learning events.
2. A strengthening of the connection between the student’s life and ministry situation and the focus of the Culminating Project.
3. The opportunity to address personal and professional competencies under the guidance of ministry professionals, mentors, Field Supervisors, and dialogue partners.
The Doctor of Ministry degree requirements include the successful passing of two oral examinations—a Qualifying Exam and the Oral Defense.
The Qualifying Exam occurs at the completion of the student’s Concentration Readings after the Academic Supervisor’s approval. When a student passes this exam, s/he will be designated as a Doctor of Ministry candidate and can now focus exclusively on the Culminating Project Dissertation. Should the student fail this exam, s/he can petition a one-time re-take of the exam.
- If granted, the Academic Supervisor will inform the student of the improvements needed for a successful re-take.
- If permission is not granted, the student cannot continue in the program.
The Oral Defense will take place once a candidate’s final draft of her/his Culminating Project Dissertation has been approved by her/his Academic Supervisor. The Oral Defense board will consist of five members – the candidate’s Academic Supervisor, the Doctor of Ministry Director, the candidate’s Field Supervisor, an external Truett faculty reader, and an external ministry practitioner reader. Upon successful defense of the Project Dissertation and the Registrar’s degree check, the candidate will qualify for the conferral of the Doctor of Ministry degree by Baylor University’s Truett Seminary.
Culminating Project Dissertation
The culmination of the DMin program is the research for, and written report of, a major ministry project called the Culminating Project Dissertation. It focuses on the candidate’s area of ministry practice.
The candidate’s Academic Supervisor will oversee the Project. All Culminating Project Dissertations are to exhibit a clearly articulated theological rationale and a connection to the context in which ministry occurs. Undertaking the Culminating Project Dissertation requires (1) the recommendation by the candidate’s Doctoral Advisors and (2) the approval of the project proposal by the Doctor of Ministry Committee.
Each candidate must successfully pass an Oral Defense examination covering their Culminating Project Dissertation. Such exam is scheduled by the Doctor of Ministry Office upon request from the candidate’s Academic Supervisor, who will serve as the chair of the examination board.
Completion of the Doctor of Ministry Program
Progress through the stages of the DMin program is to be regularly evaluated and monitored by the student/candidate’s supervisors and the DMin Office. The DMin degree program is nominated for three years by ATS. Each student is allowed ten years from the first semester of enrollment to complete all program requirements. A student may apply for an extension beyond the ten years. Such an extension must be approved by the DMin Committee.
To remain successful in the program, the student must earn a “B” or higher on each graded assignment. Students who fall below this requirement will be placed on Academic Probation. If a student receives a grade below a “B” in a seminar, she/he must request permission to continue in the program. If such permission is granted, the student will be allowed to repeat a seminar only once.
To graduate with a Doctor of Ministry from Baylor’s Truett Seminary, the student must finish with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0.
Seminar/Individual Guided Study Phase
- Students must maintain a 3.0 (B) grade average during the seminar phase of the program. A student’s cumulative GPA will be tallied after each seminar and the student will be informed thereof.
- A student must earn a 3.0 (B) grade average or better to pass a seminar. A seminar may only be retaken once.
- If a seminar grade causes a candidate’s cumulative GPA to fall below 3.0, the student must request permission to remain actively enrolled. If such is granted, the student can continue on probationary status until the cumulative GPA is at or above 3.0 (B). No student can exceed two semesters on probationary status.
- If a student falls below a seminar grade of 3.0 in two successive seminars, the student’s status will be reviewed and s/he will not be allowed to continue unless special permission is granted. Students must submit a petition to continue which follows the Doctor of Ministry Office’s guidelines.
- Any semester grades of C+ or lower in any part of this phase will result in an immediate review of the student’s status in the program. If the student is already on probationary status, special permission is required to continue in the program. Special permission will be granted only on the basis of an explanation of unusual and unexpected life and/or ministry circumstances.
- To successfully complete the Seminar/IGS phase of the DMin program (full seminar sequence plus competency and concentration related readings and papers), the student must finish this phase with a cumulative GPA of 3.0.
Program Content Overview
|Core Seminar Hours||12 hours|
|Concentration Hours||12 hours|
|Qualifying Oral Exam||Pass/Fail|
|Culminating Project||6 hours, 1 year suggested|
|Final Oral Defense||3.0 is required for a passing grade|
|TOTAL||30 hours, 3 years|
Doctor of Ministry Course Sequence
|DMIN 7310||Proclaiming the Kingdom||3|
|DMIN 7V90||Directed Study *||2|
|DMIN 7320||Living the Kingdom||3|
|DMIN 7V90||Directed Study *||2|
|DMIN 7330||Leading the Kingdom||3|
|DMIN 7V92||Directed Study *||2|
|DMIN 7340||Sharing the Kingdom||3|
|DMIN 7V92||Directed Study *||2|
|DMIN 7V99||Doctor of Ministry Project||3|
|DMIN 7V92||Directed Study||2|
|DMIN 7V99||Doctor of Ministry Project **||3|
|DMIN 7V92||Directed Study||2|
International students must register for SMIN 7V94 (2 hours) instead of DMIN 7V90 or 7V92 (2 hours).
Once a student has exceeded 30 hours, they must enroll in DMIN 7V99 (1 hour) each subsequent semester until all defree requirements are successfully completed.