Doctor of Ministry

54 credits, 4 years

The Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree equips students to be mindful agents of change as influential leaders for a more just and humane world. Student-practitioners serve and impact evolving local and global communities in concrete ways. The program begins with an 11-day summer residency, followed by two 4-day residencies in the fall and winter. Students continue in a program of study in which they develop expertise in an area of ministerial growth or specialization, culminating in service to church and community. By fostering collaboration, graduates expand their capacity for leading congregations and religiously affiliated organizations.

Residency Considerations 

Summer residencies in the month of July over a two-year period is required of all DMin students. In the first year, an additional one week of residency is required in the Fall Quarter and one week in the Winter Quarter. Courses are available in a variety of learning modules, including transfer options, weekend and summer intensives, and hybrid distance learning availability throughout the program of study. 

The program is built with a deep recognition of the nuanced context of our evolving world--the realities of globalization, cultural and religious diversity, hunger for spirituality, and socio-economic marginalization. The program melds areas of advanced study with an advanced leadership focus, culminating with the completion of a major research project.  

Admission Requirements 

Applicants are required to have earned a Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution with no less than a 3.0 cumulative grade point average, on a scale of 4.0. Equivalency may be obtained, at the discretion of the Admissions Committee, by such factors as possession of two master’s degrees in fields related to ministry. Students not meeting these requirements are encouraged to take graduate theological courses, which may be accepted, along with other graduate degrees already obtained, towards equivalency. Ministerial experience may not be considered as equivalent to, or a substitute for, the MDiv degree. International students must present an acceptable score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). 
The Doctor of Ministry requires a demonstrated exercise of pastoral leadership. References from communities or organizations served by the applicant will attest to the applicants' leadership of the community. Those wishing to pursue the Doctor of Ministry degree must have completed a minimum of three years of full-time professional ministerial experience subsequent to the MDiv degree or its equivalent. 
All applicants must be currently involved in Church ministry or a related leadership position. One recommender must attest to the applicant’s religious, moral and intellectual qualifications for ministry. The recommender must: A) be someone who is qualified to attest to the applicant’s academic ability; B) be from a person who knows the quality of the applicant’s pastoral ministry/ leadership. 



Learning Outcomes

DMIN student-practitioners who complete this degree will be able to:

  • Demonstrate responsiveness to the varying needs of religiously-affiliated communities and organizations;
  • Demonstrate capacity to lead diverse populations through systemic change;
  • Develop practical leadership skills to build effective team-oriented approaches through collaboration and consensus building;
  • Demonstrate social research skills appropriate to addressing and proposing solutions to pastoral issues and problems;
  • Develop skills for designing, critiquing, and implementing relevant research to affect ministerial effectiveness in advancing social justice, and enacting effective change;
  • Demonstrate oral and written communication competency.


Seattle University's School of Theology and Ministry has been awarded a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc. which includes scholarships for six early career pastors, with three to ten years of ministerial leadership, who are pursuing a Post-Master’s Certificate in Pastoral Leadership or a Doctor of Ministry Degree. For more information on the Early Career Pastor's Scholarship click here.


Please reach out to Carolyn Dougherty, Assistant Director of Admissions & Student Services at or 206-296-5333.

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