Doctor of Ministry

Doctor of Ministry

The highest professional degree for those in church or related ministries is the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree. This particular program is geared toward educated, experienced practitioners who desire to stimulate renewal in themselves and their ministries through the integration of their experience with advanced training, research, and reflection.

With a focus on forming leaders who are interested in the integration of Christian spirituality with ministry and leadership studies, the DMin in Spirit-filled Global Leadership in the African Diaspora program engages the richness of African culture in a global, ecclesial context.

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Additionally, the Spirit-filled Global Leadership in the African Diaspora DMin program is organized around the foci of Bishop T.D. Jakes’ life and ministry and reinforces cultivation in the following areas:

  • Leadership development: Students develop a plan over four semesters that details their ministry philosophy and interest in cultural diversity.
    Communication techniques: Students analyze and practice the Bishop T.D. Jakes method of preaching to enhance their own art of communication.
  • Innovative ministry experience: Students pursue research topics under the supervision of a faculty advisor in subjects arising from their ministry context
  • Expanded perspective: Students will be required to participate in four Advances. Advances are face-to-face intensives, during which, they will be challenged with core readings and supplemental materials: One African Advance during their enrollment in the DMin program, in locations such as Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, or Nigeria.
  • Attend two of the annual International Leadership Summits (ILS), to participate in sessions with guest lecturers from a wide variety of disciplinary, theological, and demographic perspectives.
  • Attend one of the annual Jakes Divinity School Symposia in Dallas, TX.
As with all of the JDS degree programs, students will not need to relocate to Dallas, TX, to pursue the DMin program. The delivery system of the Spirit-filled Global Leadership in the African Diaspora DMin degree includes participation in several seminars, conferences, and ‘field research’ experiences both domestically and abroad; coursework with faculty specialists, personal academic mentoring by select faculty advisors; online interactivity with cohort members and professors; as well as reading, reflection, research, and writing.

Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the Doctor of Ministry program must hold an ATS-accredited MDiv degree or meet the seminary’s MDiv-equivalency requirements†, with a minimum GPA of 3.0. In addition, applicants must complete the following to be considered for admission to the program:

  • Completion of the DMin application form and payment of application fee.
  • Submission of one official transcript from each college, seminary, or university attended.
  • Curriculum vitae or resumé.
  • Documentation of ministry experience that demonstrates that the applicant possesses the level of competence and reflection appropriate for advanced, professional ministerial studies. This is normally reflected in the applicant’s documentation of full-time participation in ministry for at least three years after the completion of the MDiv degree.
  • Three letters of reference (as specified in admissions materials).
  • Five self-assessment essays that outline the applicant’s spiritual pilgrimage, leadership experience, purpose for pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree, and research interests.
  • An academic writing sample.
  • An entrance interview with the director or associate director of the DMin program (by invitation only).  In some instances, a second interview may be required by the Partnership institution.
  • Non-native English speakers must submit a TOEFL score of 80 (Internet-based) or IELTS 6.5 and complete the Declaration of Finance.  For more information, international applicants can reference the International Graduate Admissions page.

†Equivalency Procedures

An applicant who holds a master’s degree but does not hold the MDiv degree from an ATS-accredited seminary may qualify for admission to the DMin program by meeting the ATS requirement of an educational equivalent. The criteria below serve as a guide for assessing equivalency:

  • The ability to thoughtfully interpret scripture and the theological tradition of one’s ministry context,
  • The capacity to understand and adapt one’s ministry to the cultural context,
  • A basic self-understanding of one’s ministerial identity and vocational calling,
  • A readiness to engage in ongoing personal and spiritual formation for one’s ministry,
  • An accredited master’s degree (or its educational equivalent) in an area related to one’s ministry setting or vocational calling, and
  • Significant ministerial experience that enables the applicant to engage as a ministry peer with other students in this advanced professional doctorate.

Upon submission of official transcripts from all prior graduate work, the DMin program director or associate director will assess the correspondence between the applicant’s educational portfolio and the MDiv standard and make a recommendation to the DMin Committee concerning the applicant’s equivalency status. Applicants needing extra graduate-level coursework to attain equivalency status may be admitted to the program with the stipulation that the appropriate ‘leveling’ coursework be completed to graduate.

Note:

  • Applicants not holding the MDiv and requiring 18 hours of MDiv equivalent leveling work or less may be admitted into the program.
  •  Applicants with greater than 18 hours of MDiv equivalent leveling work will not be permitted to enter the DMin program until the remaining amount of required leveling work has been reduced to 18 semester hours of MDiv equivalent leveling work or less.
  • Students may complete the ‘leveling’ work at Portland Seminary or any other ATS accredited institution. Course grade points must average a minimum of 3.0.

Please note that establishing MDiv equivalency does not result in the conferral of the MDiv degree, nor does it equate to admission to the DMin program. As such, it is not intended for, nor adequate to serve as establishing MDiv equivalency for applying to other institutions, chaplaincy programs, denominational ordination, etc.

It is an internal courtesy service that Jakes Divinity School offers to prospective DMin students to determine whether or not the applicant is qualified to apply for admission to the DMin program. 

* See below for “Details for creating an Academic Portfolio,” if you do not have the MDiv degree.

Create Academic Portfolio

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit from another doctoral program may be allowed up to a maximum or 19 semester hours. Transferability of credits earned at this institution and transferred to another is at the discretion of the receiving institution. Consult the registrar’s office for information on eligibility of transfer credit.

Residence Requirements

All work leading to the DMin must be completed within seven years from the time of matriculation. Extension of this limit requires the approval of the DMin Director. Program extension requests must be received prior to the conclusion of the sixth year. Reinstatement to the program after withdrawal requires Admissions Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the degree.

Because of the cohort model used for this DMin program, students must maintain full attendance throughout each module experience. However, a student in good standing who must interrupt his or her studies for compelling reasons may petition the DMin Director for a leave of absence of not more than one year. Students who discontinue enrollment without an official leave of absence will be withdrawn and required to apply for readmission.

Expenses

Credit hours: 36

Cost per credit hour: $610

Advance fees: $12,000 for 4 Advances

Tuition cost for entire program: $33,960

Powered by Portland Seminary of George Fox University
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Doctor of Ministry FAQs

The DMin in Spirit-filled Global Leadership in the African Diaspora at Jakes Divinity School is powered by Portland Seminary at George Fox University. This degree program is geared toward educated, experienced practitioners who desire to stimulate personal formation and spiritual renewal for their ministries through the integration of their experience with advanced training, research, and reflection.

Graduates Become:

  • Organizational Leader
  • Ministry Professionals
  • Theology Professors
  • Missionaries
  • Journalists
  • Pastors
Tuition Fee Total
Year 1 $9,664 $6,000 $15,664
Year 2 $9,664 $4,000 $13,664
Year 3 $2,416 $0 $2,416
$21,240 $10,000 $31,744

This degree is offered in an online hybrid format. Students will meet weekly synchronous online (zoom) and work asynchronously online.

The program takes at least three (3) years to complete with 36 semester hours: 16 hours are prescribed in taught courses and 20 hours are in the research sequence.

There are limited merit-based scholarships available for the DMin program. Upon acceptance, students will be given information on merit-based scholarships as amounts do vary.

A Master of Divinity degree is preferred but not required. Applicants without a Master of Divinity degree will need to establish MDiv equivalency. Program administrators must perform an MDiv Equivalence Evaluation of your total academic portfolio.

Yes. Please refer to the financial registration deadline and academic registration dates made available through your JDS Enrollment and Student Services Coordinator.

Yes. You have the option of applying for federal loans, grants and/or scholarships.

Complete a FAFSA application and use School Code: 003194 George Fox University.
Click here to complete a Spanish FAFSA application.

The link to the online application will be provided to you by the Enrollment and Student Services Coordinator. Complete the DMin Inquiry Questionnaire for more information.

Steps for applicants with accredited Master of Divinity degree:

  • Online application
  • Official college transcripts 
    • All official transcripts should be submitted as follows:
      • Physical transcripts can be sent to the address below and must be in a sealed envelope from the school remitting the transcript to be accepted:
        Office of Admissions
        George Fox University
        414 N. Meridian Street #6089
        Newberg, OR 97132
      • Electronic transcripts can be sent to: admissions@georgefox.edu (must be sent from a third-party Safe Sender, such as eScrip or Parchment to be accepted).
  • Academic Writing Sample
    • The academic writing sample must be from a previous educational experience or be academic in nature of any subject matter.
  • Character References
    • This form should be completed by a ministry supervisor and two personal references.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
    • Please provide a detailed resume and email it to aolds@jakesdivinity.org. “JDS Applicant Resume – (Your first and last name here)”.
    • Include professional background and ministry experience in terms of role, length of time, responsibilities, etc.

Steps for applicants without accredited Master of Divinity degree:

Prospective students without an earned Master of Divinity degree from an accredited educational institution will have to establish MDiv equivalency by submitting a portfolio. It is an internal courtesy service that Jakes Divinity School offers to prospective DMin students to determine whether or not the prospect is qualified to apply for admission to the DMin program.

Portfolio items include:

  • Unofficial or Official Transcripts
    • All unofficial transcripts can be sent to: aolds@jakesdivinity.org.
    • All official transcripts should be submitted as follows:
      • Physical transcripts can be sent to the address below and must be in a sealed envelope from the school remitting the transcript to be accepted:
        Office of Admissions
        George Fox University
        414 N. Meridian Street #6089
        Newberg, OR 97132
    • Electronic transcripts can be sent to: admissions@georgefox.edu (must be sent from a third-party Safe Sender, such as eScrip or Parchment to be accepted).
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
    • Please provide a detailed resume and email it to aolds@jakesdivinity.org with the subject “JDS Applicant Resume – (Your first and last name here)”.
    • Include professional background and ministry experience in terms of role, length of time, responsibilities, etc.
  • Statement of Purpose
    • The statement of purpose is a 250-word rationale that describes your purpose for pursuing the Doctor of Ministry.
    • Please email your completed essay (in Word document or pdf format) to aolds@jakesdivinity.org with the subject “JDS Statement of Purpose – (Your first and last name here)”.
  • Documentation of Ministry Experience
    • Please email your ordination certificate or ministry certifications to aolds@jakesdivinity.org with the subject “JDS Documentation of Ministry Experience – (Your first and last name here)”.

The Portland Seminary/ Jakes Divinity School Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program will consider applicants that do not hold an accredited Master of Divinity (MDiv), providing that MDiv equivalence can be established. Applicants requiring 18 hours of MDiv equivalent leveling work or less may be admitted into the program. Students admitted with 12-18 hours of required leveling may be required to wait 1 year while completing some or all of the leveling coursework. 

 

As a degree program approved by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS), the DMin program supports ATS standard 5.5, which states: 

“The Doctor of Ministry degree is an advanced professional doctorate that builds upon an accredited master’s degree in a ministry-related area and upon significant ministry experience. Students without an accredited Master of Divinity degree may be admitted, provided the school has publicly stated admissions criteria that address the following six areas and provided the school documents how each applicant meets each of these criteria:  

(a) the ability to thoughtfully interpret scripture and the theological tradition of one’s ministry context,  

(b) the capacity to understand and adapt one’s ministry to the cultural context,  

(c) a basic self-understanding of one’s ministerial identity and vocational calling,  

(d) a readiness to engage in ongoing personal and spiritual formation for one’s ministry,  

(e) an accredited master’s degree (or its educational equivalent) in an area related to one’s ministry setting or vocational calling, and  

(f) significant ministerial experience that enables the applicant to engage as a ministry peer with other students in this advanced professional doctorate.” 

 

Please note that establishing MDiv equivalency does not result in the conferral of the MDiv degree, nor does it equate to admission to the DMin program. As such, it is not intended for, nor adequate to serve as establishing MDiv equivalency for applying to other institutions, chaplaincy programs, denominational ordination, etc. 

 

It is an internal courtesy service that Portland Seminary offers to prospective DMin students to determine whether or not the applicant is qualified to apply for admission to the DMin program.  

 

Create Academic Portfolio 

In order to apply to the DMin program without an MDiv, program administrators must perform the MDiv Equivalence Evaluation of your total academic portfolio.  

In preparation for the evaluation, please provide the University with an academic portfolio that compiles any materials outlined below that might apply. Send the portfolio to aolds@tdjakes.org

 

To address the ATS competencies, the following items are required. 

  1. Transcripts: Unofficial undergraduate and graduate degrees 
    1. Types of parallel degrees, in order of relevance: 
      1. Ministry-related Masters degrees 
      2. Counseling, MSW, and related helping degrees  
      3. MBA and other leadership and organizational-oriented degrees, 
      4. Degrees without a clear ministry connection. The program generally would not consider these programs toward equivalency, unless the student can clearly demonstrate a connection. 
    2. Evaluative parameters 
      1. Students must possess a completed Masters program. 
      2. Accreditation  
      3. Programs from faith-oriented institutions are given priority 
      4. Dean’s review. For a student possessing unconventional base degrees, admission requires the Dean’s review and approval. 
  2. Essay 1: Write a 500-word reflection essay demonstrating your ability to understand and adapt your ministry to your cultural context by articulating a specific example of a challenge that you have faced in ministry. Describe 1) your context, 2) a challenge that you have had to address, and 3) how you worked through it.  
  3. Essay 2: In under 500 words, briefly describe your present ministry/professional/vocational role, and how it relates to your calling, areas of growth, and why you are pursuing this degree. 
  4. Résumé or Curriculum Vita. 
  5. Non-academic study (if applicable): Provide documentation to demonstrate the context, scope, character, and time investment of the training or certification. These may include, but are not limited to: 

 International students  

English literacy. English as a second language applicants must demonstrate English proficiency. Evaluation generally includes some combination of TOEFL/IELTS scores, a verbal interview, and/or an assessment of written materials. 

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