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 email@example.com.
To address the ATS competencies, the following items are required.
- Transcripts: Unofficial undergraduate and graduate degrees
- Types of parallel degrees, in order of relevance:
- Ministry-related Masters degrees
- Counseling, MSW, and related helping degrees
- MBA and other leadership and organizational-oriented degrees,
- Degrees without a clear ministry connection. The program generally would not consider these programs toward equivalency, unless the student can clearly demonstrate a connection.
- Evaluative parameters
- Students must possess a completed Masters program.
- Programs from faith-oriented institutions are given priority
- Dean’s review. For a student possessing unconventional base degrees, admission requires the Dean’s review and approval.
- 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.
- 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.
- Résumé or Curriculum Vita.
- 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:
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.