Spirit-filled Global Leadership in the African Diaspora (DMin) Online Degree

Become an effective and empowered Christian leader in church, organizations, and society through the online Doctor of Ministry at Jakes Divinity School (JDS).

Stimulate renewal in yourself and your ministry through a DMin that integrates your experience with advanced training, research, and reflection. Through your exploration of the Word and African diaspora, you will cultivate global leadership skills and deepen your spiritual knowledge. This theologically informed program makes it easy for you to apply what you learn after you graduate.  

In a collaborative online learning environment, you will study alongside educators who are passionate about teaching and developing innovative leaders. You will quicken the Spirit of God within you while fostering the knowledge, skills, and heart needed to lead in the real world.

Fully accredited and powered by Portland Seminary at George Fox University, our online doctoral program will position you to successfully lead in your community and church. With 100% online courses, the JDS Doctor of Ministry gives you the flexibility you need to work and attend to your other commitments while you increase your effectiveness as a Christian leader.

Request Information
Fulfill your calling and balance your online DMin with your life
Learn from Spirit-filled Christian educators and practitioners
Meet peers and professors at twice-a-year residency opportunities
Expand and increase your impact with global leadership skills
Develop your understanding of the Word to actively help others

Why an online doctoral program from Jakes Divinity School?

The JDS Doctor of Ministry in Spirit-filled Global Leadership in the African Diaspora program engages the richness of African culture in a global, ecclesial context. Designed for experienced practitioners, the JDS DMin provides advanced training, research, reflection, and renewal of self through flexible online classes. The DMin program is organized around the foci of Bishop T.D. Jakes’ life and ministry.

At JDS, you will develop a personal plan over four semesters that details your ministry philosophy and interest in cultural diversity. You will analyze and practice Bishop Jakes’ method of preaching to enhance your own leadership communication techniques.

Explore your interests and pursue research topics under the supervision of a faculty advisor who can offer insights from first-hand ministry experiences. With the support and guidance from Spirit-filled faculty, you will be prepared to make a difference.

Fulfill four Advances (face-to-face intensives) in places such as Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria to amplify your understanding of world cultures and African diaspora. Gain moral and academic support and accumulate field research and ministry experience.

Participate in in-person International Leadership Summits with faculty and guest lecturers from a variety of disciplinary, theological, and demographic perspectives. You will focus on your role as a Christian leader and expand your research.

Attend JDS spring and fall residencies twice a year and gain access to exclusive information, insights, and resources for your Doctor of Ministry. Learn from top industry and ministry leaders, collaborate and network with other JDS students, faculty, and staff.

Through JDS Town Halls, you can ask questions while engaging in discussions on topics ranging from social justice to theological perspectives to church leadership and improving society.

JDS Town Halls are regularly scheduled events where you can engage in active discussions on topics ranging from theological perspectives to social justice issues, to leadership in the church and society. You will also benefit from learning more about JDS.

Be inspired and empowered by JDS founder and chancellor Bishop T.D. Jakes through exclusive virtual masterclasses. Bishop Jakes shares his biblical insights, coupled with wisdom gained from his multifaceted career and life experiences.

What can you do with a Doctor of Ministry?

With a fully accredited and forward-thinking DMin degree from Jakes Divinity School, you will obtain the knowledge and skills you need to successfully pursue your calling in the ministry. Our pairing of global leadership skills with academic rigor broadens your ministry options and empowers you to make a positive, well-informed impact on the world.

JDS students who graduate with a DMin become: 

  • Clergy 
  • Journalists
  • Ministry professionals
  • Missionaries
  • Organizational leaders
  • Theology professors

Career Outlook for DMin graduates

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects a 21% increase in theology-based postsecondary positions through 2030.

Get started on your online theology degree

Take the next steps toward earning your DMin so you can make a difference in your community and the world. If you have questions after you review our FAQs below, please call 1-866-85-MYJDS (1-866-856-9537) or email info@jakesdivnity.org.

Apply Today

Submit your application online today for the Doctor of Ministry at Jakes Divinity School. See the application requirements below for more information.

Explore Financial Aid

Make your JDS Doctor of Ministry a reality by applying for federal loans, grants, and/or scholarships. Start by completing the FAFSA and use School Code: 003194 George Fox University.

Request More Information

If you would like to discuss the online Executive MBA program in more detail with an admissions counselor, please submit this form.

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.

To gain admission to the Doctor of Ministry online program you must hold an ATS-accredited MDiv degree or meet the seminary’s MDiv equivalency requirements, with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

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.

The Jakes Divinity School, Spirit-Filled Global Leadership in the African Diaspora Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program will consider applicants that do not hold the 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) by virtue of partnership with Portland Seminary, 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 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.

Expenses

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
$21,744 $10,000 $31,744

Portland Seminary is part of George Fox University and is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).  The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities also certifies the seminary’s programs. This dual accreditation is maintained through George Fox University and assures students of the highest academic and professional standards. Because the Doctor of Ministry degree that is offered through JDS is powered by Portland Seminary, it is a fully accredited DMin.

As a new institution for higher learning, Jakes Divinity School has not yet achieved its own accreditation. The online degree offerings via JDS are fully accredited by virtue of our partnerships with fully accredited universities. JDS students are dually enrolled in Jakes Divinity School and the partnering institution that pairs with the degree program in which the student is enrolled. Students earn degrees from the partnering institutions as well as frame-worthy diplomas from Jakes Divinity School.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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

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)”.

At a minimum, the following items are required:

  1. All undergraduate and graduate transcripts. Addresses criteria (a) and (e).
  2. EITHER a compilation of ministry-oriented publishing and other resources with a 1-page cover letter OR a 1500-word reflection essay demonstrating your ability to understand and adapt your ministry to your cultural context. Addresses criteria (b).
  3. A 150-300 word reflection essay briefly describing your present ministry role, relating it to your calling and long-term goals. Addresses criteria (c).
  4. A 500-800 word reflection essay sharing 1) your spiritual pilgrimage, 2) assess the strengths and growth areas in your current spiritual practices and spiritual relationships, and 3) your purpose in pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree. Addresses criteria (d).
  5. Résumé or Curriculum Vita. Addresses criteria (f).
  6. International students: Provide evidence of English proficiency.

Pursuant to accreditation requirements for applicants for the DMin program who do not have the MDiv degree, please consider the following information in your checklist for equivalency evaluation:

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

Provide any of the following that apply.

  • Evidence of academic coursework or certifications in the Bible, church history, theology, church polity, hermeneutics (18 hours minimum) via academic transcripts. 
  • Transcripts: Provide all 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.
    • Accreditation
    • 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.
  • Evidence of substantive ordination training in Bible, church history and polity, theology, and hermeneutics (equivalent to a minimum of 18 semester hours) via certifications and transcripts.

The program will also consider applying some non-academic study toward MDiv equivalency. For example, as a Renovare Institute Partner, applicants who have completed coursework within their certification in Christian Spiritual Formation are eligible for up to 10 hours of credit toward MDiv equivalency in the DMin program.

Provide documentation to demonstrate the context, scope, character, and time investment of the training or certification. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Unaccredited educational sources (ex. Ordination study programs)
  • Clinical pastoral education (CPE)
  • College level academic courses taught
  • Coaching certification

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

Provide either or both of the following.

  • Write a 1500-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 (500 words), 2) the challenge that you have had to address (500 words), and 3) how you worked through it (500 words). 
  • Demonstrate capacity by providing ministry-oriented publishing and other resources. Include a 1-page cover letter that briefly explains how the material adapts your ministry to your cultural context. 

Provide documentation or copies of the items produced, which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Published materials (ex. books and articles)
  • Curriculum
  • Seminars and workshops
  • blogs
  • podcasts (entire show or series, not just one episode)
  • sermon series (manuscripts or transcriptions)

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

  • Write a reflection essay briefly describing your present ministry role, relating it to your calling and long-term goals in 150-300 words. 

Note: If you choose to apply, a similar question is embedded in your application. Feel free to use this essay for that purpose.

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

  • Write a 500-800 word reflection essay sharing 1) your spiritual pilgrimage to present (150-300 words), 2) assess the strengths and growth areas in your current spiritual practices and spiritual relationships (150-300 words), and 3) your purpose in pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree (150-300 words).  

Note: If you choose to apply, a similar question is embedded in your application. Feel free to use this essay for that purpose.

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

  • Provide academic transcripts of a completed ATS or regionally accredited master’s degree in a field that reasonably ‘fits’ your ministry vocation as addressed above in criteria (a).

Note: Your essay responses to (c) and (d) above should make clear the connection between your ministry vocation and your completed graduate degree.

(f) Significant ministerial experience that enables the applicant to engage as a ministry peer with other students in this advanced program.

  • Provide a Résumé or Curriculum Vita that delineates ministry experience in terms of the role, length of time, responsibilities, etc. Ministry experience may include, but are not limited to:
      • Pastoral (various pastoral roles)
      • Higher education
      • Counselor
      • Chaplaincy
      • Non-profit or organizational leadership
      • Missionary
  • Your essays for criteria (c) and (d) above address criteria (f).

Ask a Question

Ask a Question

Ask a Question

  • First Name *
  • Last Name *
  • Email Address *
  • Phone Number
  • Message
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Click to Call