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The South Way

Leadership taught through practice. Empathy taught through example.

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Established in 1899, South University is a private, nonprofit institution with a long history of driving student success. 

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Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

Reach New Heights with Your Ministry

Whether you seek to serve in vocational or bi-vocational ministry, our Doctor of Ministry programs can help you to explore the nature and purpose of ministry, to continue your growth in spiritual maturity, and to learn how to lead and practice your ministry more effectively.

Program is offered at the following campuses. Select a campus to learn more.


Develop the Skills to Lead a Thriving Ministry Practice

Our Doctor of Ministry online and campus programs teach not only the underlying theology of ministry, but also practical tools and strategies for connecting theology to your ministry practice. As a non-denominational program rooted in the Christian tradition, we welcome students from all faith traditions and provide an opportunity to engage with people of diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and spiritual beliefs.

Earn Your Degree Your Way, No Master’s Degree Required

Upon earning your doctorate of ministry at South University, you’ll be able to:

  • Articulate a biblically informed and theologically reasoned understanding of the helping relationship consistent with your faith tradition and the needs of your ministry setting.
  • Explain the nature of the practice of ministry and exhibit a commitment to its ethical and professional expectations.
  • Understand the nature and causes of interpersonal conflict as well as strategies to resolve disputes and achieve reconciliation among parties in ministry settings.
  • Acknowledge the diversity in ministry, and work effectively with differences of religious beliefs as well as generational, gender, and racial and ethnic differences.
  • Utilize and refine the skills required to practice ministry in a variety of settings.
  • Engage with complex issues and problems of ministry settings and be prepared to design and implement strategies to successfully overcome or resolve them.

Prepare for a Life of Service & Leadership

Our Doctor of Ministry degree program can prepare you to provide ministry leadership and spiritual care as:

  • Pastors, ministry staff, and lay ministers in local churches/parishes
  • Program staff leaders in parachurch organizations
  • Chaplains and spiritual care coordinators in institutional settings
  • Program staff leaders in non-profit service agencies, community development, advocacy and justice ministries
  • Social entrepreneurs pursuing business as a mission, and commercial and industrial chaplaincy

Earn Your Degree Your Way, No Master’s Degree Required

Doctor of Ministry Standard Track (96 Credit Hours):

If you have a bachelor’s degree and are new to the ministry, our Standard Track may be right for you. This track is designed to prepare you to effectively integrate biblical and theological perspectives into your ministry practice and establish a strong base for your lifelong personal, intellectual, and professional growth.

First, your foundation courses will cover topics such as:

  • Biblical interpretation
  • Old and New Testament context and theology
  • World religions
  • Christian spiritual formation
  • Diversity in ministry

Then, you’ll take courses on ministry skills, including:

  • Community and discipleship
  • Leadership and management in ministry
  • Communication skills for ministry
  • Conflict mediation and reconciliation
  • Pastoral counseling

Moving on to your advanced ministries studies, you’ll take elective courses and have the opportunity to gain practical experience that aligns with your interests and goals. To earn your degree, you’ll also complete a ministry project, dissertation, or supervisory clinical pastoral education experience, bringing together everything you learned in your program.

Doctor of Ministry Advanced Track (40 Credit Hours):

If you’re already active in the ministry and have completed a related graduate degree or significant related coursework, your transfer credit* may allow you to enter our Advanced Track and earn your doctorate in less time.

In this track, you can take a shorter path through the ministry foundations, skills, and advanced study courses, while still covering important topics like diversity in ministry, conflict mediation and reconciliation, and ministerial integrity. It also requires a final project, dissertation, or supervisory clinical pastoral education experience. With this track, you can develop an enhanced set of skills as well as a deeper spiritual maturity and understanding of the ministry to apply in your regular ministry practice.

Doctor of Ministry Admissions Requirements

The admissions criteria for our Doctor of Ministry programs online and on campus include:

  • An earned undergraduate degree from an accepted accredited institution with a CGPA of 2.7 or better on a 4.0 scale
  • -or-
  • An earned undergraduate degree from an accepted accredited institution with a CGPA of 2.7 or better on a 4.0 scale during the applicant’s last 60 semester hours or 90 quarter hours earned on the bachelor’s degree and/or subsequent graduate work?
  • -or-
  • An earned graduate degree from an accepted accredited institution with a CGPA of 3.0 or better on a 4.0 scale.
  • An interview with the Program Director/Chair or Dean of the College.
  • Submission of official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended, with submission due within 10 weeks of initial start date.
  • Applicants for whom English is a Second Language (ESL) must submit a minimum paper-based TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 550 or the electronic-based score of 79-80 to be considered for the program.
  • Completion of an application for admission.
  • Applicants who are not citizens of the United States should refer to the section in the South University catalog titled International Student Admissions Policy.

Request information online or contact us at 1.800.688.0932 for more details about earning your doctorate of ministry at South University.

*Transfer credit is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. South University offers no guarantee that credit earned at another institution will be accepted into a program of study offered by South University.

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