The Doctor of Ministry is an advanced theological degree that provides students who are engaged in ministerial leadership the opportunity to enhance and expand their ministerial skills and to reflect on their own theological and spiritual development as men and women of God. It is the capstone professional degree program for individuals who hold the Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent, providing them with the opportunity for further study and reflection and to develop the advanced skills and knowledge required for ministry in the 21st century.
The program challenges students to:
1) assess their ministerial effectiveness and leadership;
2) reflect on their theological and spiritual development in light of their current ministerial responsibilities;
3) develop greater competency in their ministry;
4) pursue a comprehensive research project that leads to a critical examination of some aspect of their ministry in light of congregational needs, societal changes and theological commitments; and
5) become peers and mentors to their colleagues in the program.
In order to accomplish these purposes, the D.Min. Program needs to be integrated with the actual practice of ministry. As a non-residential program, students may remain in their ministries while completing the degree program. All students are expected to be fully engaged in their own ministry—whether it is a congregational ministry, youth ministry, social service ministry or some other form of ministry—while enrolled in the degree program.
To be awarded the degree, a student completes 28 credits of coursework offered in four 2-week Intensive Sessions over two years, plus 6 credits for writing a doctoral-level Dissertation Project utilizing an action-research model. A student must fulfill the following requirements:
- A Learning Contract prepared at the beginning of the program and revised periodically in consultation with his/her Faculty Advisor and Field Supervisor to reflect personal learning goals
- Four Doctor of Ministry Seminars
- Four Research Seminars
- Four doctoral-level courses in a chosen concentration—either Family and Educational Ministry or Peace and Justice Ministry
- A grade-point average of at least 2.50
- An approved Dissertation Project Proposal
- Acquire a Supervisor and develop a Site Team to provide support and mentoring
- The Dissertation Project Defense
- The completed Dissertation and Abstract submitted to the library
Courses listed are for 3 credits unless otherwise noted.
D.Min. Seminars (4 courses, 12 credits): MIN 8101 Spiritual Formation and Integration, MIN 8102 Theological and Ethical Perspectives of Ministerial Leadership, MIN 8103 The Changing Face of Society: Diversity and Its Impact on Ministry, MIN 8104 Transformational Leadership in a Postmodern World
Research Seminars (4 courses, 1 credit each): MIN 8802 Dissertation Research Seminar I: Formulating the Question, MIN 8801 Dissertation Research Seminar II: Bibliographic Research and Overview of the D.Min. Dissertation, MIN 8803 Dissertation Research Seminar III: Research Design Strategies, MIN 8804 Dissertation Research Seminar IV: Designing the Project Proposal
Elective Courses (4 courses, 12 credits): Students select a total of four courses from one of the two concentrations offered: Family and Education Ministry, and Peace and Justice Ministry:
Family and Educational Ministry: MIN 8501 Ministry Among Diverse Lifestyles, MIN 8502 Religious Education and Ministry Needs of the Postmodern Family, MIN 8503 Challenges and Possibilities of the Emerging Global Family, MIN 8504 Faith Formation, Spirituality and Counseling in the Contemporary Family
Peace and Justice Ministry: MIN 8701 Multiculturalism, Diversity and Non-violent Conflict Resolution, MIN 8702 Issues in Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, MIN 8703 Faith, Spirituality and Social Justice in the Global Market, MIN 8704 Transformational Leadership, Human Resource Development, and Organizational Growth in Ministry
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Doctor of Ministry (D. Min) Degree Program at UTS? [back to top]
Quite simply, the best, fastest, cheapest and most attainable opportunity to acquire an accredited doctoral degree, while at the same time contributing to the realization of one of the most cherished goals for UTS.
The Doctor of Ministry Degree Program at UTS is an advanced degree program designed to offer students who are engaged in some form of ministerial/religious leadership, the opportunity to enhance and expand their ministerial skills and competencies as well as reflect more profoundly on their own theological and spiritual development as men and women of God. The DMin. degree is your opportunity to earn the ultimate degree so that you can do even more with your life and ministry.
2. What are the key outcomes of the DMin. Program at UTS? [back to top]
Relying on peer and adult-based learning, the outcomes of the Doctor of Ministry Program are: (a)to develop new insights into your ministerial effectiveness and leadership, (b) re-examine your own continuing theological and spiritual development in light of your present ministerial responsibilities, (c) develop greater competency and skill in your own particular ministry, (d) pursue deeper research in your chosen ministry area allowing you to critically examine contemporary developments in the theology and practice of ministry, and (f) acquire a valuable and respected degree that will enhance your credibility, effectiveness and status among your peers.
3. How many credits do I have to complete in the Program? [back to top]
This non-residential program requires students to complete 28 credits of coursework and 6 credits for a written Dissertation Project for a total of 34 credits. The DMin. is universally described as equivalent to one full year of courses.
4. How often do I have to go to the Barrytown campus? [back to top]
You only need to attend class on the Barrytown campus two times each year over two years for a total of just 4 times. The actual time period for classes from beginning to end is therefore only 18 months. Each Barrytown visit will be for two weeks. You will register for and complete 7 credits in each two-week Intensive session.
5. What do you mean when you say 80% of the work is done off-campus? [back to top]
Because it is a non-residential program, you will do most of the preparation for your courses off-campus, at home. You register for your Intensive sessions 2-3 months before you come to campus. Course syllabi are promptly emailed to you, giving you ample time to complete the listed pre-assignments and readings for those courses as preparation for your on-campus Intensive. After completing the two-week Intensive, you will have an additional 6-8 weeks to complete all final assignments.
6. What makes this doctorate different from other doctorates? [back to top]
The DMin. is considered a "professional doctorate" as opposed to a research-based doctorate. But it is a doctorate nonetheless. The D.Min. is a very practical degree with an emphasis on helping you improve what you do as your ministry. Each course has been selected to support the ministry work of each student. Each assignment is intentionally designed to integrate your daily ministry with your coursework to provide greater insight and opportunities for personal self-reflection and effectiveness in your work. Even the dissertation project is focused on a problem or issue in your particular field of ministry. Consequently, the DMin. successfully integrates theory and practice.
7. What does the D.Min. cost? [back to top]
Plan to pay approximately $3,500 for each of the 4 Intensives. This includes tuition, all fees, room and board and projected textbook costs. These costs are based on you staying on campus during the Intensive. However, students do not have to live on campus if they make other living arrangements. If you spread your payments over the 6 month period between Intensives, that is just about $600 a month. The other costs include: dissertation project registration fee which is tuition costs for the 6 credits; rental or purchase of your doctoral hood, gown and cap; and $180 for a graduation and binding fee. Payment plans may be arranged with the Finance Office and students also have access to Sallie Mae and the Student Loan system. You might also consider sponsorship by someone in the community or check to see if your employer offers continuing education support. There is also the federal tax credit program which can apply to your studies - not just to your college-aged son or daughter. When you consider that the typical doctorate costs more than $125,000 today, certainly the D.Min. is the most affordable doctoral program anywhere.
8. What are the benefits of the D.Min. degree? [back to top]
A doctoral degree places you in a better position in the job market. More and more employers are encouraging their employees to earn advanced degrees because they know that employees with advanced degrees are better employees and they enhance the image of that company. Not only will the content of the degree program enhance your ministry work, it will also add to your own personal growth and development spiritually, emotionally and academically. The skills and knowledge you gain through the program will keep you relevant and will help you feel great about your ongoing contribution to God's kingdom. Many D.Min. graduates obtain teaching positions in higher education - especially with the expansion of Religious Studies programs in community colleges and 4 year universities. The D.Min. elevates your ministry work in the eyes of the wider public and offers you a stronger platform on which to address community issues and concerns. So all in all, the benefits of the UTS D.Min. degree in today's global market is worth the investment and far outweighs the costs.
9. What if I graduated from UTS before 1987? Do I need to upgrade my diploma? [back to top]
No matter when you graduated from UTS, for the purpose of the D.Min. degree program, your UTS degree is accepted without you having to go through additional requirements.
10. What are the Admissions Requirements for the D. Min. Program? [back to top]
Applicants to the D. Min. Program need:
(a) the Master of Divinity Degree, or its equivalent, with a minimum overall grade average of B (3.00). In cases where strong ability has been demonstrated in the practice of ministry, applicants with a lower grade average may be considered, with the understanding that they will begin the Degree Program conditionally; and
(b) a minimum of three years experience in a ministry of some type subsequent to their first graduate theological degree. For those with extensive experience in their particular ministry field, exceptions can be made in this admission requirement.
11. What do I have to do if I graduated from the MRE degree program? [back to top]
If you graduated with the MRE degree, don't worry. There is a way for you to enter the D.Min. program with what we call "equivalency." Since the M.Div. degree - or its equivalent - is the required degree for admission to the D.Min. program, equivalency focuses on the core ministry courses that define the UTS M.Div. degree. It may involve taking as few as 1 course or as many as 5 courses. Our Admissions Committee will review your transcript then the program director will contact you to let you know what you need to do to obtain "equivalency." The point of the equivalency courses is to ensure that you have the necessary theoretical content to go through the courses in the D.Min. program. This holds true even if you graduated from another seminary with a different type of graduate theological degree other than the M.Div. degree.
12. Do I have to wait until I have finished all of the equivalency courses before starting the D.Min. program? [back to top]
Not necessarily. This will be decided on a case-by-case basis by the Admissions Committee. If you only have 1 or possibly 2 equivalency courses to take, the Admissions Committee may agree to allow you to begin your D.Min. coursework on a conditional basis, asking that you complete your equivalency courses within that academic year. The best advice is to go ahead and apply to the D.Min. program today and let God work.
13. If I need equivalency, does this mean I have to come to UTS to take these courses? [back to top]
Again, not necessarily. Of course, UTS alumni are always welcomed to return to campus to take any class that interests them. However, there are other options to help you complete your equivalency needs. This year, we have begun our new online courses and the first courses we are offering are the 5 core ministry courses that most of our MRE alumni need for equivalency. This makes it easier for you to complete your entry requirements at home.
For those who live near the metropolitan New York area, you can also take courses at the New York City campus. We offer afternoon, evening and weekend classes that just might fit your schedule. The weekend intensive is a new format that we are using to make UTS courses available for busy people. The format is a full 3 credit course taught over just 4 weekends during the term. This may make it more convenient for those of you who want a face-to-face learning experience in a classroom. Of course, you may also take these courses at any other school that offers them. However, please check with the D.Min. program director before registering for those courses just to make sure they match the courses you need. But we certainly hope you will take the courses with UTS.
14. What support structure is there for the students? [back to top]
The UTS D.Min. program is designed to provide you will multiple levels of support so that you can successfully complete your degree program. We want you to earn your doctoral degree. So we have gone to great lengths to surround you with support. These levels of support include a faculty advisor, a field Supervisor and a small peer-based site team (selected by you) who serve as a mentoring network for you while you are working your way through the degree program. This is also a great networking model that can also support you in your ministry work. In addition, you also have your entering cohort with whom you share a common experience and a common bond working through your coursework, reflections and discussions. And you also have the program director who is there to help you successfully complete the program.
15. How do I apply for the UTS D.Min Program? [back to top]
Applicants can either download the D.Min. Application Form directly from the UTS website or you can contact the D.Min. program director or the UTS Admissions Director and a Form will be emailed to you immediately. The completed Application Form should be submitted to the program director together with (a) a $30 non-refundable Application Fee, (b) original transcripts of undergraduate and graduate level studies, (if you are an alumni of UTS, we have your original transcripts), (c) 2 recommendation letters, (d) the extended essay, and (e) 2 passport size photos. The last page of the Application Form offers the details of what to talk about in the application essay. All application materials are due no later than May 20 of the year you wish to begin your studies.
16. What should I expect when I attend the Intensive? [back to top]
Each Intensive is organized as follows: In the first week, you take one 3-credit course from Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm. In the second week, you will then take your second 3-credit course, again Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm. In addition, you will also register for and complete a 1-credit Research Methodology Seminar during each of the Intensives which is held each weekday during the two weeks from 4:30pm - 5:30pm. This is where the UTS D.Min. program is unique. Rather than take one large Research Seminar at the end of your coursework, you will take one segment of the Research program each time you come to campus. This allows you to better digest all that information and complete your coursework having written at least a first draft of your Dissertation Project proposal. This helps ensure that you earn your degree in a timely manner. Evenings and weekends are study and free time for students. Each new entering class will also have an on-campus orientation session on the Sunday evening before classes begin in their first August Intensive.
17. Who do I contact and what should I do now? [back to top]
What should you do now? Download the Application Form and send it in immediately. There is still time before the deadline for this year's entering class.
Now is the time for you to take your ministry work to a whole new level. The time has come for you to invest in yourself and your career. This is your chance to fulfill your dream of earning a D.Min. Don't wait any longer. Begin this journey today.
Apply Today for a Truly Life-Changing Experience!