Why a DMin?
You have ministry questions that your previous training did not equip you to answer:
- How do I develop needed skills for the unique ministry challenges I’m facing?
- Where do I find renewed energy and vision for the next season of ministry?
- With whom can I safely explore questions of sustainability in ministry-life?
Covenant Seminary’s DMin gives ministers the space to ask these questions. In turn, you will develop a distinct knowledge base necessary to answer questions and to provide solutions specific to your ministry context. Through flexible seminar-style residencies, you can bring your ministry ideas and experiences to learn from and you can develop relationships with peers, faculty, and other experts.
You will learn to integrate scholarship with daily ministry practice through in-depth explorations of real-life situations. You will participate as a contributor to serious theological topics, not just as a student. And in the process, your theological research will serve to benefit the global church in significant areas for the 21st century.
Accredited theological master’s degree (48 hours), minimum 3.1 GPA
The DMin degree includes 30 credits spanning 8 courses. The program has two tracks. The Advanced Ministry Practice track allows students the flexibility to craft areas of concentration specific to their ministry passions. The Cohort track clusters students around a specific topic of research and exploration. These include the previous Apologetics & Communications Cohort and the upcoming Ministry Leadership Cohort. You can read more about these tracks below on this page.
The first 5 courses in the program comprise specific areas of study and research. Each course is 4-credits. You may select from regularly scheduled courses and independent study courses. Your sixth course, Dissertation Preparation, strengthens your grasp of the qualitative method, and it helps you establish your topic of research. Your seventh course is a faculty-supervised writing course focusing on Chapter 2 of your dissertation, the literature review. Dissertation Defense is the last course in the program, and the only course that is 2-credits.
The Advanced Ministry Practice Track is designed to allow for personalized curriculum development. The flexibility enables you to select the areas of concentration in which you are most interested. Courses typically fall into four categories of study:
- Issues in Contemporary Evangelical Theology
- Advanced Principles for Contemporary Preaching
- Advanced Models for Pastoral Counseling
- New and Old Testament Exegesis (offered through the ThM program)
Students can also choose to supplement their academic work with independent studies on topics of unique focus and relevance.
Ministry Leaders are regularly presented with situations that demand more than seminary ever prepared them for. Studies show that pastors spend 45–65% of their time on leadership responsibilities. Yet, most ministry leaders feel underprepared or completely inadequate for the leadership challenges they face. The Leadership in Ministry Cohort specifically seeks to addresses this. By weaving a biblically informed and grace-based spirituality together with the best practices of organizational leadership, participants will be better prepared to navigate the real-world ministry situations.
The cohort-based approach provides focused, collaborative instruction by experienced ministry leaders in the context of trusted peer relationships. Both the structure of the cohort and the self-reflection it promotes will allow participants to hone their capacity to lead through the challenges of growth, change and loss.
DR. TOM GIBBS
President, Covenant Theological Seminary; Founder/Former Senior Pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church
San Antonio, TX
DR. GEORGE E. SCHENK
Independent Organization and Leadership Development Consultant
Course Residence Dates, Topics, and Locations
- January 10 – 14 in St. Louis, MO
Introduction to the Task of Leadership — Focus on systems theory, adaptive leadership, differentiation, essence of leadership.
- June 6 – 10 in St. Louis, MO
Sustaining and Flourishing in the Task of Leadership — Focus on 360-degree performance evaluation, emotional and cultural intelligence, self-care (marriage, family, vocation), and the three-legged stool.
- February 20 – 24 in San Antonio, TX
Politics of Ministry and Conflict Negotiation — Focus on dialogue skills, crucial conversations, staying connected.
- June 5 – 9 in New York City
Visioning and Alignment — Focus on resisting the hero-leader model, yet inspiring others to reach meaningful goals. (The dates for this session may change to allow for visiting with key leaders in New York.)
- January 8 – 12 in St. Louis, MO
Governance and Execution — Focus on distinguishing leadership and management.
- May 27 – 31 in St. Louis, MO
To accommodate your demanding ministry schedule, DMin Courses are offered in residency, hybrid, and online modules. Residency courses include five days of live, interactive learning. Most residency courses are held at the main Covenant Seminary campus. Residency courses are offered in January, May/June, and August.
Hybrid courses include two days of in-person meetings and weekly synchronous and asynchronous virtual elements over the subsequent 3 to 5 weeks. Locations for the live components change from course to course. Online courses are fully virtual courses offered over 3- and 5-week blocks, involving weekly synchronous and asynchronous engagement.
Each DMin course requires about 48 hours of pre-course work (8 hours/week for 6 weeks). Students can expect about 80 hours of post-course work. Courses have approximately 2000 pages of reading and some writing elements. Each course includes a ministry project or paper.
Students in the DMin program can take up to 16 credits of independent study. This allows them to focus on specific topics of interest and study. Also, DMin students can take ThM courses for DMin credit. This allows regular access to exegetically rigorous, theological study in Old and New Testament. Students may also transfer doctoral level courses from other accredited institutions.
The DMin degree culminates with a practical dissertation or project using qualitative research that captures your insight into your area of research. You are guided through this life-giving process of researching literature and interviewing those with best practices in an area of ministry challenge that you find relevant to your skill development. Your final project is where your insights and encouragements are captured and presented. Many graduates use their final project as the basis upon which they pursue published writing or public speaking on their research topic.
Applicants must have an accredited, theological master’s degree with a minimum of 48-credit hours. Applicants also should have significant ministry experience that enables them to engage as a ministry peer with other students pursuing an advanced, professional doctorate. The DMin application essay will look for applicants to express understanding of scriptural interpretation, your theological context, an understanding of your ministry identity and calling, and a readiness to engage in ongoing personal and spiritual formation. Begin the application now.
Tuition + Fees
Tuition Total: $18,650
Fee Total: $920
Maximum Ministry-Match Scholarship (see scholarship info): – $11,790
Personal DMin Expense = $8,780
$655/credit hour x 4 credit hours/course x 7 cohort courses: $18,340
$655/credit hour x 2 credit hours/DM898 Supervision: $1,310
Admin, Enrollment, Infrastructure, Technology ($100/term): $700
Library Dissertation Posting: $20
Food and Lodging
For seven residential courses. The faculty mentors will help connect students to local saints who are eager to provide free home stays for those who desire it.
For up to a maximum of 6 residential courses.
For international students, annual Student F-1 Visa fees for entry into the US.
Covenant will match funds that students receive from their ministry organizations or churches up to a maximum of 30% of tuition per course. In order to be eligible for scholarship, the DMin student must apply and be admitted to the degree and apply for financial aid by completing the Application for DMin Scholarship by the appropriate deadline before the start of his or her course. The student’s ministry organization or church should complete the Ministry-Match Intent Form. DMin students who do not have funding from their ministry organization or church may also apply for scholarship. These applications will be considered based on need and availability of funds. DMin students are not eligible for federal student loans.
For more information on financial aid, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
During the dissertation writing phase, students are assigned a supervisor to walk with them through the process. These men and women hold advanced degrees in areas relevant to your field of study. If you are supervising a dissertation or a student who wants to know more about the supervision process, please click on the image below to watch a helpful video.