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Doctor of Ministry

Delve deeper into the challenges facing the community and the broader church.

Doctor of Ministry, D.Min.

“We must learn to regard people less in the light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

What do I need to start my Doctor of Ministry degree?

The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) assumes that the majority of applicants have a seminary Master’s degree and sufficient ministry experience. In the case where an individual has a non-theological master's degree (ie MBA, M.Ed., M.S.W.) and has an exceptional amount of ministry experience, they may only need to complete an additional Advanced Certificate (6 classes) in theology, biblical studies, and ministerial education. Advanced Certificate classes are graduate-level classes and have the option of transferring into M.A. or M.Div. degree options upon completion. Ministry experience alone is not considered the equivalent of or a substitute for, a base of formal study in theology, biblical studies, and ministry.

If yes, you have met the educational prerequisite and can apply today. If not, which category best describes you?

I have an advanced degree in another discipline (ie MBA, M.Ed. or Ph.D.).

If you have five or more years of full-time ministry experience or you have engaged in part-time or volunteer work that would exceed five years in total and an advanced degree in another discipline, you will be required to apply, be accepted and successfully complete an 18-credit graduate-level certificate in Scripture, Theology & Ministry offered at Northeastern Seminary. This graduate certificate is a registered and accredited graduate certificate and is eligible for federal financial aid. All classes may be completed online and either full-time or part-time. The certificate must normally be completed with a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher to be academically eligible for admission into the D.Min. program. The certificate will consist of a base of six classes listed below:  

  • Introduction to Biblical Exegesis for Preaching and Teaching (required)
  • The following five Great Conversation classes: Being in the Word, Being in the Story, Being Church, Being Christian, and Being Mission

I have done a prior graduate-level study in theology, biblical studies, or ministry, but do NOT hold an advanced degree.

If you do not have an advanced degree, you will be required to obtain at least a Master of Arts (M.A.) or Master of Divinity (M.Div.) before applying to the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) program. In addition, if your graduate coursework was taken within the last seven years, you may be eligible for transfer credits depending on your prior degree. You may submit an unofficial copy of all your prior graduate work to JP Anderson, Associate Vice President for Seminary Enrollment.

Online or onsite coursework may be completed at Northeastern Seminary or any other ATS-accredited seminary. If classes are taken at another institution, official transcripts must be sent to Northeastern Seminary.

You will want to apply and be accepted into the Certificate program in Scripture, Theology & Ministry before applying to the D.Min. program. You will follow the standard admissions steps for the Certificate program. You have the option to complete the D.Min. application essay as a replacement for your Certificate admissions essay. 

Once you have completed the Certificate program, you may apply to the D.Min. program. Please make note of the following required admissions steps requirements for the D.Min. program: 

  • You will need to fulfill three recommendation steps: 
    • One faculty recommendation from a Northeastern Seminary professor. This recommendation can be sent from the D.Min. online application.
    • One outside recommendation (pastor, minister, bishop, etc.). This may be one of the same people who submitted a recommendation for your Certificate admissions file. In this case, they are recommending you for the Doctor of Ministry program. This recommendation can be sent from the D.Min. online application.
    • If you haven’t already, you will need to meet with the Director of the D.Min. program who will provide a third recommendation to the Office of Admissions on your behalf. The Director may request to meet with you if they haven’t met you already.  
  • We will use the transcript(s) that was submitted for the Certificate program for the D.Min. program. We will also pull your transcript with your grades from the Certificate program into your admissions file once you have started applying to the D.Min. program. 

If you complete the D.Min. Application Essay as part of your Certificate admissions essay, we can use this essay as part of your D.Min. admissions file (this is optional).

219 Students

126  Fully Online

30 Denominations Represented

Service to the Church & the World

To believe that a theological seminary does not exist for its own sake, but exists rather to serve and resource the church of Jesus Christ.

Want more information on this program?

Program Design

All courses include a 24-hour retreat during the residency week and students can also attend the annual Seminary Spiritual Retreat where the entire Northeastern Seminary community gathers for worship, learning and fellowship.

Each one-week residency is preceded and followed by opportunities for online interaction with the faculty member and peers allowing students to integrate and apply classroom material.

Through a regular rhythm of retreat experiences and course work students are guided in the development of an integrational theology of human and Christian spirituality that equips them to nurture both their own spiritual formation and that of those they are called to serve.

Selected elective courses provide students focused time with visiting faculty such as MaryKate Morse, Christena Cleveland, Soong-Chan Rah, Andy Crouch, and Ruth Haley Barton. Leith Anderson, senior pastor of Wooddale Church and president of the National Association of Evangelicals, teams regularly with Northeastern Seminary faculty to teach the Transformational Leadership course.

Learning at the doctoral level is enhanced by the opportunity to be part of a small, highly selective group of peers in ministry and to form valuable relationships with the faculty members who guide the class.

Entering D.Min. students experience an extensive, personal, and professional assessment that is formative in nature. The information is provided to the student and his or her dissertation advisor to enhance development and effectiveness.


Customize Your Seminary Degree

Doctoral Degree- Three Focus Options

The Doctor of Ministry program culminates in your dissertation, with the option to specialize your doctorate in Leadership, Scripture, or Spiritual Formation. Your dissertation will be a publishable document that utilizes theoretical and theological resources to address both the nature and practice of ministry. Guided by a committee, you will select a research topic with the intention of enhancing your personal ministry and that of your site. 



Go deeper in your scriptural studies to better understand the way to apply scripture to today's challenges.

Develop an aptitude for identifying contemporary cultural and social concerns and the ways that they are illuminated and critiqued by the Gospel.


Spiritual Formation

Assess the formational impact of personal and communal events, traditions, and dispositions.

Gain a greater understanding of classic Christian spiritual practices and how to lead others in communal worship, scripture meditation, retreat, journaling, service, Sabbath, and spiritual direction.


Transformational Leadership

Champion change in your organization, grounded in well-developed biblical, theological, and leadership realities.

Develop the ability to interpret the rapidly changing culture and to design and implement strategic initiatives to meet today's challenges.

Watch recent graduates share findings from their dissertations.

Total Program
Sticker Price: $21,727

Less than 15% of students
pay this amount

100% of students who applied
for a scholarship received one

The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet

Frederick Buechner