Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)

For more information: (626) 815-5447

The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) is the highest professional degree in the practice of ministry, building on education received through the Master of Divinity and on experience gained in the practice of ministry. Azusa Pacific Seminary's D.Min. program is available in English and Korean.

Mission Statement

The Doctor of Ministry program focuses on spiritual formation and ministry leadership. Through studies in theology and ministry, students grow personally and spiritually, develop cutting-edge skills and competence in the practice of ministry, and make scholarly contributions to the field of ministry practice.

Admission Requirements

Admission decisions in the Doctor of Ministry program are based initially on three primary criteria: prerequisite theological education, practical ministry leadership experience, and demonstrated academic aptitude for advanced studies at the doctoral level.

Program admission requirements include the following:

  1. A completed application for graduate admission (available from the Graduate and Professional Center or online).
  2. An M.Div. from an ATS-accredited school or its educational equivalent, achieved with a grade-point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) and verified by the submission of an official transcript. (M.Div. equivalency is defined as 72 graduate semester hours, or comparable graduate credits in other systems, that represent broad-based work in theology, biblical studies, and the arts of ministry and that include a master’s degree and significant ministerial leadership. For more information on equivalency, contact Azusa Pacific Seminary.)
  3. Transcripts from all institutions leading to, and awarding, the applicant’s baccalaureate degree and all postbaccalaureate study.
  4. Evidence of active practice in ministry leadership for at least three years after completion of the first theological degree and of current involvement in ministry leadership. This must include a written letter of support for doctoral studies from the applicant’s current ministry assignment.
  5. A 1,500-word written statement that addresses ministerial and education goals, personal spiritual and leadership journey, and recent theological reading. Contact the office of the Doctor of Ministry program for details on completing this admission requirement.
  6. Three letters of reference attesting to the applicant’s personal character, academic ability, and ministerial skills. Forms are included with application materials.
  7. A current résumé.
  8. A personal interview with the program director may be required.
  9. Applicants planning to study in English for whom English is a second language must demonstrate language aptitude for advanced studies at the doctoral level by the following minimum international iBT (Internet-based TOEFL) scores:
       Reading: 25
       Speaking: 25
       Writing: 25
       Listening: 25
    Students who have completed at least 48 units in an accredited English-speaking program just prior to application may be admitted without the TOEFL.

All materials should be submitted to:
Graduate and Professional Center: Admissions
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000 USA

Located at:
568 E. Foothill Blvd.
Azusa, CA 91702
(626) 815-4570
Fax: (626) 815-4545 • (626) 815-4571

Send international applications to:
International Center
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000 USA
Fax: +1-626-815-3801

Program Learning Outcomes

The Doctor of Ministry in spiritual formation and ministry leadership offers a comprehensive curriculum track that focuses on the real-world skills ministry leaders need today. The ultimate objective is to renew and transform ministry leaders, churches, and communities.

The goals of the Doctor of Ministry program focus on growth in specific skills for spiritual formation and ministry leadership. In this context, doctoral scholarship and research are emphasized to bring theory and praxis into practical ministry application. The program seeks to accomplish these goals by focusing on the following outcomes:

1. Develop a theology of spirituality by integrating insights from Scripture, theology, and related disciplines in the humanities and behavioral sciences.

2. Evaluate the dynamics of spiritual life in the context of multicultural life and ministry.

3. Synthesize and apply the theories of spiritual formation to personal spiritual growth and the task of ministry through experience-oriented learning strategies, ascertaining how individuals form habits that facilitate spiritual growth.

4. Analyze and critique how the pastor’s leadership contributes to spiritual formation in the congregation.

5. Analyze and apply the relationship between personal piety and the promotion of social justice.

Transfer Credit

Because of the specialized nature of the program, transfer credit must be evaluated by the director of the D.Min. program. A maximum of 6 semester units of doctoral-level work that have been completed within the past eight years may be allowed as transfer credit.

Full-time Status

Full-time status in the D.Min. program is 8 units per term. Students who enroll in at least 4 units are considered to be half time.

Advancement to Candidacy

Students will be considered for candidacy for the Doctor of Ministry after successful completion of 16 units of coursework (minimum 3.0 GPA in all coursework with no grade less than B-), and a qualifying interview with the D.Min. director or the D.Min. committee in which the student satisfactorily demonstrates knowledge and integration of theory and practice in spiritual formation and ministry leadership. Final approval for candidacy is granted by the D.Min. committee.

Written Project

Students will demonstrate academic and practical learning through completion of a major written project. They will conduct research and develop and write their project in a ministry practice field of interest. Ordinarily the project will be a minimum of 100 pages in length. Complete information on the doctoral project process and standards is available from the office of the D.Min. director.


Core Courses
GDMN 704Research and Design4
GDMN 710Christian Spirituality4
GDMN 720Theology for Spiritual Formation4
GDMN 730Church Renewal4
GDMN 740Spiritual Leadership4
Select three of the following:12
Civic Spirituality
Christian Spirituality and Modern Technology
Spiritual Practices in the Church
History and Theology of Worship
Urban Immersion
Contemplative Spirituality
Scripture: Its Spirituality and Proclamation
Leading in Context
Ecclesiology for Missio Dei
Missiology in Local Contexts
Engaging Missionally
Seminar in Ministry
Readings in Doctoral Ministry
Optional Emphasis
Christian Spiritual Formation I 1
Christian Spiritual Formation II 1
Christian Spiritual Formation III 1
Christian Spiritual Formation IV 1
GDMN 790Ministry Project 24
Total Units36

Instructional Format

Each course is structured to include several components that incorporate the theoretical, practical, and collegial aspects of the learning experience:

  1. Preliminary reading. Assigned reading must be completed prior to the classroom experience, fulfilling a requirement of 1,800-2,000 pages of reading for a 3-unit course and 2,400-2,500 pages for a 4-unit course. The reading provides the theoretical basis for the analysis of practical situations in ministry.
  2. Classroom experience (English program). Classroom experience is in concentrated sessions during two-week residency periods held in the middle of the spring and summer terms. The residency periods involve significant interaction with a faculty instructor in a peer-learning, seminar format. The faculty instructor serves as a facilitator of discussion in a collegial atmosphere, using his or her academic and practical experience to bring in-depth analysis, critical thinking, integration, and application to the topic.
  3. Classroom experience (Korean program). The Doctor of Ministry Korean program follows APU’s academic calendar. Each class meets multiple times during the semester in one-day intensive sessions utilizing lecture and discussion formats. In this way, courses provide opportunity for peer-learning, critical reflection, and application of content over a period of several months.
  4. Grading. Students must achieve a minimum grade of B- in order to receive credit for work in a course. If a student receives a grade of C+ or lower in a course, the course may be repeated, and the new grade, if higher, will replace the former grade in the computation of the grade-point average.
  5. Course project. An extensive postclassroom project provides an opportunity to synthesize the reading and the classroom discussions and apply them to a ministerial situation. The results of this reflection are then submitted in the form of a paper with a minimum length of 5,000 words (20 pages).

Time Limit

A maximum of 16 units of coursework may be completed during one calendar year, requiring a minimum of two years for completion of all required coursework. The written doctoral project may be completed in the third year. The minimum time required for completing the program is three years, and the maximum time allowed is eight years from the time of enrollment.

Council of Church Leaders

The following church leaders advise the dean and faculty of Azusa Pacific Seminary on program development to ensure the practicality and relevance of program content:

John Dix, Lead Pastor, Grace Church of Glendora

Dave Johnson, Senior Pastor, Neighborhood Christian Fellowship Wesleyan Church, Covina

Bryan Kim, Senior Pastor, Bethel Korean Church

Stan Leach, General Superintendent, Friends Church, SWYM

JeongKii Min, Senior Pastor, Choong Hyun Mission Church

Sergio Navarrete, Superintendent, Southern Pacific Latin American District, Assemblies of God

Oscar Owens Jr., Bible College President, Christian Education Director, West Angeles Church

Joshua Smith, D.Min., Lead Pastor, Mountainside Communion Nazarene Church, Long Beach

Kelly Soifer, Director of Recruiting and Leadership Development, Free Methodist Church in Southern California (FMCSC) and the Center for Transformational Leadership (CTL)

Kay Wilson, Associate Pastor, Arcadia Friends Community Church

Dale Winslow, Senior Pastor, Foothill Community Church

El Centro Teológico Hispano (CTH) Advisory Members

Agustin Barajas, M.Div., Senior Pastor, Eagle Rock Victory Outreach Church; Overseer, Liberia Victory Outreach Church

Aureliano Flores, Pastor Emeritus, Church of the Redeemer, Assembly of God

Eddie Ruano, Senior Pastor, Azusa Foursquare Church

Edgar Mohorko, M.A., CEO, Social Outreach Service; President, National Police Clergy Council; Youth Outreach/Gang Intervention Consultant; Senior Pastor, Messiah Foursquare Church

Eduardo Font, Ph.D., President, Alberto Motessi Escuela de Evangelismo

Gladys Trejo, M.Div., Assistant Pastor, Comunidad Cristiana, Iglesia del Nazareno

Heliberto Cayetano, M.Div., Director, Hispanic Ministry Church of the Sacred Heart

Hugo Melvin Aldana Jr., Senior Pastor, Lynwood Grace Church; Hispanic Coordinator, Anaheim District Church of the Nazarene

Rodelo Wilson, D.Min., President, Asociación Teológica Hispana