Doctor of Ministry
For more information: (213) 252-0962
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.
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 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:
- A completed application for graduate admission (available from the Graduate and Professional Center or online at apu.edu/apply/).
- 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. (Educational equivalent is evidenced by at least 72 semester units of theological study, inclusive of a master’s degree and broad-based work in theology, biblical studies, and the arts of ministry. For more information on equivalency, contact Azusa Pacific Seminary.)
- Transcripts from all institutions leading to, and awarding, the applicant’s baccalaureate degree and all postbaccalaureate study.
- 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.)
- 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 D.Min. director for details on completing this admission requirement.)
- Three letters of reference attesting to the applicant’s personal character, academic ability, and ministerial skills. (Forms are included with application materials.)
- A current résumé.
- A personal interview with the program director may be required.
- 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:
Students who have completed at least 48 units in an accredited English-speaking program just prior to application may be admitted without the TOEFL.
- Availability of a computer with Internet access is highly recommended for all students.
All materials should be submitted to:
Graduate and Professional Center: Admissions
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000 USA
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 goal is to renew and transform ministry leaders, churches, and communities toward those of Jesus Christ.
In general, 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 urban 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 style of leadership contributes to spiritual formation in the congregation.
5. Analyze the concerns of both women and men in ministry, developing a gender-inclusive theology of ministry.
6. Analyze and apply the relationship between personal piety and the promotion of social justice.
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 will be allowed as transfer credit.
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 satisfactory completion of 16 units of coursework (minimum 3.0 GPA in all coursework with no grade less than B-), satisfactory completion of two doctoral project seminars, approval of the student’s doctoral project proposal by the director and the D.Min. committee, and an interview with the director. Final approval for candidacy is granted by the D.Min. committee.
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 and a maximum of 250 pages in length. Complete information on the doctoral project process and standards is available from the office of the D.Min. director.
|GDMN 704||Research and Design||4|
|GDMN 710||Christian Spirituality||4|
|GDMN 720||Theology for Spiritual Formation||4|
|GDMN 730||Church Renewal||4|
|GDMN 740||Spiritual Leadership||4|
|Select three of the following:||12|
|Christian Spirituality and Modern Technology|
|Spiritual Practices in the Church|
|History and Theology of Worship|
|Scripture: Its Spirituality and Proclamation|
|Leading in Context|
|Ecclesiology for Missio Dei|
|Missiology in Local Contexts|
|Seminar in Ministry|
|Readings in Doctoral Ministry|
|Christian Spiritual Formation I 1|
|Christian Spiritual Formation II 1|
|Christian Spiritual Formation III 1|
|Christian Spiritual Formation IV 1|
|GDMN 790||Ministry Project 2||4|
This course is offered at the Renovaré Institute; registration for three credit hours at Azusa Pacific University must be made before starting the course. In order to earn credit, students must be accepted into the APU Doctor of Ministry program before registering for any Renovaré course. Upon satisfactorily completing all course requirements as set forth by the Doctor of Ministry director, the student will receive 3 units credit in the spiritual formation emphasis in the Doctor of Ministry degree.
Each course is structured to include several components that incorporate the theoretical, practical, and collegial aspects of the learning experience:
- 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.
- Classroom experience (English program). Classroom experience is in concentrated sessions during two-week residency periods held each January and July. 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.
- 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 critical reflection and application of content over a period of several months.
- 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.
- 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).
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