Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

Azusa Pacific’s Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) program focuses on spiritual formation and ministry leadership.

For more information: (626) 815-5447

The Doctor of Ministry (DMin) 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 DMin program is available in English, Korean, and Spanish.

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 Student Services Center or online).
  2. An MDiv 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. (MDiv 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:
Student Services 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 Admissions
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000 USA
Fax: +1-626-815-3801

Transfer Credit

Because of the specialized nature of the program, transfer credit must be evaluated by the director of the DMin 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 DMin 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 DMin director or the DMin 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 DMin 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 DMin director.


Core Courses
GDMN 704Research and Design4
GDMN 710Christian Spirituality4
GDMN 730Church Renewal4
GDMN 740Spiritual Leadership4
GDMN 782Scripture: Its Spirituality and Proclamation4
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
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
GDMN 792Ministry Project Continuation0
Total Units36

This course is offered at the Apprentice Institute; registration for three credit hours at Azusa Pacific Seminary 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 Apprentice Institute course. Upon satisfactorily completing all course requirements as set forth within the Doctor of Ministry program, student receive 3 units of credit in the spiritual formation emphasis in the Doctor of Ministry degree program.


Students who do not complete their DMin project during the semester they are enrolled in GDMN 790 must enroll for subsequent semesters in GDMN 792.

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 and Spanish programs). 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.


University graduate admission and program-specific requirements must be met before an application is complete (see Admission to the University). Program-specific application requirements are available online.

International students should contact Graduate and Professional Admissions for application procedures.

Program Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this program shall be able to:
  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.