Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

PSR offers an opportunity for creative, focused, and advanced professional studies in its cluster Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree. Unlike the PhD or ThD, the DMin is not a degree in a specialized academic discipline, but rather is a professional degree in ministry that brings together theory and praxis rooted in the academy and the community of faith.

PSR's DMin program is interdisciplinary in design, cross-cultural in content, and ecumenical in intention. The program attracts and encourages interaction among an especially multicultural and multinational group of students. The DMin provides an opportunity for you to:

  • use your skills in critical engagement with texts and traditions and contextual analysis to advance your understanding of the nature and purpose of ministry in a particular context.
  • be able to work in partnership with people in other ministry settings to develop greater skill in communicating the Christian faith and in developing leadership styles for effective social change.
  • create new knowledge and research about the practice of ministry that contributes to the understanding and practice of ministry.
  • enhance your ministry skills and competencies through discipline study using research and conversation with peers and instructors.
  • integrate these understandings and competencies into theologically coherent analysis of the practice of ministry.
  • develop a more aware engaged spirituality.

Course Requirements for the DMin

The DMin program requires a minimum of 24 credits, 6 of which are thesis credits (DM 6011), and 18 of which are in courses (the equivalent of one year of full time study or spread out over 3 years part time).

  • DM 6000: The DMin Seminar (3.0 credits, previously DM 6012) 
    over 2 weeks in January Intersession is a requirement for all PSR DMin students.
  • DM 6021: The DMin Annual Continuing seminar (0.0-1.5 credits)
    over 1 week or weekend in January Intersession is also a required course for all DMin students who entered 2011 or later.
    3.0 credits total (or at least two Intersessions worth) of DM 6021 required before graduating
  • DM 6011: DMin in Thesis (3.0 credits)
    This is a required thesis course that does not meet regularly and is registered for typically in the Fall and Spring semesters of your final defense year in the program and is registered for after your Request to Proceed with Project form (or Integrative Review Certification for pre-2011 students) is completed and filed.
    6.0 credits total of DM 6011 required before graduating

You may select remaining course work, in consultation with your committee chair, in order to deepen and enrich your understanding of your ministry and provide an academic foundation for your research project. These courses must be at the 4000 level or higher and be taken for a letter grade.

Other Degree Requirements

Course work, approval from your DMin Committee to proceed with your project, and a research project comprise the  main components of the DMin degree. Students may complete the degree by taking courses full time the first year, then completing and defending the project in the last two years. Alternatively they may also spread out their coursework as part time students over the three years and work on their project concurrently. For students who work full time or may be out of the Berkeley area for the majority of the year, the only required courses that meet are: 1) the DMin Seminar and 2) the DMin Annual Continuing Seminar meet each January Intersession over a series of weekends, so student may fly in to stay in Berkeley for a couple weeks a year and complete the remainder of their course with a combination of online, blended, intensive, and regular courses. Advisement for the project with committees are expected to happen by conference calls, videoconferencing, and other distance-friendly technologies.

Request to Proceed with Project
After you complete course work, or when you have formulated in more detail your project, you are ready submit your initial project materials and have your committee sign off of your Request to Proceed with Project form. At this point your committee may evaluate your progress according to these criteria:
-Your ability to identify a critical issue in your ministry context.
-Your skills in selecting appropriate study resources.
-Your capacity to translate study into professional practice in a community setting.
-Your willingness to formulate a document useful for ministry in a multi-cultural world.
-Your thesis, bibliography, and methodology
-Your Human Subjects Protocol

Research Project
Following the completion of your course work and satisfactory performance on the integrative review, you may begin your 6-credit research project. You should register for DM 6011 during the last 2 semesters of your program. During this phase of the program, you should be involved in a full-time position of leadership in ministry. You will carry out your research project in that ministry setting. Normally this project is completed in the equivalent of one calendar year. Fulfillment of the research project requirement is certified by your DMin committee upon approval of the final research document.

Academic Program Manual for the DMin

  • Academic program manual for DMin student 2013.Both parts required:
    Part I
    Part II

Other DMin forms

DMin worksheets 

Forms for students entering 2011 and after

DMin Eligible Courses

Every summer the DMin Director compiles a list of all 4000+ level courses that can be used toward the DMin. Eligible DMin courses must be taught by instructors who possess a doctorate degree or equivalent. Courses not on this list may be considered for eligibility if a syllabus is submitted for approval to the Assistant Dean for Academic Programs prior to start of the course. 2013-2014 DMin Eligible Course List  

Flexible Option  

For students at a distance, the PSR DMin requires that students be present at least each January for on-campus course requirements.

  • In Year 1: Students should plan to be at PSR two weeks in January to take DM 6000 DMin Seminar which span over two weeks with time in between to use our libraries and resources.
  • For every year after Year 1: Students should plan to be at PSR one week in January to take the DM 6021 DMin Annual Continuation Seminar
  • The rest of your courses may be taken in online or blended format. For more information on these formats, visit the Flexible Learning page. Keep in mind that all 8000 level courses are online, but for DMin students, you should choose 8400-8699 level courses. While we have a limited set of 8400-8699 level courses, you may in some cases with the approval of the instructor and your advisor also upgrade the level of  most courses that are 1000-3999 level (or 8100-8399 level for online courses) by:
    a) registering for an SRC 8888 01 course in WebAdvisor and
    b) submitting an SRC form to the registrar by the close of Late Registration.
    For distance students who wish to work with core faculty around the consortium on a focused topic not already offered in the catalog, registering for a directed study or SRC 9999 01 with that faculty person could also be possible.

Other Resources

Additional Doctoral Programs

For information about Doctor of Theology (ThD) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degrees administered by the Graduate Theological Union, see GTU.

Admissions Prerequisite

Applicants to the Doctor of Ministry Program must have a Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent and can apply and are eligible to apply three years after the completion of their first theological masters degree.  For more information on how to apply for the DMin and admissions, please visit our Admissions Pages  or contact the Admissions Office.

DMin Program Assessment Rubric