Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

The Doctor of Ministry is designed for experienced ministers who want to strengthen the connection between theology and ministry practice.

The program will provide ministry professionals with advanced training and the skills necessary to analyze ministry practices through sustained biblical, ecclesiological and theological reflection, and to discern, shape and disseminate new practices in the service of the gospel. The curriculum is designed for experienced ministers—those who have received their MDiv and have at least three years of experience—offering two tracks, Church Leadership and Community Witness and Biblical Interpretation and Proclamation.

All DMin students receive a 10% scholarship each year of the program. Visit the Admissions and Financial Aid section of the website to learn more about scholarship opportunities and how to apply, or contact Candler’s Admissions Office at 404.727.6326 or

A structure that works for your schedule

  • 32 credit hours over three years. Course instruction takes place online, making it easy to fit into any schedule.
  • Four short stays on Candler’s campus—once in each of the first two years, and twice in the third year.

Tools you need to succeed

  • Collaboration is built in, as students will have ample opportunity to form long-term relationships with faculty and fellow classmates.
  • Access to state-of-the art educational technology and the world-renowned Pitts Theology Library, the third largest theology library in North America.

A final project that's practical and innovative

  • Students are engaged in the design and development of a summative final project to be presented on Candler's campus at the close of the third year.
  • Design and execution of the final project is intertwined into the three years of study, building upon the issues and questions throughout the course work. 
  • Click on the "Degree Requirements" tab to see a list of final project topics in the Class of 2017.

For either of the DMin tracks, a total of 32 credit hours is required for graduation: 26 awarded for the successful completion of a combination of a course on strategies and resources for online learning, six three-credit classes and related colloquies, and a further six for the successful completion of the final project.

Though course delivery will be predominantly online, all three years will include time on Candler’s campus. In the first year, this will involve general orientation and meeting cohort members in the fall. In the third year, the fall visit is constructed to help equip students for the design of their final project and the spring Festival of Learning includes formal presentation and review of the final project. One further residential component falls in the middle of the second year: a track specific residential course offered in the January term.

The DMin program offers two tracks: Church Leadership and Community Witness and Biblical Interpretation and Proclamation.

Credit Hours

The 32-credit hour curriculum is structured to be completed over three years of part-time study. Course instruction takes place online, however it includes four short stays on Candler’s campus.

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Final Project

DMin students will be assigned a mentor who will assist in designing the final project required for the degree. Courses in each track are structured so students make steady progress on the project’s planning and design throughout the program.

The heart of the final project consists of crafting an innovation in ministry practice in the student’s location of choice. The design will build upon the issues and questions that arose during coursework, and the final product will serve as an ideal example of how Candler prepares real people to make a real difference in the real world.

Final projects in the Class of 2017 include:

  • Racial inclusivity in college chaplaincy setting
  • The efficacy of the district superintendent role in United Methodist history and polity
  • Adult education and formation in a local church
  • The role of “boundary leaders” in chaplain ministry
  • The decline and possible revitalization of Wednesday evening suppers in a local church context
  • How to help a local church better deal with issues of race and class
  • How to help African American congregations become a more hospitable environment, especially to visitors
  • Developing and teaching a college course strengthening town/gown relations
  • Working with a church and a local elementary school to develop a program that reduces bullying
  • Developing a training program to mentor at-risk children in church community
  • Developing an interactive, communal approach to preaching
  • The prophetic aspects of the pastoral task and the role of preacher
  • The question of Christian authority in consumer culture, especially in an age of social media
  • The role of the Magnificat in the rise of women leadership in the Alliance of Baptists
  • The doctrine of resurrection in relation to the problem of church decline in North America
  • The role of violence in the understanding of the peaceful God of the Bible
  • Church revitalization in the Ninth Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Helping a local church become more missional and more sensitive to interreligious dialogue
  • Developing a program to help Christian professionals (especially business executives) unite faith and occupation
  • Studying and implementing a program of contemplative prayer in a local church
  • Church revitalization in a local church setting, particularly around the implementation and assessment of new Eucharistic worship service
  • Studying the efficacy of the narrative lectionary for deeper biblical literacy, especially in African-American worship communities

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Application for the Degree

At the beginning of the semester in which a student plans to graduate, the candidate must submit a formal application for the Doctor of Ministry degree before the deadline stated in the academic calendar. A late fee of $25 will be assessed for applications submitted after this date. The Application for Degree is available in OPUS during a window of time set by the university registrar each semester, approximately four weeks prior to the submission deadline.

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The DMin is designed to be completed in three years. In extraordinary circumstances, a student may be allowed to complete the Final Project during a fourth year. When such a program extension is granted, a student enrolls in DM799. Doctor of Ministry Library Use and must pay the residency fee (currently $85 per semester) as well as other mandatory student fees for the fall and spring semester of the fourth year. Projects are then presented at the Festival of Learning at the end of the fourth year.

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The DMin program offers two tracks. The Church Leadership and Community Witness track is geared toward students interested in models of ministerial leadership, while the Biblical Interpretation and Proclamation track will help graduates achieve a theology of Scripture they can use in ministerial practice.

Both tracks are designed to enhance students’ competence in congregational analysis, integrating theology and practice, sharing best practices in ministry, and facilitating collaboration.

Track One: Church Leadership and Community Witness
Year One
DM500. Strategies and Resources for Online Learning (August Intensive; Online and Residential)
DM700. Becoming a Reflective Practitioner (fall)
DM701. First Year Colloquy I (fall)
MD702. First Year Colloquy II (spring)
DM711. Understanding Community (spring)

Year Two
DM703. Second Year Colloquy (fall and spring)
DM712. Ecclesiologies in Action (fall)
DM713. Leadership as a Practice (January Intensive; Residential)
DM714. Leadership and Witness 1: Cultivating Church (spring)

Year Three
DM704. Final Project Collquy (fall and spring)
DM715. Leadership and Witness 2: Engaging the World (fall)
DM750. Doctor of Ministry Final Project (spring)

Track Two: Biblical Interpretation and Proclamation
Year One
DM500. Strategies and Resources for Online Learning (August Intensive; Online and Residential)
DM700. Becoming a Reflective Practitioner (fall)
DM701. First Year Colloquy I (fall)
DM702. First Year Colloquy II (spring)
DM721. Scripture, Theology, Practice (spring)

Year Two
DM703. Second Year Colloquy (fall and spring)
DM722. Issues in Old Testament Interpretation (fall)
DM723. Teaching as a Practice (January Intensive; Residential)
DM724. Issues in New Testament Interpretation (spring)

Year Three
DM704. Final Project Colloquy (fall and spring)
DM725. Preaching the Bible (fall)
DM750. Doctor of Ministry Final Project (spring)

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"We engage with one another through our scriptural texts, our readings, our discussion board and even our Facebook group. The online class component, with class twice a week, keeps the cohort connected and provides a structured timeline and process of learning."
-Leah Davis, Communications Specialist, Alliance of Baptists