Catalog revision date, October 22, 2021.  These changes are effective beginning in the Spring 2022 semester.

New Program: Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)
Overview

The Doctor of Ministry is for maturing ministry and church leaders who want to deepen their faith, grow in wisdom, and develop as thought leaders and skilled practitioners for long-term fruitfulness in ministry.  The D.Min. brings together biblical and theological scholarship, theological integration, reflective practice, ministry skills, and spiritual maturity.

The Wheaton D.Min. program is open to students with an M.Div. or a master’s degree in Bible, theology, or a ministry-related field.

The Doctor of Ministry at Wheaton College is an advanced ministry leadership degree that will equip you as an academically grounded, spiritually maturing, and practically skilled leader to serve Jesus Christ and His Kingdom. This doctoral program is designed to be academically rigorous, focused on contextually relevant ministry praxis, and will continue MML’s ethos of developing spiritually formed leaders who will minister in multicultural environments. 

Learning Objectives of the D.Min. degree include:

  • Advanced Theological Integration: The D.Min. program gives graduates the ability to engage cultural context with advanced theological acumen and critical thinking.
  • In-Depth Contextual Competency: The D.Min. program gives graduates the ability to identify and frame crucial ministry issues.
  • Strategic Planning and Implementation: The D.Min. program equips graduates to enhance their impacts as ministerial leaders.
  • Personal and Spiritual Maturity: The D.Min. program enables graduates to reinvigorate and deepen vocational call and extend tenure in ministry. D.Min. programs are integrative in that they are focused on spiritual, personal, moral, and ministerial formation.

As part of this D.Min. program, all students are required to complete a doctoral project, which serves as the capstone of the D.Min. program. It is an opportunity for students to connect knowledge gained from their coursework with the concrete realities of their ministries:

  1. Identifying a challenge they face in ministry and situating that challenge in their context
  2. Reflecting theologically on that challenge
  3. Designing a new ministry initiative to address that challenge which must then be implemented and assessed

Partnerships:
As a part of our mission to commit to the development of missional organizations, we have developed partnerships with various ministries and organizations in order to focus the class discussions on their particular context and apply theory to the issues relevant to the partner ministry organizations.

Flexible Learning Format:
Most students will continue to serve in their current ministry roles while completing the program part time. While most of the courses will be delivered as one-week intensives, some courses may be offered in an online format at the discretion of the Program Director. This is to provide students the opportunity to come to campus just two weeks in a year and be able to immediately apply their learning in their current context while earning this doctoral degree.

Programs: M.Div. Entrants and Theological/Ministry Master's Entrants

M.Div. Entrants

The Doctor of Ministry for M.Div. Entrants is a 36-credit hour doctoral degree designed for applicants with an M.Div. or equivalent degree, who are being given advance standing. Students will receive analytical, practical, and theological tools to serve as leaders in Christ’s church.

Admission is intended for those serving in ministry leadership roles and have an M.Div. or equivalent with a minimum 3.0 GPA. They should have served a total of five years in a full-time ministry role or three years after earning their master’s degree. Students are expected to possess proficiency in written and spoken English.

Admissions Requirements:

  • Students must possess an M.Div. or an equivalent master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0. 
    • Students with an M.Div. or equivalent master’s degree will be given advance standing of 12 credits and admitted into a 36-hour D.Min. program.
  • Minimum of three years of experience in a ministry leadership role after earning the M.Div. degree or a total of five years in ministry leadership.
  • Currently involved in an active ministry leadership role.

Application Requirements:

  1. Application
  2. Three references – Pastoral, Academic, and Ministry Peer or Ministry Supervisor
  3. Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  4. Four essays which will evaluate students based on the ATS entry-level competencies for D.Min. students
    1. Religious Autobiography (Competency Evaluated: Personal and Spiritual Formation)
    2. Statement of Experience (Competency Evaluated: Ministerial and Leadership Identity)
    3. Statement of Vocational Calling (Competency Evaluated: Ministerial and Leadership Identity)
    4. 8-10 page writing sample of showing biblical interpretation, theological integration, and contextual analysis (Competencies Evaluated: Theological Integration and Contextual Analysis)

The Doctor of Ministry for M.Div. entrants is a 36-credit hour program. Students applying should have completed a M.Div. or an equivalent master’s degree.

Core Courses12
Theological Hermeneutics in Ministry
Spiritual Direction and Care for the Soul
Perspectives in Missional Theology
Pastoral Leadership Concentration Courses16
Healthy and Spiritual Leadership
Contemporary Issues in the Church
Gender, Sexuality, and Spirituality
Advanced Preaching and Teaching
Research Methods and DMin Doctoral Project8
Research Methods
Doctoral Project
Total Credits36

Theological/Ministry Master's Entrants

The Doctor of Ministry for Theological/Ministry Master's Entrants is a 48-credit hour doctoral degree designed for applicants with a theological or ministry master’s degree.

Admission is intended for those serving in ministry leadership roles and have a theological or ministry master’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. They should have served a total of five years in a full-time ministry role or three years after earning their master’s degree. Students are expected to possess proficiency in written and spoken English.

Admissions Requirements:
Students must possess a theological or ministry master’s degree from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum GPA of 3.0. 

  • Students with a theological or ministry master’s degree will be admitted into the full 48-hour D.Min. program.  A theological or ministry master’s degree is defined as one in biblical studies, theology, or a ministry-related field of study.  The transcripts of the graduates of master’s degrees will be evaluated by the D.Min. Program Director to determine whether prior courses in biblical and theological studies meet the prerequisite requirements of the D.Min. degree at Wheaton College Graduate School. 
  • Minimum of three years of experience in a ministry leadership role after earning the master’s degree or a total of five-years in a ministry leadership.
  • Currently involved in an active ministry leadership role.

Application Requirements:

  1. Application
  2. Three references – Pastoral, Academic, and Ministry Peer or Ministry Supervisor
  3. Official undergraduate and graduate transcripts
  4. Four essays which will evaluate students based on the ATS entry-level competencies for D.Min. students
    1. Religious Autobiography (Competency Evaluated: Personal and Spiritual Formation)
    2. Statement of Experience (Competency Evaluated: Ministerial and Leadership Identity)
    3. Statement of Vocational Calling (Competency Evaluated: Ministerial and Leadership Identity)
    4. 8-10 page writing sample of showing biblical interpretation, theological integration, and contextual analysis (Competencies Evaluated: Theological Integration and Contextual Analysis)

The Doctor of Ministry for Theological/Ministry Master's entrants is a 48-credit hour program. Students applying should have completed a theological or ministry master’s degree.

Biblical and Theological Studies Curricular Initiative12
Seminar in Ecclesial Theology
Global Church History
Old Testament Book Study
New Testament Book Study
D.Min. Core Courses12
Theological Hermeneutics in Ministry
Spiritual Direction and Care for the Soul
Perspectives in Missional Theology
Pastoral Leadership Concentration Courses16
Healthy and Spiritual Leadership
Contemporary Issues in the Church
Gender, Sexuality, and Spirituality
Advanced Preaching and Teaching
Research Methods and D.Min. Doctoral Project8
Research Methods
Doctoral Project
Total Credits48
New Courses

BITH 711 Seminar in Ecclesial Theology - An introductory course that explores the ways in which the ecclesia—the history and traditions and the life and ministry of the church—shapes how one reads the Bible and thinks theologically. 

BITH 712 Global Church History - A survey of the history of world Christianity from the apostolic era to the modern period, with particular emphasis on seminal events, figures, and theological developments. Attention is given to the history of the church in the majority world, global Bibles, and to the contributions of women.

BITH 713 Old Testament Book Study - Describe in broad outline the historical and geographical context in which the book was written and significance of this context for interpreting the OT. Recount the basic content, major theological themes and grand narrative of the book, identifying key people, places, events and dates. Interpret the text as ancient literature with reference to genre and compositional features. Apply basic principles of hermeneutics to interpretation and application of the book. Relate OT teaching to reflection in other courses and disciplines.

BITH 714 New Testament Book Study - A study of the background, content, and theology of a New Testament book with emphasis placed on the application of its message to Christian communities in today’s world.

BITH 811 Theo Hermeneutics in Ministry - An opportunity for D.Min. students to engage with contemporary developments in biblical theology, theological interpretation of Scripture, and the application of hermeneutical theory to ministry praxis, with a focus on evangelical contexts.

LEAD 811 Healthy and Spiritual Leadership - This Healthy & Spiritual Leadership course is designed to provide the busy pastor and Christian leader an opportunity to reflect on their work-life balance by examining their ministry and leadership activities. The student will reflect on their mission, calling, as well as their capacity. The context of this self-focus will be their behavior to be their authentic self, pay attention to their soul, and desire to build a sustainable ministry on spiritual, emotional, intellectual, and relational dimensions.

MIN 701 Spiritual Direction and Care for the Soul - This laboratory course in spiritual formation explores the relational, spiritual and missional practices of the Christian spiritual life (e.g., corporate worship, spiritual friendship, spiritual direction, small group accountability, hospitality, evangelism, compassion, social justice, creation-care). Students will study, practice, and theologically reflect on these practices.

MML 701 Perspectives in Missional Theology - This course will examine major systematic theological themes in Scripture through the hermeneutic lens of the mission of God. Specific attention will be given to the development of Christian doctrines and an understanding of God’s mission within the history of Christian thought and missiology, with a view to equipping students develop a biblically-grounded and contextually-focused framework for missional engagement.

MIN 811 Contemporary Issues in the Church - This course trains the student to exegete the broad culture and to respond to prevailing cultural trends that impact the church. Issues such as race, gender, and global stewardship are common contemporary issues that the church faces. Deeper trends such as individualism, collectivism, and widening cultural and political divides are also issues to be explored. A successful student will be able to understand, strategize, teach, and lead in our cultural milieu, both inside and outside of the church.

MIN 812 Gender, Sexuality, and Spirituality - Spirituality, and its manifestation in the spiritual formation of individuals and communities, is most basically about relatedness to Christ and growth toward Christlikeness. Human sexuality has become one of the most, if not the most, divisive construct in the Evangelical Church. The terms sex, gender, sexuality, sexual orientation, sexual identity, gender identity, LGBTQ+, and many more often evoke polarizing postures among Christians as we seek to understand their meaning and the implications of their meaning for people’s lives, our theologies, and our ministry practices. Culture wars intensify these postures within the church and between the church and society.

MIN 813 Advanced Preaching and Teaching - This course is an advanced study in the process of moving from the exegeted text to the message with a focus on creating expository sermons that effectively bridge to contemporary audiences. Building on foundational skills, this course will help students grow in their ability to organize exegetically sound sermons, to communicate clearly, and to engage diverse audiences.

MIN 851 Research Methods - This course is necessary for successfully conducting the research/project in the D.Min. program. The student moves from defining the problem to identifying research question(s) to creating a qualitative research methodology suitable for the particular research/project that the student intends to undertake.

MIN 894 Special Topics in Ministry Leadership - In general this course will expose students to the praxis of servant leadership in contemporary ministry contexts. In particular, it will explore, personal practices in the student’s relationship with God and best-practices in serving Him as applied to the task of ministering to His church and people to seek to build them up in Christ.

MIN 895 Guided Research or Study - A subject or topic of interest to a D.Min. student is studied or researched by the student under the guidance of a faculty member or subject matter expert who is approved by the D.Min. Program Director.

MIN 899 Doctoral Project Continuation - Full Time - Student continues to work on MIN 992 Doctoral Project on a full time basis during the semester. This course is for Pass/Fail and is not graded. Prerequisite: MIN 992. Additional course fee required: $50.

MIN 992 Doctoral Project - The doctoral project is the capstone of the D.Min. program. It is an opportunity for students to connect knowledge gained from their coursework with the concrete realities of their ministries: (1) identifying a challenge they face in ministry and situating that challenge in their context, (2) reflecting theologically on that challenge, (3) and designing a new ministry initiative to address that challenge which must then be implemented and assessed. Prerequisites: All are required. (i) MIN 851 Research Methods (grade of B- or above), (ii) All 12 credits required as ‘Program 2 Courses’, (iii) 8 of 12 credits required as ‘D.Min. Core Courses’, and (iv) 8 of 16 credits required as ‘D.Min. Concentration Courses’, from the concentration in which you are enrolled. [Note: Only the Pastoral Leadership concentration is being offered at this time].

MIN 999 Doctoral Project Continuation - Part Time - Student continues to work on MIN 992 Doctoral Project on a part time basis during the semester. This course is Pass/Fail. Prerequisite: MIN 992. Additional course fee required: $50.