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Established in 2004, the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) program at Olivet University, accredited by the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), is a prestigious education program, designed to advance the candidates engaged in Christian ministries to the highest level in his or her field.

The Doctor of Ministry degree is considered the terminal degree in the area of ministry, thus the graduates of the Doctor of Ministry program must demonstrate competent knowledge and insights that meets the high expectation. While maintaining its academic expectations, the emphasis of the Doctor of Ministry is the "practice of ministry."

Upon admission to the Doctor of Ministry Program, a candidate's final goal for degree award, will be to design, implement, evaluate, and record an original ministry-related project at the highest doctoral standards.

The Doctor of Ministry is a degree program culminating in the recognition of advanced professional studies pursued by practicing ministers and Christian professionals. The program sharpens the skills of those actively engaged in ministry.

This doctorate provides an opportunity for high academic achievement, and develops intellectual and practical capability of practicing ministers and Christian professionals.

Area of Study

Doctoral projects will emerge from student activities. At Zinzendorf School of Doctoral Studies, projects in the Doctor of Ministry program are broadly grouped under four headings:

  1. General Pastoral Ministry
  2. Intercultural Ministries
  3. Campus Ministry
  4. Integrated Ministry Programs for the Marketplace

The list below is a sampling of potential projects to start a candidate thinking of their respective interests and gifts. It is not an exhaustive list, but is designed to initiate creative thinking and reflection.

Examples of projects considered in General Pastoral Ministry are;

  • Leadership for the Church, Development of Ministries
  • Strategies for Evangelism and Church Growth
  • Worship and music, Effective communication, proclamation, preaching.

Examples of Intercultural Ministry projects are;

  • Intercultural communication, Intentional Multi-cultural ministry
  • Leadership and Development in an intercultural context
  • Contextualization for Meaningful ministry
  • Improvement in the practice of worldwide Missionary activities

Examples of Campus Ministry projects are:

  • New ideas to bring Christ to students around the world
  • Projects that reach post-modern issues among students

Examples of Ministry Programs:

  • Advances in learning regarding internships, and Christian service
  • Advances in knowledge regarding accreditation, student spiritual growth
  • New ideas concerning distance learning, student chat rooms, e-library
  • Innovative internet programs that may help other ABHE members

Program Overview

The Doctor of Ministry program requires a total of 45 credits on the quarter system. It is very important to realize that each course or seminar credit normally calls for ten clock hours of interaction with faculty in a classroom setting or its equivalent and at least twenty clock hours in preparation for and follow-up to this interaction. The 45 credits are divided this way:

  1. Eleven (11) from core or required seminars,
  2. Fifteen (15) from elective seminars or approved independent studies supervised by professor,
  3. Eight (8) from approved and supervised ministry projects or practica,
  4. Eleven (11) credits for the Paper on the Final Project.

REQUIRED SEMINARS totaling 11 credits, 3 each except 2 for the Research course

These are normally offered in the classroom for ten clock hours each at the annual doctoral colloquium and then followed up throughout the academic year in the online classroom. The seminars are entitled Global Theological Foundations, Global Missiology, Global Strategic Considerations, and Doctoral Research and Presentation.


A. Starting late in 2015, the faculty will be offering seminars of varying amounts of credit. Often these will have a major component at an annual doctoral colloquium followed up with an online classroom. Some may be offered in online format only. Look for announcements of them at the website. Seminars will be offered contingent upon a sufficient number of students registering in advance to participate in them.

B. At their own initiative, students may also petition the Doctoral Committee, using the Official Form for that purpose, to approve, in advance, an appropriate independent study with varying credit. If approved, a member of the faculty would be appointed as supervisor. Each credit would represent at least 30 clock hours of work.

These independent studies can take a variety of approaches. One kind would be to do an in-depth study, concluding with a research paper (which may or may not be included in some way in the Final Project). Another kind would be to participate in an appropriate conference, usually one with a very practical theme. Other ways of earning these independent credits are possible. As students do so, examples will be posted and provide guidance for seeing what might be available in one's own region and area of interest.


These credits have some similarities with the above independent studies, in that they are to be initiated by the student on the official Supervise Ministry Proposal Form submitted to the Doctoral Committee. They need to be approved in advance by the committee, and they will have a member of the faculty either assigned as the supervisor or assigned to receive the reports of the approved on-site ministry supervisor (OMS). Each credit must represent at least thirty (30) clock hours of practical ministry, including the time in preparing for and reporting on it. A formal academic paper would not normally be expected. The practical ministry may relate to ones intended Final Project, but it does not have to. It will normally involve contact with those to whom one is ministering. However, it could also include many hours of preparation such as creating computer resources as curricula or other forms of outreach for varying target ages or groups.

The object of this aspect of the program is to provide intensive mentoring to the participant in his or her place(s) of ministry and to encourage the student to reflect theologically and practically on his or her ministry(s) and life. It will promote a very contextualized learning experience to the student.

FINAL PAPER/PROJECT totaling 11 credits

Upon satisfactory completion of all seminar and other requirements, students register for their Final Project and are assigned a Mentor from the Faculty. At the beginning of this section of “Program Information” there is a major summary of what the project is to do and many examples of them. When approved to write in another language, comparable authoritative guides must be used.

Final Paper Overview

Upon satisfactory completion of all seminar and other requirements, students register for their Final Project and are assigned a Mentor from the Faculty. At the beginning of this section of “Program Information” there is a major summary of what the project is to do and many examples of them.

As to style, and format, the Final Project and any formal papers for earlier credits, when in English, must conform to A Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations: Eighth Edition; (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013) by Kate L. Turabian, revised by Wayne C. Booth, et.al.. Also valuable because it is more specialized is Quality Research Papers for Students of Religion and Theology:Third Edition; (Grand Rapids, Zondervan, 2014), by Nancy Jean Vyhmeister. When approved to write in another language, comparable authoritative guides must be used.