Doctor of Ministry

The DMin programs enables ministry leaders (pastors, chaplains, volunteers and other servants) to undertake doctoral study that is both academically rigorous and deeply engaged in ministry practice, personal renewal, and God’s mission in the world.


Through the DMin program ministry leaders engage in an intentional reflective community of learning where ministry issues and opportunities are seen in light of Bible, theology, culture and our shared focus of Christ’s mission. During intensive course weeks, faculty and one’s colleagues in ministry studies provide insight, raise questions and facilitate dialogue which leads to fresh ministry responses in each person’s ministerial context.

Programs Offered

Contextual Theology – Starting in 2021 pending enrollment


Christian Community Development

New Testament Context – Starting August 2022

Doctrine, Theology, & Practice – Starting August 2022

Women, Theology, and Leadership – Starting August 2022

Program Completion Time

DMin courses are held in a one-week intensive format. The maximum time to complete the program is six years. Occasionally a student will need more time to complete program requirements. At the end of the sixth year a program extension must be requested through the DMin Committee. A Program Continuation Fee of $1,250 will be charged annually at the start of the seventh year. The outer limit for completion of the program is ten years.


The Doctor of Ministry program requires the completion of 36 quarter hours of study. Students engage in 3 required core courses, a reflective ministry assessment, classes within an area of specialization, and the development of a ministry action culminating in the development of a written thesis. Each course is offered in a one-week intensive format.

  • 12 quarter hours – Required Core Courses
  • 8 quarter hours – Thesis Project, Research and Writing
  • Remaining hours – Elective Courses

Course Content

Pre-Course Work

Prior to each intensive course, students complete reading, reflection and the development of projects/papers through which learning is applied to one’s own ministerial context. Participants bring a variety of individual ministry issues to the course. Each course is designed with this in mind so readings and assignments allow for flexibility in terms of personal focus.

Intensive Week

Class sessions involve engagement of heart, intellect and of issues of practical implementation. The goal is to create a community of faith, learning and support. During class weeks participants engage in reflection, critique of learning, and the development of action plans for responding in new ways to issues and opportunities in ministry.

Post-Course Work

Following each intensive week, students complete reflective assignments, often leading to further research and study in order to faithfully implement new ministry action within one’s ministerial context.

Required Core Courses and Thesis Descriptions

Though each of the following courses are required for all doctoral students, each doctoral program will have a unique version of the course that is specified to their needs. 

DM 7015 Becoming Doctors of the Church
This seminar introduces the purpose, goals and processes of Northern’s DMin program. It will also help participants to identify a “ministry issue” which will serve as the focus of their program.

DM 7045 Biblical/Theological Reflection on Ministry and Culture
This seminar seeks to enhance one’s ability to integrate sound biblical and
theological understandings into the practice of ministry by integrating biblical foundations, ecclesial traditions, and cultural contexts. To this end, the course moves from theological method based in scripture, church/tradition, and culture to actual theological reflection on ministry situations, ministry situations, and ministry experiences.

DM 7060 Thesis Design and Research Methodology
This course will assist students in the conception, formulation, research process, preparation, and writing of an acceptable thesis proposal. Special attention is given to the integration of the theological disciplines into the writing of the thesis proposal and the thesis. Step by step instruction concerning the various segments of the thesis proposal will be provided.

DM 7190 Thesis
Upon approval of the Thesis Proposal by the DMin Committee the student will implement the ministry action and complete the writing of the thesis. The thesis is done under faculty supervision.


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