Doctor of Ministry: Degree Program Information

Doctor of Ministry programs are geared toward experienced pastors and ministers and are most commonly offered by theological colleges and seminaries. Students explore the Bible in depth and its practical applications in church leadership.

Essential Information

In Doctor of Ministry programs, students may be able to specialize in church erecting and congregation building, family counseling, outreach ministries, and preaching. Often, degrees are offered as cohort tracks, allowing students to advance through the program with a core group of individuals. Prior to graduation, students must submit a thesis, which can take up to a year of research and writing to complete.

These three-year programs are offered by theological colleges and seminaries, and they are aimed at experienced pastors and misters. Applicants must have graduated with at least a 3.0 GPA from a master's degree program at a school accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). Other possible application requirements include letters of recommendation, a church endorsement, a writing sample, an interview, and proficiency in one of the biblical languages, such as Hebrew or Greek.


Doctor of Ministry Degree Program

In doctoral ministry programs, students develop their abilities to apply biblical scriptures to modern-day issues. Most programs incorporate residency requirements and intensive on-campus seminars, which focus on such topics as:

  • Church economics
  • Spirituality
  • Foreign missions
  • Youth ministry
  • Cultural diversity in the church

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2015, clergy earned a median salary of $44,250. Employment is predicted to rise 6 percent between 2014 and 2024, which is about as fast as the national average.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

Graduates of Doctor of Ministry programs can continue their training by attending leadership or ministry conferences or by taking individual professional development courses at seminaries.

In some states, clergy members who wish to perform marriages may have to register with or earn licensure. However, this practice is uncommon, and most states simply require pastoral officiants to be active and ordained practitioners.

Pastors and ministers who want to heighten their ministerial skills can pursue doctoral degrees in ministry. Most programs include a combination of traditional coursework and independent research, with students focusing on a particular area of ministry. Though career options for graduates can vary, the job outlook for clergy in general is about average compared to all occupations.


What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Doctor of Ministry
    • Doctor of Ministry - Clinical Pastoral Education
    • Doctor of Ministry - Military Ministry
    • Doctor of Ministry - Ministry Leadership Coaching
    • Ph.D. in Renewal Theology
    • Ph.D. in Renewal Theology - Christian Theology

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • 3
    Yeshivath Zichron Moshe
  • 4
    Yeshiva Toras Chaim Talmudical Seminary
  • 5
    Yeshiva Derech Chaim
  • 6
    Yale University
  • 7
    World Mission University
  • 8
    Winebrenner Theological Seminary
  • 9
    Western Theological Seminary

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?