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The Doctor of Ministry Program


Deepen your understanding of ministry and strengthen your spiritual and moral integrity with the Doctor of Ministry degree. Your progress is observed through a constant mentoring relationship with an assigned member of the CIU Seminary & School of Ministry faculty. You’ll build on previous studies and ministry experiences to attain higher levels of competency. The degree is designed for those who hold the Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent, and who have significant experience in pastoral or cross-cultural ministry. Choose one of five concentrations:

The D.Min. (Bible Exposition) helps students increase their ability to interpret and communicate the text of scripture in a way that is biblically and theologically astute while remaining relevant and practical

The D.Min. (Chaplaincy) assists you in developing a higher level of expertise in ministry to the armed forces.

The D.Min. (Global Studies) focuses on the foundations of, and current developments in missions, as it deepens your understanding of your personal calling and purpose in God’s mission.

The  D.Min. (Member Care) equips professionals who have demonstrated skill in providing ministerial and/or therapeutic care for missionaries. Multi-disciplinary training tools equip you as a Mission Support Services Specialist serving in an organizational setting or as a Clinical Counseling Specialist (requires licensure) focusing on clinical needs of missionaries.

The D.Min. (Ministry Leadership) develops your knowledge, theoretical clarity, and competence in ministry through lifelong learning in leadership. It is a popular option for pastors, church staff and para-church workers.

Admission Requirements:

  • Students whose GPA falls between 2.8 and 3.0 may be considered for admission on a probationary basis if they submit their requests in writing accompanied by appropriate rationale. Their applications will be reviewed and evaluated by the Doctor of Ministry Committee on a case-by-case basis.
  • A Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree with a minimum “B” (3.0) average. Applicants who do not hold the M.Div. degree but have completed another graduate theological degree and believe they have theological training equivalent to an M.Div. may submit evidence of work completed to the Admissions office for assessment.
  • At least three years of active involvement in ministry subsequent to completion of M.Div. studies. Applicants to the missions concentration are required to meet this requirement in active cross-cultural ministry unless their primary assignment is North American missions administration.
  • A completed D.Min. application, including forms and instructions, available through the Admissions office.
  • International students must demonstrate proficiency in the use of the English language.
  • Any additional requirements set by the SSM or the Admissions office

Academic Information:

While the SSM’s D.Min. program is noted for its flexibility, the individualized program of studies must be appropriate to the concentration. With the exception of the Chaplaincy concentration (which allows a maximum of 6 semester hours of transfer credit from officer training), 24 semester hours of study, including the dissertation project, must be taken at CIU at the 9000 level. No more than six semester hours may be transferred in or taken ((with permission) at the 6000 or 7000 level. All degree requirements must be completed within six years of initial enrollment in the D.Min. program unless an extension is requested and granted. Extending studies beyond the sixth year will result in an annual continuation fee.


Advancement to candidacy occurs when the student has successfully completed all course work and whose dissertation-project proposal has been accepted by the dissertation committee.

Upcoming courses and manuals are available here.

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Course requirements and suggested program of study

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You will be able to:

  • Use ministry skills at an advanced level of professional competency and will exhibit the personal qualities normally considered essential to this level of ability;
  • Demonstrate increased sensitivity in interpersonal relationships and development of the skills needed to enhance these relationships;
  • Think, plan, and act creatively in transcending traditional approaches to ministry by the use of innovative concepts and methods;
  • Domonstrate a steadily maturing relationship with God in an understanding of the concept of servanthood, especially as related to servant leadership.

What our graduates say

"Education at its best is motivational and even fun when it's done by those who are experts at their craft. As I look back over my courses, I'm amazed at God's timing and direction in my life and ministry. The D.Min. program at CIU has delivered on all fronts; I hold it in highest regard." - Jack Bartlett (D.Min. Class of 2002)

"CIU's D.Min. program is enriching my life in a number of ways. The godly character of my professors, the fellowship with other D.Min. students, and the spiritual ethos of the school enrich me spiritually. The academic challenges of the D.Min. program stimulate me intellectually and teach me to think in new and exciting ways. The material that I learn is practical, making me a more competent pastor. Furthermore, I appreciate the flexibility to tailor my program to meet my needs, and the personal care that my mentor shows to me. I'm glad that the Lord led me to CIU for my D.Min. studies." - Christopher A. Johnson (D.Min. Class of 2001)

"While I served on the mission field in the former Soviet Union, I enrolled in the CIU SSM D.Min. program. The classes were practical and very helpful to me in my work in a cross-cultural setting. The interaction with fellow students who were going through similar challenges in ministry was invaluable. The professors were very competent and in most cases had been doing what we were doing for many years themselves. I really appreciated the healthy balance of practical ministry focus, academic study and peer interaction. I highly recommend this program to anyone who wishes to sharpen and advance their skills in ministry." - Robert McAlister (D.Min. Class of 2007)

"I have joy and gratitude when I think of CIU SSM. Studying there, in more depth, I met with God, understood God's plan, experienced God's love, and learned more accurately God's truths in the Bible. And I came to know how to live a life pleasing to God. I spent 6 years in my M.Div. and D. Min program of CIU. Through spiritually, theologically and missiologically well balanced professors, I learned how to evangelize, preach, serve and nurture people, and plant churches for God's glory and the extension of God's Kingdom. For the last four years, our family and fellow workers have shared the gospel with more than 500 people, planting 10 churches. CIU SSM is a very special school for people who have the burden of world mission." - Wah Rang Shin (D.Min. Class of 2004)