Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) Program at Concordia Seminary

Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)

The D.Min. Program is an advanced, professionally oriented degree that prepares students to be theological leaders in the church and world. The D.Min. Program gives students the skills to apply rigorous scholarship and theology to contemporary issues within their ministry context and become well respected scholar-practitioners in their ministry field.

All courses are online. Each student’s first course will take place the summer after he is accepted into the program.

Applications are considered by the Advanced Studies Committee (ASC) at set times throughout the year. All application materials must be received, in their entirety, by Feb. 28 (Nov. 30 for international students) each year in order for an applicant to be considered for admission.

Concordia Seminary, as part of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), adheres to the doctrinal belief and practice that women may not be ordained as pastors. Accordingly, women are not admitted to the Doctor of Ministry Program.

For admission to the program, the applicant ordinarily will have a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree (with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale) from an accredited theological institution equivalent to that offered by Concordia Seminary. The applicant should have three years of experience in the parish or related ministry after earning an M.Div. degree. The student is to exhibit professional competence that is above average, as attested by evaluations from his peers.

For more information, review the Academic Catalog and Entry Level Competency Exam requirements.

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. Submit a $100 nonrefundable application fee. (The fee is waived for Concordia Seminary graduates and international applicants.)
  3. The applicant must request four professional references. These include: district president, circuit counselor, another pastor and president of congregation or church council. References may be sent to: Admissions, Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105 or an electronic copy may be sent to gradschooladm@csl.edu.
  4. A letter of endorsement for enrollment in the D.Min. Program from your current ministry setting (congregation, agency). This may be sent to: Admissions, Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105 or an electronic copy may be sent to gradschooladm@csl.edu.
  5. Transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate credits you have earned: Please request an official transcript from each institution where you have earned undergraduate or graduate credits. A hard copy of the transcript may be sent to: Admissions, Concordia Seminary, 801 Seminary Place, St. Louis, MO 63105 or an electronic copy may be sent to gradschooladm@csl.edu.
  6. Submit a Personal Ministry Essay that answers the following questions:
    • How would you describe the congregation or agency where you minister, and the local context?
    • How do you apply Scripture and Lutheran theology in your ministry context without compromising God’s Word? Provide an example.
    • What is your perception of yourself in relation to your vocational calling?
    • In what ways do you seek to increase your personal and spiritual preparedness for ministry?
    • In what ways do you expect that the Doctor of Ministry Program will enhance your ministry?
  7. A document explaining how you intend to finance your degree work, including living expenses: Please provide a detailed document, explaining how you will finance your degree, including mortgage payment, car payment, living expenses, previous student loans and consumer debt.
  8. A recent photograph of yourself. (International applicants, please provide a photocopy of the identification and picture page of their passport.)
  9. For applicants whose native language is not English, please submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test. The Concordia Seminary number for the TOEFL is R-6115-0. The Graduate School also accepts IELTS or Duolingo English Test scores in place of the TOEFL.

Documents may be uploaded as attachments when submitting your application (limit of 10 total documents, 10 MB each), or documents may be sent to: gradschooladm@csl.edu.

Questions? Contact Admissions at 314-505-7222 or gradschooladm@csl.edu.

Students will compete 12 credit hours of core course work and 18 credit hours of course work determined by their concentration for a total of 30 credit hours. Once the student has completed 30 credit hours, the program concludes with a Major Applied Project (MAP). All course work will be conducted online. However, students will attend two seminars on campus before they submit their MAP proposals. Students must be present for the entire seminar in order for the experience to be counted.

Students may choose from five concentrations: general pastoral ministry, homiletics, missional leadership, military chaplaincy and spiritual care.

Major Applied Project (MAP)

Students must complete a Major Applied Project (MAP). Upon approval of candidacy and completion of 30 course credits, the student will work with an adviser to prepare a MAP proposal. A penultimate MAP proposal will be sent to the dissertation secretary. Once the student has addressed the critical feedback from the dissertation secretary the penultimate MAP proposal will be submitted to the MAP committee. The MAP committee will consist of the student’s adviser and two other professors. The MAP committee must represent at least two different departments. The MAP committee will approve the MAP proposal if 1) The student has identified an appropriate ministry-related research question; and project 2) The student has demonstrated an appropriate theological perspective that attends to the research question; and project 3) The student has demonstrated how the research question and project are situated in the context of recent research and literature; and 4) The student demonstrates an appropriate research design and methodology for the research question and project.

After the MAP committee approves the MAP proposal the student will complete all the requirements of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and submit the IRB application for review. The student is not allowed to have contact with research participants until they have obtained approval from the IRB.

The student may begin the MAP research once he has approval from the MAP committee and the IRB. The student will work with the adviser on all aspects of the MAP. With the adviser’s approval, a penultimate copy of the MAP will be sent to the dissertation secretary. Once the student has addressed the critical feedback from the dissertation secretary, the penultimate MAP will be sent to all members of the MAP committee in preparation for the oral examination.

The Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program will coordinate all aspects of the MAP process.

Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) Credit Distribution for Each Concentration

Concentrations: General Homiletics Missional Leadership Military Chaplaincy Spiritual Care
Core Courses 12 12 12 12 12
Concentration Courses 3 9 9 3 9
Electives 15 9 9 6 9
Two Seminars 0 0 0 0 0
MAP 0 0 0 0 0
JPME transfer credits n/a n/a n/a 9 n/a
Total Credit Hours 30 30 30 30 30

Additional Programs and Opportunities


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