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

Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)

The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree is a professional doctoral degree intended to equip men in the parish ministry for a higher level of competence in the practice of pastoral ministry. The program leading to the degree promotes professional growth and vocational renewal.

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 support from the applicant’s congregation: 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 five-page, double-spaced statement covering professional career and your goals for the D.Min. Program.
  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 Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) test scores (ets.org/toefl). The Concordia Seminary number for the TOEFL is R-6115-0.

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.

Guidance for the student’s course of study is offered through a required orientation, normally taken on- line in conjunction with a student’s first term. No academic credit is granted for this orientation.

The student must earn a total of 30 credit hours and must complete a Major Applied Project. Seminars and courses, taught in the Fall, Winterim, Spring and Summer Terms, require the student to be absent from his parish or other ministry for short periods of time. Students have four concentration options: general pastoral ministry, homiletics, missional leadership and military chaplaincy. Each concentration requires 20 credit hours selected from class offerings approved for that area of concentration.

The student is required to take 10 credit hours of free electives. Any course or seminar offered (except for those that are required for the student’s program of study) may qualify as a free elective.

At least one-third of a student’s credits must be earned through the completion of courses and seminars that include a residency period.

A maximum of two credit hours may be earned through independent study and a maximum of 12 hours may be earned through Seminary extension and wraparound courses. D.Min. students who are participating in Seminary extension and wraparound courses are not eligible for additional independent studies.

The program concludes with the Major Applied Project, described below.

Major Applied Project (MAP)

Students must complete a Major Applied Project (MAP), which is the final portion of the curriculum. Upon approval of candidacy, the student will begin work on his MAP. He is required to 1) take a course in research methodology and project design; 2) complete the Institutional Review Board Application for Approval of Research Involving Human Participants; and 3) present a certificate of completion for the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative online module before submitting a proposal for the MAP to the MAP Proposal Committee. With the committee’s, approval he will begin writing his project. The project is designed to incorporate meaningful research, reading and insights from class work, and to build a bridge between the doctrinal and practi- cal aspects of the ministry under consideration. e congregation or agency participates in the process.

The topic for the MAP must be submitted to the program director at least six months before the degree is to be awarded. The candidate registers for the project following the approval of the topic by the MAP Proposal Committee.

The candidate must defend his MAP at an oral examination before final approval. Specific deadlines and requirements for completion of the MAP are available from Advanced Studies.

Registration for the MAP shall take place on a semester basis. A Program Continuation Fee will be assessed each semester until the MAP has been completed, as certified by the Director of the D.Min. Program.

Credits in concentration 20 credits
Free electives 10 credits
Major Applied Project (MAP) 0 credits
Total credits required for D.Min. 30 credits

Distinctive Concentration Requirement

Each concentration requires 20 credit hours selected for that concentration.

General Pastoral Ministry Concentration

  • PRA602 Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Care (6 hrs)

Homiletics Concentration

Missional Leadership Concentration

Military Chaplaincy Concentration

Free Elective Offerings

Other offerings that qualify for the General Pastoral Ministry concentration are in the subjects of: pastoral theology, parish administration, worship, homiletics, communication, evangelism, Christian education/nurture, family life ministry, pastoral care and counseling, missions, and cross cultural witness.

Additional Programs and Opportunities


Questions?