Welcome to our ranking of the 50 most affordable Doctor of Ministry degrees. For this ranking article we selected the most affordable colleges, universities and seminaries accredited by the Association of Theological Schools Commission on Accrediting. We chose to limit this ranking to ATS-accredited D.Min. programs because the programmatic accreditation bestowed by the ATS reflects a dedicated approach to theology and ministry. While there are many accrediting agencies that accredit religious schools, we chose the ATS because the ATS is a non-denominational association. ATS accredits schools from over 80 different Protestant denominations and traditions, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox schools. The inclusive accrediting practices of the ATS allowed this ranking to include a diverse selection of colleges, universities, and seminaries. This increases the chances that readers will be able to use this list as a tool to discover affordable Doctor of Ministry programs from schools that reflect their theology. More information on the ranking methodology and sources used for information in this article can be found at the bottom of the page.
South Hamilton, Massachusetts
The D.Min. program at Gordon Conwell is offered through the Hamilton, Boston, and Charlotte campuses. The program offers more than 20 specialized tracks including preaching the literary forms of the Bible, military ministry, ministry to emerging generations, pastoral theology in practice, mission and ministry leadership for the Chinese church, and preaching to culture and cultures.
The Beeson D.Min. program offers concentrations in Christian preaching, spiritual leadership, pastoral theology and pastoral care, and a general studies track. Students will take courses like reflective practice of ministry, Old Testament hermeneutics and the theological life of the pastor, preaching in the African American Tradition: an integrative investigation, and biblical theology.
Fuller offers a variety of cohorts to students who choose the cohort track. These cohorts rotate and so which is available currently may change as cohorts fill and new concentrations emerge. The currently offered cohorts are faith, work, economics, and vocation, Holy Spirit leadership and ministry practice, and Asian American church leadership.
Students in the D.Min. program at Barry University can choose to study during winter and summer, throughout the year, or on a traditional semester-based schedule. Barry offers a D.Min. concentration in Hispanic/Latino ministry and theology. Some of the courses available in the concentration are U.S. Hispanic/Latino theology, Latino popular religiosity and its ethics of solidarity, and liturgy and preaching in Latino congregations.
Wesley Theological Seminary’s doctor of ministry degree offers ten distinct tracks in areas like public engagement, spirituality and story, arts and theology, church leadership excellence, faith and health in community, and soul care. Students will take courses like theological foundations for soul care, holy spaces: architecture in the western church, poetry for spiritual formation in ministry, and effective and visionary leadership.
Students in D.Min. program at the American Baptist Seminary of the West will develop expertise in transformational leadership, prophetic preaching, womanist theological approaches, urban ministry, pastoral care and counseling, social justice and action, and multicultural ministries. Students will take classes like critical interpretation and project development, and leadership in urban communities.
Fort Worth, Texas
Brite Divinity School’s doctor of ministry program requires applicants to have a master of divinity degree or equivalent from an ATS-accredited seminary and a 3.25 cumulative GPA. Graduates from this program serve in the highest levels of ministry as pastors, chaplains, educators, and leaders of faith-based organizations. Students must have 3 years of full-time ministry experience beyond their completion of the master of divinity program.
St. Louis, Missouri
The doctor of ministry in preaching program at the Aquinas Institute of Theology features a hybrid online and intensive delivery system. Students in this 36-credit program will take courses on theology of preaching, biblical hermeneutics and preaching, core homiletics, history and preaching, and liturgy and preaching. Applicants to this program must have three years of full-time ministry experience.
Denver Seminary offers doctor of ministry tracks in leadership, marriage and family ministry, pastoral skills, and spiritual formation. The program offer courses like leading and managing the church and parachurch, issues in marriage and family ministry, developing lay-leaders: a philosophy and strategy for leadership, and ministry effectiveness through personal growth in Christian spirituality.
St. Paul, Minnesota
Luther Seminary offers doctor of ministry programs in both congregational mission and leadership, and biblical preaching. Some of the courses students can expect to take include preaching as the word in context, preaching as the proclaimed word, integration of theology and ministry, congregational practices and thesis proposal, and pastoral identity, leadership, and spiritual life.
Saint Davids, Pennsylvania
Palmer Theological Seminary’s doctor of ministry program features both online and residency components. Students can choose between tracks in religion and public policy, personal and spiritual transformation, and prophetic preaching and teaching. Students will take courses like leading the dynamics of change, enduring models of renewal leadership, and congregational renewal.
LSTC is part of a consortium of 11 seminaries in the Chicago area that comprise the Association of Chicago Theological Schools. The D.Min. in preaching is offered in conjunction with six of those other schools. The ecumenical doctor of ministry degree is offered in conjunction with two other seminaries and features concentrations in liturgy, spirituality, and Hispanic theology and ministry.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
The doctor of ministry program at Sioux Falls offers both classic and partnership tracks. The partnership track is an innovative program that allows students to develop through highly focused directed learning experiences (four in total). Students in this program will take classes like biblical and theological foundations for ministry and missional leadership and ministry practices.
The doctor of ministry program at Dallas Theological Seminary is offered in both English and Spanish and is available through either the Houston or Dallas campuses. Classes are offered in one or two-week seminars. The program offers both cohort-based and personalized tracks in areas like women in ministry, marriage and family ministry, Hispanic leadership, and advanced expository preaching.
The online doctor of ministry program at Portland Seminary offers concentration tracks in leadership and global perspectives, leadership and spiritual formation, and semiotics and future studies. All concentration tracks offer an online delivery model. The leadership and global perspectives concentration features three face-to-face sessions in London, Cape Town, and Hong Kong.
Asbury Theological Seminary offers a cohort-based approach to concentrations, meaning all students in your cohort will be in the same concentration. The concentrations offered are church planting, preaching and leading: shaping prophetic communities, activating missional communities, and faith, work, and economics. Students will take classes like perspectives on faith, ethics, and enterprise, and new paradigms for missional transformation.
The Doctor of Ministry program at LTS Philadelphia is a part-time only program as students are required to be in a full-time ministry position. The program offers 12 concentrations in areas like biblical studies, Black church studies, Christian education, church administration, military chaplaincy, preaching, church and society, interfaith studies, and worship.
The Assemblies of God Theological Seminary D.Min. program offers concentrations in missional leadership, military chaplaincy, women in leadership, biblical preaching, pastoral care and family ministries, and a self-designed option. The program is designed for students who want to go into areas of ministry like campus ministry, church planting, Christian counseling, higher education ministry, and teaching practical theology at college or seminary level.
Saint Benedict, Oregon
The coursework for the D.Min. program at Mount Angel Seminary is completed during five day intensives in mid-late June. Students, both lay and ordained, will take courses in liturgical and systematic theology, and pastoral theology. The program culminates in a summative doctoral project which includes a 150-page dissertation and project.
Harding School of Theology’s Doctor of Ministry degree offers concentrations in homiletics or in missiology and church growth. Students in this program will take six seminars (determined by their concentration), a course in research in ministry, and perform an internship. The program is capped off by either a dissertation or project.
Westminster Theological Seminary offers concentrations in both pastoral ministry and counseling. The program takes 4-5 years to complete, and students will take courses like pastoral theology, theology of missions and evangelism, and counseling and Christian ministry. Each student will complete an applied research project in their area of concentration.
While the D.Min. program at Western Seminary does not offer online courses, the on and off-campus intensives are designed in such a way that students do not have to relocate to enroll in the program. Students can choose between emphases in gospel spirituality, pastoral leadership, and Christ-centered preaching. The school’s partnership with Phoenix Seminary means students can take classes from either school.
New Brighton, Minnesota
The coursework for this D.Min. program can be completed in 1-3 years and the dissertation typically takes another 2-3 years to complete. Students can choose between concentrations in religion and theology and theology and the arts. For their individualized capstone project, students can choose between a traditional dissertation or an art project.
San Francisco, California
The D.Min. program at SFTS offers concentrations in executive leadership, pastor as spiritual leader, pastoral care and counseling, contextually-oriented concentration, and chaplaincy and spiritual care research literacy. The program can take up to five years to complete and may be completed by taking traditional courses during the academic year, or doing January and summer intensive sessions.
Multnomah University offers six specialized D.Min. tracks, including cross-cultural engagement, missional leadership, global evangelism, spiritual formation, youth ministry, and church revitalization. Because the school uses a cohort-based model where all students stay together throughout the program, the times when a given specialization kicks off are dependent on when the cohort is filled.
APTS offers D.Min. concentrations in Christian spirituality and the practice of ministry, the church’s life and the practice of ministry, proclamation and worship, and theology and the practice of ministry. Students will take courses like Bible and the practice of ministry, methods in qualitative research, and methods in biblical and theological hermeneutics.
The CTS D.Min. program offers students a choice of concentrations in Christian spirituality, church and ministry, Asian North American ministry and theology, and gospel, culture, and transformation. Students will take courses like introduction to research methodologies, literature review, doctor of ministry project, and doctor of ministry practicum.
Saint Louis, Missouri
This 30-hour program is completed in 3-4 years on average. Courses are offered in five-day sessions over the course of the program. D.Min. students at Covenant are not eligible for federal student loans. Students will take courses like the church’s mission in changing cultures, advanced strategies for interpreting and applying Scripture, leading the church through renewal, and contemporary issues and evangelical theology.
The D.Min. program at MTS offers ministry tracks in leadership in ministry, faith and health, and theology and arts. Students applying to the D.Min. program must have reference forms from their church’s governing body, three recommendation forms, and six assessments by constituents. Students can apply for multiple scholarships from many Presbyterian and Methodist denominations, depending on their church membership.
New Brunswick, New Jersey
NBTS offers a D.Min. program with concentrations in pastoral care and counseling, congregational and community renewal, and metro-urban ministry. This is an online D.Min. program with 3 one-week intensives per year where students meet with the same cohort throughout the program. Applicants must have an M.Div. or equivalent degree with a 3.0 GPA.
The D.Min program at BTS offers concentrations in organizational leadership, urban missiology, and biblical exposition. The program features courses on missional leadership formation, cultural interpretation and engagement, change dynamics: leading an organization through change, and re-missioning the established church.
Wesley Biblical Seminary offers their D.Min. program in a part-time cohort model with a two week on-campus intensive the first and second year. The third year is consumed by the student’s research project. Students will take courses like advanced biblical hermeneutics for relevant preaching and ministry, sacramental spirituality and disciple-making leadership, and Wesleyan theological vision for community formation in the postmodern context.
The Doctor of Ministry program at RPTS offers concentrations in both strengthening pastoral ministry and strengthening counseling ministry. Students can enroll in courses like Christ’s mediatorial kingship, the Old Testament in the New, the renewal of preaching, and Christ in the Gospels. This program is designed to be completed within 3-6 years.
D.Min. students at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary can choose from seven concentrations in areas like urban change, missional leadership, reformed Christian spirituality, eastern Christian focus, science and theology, and reformed focus. Courses include theology of missional congregations, urban Christianity in cross-cultural and global perspective, and biblical reflections on cities: from ancient Israel to the first century church.
Oral Roberts offers D.Min. concentrations in church ministries and leadership, and pastoral care and chaplaincy. The program is taught in a modular, cohort-based format where students meet on campus for six weeks over a two-year period while continuing to serve in their respective ministries.
Winona Lake, Indiana
This program is designed for students who want to pursue full time careers as youth, associate, children’s, or senior pastors, worship leader, or missionary. Courses offered in this program include the effective communicator, contextualization for meaningful ministry, methods of social research, current theological issues, and a professional project in pastoral ministries.
Nyack, New York
The length of this 36-credit D.Min. program is approximately 3 years of full-time study. Students will take courses like effective ministry in today’s globalized urban environment, selecting and developing new leaders, Christian communication for a new generation, contemporary models of evangelism, leadership skills for ministry, and guiding others of their spiritual journey.
San Antonio, Texas
The Oblate School of Theology offers concentrations in spiritual formation in the local community, U.S. Hispanic/Latino ministry, African American pastoral leadership, and spirituality and ministry. There is also a pastoral leadership concentration which combines courses from any two of the main concentrations. The program includes courses like faith development, history of Christian spirituality, and contemporary spirituality.
The Doctor of Ministry program at McCormick features concentrations in building beloved community, parish revitalization, leadership, and pastoral and spiritual care. These programs feature classes like peacemaking: building the beloved community, foundation for leadership, post-christendom church, leadership and change, and pastoral care in times of crisis.
Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia International University’s D.Min. program offers concentrations in Bible exposition, chaplaincy, global studies, member care, and ministry leadership. Students will take courses like strategic leadership for chaplains, missiological reflections, clinical applications in missionary care, missionary care for career transitions, and organizational missionary care services.
Doctor of Ministry students who are alumni of either Phoenix Seminary or Western Seminary are eligible for a 20% tuition discount. Students in this program will take courses like increasing relevancy in your preaching, counseling in contemporary culture, conflict management, sharpening exegetical skills for expositional excellence, and counseling dysfunctional families.
Rochester, New York
Northeastern Seminary offers an online D.Min. program with short one-week residencies on campus in Rochester. The program features online collaboration, places an emphasis on spiritual formation, and residency weeks include a 24-hour retreat period that allow students to take a breath and rest.
Southeastern University offers an online hybrid doctor of ministry degree which requires intensive sessions twice per year but is otherwise supported by online distance learning technology. Students will take courses like the leader and organizational health, contextual engagement, spiritual formation and health of the leader, and Spirit-empowered leadership.
VTS offers three Doctor of Ministry programs in ministry development, educational leadership, and Christian spirituality. Each program takes three years to complete and has a campus residency requirement of three weeks each summer during the program. Students will take courses like ministry in context, governance and mission, sacred texts in education, and Christian spiritual traditions.
Ashland Theological Seminary offers concentrations in Black church studies, independent design, transformational leadership, and chaplaincy. In this program’s final project, students will take the principles they have learned and apply them in an innovative way to enhance their own ministry. They will record the progress of this project in a 150-250 page project assessment.
Students in this Doctor of Ministry program can choose concentrations in advanced biblical preaching, Asian American ministry, discipleship for the 21st century, engaging mind and culture, and ministry skills. Students will take courses dealing with subjects like personal discipleship to Jesus, understanding world views and culture, and understanding church growth and multiplication.
Kansas City, Missouri
The D.Min. program at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary offers concentrations in military chaplaincy, ethics, apologetics, leadership, care and counseling, and Spanish. Students will take courses like doctrinal and topical exposition, world religions, advanced diagnosis and treatment of addiction disorders, and worldview and ethical theory.
New Orleans, Louisiana
NOBTS offers the D.Min. program through 20 extension campuses located in cities across the Southeast, including Orlando, Monroe, Nashville, Spartanburg, Little Rock, Oklahoma City, Montgomery, and Birmingham. Some of the concentrations available in the program are collegiate ministry, denominational leadership, singles ministry, worship studies, and Christian theological heritage.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry degree takes three to six years to complete. Students can specialize in areas like church revitalization, disciple-making/spiritual formation, expository preaching, biblical counseling, and pastoral ministry. The degree features courses like biblical counseling, practical and strategic issues in Christian leadership, and Christ-centered expository preaching.
The D.Min. program at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary offers concentration tracks in pastoral care and counseling, Black church studies, and advanced practice of ministry. The program features courses like theology of ministry: the minister in context, the minister as biblical interpreter, family therapy: theory and practice, and pastoral diagnosis and psychopathology.
This ranking includes both traditional and online D.Min. programs from ATS-accredited institutions. The tuition information was gathered from College Navigator and represents an approximation. Ties were broken by listing the tied schools in alphabetical order. Exact tuition for each program may vary depending on the accuracy of the information provided to College Navigator. Always confirm tuition rates with admissions officers at your school of interest.
By TD Staff
This concludes our ranking of the Top 50 Most Affordable Doctor of Ministry Degrees 2017-2018.