Doctor of Ministry

Doctor of Ministry

The highest professional degree for those in church or related ministries is the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree. This particular program is geared toward educated, experienced practitioners who desire to stimulate renewal in themselves and their ministries through the integration of their experience with advanced training, research, and reflection.

With a focus on forming leaders who are interested in the integration of Christian spirituality with ministry and leadership studies, the DMin in Spirit-filled Global Leadership in the African Diaspora program engages the richness of African culture in a global, ecclesial context.

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Additionally, the Spirit-filled Global Leadership in the African Diaspora DMin program is organized around the foci of Bishop T.D. Jakes’ life and ministry and reinforces cultivation in the following areas:

  • Leadership development: Students develop a plan over four semesters that details their ministry philosophy and interest in cultural diversity.
    Communication techniques: Students analyze and practice the Bishop T.D. Jakes method of preaching to enhance their own art of communication.
  • Innovative ministry experience: Students pursue research topics under the supervision of a faculty advisor in subjects arising from their ministry context
  • Expanded perspective: Students will be required to participate in four Advances. Advances are face-to-face intensives, during which, they will be challenged with core readings and supplemental materials: One African Advance during their enrollment in the DMin program, in locations such as Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, or Nigeria.
  • Attend two of the annual International Leadership Summits (ILS), to participate in sessions with guest lecturers from a wide variety of disciplinary, theological, and demographic perspectives.
  • Attend one of the annual Jakes Divinity School Symposia in Dallas, TX.
As with all of the JDS degree programs, students will not need to relocate to Dallas, TX, to pursue the DMin program. The delivery system of the Spirit-filled Global Leadership in the African Diaspora DMin degree includes participation in several seminars, conferences, and ‘field research’ experiences both domestically and abroad; coursework with faculty specialists, personal academic mentoring by select faculty advisors; online interactivity with cohort members and professors; as well as reading, reflection, research, and writing.

Admission Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to the DMin program must hold an ATS-accredited MDiv degree or meet the seminary’s MDiv equivalency requirements†, with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

†Equivalency Procedures

The Jakes Divinity School, Spirit-Filled Global Leadership in the African Diaspora Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program will consider applicants that do not hold the Master of Divinity (MDiv), providing that MDiv equivalence can be established. Applicants requiring 18 hours of MDiv equivalent leveling work or less may be admitted into the program. Students admitted with 12-18 hours of required leveling may be required to wait 1 year while completing some or all of the leveling coursework.

As a degree program approved by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) by virtue of partnership with Portland Seminary, the DMin program supports ATS standard 5.5, which states:

The Doctor of Ministry degree is an advanced professional doctorate that builds upon an accredited master’s degree in a ministry-related area and upon significant ministry experience. Students without an accredited Master of Divinity degree may be admitted, provided the school has publicly stated admissions criteria that address the following six areas and provided the school documents how each applicant meets each of these criteria: (a) the ability to thoughtfully interpret scripture and the theological tradition of one’s ministry context, (b) the capacity to understand and adapt one’s ministry to the cultural context, (c) a basic self-understanding of one’s ministerial identity and vocational calling, (d) a readiness to engage in ongoing personal and spiritual formation for one’s ministry, (e) an accredited master’s degree (or its educational equivalent) in an area related to one’s ministry setting or vocational calling, and (f) significant ministerial experience that enables the applicant to engage as a ministry peer with other students in this advanced professional doctorate.

Please note that establishing MDiv equivalency does not result in the conferral of the MDiv degree, nor does it equate to admission to the DMin program. As such, it is not intended for, nor adequate to serve as establishing MDiv equivalency for applying to other institutions, chaplaincy programs, denominational ordination, etc.

It is an internal courtesy service that Jakes Divinity School offers to prospective DMin students to determine whether or not the applicant is qualified to apply for admission to the DMin program. 

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* See below for “Details for creating an Academic Portfolio,” if you do not have the MDiv degree.

Expenses

Tuition Fee Total
Year 1 $9,440 $6,000 $15,440
Year 2 $9,440 $4,000 $13,440
Year 3 $2,360 $0 $2,360
$21,240 $10,000 $31,240

Powered by Portland Seminary of George Fox University
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Doctor of Ministry FAQs

The DMin in Spirit-filled Global Leadership in the African Diaspora at Jakes Divinity School is powered by Portland Seminary at George Fox University. This degree program is geared toward educated, experienced practitioners who desire to stimulate personal formation and spiritual renewal for their ministries through the integration of their experience with advanced training, research, and reflection.

Graduates Become:

  • Organizational Leader
  • Ministry Professionals
  • Theology Professors
  • Missionaries
  • Journalists
  • Pastors
Tuition Fee Total
Year 1 $9,440 $6,000 $15,440
Year 2 $9,440 $4,000 $13,440
Year 3 $2,360 $0 $2,360
$21,240 $10,000 $31,240

This degree is offered in an online hybrid format. Students will meet weekly synchronous online (zoom) and work asynchronously online.

The program takes at least three (3) years to complete with 36 semester hours: 16 hours are prescribed in taught courses and 20 hours are in the research sequence.

There are limited merit-based scholarships available for the DMin program. Upon acceptance, students will be given information on merit-based scholarships as amounts do vary.

A Master of Divinity degree is preferred but not required. Applicants without a Master of Divinity degree will need to establish MDiv equivalency. Program administrators must perform an MDiv Equivalence Evaluation of your total academic portfolio.

Yes. Please refer to the financial registration deadline and academic registration dates made available through your JDS Enrollment and Student Services Coordinator.

Yes. You have the option of applying for federal loans, grants and/or scholarships.

Complete a FAFSA application and use School Code: 003194 George Fox University.
Click here to complete a Spanish FAFSA application.

The link to the online application will be provided to you by the Enrollment and Student Services Coordinator. Complete the DMin Inquiry Questionnaire for more information.

Steps for applicants with accredited Master of Divinity degree:

  • Online application
  • Official college transcripts 
    • All official transcripts should be submitted as follows:
      • Physical transcripts can be sent to the address below and must be in a sealed envelope from the school remitting the transcript to be accepted:
        Office of Admissions
        George Fox University
        414 N. Meridian Street #6089
        Newberg, OR 97132
      • Electronic transcripts can be sent to: admissions@georgefox.edu (must be sent from a third-party Safe Sender, such as eScrip or Parchment to be accepted).
  • Academic Writing Sample
    • The academic writing sample must be from a previous educational experience or be academic in nature of any subject matter.
  • Character References
    • This form should be completed by a ministry supervisor and two personal references.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
    • Please provide a detailed resume and email it to aolds@jakesdivinity.org. “JDS Applicant Resume – (Your first and last name here)”.
    • Include professional background and ministry experience in terms of role, length of time, responsibilities, etc.

Steps for applicants without accredited Master of Divinity degree:

Prospective students without an earned Master of Divinity degree from an accredited educational institution will have to establish MDiv equivalency by submitting a portfolio. It is an internal courtesy service that Jakes Divinity School offers to prospective DMin students to determine whether or not the prospect is qualified to apply for admission to the DMin program.

Portfolio items include:

  • Unofficial or Official Transcripts
    • All unofficial transcripts can be sent to: aolds@jakesdivinity.org.
    • All official transcripts should be submitted as follows:
      • Physical transcripts can be sent to the address below and must be in a sealed envelope from the school remitting the transcript to be accepted:
        Office of Admissions
        George Fox University
        414 N. Meridian Street #6089
        Newberg, OR 97132
    • Electronic transcripts can be sent to: admissions@georgefox.edu (must be sent from a third-party Safe Sender, such as eScrip or Parchment to be accepted).
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
    • Please provide a detailed resume and email it to aolds@jakesdivinity.org with the subject “JDS Applicant Resume – (Your first and last name here)”.
    • Include professional background and ministry experience in terms of role, length of time, responsibilities, etc.
  • Statement of Purpose
    • The statement of purpose is a 250-word rationale that describes your purpose for pursuing the Doctor of Ministry.
    • Please email your completed essay (in Word document or pdf format) to aolds@jakesdivinity.org with the subject “JDS Statement of Purpose – (Your first and last name here)”.
  • Documentation of Ministry Experience
    • Please email your ordination certificate or ministry certifications to aolds@jakesdivinity.org with the subject “JDS Documentation of Ministry Experience – (Your first and last name here)”.

At a minimum, the following items are required:

  1. All undergraduate and graduate transcripts. Addresses criteria (a) and (e).
  2. EITHER a compilation of ministry-oriented publishing and other resources with a 1-page cover letter OR a 1500-word reflection essay demonstrating your ability to understand and adapt your ministry to your cultural context. Addresses criteria (b).
  3. A 150-300 word reflection essay briefly describing your present ministry role, relating it to your calling and long-term goals. Addresses criteria (c).
  4. A 500-800 word reflection essay sharing 1) your spiritual pilgrimage, 2) assess the strengths and growth areas in your current spiritual practices and spiritual relationships, and 3) your purpose in pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree. Addresses criteria (d).
  5. Résumé or Curriculum Vita. Addresses criteria (f).
  6. International students: Provide evidence of English proficiency.

Pursuant to accreditation requirements for applicants for the DMin program who do not have the MDiv degree, please consider the following information in your checklist for equivalency evaluation:

(a) The ability to thoughtfully interpret scripture and the theological tradition of one’s ministry context.

Provide any of the following that apply.

  • Evidence of academic coursework or certifications in the Bible, church history, theology, church polity, hermeneutics (18 hours minimum) via academic transcripts. 
  • Transcripts: Provide all undergraduate and graduate degrees
  • Types of parallel degrees, in order of relevance:
    • Ministry-related Masters degrees
    • Counseling, MSW, and related helping degrees
    • MBA and other leadership and organizational-oriented degrees,
    • Degrees without a clear ministry connection. The program generally would not consider these programs toward equivalency, unless the student can clearly demonstrate a connection.
  • Evaluative parameters
    • Students must possess a completed Masters program.
    • Accreditation
    • Programs from faith-oriented institutions are given priority
    • Dean’s review. For a student possessing unconventional base degrees, admission requires the Dean’s review and approval.
  • Evidence of substantive ordination training in Bible, church history and polity, theology, and hermeneutics (equivalent to a minimum of 18 semester hours) via certifications and transcripts.

The program will also consider applying some non-academic study toward MDiv equivalency. For example, as a Renovare Institute Partner, applicants who have completed coursework within their certification in Christian Spiritual Formation are eligible for up to 10 hours of credit toward MDiv equivalency in the DMin program.

Provide documentation to demonstrate the context, scope, character, and time investment of the training or certification. These may include, but are not limited to:

  • Unaccredited educational sources (ex. Ordination study programs)
  • Clinical pastoral education (CPE)
  • College level academic courses taught
  • Coaching certification

(b) The capacity to understand and adapt one’s ministry to the cultural context.

Provide either or both of the following.

  • Write a 1500-word reflection essay demonstrating your ability to understand and adapt your ministry to your cultural context by articulating a specific example of a challenge that you have faced in ministry. Describe 1) your context (500 words), 2) the challenge that you have had to address (500 words), and 3) how you worked through it (500 words). 
  • Demonstrate capacity by providing ministry-oriented publishing and other resources. Include a 1-page cover letter that briefly explains how the material adapts your ministry to your cultural context. 

Provide documentation or copies of the items produced, which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Published materials (ex. books and articles)
  • Curriculum
  • Seminars and workshops
  • blogs
  • podcasts (entire show or series, not just one episode)
  • sermon series (manuscripts or transcriptions)

(c) A basic self-understanding of one’s ministerial identity and vocational calling.

  • Write a reflection essay briefly describing your present ministry role, relating it to your calling and long-term goals in 150-300 words. 

Note: If you choose to apply, a similar question is embedded in your application. Feel free to use this essay for that purpose.

(d) A readiness to engage in ongoing personal and spiritual formation for one’s ministry.

  • Write a 500-800 word reflection essay sharing 1) your spiritual pilgrimage to present (150-300 words), 2) assess the strengths and growth areas in your current spiritual practices and spiritual relationships (150-300 words), and 3) your purpose in pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree (150-300 words).  

Note: If you choose to apply, a similar question is embedded in your application. Feel free to use this essay for that purpose.

(e) An accredited master’s degree (or its educational equivalent) in an area related to one’s ministry setting or vocational calling.

  • Provide academic transcripts of a completed ATS or regionally accredited master’s degree in a field that reasonably ‘fits’ your ministry vocation as addressed above in criteria (a).

Note: Your essay responses to (c) and (d) above should make clear the connection between your ministry vocation and your completed graduate degree.

(f) Significant ministerial experience that enables the applicant to engage as a ministry peer with other students in this advanced program.

  • Provide a Résumé or Curriculum Vita that delineates ministry experience in terms of the role, length of time, responsibilities, etc. Ministry experience may include, but are not limited to:
      • Pastoral (various pastoral roles)
      • Higher education
      • Counselor
      • Chaplaincy
      • Non-profit or organizational leadership
      • Missionary
  • Your essays for criteria (c) and (d) above address criteria (f).

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