Doctor of Ministry Degree
The Doctor of Ministry program is offered to qualified men and women currently engaged in ministry. If you have been looking for an evangelical trans-denominational Doctor of Ministry Degree program that emphasizes the Hebrew roots of the Bible, is taught by a well-credentialed, experienced and caring faculty, at a seminary with a compassionate fee schedule geared to those in ministry, you have come to the right place.
Philosophy of the Program
The quality and success of the several ministries are usually largely determined by one’s communication skills, both oral and written. It is the task of the Doctor of Ministry program to assist students to so craft their spiritual gifts, in writing, speaking, and other leadership abilities, that they may be able to serve with distinction.
Purposes of the Program
The DMin program is designed for those who have already demonstrated competence in ministry and desire a higher level of professional expertise through advanced, professional education. The program equips leaders in areas of pastoral ministry, religious education ministry, evangelism and missions, pastoral counseling, Judaic ministries and lay-ministry development.
Because we are a small seminary we can offer you a personalized curriculum taught in a family-like atmosphere. The Seminary’s program fosters personal attention to student development, and as such, students get to know each other well and their instructors as mentors in the learning process.
The DMin prpgram at St. Petersburg Seminary and Yeshiva is taught using the tutorial model. The advantage of the tutorial model is threefold: 1) it provides the greatest level of flexibility for adaptability to different kinds of ministry programs (pastoral, education, counseling, etc); 2) it provides the flexibility distance students need; and 3) your personal advisor will be there to guide you every step of the way. Under the tutorial model you and your advisor will blueprint your individualized program, including determination as to what credits you may be able to transfer into your program and/or what extra courses you may need. The bottom line, by utilizing the tutorial model, is that your DMin program will be uniquely tailored to your needs and interests.
Conditions of Enrollment
Consecutive, continuous enrollment is required until all doctoral study is completed and all graduation requirements are fulfilled. Students complete the program at their own pace but are required to pay for a minimum of 36 credits and be continuously enrolled for 24 months. Students who take longer are responsible for continuous enrollment by registering for one continuing matriculation credit (TRW 6971) each fall and spring term, at the doctoral tuition rate, through the last term in which all graduation requirements are fulfilled and academic materials are received in the office in final form (see p. 19 in the Seminary Catalog, “Continuing Matriculation Requirement”). No more than 9 matriculation continuation credits may be accumulated and these credits do not replace any other requirement of the doctoral program. The deadline date for the receipt of all fully approved final evaluations, documents, and program requirements is mid-April (see Academic Calendar) in order to graduate in May. The actual time required to complete the program depends on the student’s background and the amount of time devoted to studies (assuming all required courses are taken as they are offered).
Admission to the Doctor of Ministry program is not acceptance into candidacy for the degree. The student will be recognized as a candidate for the degree only after the successful completion of the five six-hour courses and the Seminary’s requirement for the degree of a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or above, the completion of any entrance deficiencies, and the recommendation of the faculty. A candidate must display proficiency in the integration of course work and demonstrate the ability to complete the degree requirements with evidence of writing skills appropriate to doctoral level work.
Admission and Requirements of the Degree Program
Admission Requirements: In addition to satisfying the Seminary’s admission requirements (items 4, 5, & 6 below), the applicant normally must possess:
A recognized Master of Divinity degree or equivalent (see NOTE below);
A 3.0 minimum grade point average, with evidence of potential for work at the doctoral level, including the submission of three previously completed graduate level papers to demonstrate the applicant’s ability to write on the post-graduate level;
Involvement in three years of full-time experience in an appropriate ministry, positively evaluated by the applicant’s peers, with the applicant normally being a minimum of 30 years of age at the time of admission;
The completion of the application form and submission of the required admission fee;
Submission of three references from his or her pastor or rabbi, or ministerial colleague or supervisor, a former teacher and a general reference;
Submission of official transcripts for all post-secondary college and graduate studies.
NOTE: “MDiv equivalency” is defined as:
1. For a DMin in counseling:
a. An applicant who already has 60 cr. hrs. in biblical/theological studies is required to add 30 cr. hrs. of counseling courses at the graduate level to attain MDiv equivalency.
b. An applicant with a master’s degree in counseling must complete all of the graduate prerequisite courses (up to 30 cr. hrs., see p. 26 in the Seminary Catalog) plus an additional 30 cr. hrs. in biblical /theological studies to attain MDiv equivalency.
c. In addition to a. or b. above, the normal DMin requirements also have to be completed.
2. For a DMin in education: The model for establishing MDiv equivalency for the DMin in counseling applies as well for a DMin in education.
3. For a DMin in Judaic Studies:
a. An applicant who already has 60 cr. hrs. in Judaic and/or biblical studies (undergraduate and graduate) is required to take 30 cr. hrs. of Judaic and/or biblical studies at the graduate level, to include the master’s level prerequisite courses not already taken (up to 30 cr. hrs., see p. 26 in the Seminary Catalog)), in consultation with his or her advisor, to attain MDiv equivalency.
b. An applicant with a master’s degree in Judaic and/or biblical studies must complete all of the graduate prerequisite courses not already taken (up to 30 cr. hrs., see p. 26 in the Seminary Catalog), plus an additional 30 cr. hrs. in Judaic and/or biblical studies, in consultation with his or her advisor, to attain MDiv equivalency.
c. An MRS degree from SPSY is equivalent to the MDiv.
d. In addition to a. or b. or c. above, the normal DMin admission and program requirements also have to be completed.
Course Prerequisites For the DMin Program:
1. A minimum of six credits in the biblical languages, Greek and/or Hebrew. This derives from the requirement to have an MDiv or the equivalent.
2. *CJS 5313 Jewish Roots and Foundations of Scripture I, 3 credits
A survey of the significance of Near Eastern covenants and Jewish backgrounds of the Old Testament, the influence of Jewish holidays and intertestamental developments on the first century.
3. *CJS 5323 Jewish Roots and Foundations of Scripture II, 3 credits
Continuation of CJS 5313, emphasis on the impact of Jewish history and the first century Jewish environment on the New Testament.
*Note: Non-St. Petersburg Seminary and Yeshiva graduates entering the Doctor of Ministry program will be required to take Jewish Roots and Foundations of Scripture I and II as their first of five required areas of research. Doctoral students taking these classes will be required to do additional research beyond the basic course content.
4. TRW 6973 Thesis Writing and Research Design, 3 credits
This course is an introduction to the tools of research. Students will learn to organize their materials into a coherent and usable whole in order to be able to write effectively. The student and area professor will design the Master’s thesis, project or doctoral dissertation. It should be designed to meet the interests of the student.
Graduation requirements include completing all DMin course work (five 6 cr. hr. blocks) with a GPA of 3.5 or above, and completing successfully the DMin dissertation or project (six cr. hrs., DDP 8006) with a minimum grade of “B.” The deadline date for the receipt of all fully approved final evaluations, documents, and program requirements is mid-April (see Academic Calender in the Catalog) in order to graduate in May.
The Design of the Degree
The St. Petersburg Seminary and Yeshiva DMin program is designed to provide ministry analysis, guidance and training to increase ministerial competency. The study program seeks to provide direction in four ministry areas: Research/Writing, Bible-based communication, Administration/Leadership, and Personal Development.
When the applicant is notified of his or her acceptance into the DMin program he or she will be assigned a faculty advisor whose credentials and expertise best match the student’s interests. Each student will write a proposal paper describing the problem statement, the precedent literature, the methodology, how findings will be handled, and possible conclusions and recommendations toward which the study is directed. The student in consultation with his or her assigned faculty adviser will design a program consisting of five areas of study of six credits each, each with a research component, and the dissertation or research project. Keep in mind the goal: the completed work will make a new application of the current theory in the major field.
The Bible is God’s infallible Word. It is the minister’s primary source. To understand the Bible, illumination of the Holy Spirit is essential. In addition, a necessary tool to understanding the Bible is a thorough grasp of the historical and geographical backgrounds, and the language and customs in which the biblical texts being read are set. Reason, meditation, research, testing hypotheses, evaluating theories, and carefully analyzing evidence, in general and with open mindedness, characterize the critically honest investigator.
Some projects encourage the student to send out questionnaires to obtain information. The validity of such a survey is conditioned by factors such as distribution, circumstances, types of questions, etc. No survey can be distributed until specifically approved by the Vice President of Academics, who will consult with the relevant professional expertise to determine the adequacy and the ethical appropriateness of the project, including the rights to privacy for those being surveyed.
Objectives of the Doctoral Program
This program provides the student with the ability to do the following:
1) Demonstrate an advanced understanding and integration of ministry in relation to Biblical, historical, theological and professional disciplines;
2) Articulate a comprehensive and critical theory of ministry and apply that theory to his/her specific leadership;
3) Explore new ministry perspectives;
4) Evaluate his or her own ministry and ministry skills;
5) Clarify his or her vision and crystallize his or her understanding of why he or she is in ministry; and,
6) Demonstrate skills, competencies, and compassion that are required for the practice of ministry at its most mature and effective level.
These skills and competencies include abilities in Biblical exposition, communication, administration, research and writing, and personal relationship.
Maintaining the Required Cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA)
Doctoral students are expected to maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.5. If a student’s GPA falls below this minimum at the end of any full semester (fall or spring), he or she is placed on academic probation. If the GPA improves significantly during the following semester but is still below the minimum, he or she will be allowed to continue on probation for one more semester. However, if the GPA does not reach the minimum after 2 semesters on academic probation he or she will be asked to withdraw from the Seminary. Because the Seminary’s standards are high, the degree earned will be more highly valued.