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Most Frequently Asked Questions About United’s Doctor of Ministry Program

How do I apply for United’s D.Min. Program?
When should I apply?
Can I apply for the D.Min. Program even if I don’t have an M.Div. degree?
How long do I need to be in professional ministry to qualify for the D.Min. Program?
Who will be my D.Min. colleagues at United?
How many years does it take to complete a D.Min. Program at United?
What does it cost to complete a D.Min. Program?
What financial aid is available for the D.Min. Program?
Do you have to be on campus to take the D.Min. seminars?
What happens if I complete Module 1 successfully but decide I don’t want to continue in the D.Min. Program?
What happens if I take Modules 1 and 2 but decide I don’t want to write a thesis project?
How is United’s D.Min. Program structured?
Do I have to take courses on campus to complete my electives?
Can I do some of my electives at a seminary other than United?
What kind of computer resources do I need to participate in the D.Min. Program?
Can I use the resources of the Spencer Library at United online from my home?
How ecumenical is United’s D.Min. Program?
Who teaches the D.Min. seminars?
Who works with students on their thesis projects?

How do I apply for United’s D.Min. Program?
To apply to the D.Min. Program at United, click here to fill out an application, or you may request application and recommendation forms from the Office of Admissions at 651.255.6119.

When should I apply?
Applications to the D.Min. Program are accepted throughout the year and processed as application files are completed. The deadline for registrations is September 1, although we suggest applicants submit their materials well in advance of that deadline in order to insure an opening and be able to take more time in preparing for Seminar 1 (DM150).

Can I apply for the D.Min. Program even if I don’t have an M.Div. degree?
Students must have an M.Div. degree or its educational equivalent prior to entering the D.Min. Program. People with other theological degrees (e.g., Master of Theology, Master of Religious Leadership, Master of Religious Studies or Master of Arts and Theology) need to take some additional courses in order to achieve the M.Div. equivalency. In order to ascertain the number and types of courses needed, such persons should provide transcripts to the director of the D.Min. Program, who will review the transcripts and communicate what additional credits and courses must be taken to move beyond Module 1. Any required prerequisite courses may be taken at United or another ATS-accredited seminary.

How long do I need to be in professional ministry to qualify for the D.Min. Program?
The seminary’s accrediting agency (ATS) requires that all D.Min. students have “at least three years of experience in ministry subsequent to the first graduate theological degree.”

Who will be my D.Min. colleagues at United?
Among the D.Min. students at United are pastors of local congregations, chaplains, teachers, spiritual directors, church consultants and some who minister in nonprofit organizations. They range in age from their 30s to their 70s. While the majority live and minister in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin, we also have students from several other states. D.Min. students represent 13 different denominations.

How many years does it take to complete a D.Min. Program at United?
The United D.Min. is designed as a four-year degree program. Those who wish to complete it on a faster track are usually able to finish in slightly less than four years. Others who require more time can extend the program up to seven years.

What does it cost to complete a D.Min. Program?
See Doctor of Ministry Tuition and Fees

What financial aid is available for the D.Min. Program?
See Doctor of Ministry Tuition and Fees - Financial Aid

Do you have to be on campus to take the D.Min. seminars?
Yes. Seminar 1 (DM150) is held in two parts. Part 1 is held annually in October and Part 2 is held in January. Seminar 2 (DM250) is generally held in April or early May. The other two D.Min. seminars are each held for one week on campus. All seminars begin at 1:00 PM on the first day and conclude at noon on the last day.

What happens if I complete Module 1 successfully but decide I don’t want to continue in the D.Min. Program?
You will receive graduate credit for Module 1 and a Certificate of Ministry Renewal and Professional Development.

What happens if I take Modules 1 and 2 but decide I don’t want to write a thesis project?
You will receive graduate credit for your seminars and electives as well as a Certificate of Specialized Ministries at the conclusion of Module 2.

How is United’s D.Min. Program structured?
See Graphic Overview

Do I have to take courses on campus to complete my electives?
No. You may register for independent studies, guided reading courses or independent research after having made arrangements with a United professor and the director of the D.Min. Program.

Can I do some of my electives at a seminary other than United?
Students normally take a minimum of two electives through United. In addition, students may take up to three electives at one of the other seminaries in the Minnesota Consortium of Theological Schools, or they may take two electives in the Consortium and one at another ATS-accredited seminary in the United States or Canada. If a student requires other arrangements, he or she may petition for them through the D.Min. office.

What kind of computer resources do I need to participate in the D.Min. Program?
We recommend D.Min. students have basic computer skills, use email and know how to open email attachments. Student inquiries are usually responded to quickly by email, and students send their seminar papers to each other with email attachments. In addition, the D.Min. Policy Handbook, library access and necessary forms are available on the United website, as are many other resources.

Computer passwords are provided to all D.Min. students. Online library access and research techniques are taught and practiced during both parts of Seminar 1 (DM150) and during Seminar 2 (DM250).

Can I use the resources of the Spencer Library at United online from my home?
Yes! Remote access to Spencer Library and its databases is extremely helpful to D.Min. students’ writing papers, thesis proposals and thesis manuscripts. During the D.Min. seminars, time is set aside for students to practice online library access and searches. Each student is provided with a user name and password.

How ecumenical and interfaith is Uniteds D.Min. Program?
Current students in United’s D.Min. Program represent 13 different denominations: United Church of Christ, United Methodist, Presbyterian (U.S.A.), Roman Catholic, Unitarian Universalist, ELCA Lutheran, Brethren, Unity, Baptist, Mennonite, Community of Christ, Conservative Jewish and Reconstructionist. Other academic programs at United include an even broader spectrum of denominational backgrounds. In addition, the United faculty has a wide denominational distribution.

Who teaches the D.Min. seminars?
Jean Morris Trumbauer, professor in the practice of advanced ministry, is the main facilitator-instructor for D.Min. seminars; she is assisted in some of the seminars by members of the United faculty. Jean has a Master of Arts in Religious Studies (’83) and a Doctor of Ministry degree (’95) from United.

Who works with students on their thesis projects?
After you have been nominated to candidacy and are ready to begin your thesis, a thesis advisor will be appointed, as well as a first and second reader. The thesis advisor will be your primary guide to write the thesis. The readers approve the thesis proposal, read and evaluate the final manuscript and conduct the oral examination. They are usually drawn from the United regular faculty. The director of the D.Min. Program facilitates Seminar 4 (DM350, the Thesis Preparation Seminar) and is often involved in the earliest conversations about the theses.


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“The worship and the arts program that is available at United Seminary was very enticing to me. My final decision was made because of the opportunities for independent study in this program.

“It is a much more flexible program than I found in any of the other seminaries that I investigated.”

—Nancy Peebles
The Rev. Nancy Peebles,
Faribault MN
Pastor, 1st Congregational United Church of Christ
Current D.Min. Student
 

Contact Information


Jean Morris Trumbauer
Professor in the Practice of
Advanced Ministry


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