Frequently Asked Questions About United’s Doctor of Ministry
How do I apply for United’s D.Min. Program?
To apply to the Doctor of Ministry program at United, click on the
‘Application Materials’ link in the D.Min. menu on the right side of this page, or you
may request application and recommendation forms from the D.Min.
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., Masters of Theology, Masters of Religious Leadership, Masters of Religious Studies, or Masters 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 60s. While the majority live and minister
in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, we also have students from several
other states. D.Min. students represent 10 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. However, those who wish to complete it on a faster track are usually able to finish in three years. Others who require more time can extend the program beyond four years.
What does it cost to complete a D.Min. program?
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. 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 completion 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, they may petition for them through
the D.Min. office and the seminary’s Programs Committee. The
Programs Committee deals with matters related to degree programs
including student programs, petitions for exceptions to policy,
and Integrative Exams. The committee is composed of the dean of
the seminary, the director of the D.Min. program, the registrar,
three faculty members, and two students.
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. Special arrangements can be made for students with Mac
computers or Word Works software.
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 and during Seminar 2.
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 Seminar 1 and 2, 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 is United’s D.Min. program?
Current students in United’s D.Min. program represent 10 different denominations: United Church of Christ, United Methodist, Presbyterian (U.S.A.), Episcopal, Roman Catholic, Universalist Unitarian, Disciples of Christ, Mennonite, American Baptist, and ELCA Lutheran. 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 directs the D.Min. program. She is the main facilitator-instructor for D.Min. seminars and 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 and the Thesis Preparation Seminar and is often involved in the earliest conversations about the theses.