6.10.3 Degree Requirements

6.10.3.a Course Work

The D.Min. modules are designed to accommodate the schedules of those who are active practitioners in ministry and Christian service. Eight modular courses are required for the D.Min. degree. Therefore, the eight modules will require no more than eight weeks of residence in total. D.Min. Counseling students must complete a prerequisite requirement. See section 6.10 (Counseling Concentration).

Each module contains the following elements: theoretical issues, skills, and practicum. Students will be required to complete an assignment before attending the module, as well as a post-modular assignment. Post-modular work must be uploaded electronically to Westminster's course management system by the following deadlines:

  • November 15 following August modules (except for PR 1 core module)
  • December 15 following PR 1 core module
  • April 15 following January modules

No credit will be given until all assignments are completed successfully. All work will be graded by the course instructor. Students may not enroll in new modules until work in the previous course has been completed. A minimum grade-point average of 3.00 must be maintained for the student to graduate.

The student must successfully complete eight modules including the following:

I. Core Modules - Four Required Modules*:

  1. PR 1:  Introduction and Orientation to Graduate Work
  2. PR 2:  Pastoral Theology
  3. PR 3:  Counseling and Christian Ministry
  4. PR 4:  Theology of Missions and Evangelism

Core modules are offered in August.

*Exception: See IV. D.Min. General below.

II. Concentration Modules – Two Modules: Choose two D.Min. modules offered by Westminster in your area of concentration that fulfill this requirement.

III. Elective Modules – Two Modules (these options are designed to allow the student flexibility in supporting their choice of concentration):

  1. Choose any module not already taken.
  2. Take a module at another institution and receive transfer credit.
  3. Take a module through independent study.
  4. Choose an elective offering through the D.Min. Program.
  5. Choose a Ph.D. course adjusted to the D.Min. requirements.
  6. Students with a Counseling Concentration may take PC 5 Counseling Observation and Evaluation twice.

Concentration and Elective Modules are offered in August and on rare occasion in January. Students in the D.Min. program may upon the approval from the D.Min. director and the Professor of the course take a Ph.D. and Th.M. course offered in January for elective credit.

IV. D.Min. General – The D.Min. General option is designed to meet the needs of students who are not ordained ministers, but desire the education offered in the D.Min. program. This option allows students to replace two required courses with two electives in their area of interest. In order to be approved for this option, the applicant must submit to the D.Min. Director an Academic Plan Proposal, listing the eight modules that the student plans to take. All students will be required to take PR 1 and one required module in his or her area of interest. Therefore, the Academic Plan Proposal must include PR 1 and one other required module. The remaining six modules can be comprised of two modules within each area of concentration. However, an applicant may take all six elective modules in one concentration. A maximum of two “non-classroom” modules (e.g., independent studies, transfer credit) is allowed. The Academic Plan Proposal must be approved by the D.Min. Director and the Practical Theology field committee. 

An example of an academic plan for a D.Min. General student interested in the area of counseling:

PR 1: Introduction and Orientation to Graduate Work
PR 3: Counseling and Christian Ministry
6 counseling modules

V. Applied Research Project

Each student will complete the Applied Research Project in his or her area of concentration. This will account for the final six hours of the degree. Please see the D.Min. Manual for a detailed guide describing the project.

The Applied Research Project is the culmination of the D.Min. program. It enables the student to conduct thorough research and develop expertise in a specific area of interest. It is designed to focus on a particular problem within the discipline of Pastoral Ministry, Counseling or Urban Mission and to make a contribution to the student’s understanding in that area. During PR 1 Introduction and Orientation to Graduate work, the student will be introduced to project design.

The Project Proposal describes the project’s proposed research, ministry model, and timetable. The proposal is developed in consultation with the student’s faculty advisor and the Director of the D.Min. program. Ordinarily, the proposal should be approved within the first year of the program. More detailed guidelines and elements of the project proposal can be found in the Applied Research Project and Proposal Guide maintained by the Doctor of Ministry Office. The Applied Research Project must conform to the format and bibliographic style requirements found in the “Format Guidelines for WTS Theses, Dissertations and Projects,” available from the Library and online. Further guidelines can be secured from the student’s advisor or from the Doctor of Ministry Office.

Four copies of the completed project, along with the external reader fee, must be submitted to the Academic Affairs Office no later than November 15 (see the Academic Calendar if the 15th falls on a weekend) for the following May graduation. The project will be reviewed by the student’s academic advisor, a second reader from within the Westminster faculty, and by an individual unaffiliated with Westminster who is actively engaged in ministry related to that covered by the research project.

A project “defense” will be scheduled on campus before March 15. The Practical Theology Department, taking into consideration the recommendation of all readers, will make the final determination on the project and the degree program as a whole. This will be communicated to the student by April 1. If approved, some minor changes may be required.

The student must submit two copies of the approved project to the Academic Affairs Office by May 1 (see the Academic Calendar if the 1st falls on a weekend). NOTE: The project will not be accepted for review unless all examinations have been sustained. One copy must be printed on 20 lb., 100 percent cotton paper. The other may be printed on white multipurpose paper. No holes should be punched in the pages, and the two copies must be submitted flat in a box that is well protected so that the pages do not bend.