Doctor of Ministry Degree (DMin)

Liberation Hermeneutics, Student Centered Success, Academic Rigor


For more than 30 years, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary has offered a world-class Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree to strengthen the connection between theology, ethics, and ministry practice either in the church or in fields closely related to the mission and witness of the church.

A world-class program offered at a considerably lower cost that D.Min. programs elsewhere, our low tuition and block scheduling offer the financial and personal flexibility that busy practitioners need. Under the guidance of outstanding faculty, candidates study cutting-edge theological, biblical, and practical bases of ministry, and complete a Research Project Report that strengthens their current ministry even as they earn their degree.

An advanced, professional degree, the D.Min. degree is for experienced practitioners who have a Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent from an ATS-accredited school, along with significant ministry experience (either three years post-MDiv ministry experience or five years of consistent professional ministry prior to the time of application).

Our program is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).


Interested in learning more about our Doctor of Ministry program?

Join Rev. Dr. Angela Cowser, Associate Dean of Black Church Studies and Doctor of Ministry programs, and Rev. Dr. Brian Harrington, D.Min. Program Administrator and LPTS D.Min., for a 60-minute information session.

For admission consideration prior to the Sept 1, 2023, deadline:

  • Friday, August 4 at 12:30 pm ET

For admission consideration after the Sept 1, 2023, deadline:

  • Monday, October 9, 2023, at 11 am ET
  • Monday, November 6, 2023, at 11 am ET
  • Monday, December 4, 2023, at 11 am ET

All sessions provide the same information with an opportunity for Q&A. Zoom links will be emailed to all those who register prior to the event.


  • Whosoever formation for leadership adopts an inclusive approach, open to persons from diverse backgrounds and identities. We cultivate and nurture leaders in preparation who will be able to do ministry with a full understanding of the race, class, gender, and sexual orientation frames in which they do ministry.
  • A community organizing orientation that frames our approach to problem solving in pastoral, congregational, and community settings.
  • Ongoing practical and grounded research, action, and reflection to help congregations reorganize and rebuild vitalizing ministries for the 21st century challenges we face.


  • Affordable online and in person instruction with an impressive 89% graduation rate.
  • We are 100% student-centric program tailoring resources, support services, and curricula to meet individual student interests and needs.
  • Intentionally small cohorts which foster an intimate and collaborative learning environment allowing for personalized attention, meaningful interactions, and deeper connections between students and instructors.


  • In forming Doctors of the Church, we passionately pursue academic excellence for the sake of the Gospel and the healing of humankind.
  • We provide comprehensive training and expertise in Advanced Practice of Ministry, Pastoral Care and Counseling, and Black Church Studies, equipping leaders with the skills and knowledge needed to provide Gospel focused leadership and care to diverse individuals and communities.
  • We use the social science research paradigm, which consistently yields doctoral projects of exceptional quality, demonstrating publishable merits and increased prospects for successful grant applications.


Each new cohort begins Seminar I the first Monday in January.
A $75 application fee is required.

The Application deadline for:

  • Early Admittance Deadline is March 1.
  • Regular Admittance Deadline is September 1.

The application and reference forms can be completed and submitted with the application fee online.

Transfer Students

Transfer credit from another Doctor of Ministry program or other post-Master of Divinity course work normally cannot exceed three (3) credit hours and cannot replace the four required DMin seminars. For more details, please see the January 2021 Doctor of Ministry Handbook.


The Doctor of Ministry application requires 5 references submitted on the reference forms:

  • A peer in ministry
  • A layperson from your ministry site
  • An ecclesiastical supervisor
  • Former professor


The Doctor of Ministry Degree Committee bases its admission decisions on the following criteria (not necessarily in this order or priority):

  • An accredited BA or BS and a BD or MDiv or its equivalent.
  • View the MDiv Equivalency Requirements.
  • “B” average (3.0 of 4.0 scale) or higher in MDiv work.
  • Significant ministry experience (either three years post-MDiv ministry experience or five years of consistent professional ministry EXPERIENCE prior to the time of application).
  • Currently engaged in a recognized form of professional ministry.
  • References from a peer in ministry, a layperson, an ecclesiastical supervisor, official church body, and former professor.
  • Clarity, viability, need, and seriousness of objectives (why the candidate is pursuing the DMin).
  • Availability of Seminar I openings.
  • An interview with the Doctor of Ministry Committee may be required.

International Admissions

The Doctor of Ministry at Louisville Seminary offers short-term, intensive seminars twice a year for the first two years of the program. Because of this schedule and the part-time nature of the degree program, international students would not meet requirements needed to maintain F-1 visa status. Accordingly, the Doctor of Ministry program does not accept international students.


Cowser, Angela

Associate Dean of Black Church Studies and Doctor of Ministry Programs; Associate Professor of Black Church Studies
Email Angela

Garrett, Susan R.

Professor of New Testament
Email Susan

Hong, Marcus A.

Director of Field Education, Assistant Professor of Practical Theology
Email Marcus

Reed, Justin

Assistant Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible
Email Justin

Williamson, Scott C.

Robert H. Walkup Professor of Theological Ethics
Email Scott

Ferguson, Jamesetta

Adjunct Professor
Email Jamesetta

Gray, Kilen

Adjunct Professor & Dean of Community Life
Email Kilen

Harrington, Brian

Adjunct Professor & Coordinator of Special Programs (Black Church Studies, Doctor of Ministry Program, and the Grawemeyer Award in Religion)
Email Brian

House, Kathryn

Assistant Professor of Practical Theology
Email Kathryn

Logonde, Aqueelah

Adjunct Professor
Email Aqueelah

McIntosh, Amariah

Adjunct Professor, Nehemiah Project Co-Director
Email Amariah

Olman, Nancy

Adjunct Professor
Email Nancy

DMin Tracks

Advanced Practice of Ministry

The DMin in Advanced Practice of Ministry is designed to offer a flexible advanced program of training that leads to doctoral-level competence in a wide variety of areas: preaching, pastoral care, Christian education, evangelism, mission, worship, congregational development and redevelopment, and community engagement. The program is designed to enhance critical theological thinking and reflection skills that are then used to inform current or proposed ministry practice.

Pastoral Care and Counseling

The DMin in Pastoral Care and Counseling (PCC) track is designed to offer a flexible advanced program of training that leads to doctoral-level competence in the practice of pastoral care and counseling. The DMin in Pastoral Care and Counseling requires that students use one of the three Advanced Practice Courses (APCs) in the program to improve their skills in some clinical area. Student goals for the PCC track may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Improving skills in parish counseling or pastoral care;
  2. Completing requirements for certification as a chaplain (Association of Professional Chaplains);
  3. Expanding theological and spiritual reflection skills as an already licensed marriage and family therapist, professional counselor, social worker or psychologist; and
  4. Completing requirements as an ACPE supervisor or AAMFT Approved Supervisor, or completing other professional credentials.

Black Church Studies

Building on the historic commitments and traditions of Black churches in the United States, the primary purpose of the Black Church Studies program at Louisville Seminary is to find and develop leaders by educating, equipping, and preparing leaders—of all ethnicities and races—to lead African American churches and communities in ways that are just, visionary, practical, and powerful. Equally important is our commitment to rigorous conversation and relationships of power, community, and respect between Black churches, Black communities, and the wider Church in the world.

The DMin in Black Church Studies is designed to offer students a rigorous, advanced program of teaching and training that leads to doctoral-level competence in a wide variety of areas: preaching, pastoral care, Christian education, evangelism, congregational development/redevelopment, and community organizing. The program is designed to build a strong foundation of critical research, action, and reflection on the ways that race, class, and gender act in ways to advance some and disadvantage others and on what should be the public and prophetic role of Black Churches and the wider Church in leading, not following, in the transformation of people, institutions, and cultures—for the world, for the salvation of the whole world.


$15,950 Total Tuition for the entire program*
$2,000 Books and incidental costs for 4 seminars and 3 elective courses
$750 Technology Fee ($250 per year × 3-year program)
$45 DMin Project Report Binding (Reference the DMin Project Report Formatting Guide & Schedule for fees based on additional options)
$18,745 Total

A $750 Continuation Fee will be assessed each semester beyond the sixth semester of study if the student's Research Project Proposal is not on file with the Registrar's office.

*Tuition rates are locked in based on entering cohort year. Subsequent cohort tuition subject to change. The total above does not include costs for programs, conferences, or other classes not associated with Louisville Seminary. Students should also consider other costs such as travel to and from Louisville, housing costs, food, etc.

Tuition Deposits

Once you have been approved for admission, your enrollment will be complete when we receive your non-refundable $200.00 tuition deposit which can be paid online (additional processing fee added).These funds will be applied to your student account.

You may also submit your application fee and/or tuition deposit with a check made payable to:

Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Admissions — Attn.: Ms. Becky Young
1044 Alta Vista Road
Louisville, KY 40205-1798


Year 1

  • 6 Credits:
    Seminar I (Jan.) 2 Weeks
  • 4 Credits:
    Seminar II (June) 1 Week
  • 3 Credits*:
    Independent Study OR APM Course

Year 2

  • 4 Credits:
    Seminar III (Jan.) 1 Week
  • 6 Credits*:
    Independent Study AND APM Course**
  • 6 Credits***:
    Seminar IV (June) 2 Weeks
  • Research Proposal Approved

Year 3

  • 7 Credits:
    Project of Ministry (Completed by Mar. 1 or Oct. 1)

    Begin field research, write up findings, successfully defend your research and findings, graduate in either May or December.

*Advanced Practice of Ministry Courses (APM) may be taken anytime throughout the year and do not necessarily have to correspond with the DMin Seminars. Advanced Practice of Ministry Courses may not be taken prior to DMin Seminar II without the written permission of the Associate Dean.
**The student must take two courses in any combination (i.e.. two APM or two Independent Studies or one of each).
***All coursework must be completed before the Research Proposal can be approved.

DMin Fact Sheet

DMin Graduation Rates

Cohorts Graduation percentages
Cohorts 2015 50%
Cohorts 2016 70%
Cohorts 2017 70%
Cohorts 2018 89%

Doctor of Ministry students must be currently engaged in a ministerial vocation for admission to the program. As a result, traditional placement statistics are not kept for this program. Surveys of recent D.Min. graduates indicate that the degree has afforded them significant professional opportunities: new pastorates, teaching in the academy, denominational leadership positions, publishing for the church, new ministry careers, and the impetus to pursue other educational degrees (Ph.D., J.D., and MAMFT).

DMin Gender Statistics [2020-2023]

Gender Number Percentage
Male 15 45%
Female 18 55%

DMin Race Statistics [2020-2023]

Race/Ethnicity Number Percentage
African American 11 33%
White 19 57%
Asian American 2 7%
Hispanic 1 3%


(effective April 26, 2023)

Seminars 1, 2, 3, 4

  • Ordinarily Seminars 1 and 4 will be taught in-person with an online option.
  • Ordinarily Seminars 2 and 3 will be taught fully online.

Advanced Practice Courses [APCs]

Ordinarily will be taught fully online.

Independent Studies [individual or group]

Ordinarily will be taught fully online.

DMin COMPETENCY ASSESSMENTS: Program Goals (PG) and Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)

Louisville Seminary intends that students in this program:


Demonstrate an advanced understanding and integration of ministry in relationships to several theological disciplines, the social sciences, and a focused area of study or track [Advanced Practice of Ministry, Pastoral Care and Counseling, Black Church Studies].


Demonstrate an advanced understanding and integration of ministry in relationships to several theological disciplines, the social sciences, and a focused area of study or track [Advanced Practice of Ministry, Pastoral Care and Counseling, Black Church Studies].


Students will demonstrate an advanced (comprehensive, appreciate, and critical) understanding and integration of ministry in relationship to several theological and social scientific disciplines, including practical theology.


Develop and acquire skills and competencies in advanced theological reflection on the practice of ministry and in methods of research in practical theology that are required for pastoral leadership at its most mature and effective levels.


Contribute to the understanding and practice of ministry through the completion of the Doctor of Ministry Research Project Report, conducted in a particular context, and the writing of a form Research Project Report.


Students will demonstrate skills and competencies in methods of research in practical theology by successfully completing the D.Min. Research Project Report and presenting an acceptable written Research Project Report (Goals 3 and 4).


Identify areas of personal growth in spiritual awareness and theological and ethical sensitivity informed by their vocational commitments as people of faith and church leaders to a life in the Spirit, nurtured by participation with others in Christian practices and the work and life of ministry.


Students will be able to identify areas of personal and vocational growth in spiritual awareness by the development of a personal-professional plan for self-care, spiritual nurture, and lifelong learning (Goal 5).


February 2019, Rural Ministry in the African-American Context
February 2020, African-American Rural Ministry: Hopeful Ministries in Hopeless Times
February 2021, Power, Action, and Justice: African-American Rural Ministries for the 21st Century
February 2022, A New World: Black Churches in American Now
February 2023, Ministry in High Definition: Healthy, Holistic, and Holy Approaches to 21st Century Ministry/Mental Health in the Black Church


Contact LPTS

Office of Doctor of Ministry Programs
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
800-264-1839 ext. 369

Ms. Becky Young