Doctor of Ministry

In remaining attentive to the signs of the times, seeking to serve the ecclesial community, and providing pastoral preparation of ministers, Oblate School of Theology offers the Doctor of Ministry (DMin) with special concentrations in Spiritual Formation in the Local Community, U.S. Hispanic/Latino Ministry, and Pastoral Leadership. The DMin degree, building upon the Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent, expands the mission of the school by offering accredited theological and ministerial preparation and training through this terminal professional degree. In each concentration, the DMin curriculum advances the professional competency of ministers in today’s Church.


Enhance the understanding and practice of ministry through doctoral-level pastoral theological education.

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion the student will be able to:

  1. Design an original response to a pastoral issue in his or her ministry
  2. Identify and assess the scriptural and theological issues involved in specific pastoral contexts
  3. Critique and utilize contemporary models of theological reflection
  4. Demonstrate social research skills appropriate to pastoral issues

Degree Requirements

  1. The candidate must successfully complete thirty doctoral hours (36 for Spirituality and Ministry Concentration). A maximum of six applicable doctoral hours, earned within the last ten years, may be transferred into the DMin Program at the discretion of the Program Director.
  2. A student must pass each course. Incomplete or insufficient work for a course or other curricular component may be grounds for probation or dismissal.
  3. Professional ethical conduct required by a student’s denomination is presumed throughout the DMin Program. Violation of these principles may be grounds for probation or dismissal.
  4. The minimum time for degree completion is three years; the normal maximum time for completion is six years after matriculation. The expected time of completion is 5 years.
  5. Upon acceptance of the student’s Doctoral Project by the Doctoral Project Committee and with the assistance of the DMin Administration, a student makes arrangements for an oral presentation to the OST faculty, students, and invited guests. The oral presentation requires a student’s presence on campus. Satisfactory completion of this presentation is one of the final requirements before conferral of the degree.

Doctoral Courses

Courses are taken at OST’s campus during the two-week intensive sessions every January and June, unless otherwise specified. It is recommended that the student take a leave of absence from work on class days during the intensive sessions because there is work required outside of class time. Thirty hours a week will be devoted to course activity, including classroom interaction.

  • Students in the Spirituality and Ministry concentration take a full-time load of doctoral courses during the regular fall and spring semesters (7.5 cr. hrs. each) in addition to three intensive sessions and normally complete their coursework after 13 months of full-time attendance.

Requirements for each course include the following:

  1. Completion of the reading assignments provided to the student. The required readings and syllabus are provided to the student approximately two months before the first day of the intensive sessions (and on the first day of class for the regular semesters). Students taking the intensive sessions are expected to have completed all the reading assignments before the start of the session.
  2. Submission to the respective professor of any pre-assignment(s) indicated in the syllabus
  3. Completion of a doctoral-level paper of significant length, as indicated in the course syllabus. The final paper is delivered to the professor(s) within three months of the completion of the class, according to the timeline found in the syllabus.
    Final grades for each course shall be posted as Pass/Fail. Within the course work, professors may choose to indicate letter grades (following the OST grading distinctions) on any assignment(s) and the final evaluation to convey the student's level of competency for doctoral study. For doctoral students, "B" is the lowest acceptable letter grade. Inability to maintain a "B" average may result in failure of the particular course.

Continuation Status

DMin students must register each session/semester for a particular course, or a section of the Doctoral Project to maintain current status in the DMin Program. If a student is ineligible or unable to register for a particular course in a given semester, the student will register for one of the continuance classifications. The DMin Administration will advise the student about the applicable continuance status. Please refer to the course descriptions in the back of this catalog for an explanation of the continuance classifications.

Application for Candidacy

Acceptance into the Doctor of Ministry Program does not imply acceptance to Candidacy for the degree. Upon admission, the administrators of the DMin program guide a student through the program requirements. Normally, once a student completes all course work (except Doctoral Project I and II), the DMin Administration assists the student with the creation of his/her Doctoral Project Committee (DPC) and the student writes his/her doctoral proposal under the DPC's guidance. Candidacy status is conferred upon the student whose doctoral project proposal has been accepted by his/her DPC. A student must petition in writing for doctoral candidacy in conjunction with the DPC's approval of the proposal. (Additional information and policies regarding doctoral candidacy and the Doctoral Project Committee will be made available in the DMin Handbook, which is presented at orientation.)

Withdrawal and Drop Policy

Students are expected to be enrolled in a class each January and June until all courses are completed. Students in the Spirituality and Ministry Concentration are also expected to be enrolled during the fall and spring semesters. If this is not done, extended status must be requested from the DMin Administration. Students must register for Doctoral Project I within six months of the approval of the student's doctoral proposal and acceptance into doctoral candidacy. Without a written exception from the DMin Administration, extended status will automatically apply in both of these cases if the student does not register by the deadline.
Withdrawal from the program after initial orientation must be requested in writing from the Program Director.
Students may drop a course after they register, but may not add a course without permission of the DMin Administration. Added courses will be billed as any other.
The refund policy for dropped classes is listed in the section on Financial Information.

Personal Leave

Students in exceptional circumstances, such as military personnel while they are deployed or students facing exceptional personal, ministerial, or family stress, may contact the DMin administration about the possibility of personal leave.


30 Credit Hours Required/36 for Spirituality and Ministry Concentration
(The second digit of the course number designates the number of credit hours.)

Core Curriculum for all DMin students

PTC 8301 Use of Social Sciences in Practical Theology
PTC 8302 – Practical Theology as Critical Reflection on Particular Context
PTC 8303 – Hermeneutics of Scripture in Ministry
PTC 8304 – Theological Integration for Ministry Seminar
PSC 9601 Doctoral Project I
PSC 9602 Doctoral Project II
PSC 9001 Proposal Writing

Areas of Concentration

Spiritual Formation in the Local Community

PTF 8305 Faith Development
PTF 8306 Spirituality and Culture

U.S. Hispanic/Latino Ministry

PTH 8305 Contemporary Issues in Hispanic/Latino Ministry
PTH 8306 Contemporary Hispanic/Latino Spiritualties

African American Pastoral Leadership

PTA 8305 Contemporary Issues in African American
PTA 8306 Black Church Traditions in the Contemporary Context

Spirituality and Ministry

PTS 8305/DSC 7301 History of Christian Spirituality
PTS 8306/DSC 7303 Contemporary Spirituality
PTS 8307/DSC 7302 Hermeneutics of Religious Experience

Pastoral Leadership

In this concentration the student completes the core curriculum and any two concentration-specific courses as listed above.