Distance education programs leading to the Doctor of Ministry, or DMin, sometimes require residency, although residency requirements are often minimal. The DMin is a professional degree designed to enhance the practice of ministry for those who hold the equivalent of an MDiv and are engaged in leadership in the ministry. Completion time varies, but many programs appear to require a three- to four-year commitment.
Two agencies accredit schools offering the DMin with a distance education provision. The Association of Theological Schools Commission on Accrediting accredits over 270 schools offering religious graduate degrees within diverse theological perspectives, including Protestant, Roman Catholic and Orthodox faiths. The Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools, or TRACS, accredits over 60 schools that offer degrees from the associate to the doctorate.
The DMin degree at the Russian Orthodox-affiliated St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, New York, requires students to actively engage in full-time ministry while completing the distance education program. Students are also required to attend six one-week, on-campus intensive courses during the program. Graduates of the MSc program at the Greek Orthodox St. Gregory Nazianzen Orthodox Institute in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, are encouraged to attend the DMin program at Amridge University. Amridge University, of the Churches of Christ in Montgomery, Alabama, offers a program that combines distance learning with an on-campus five-day seminar.
Roman Catholic Schools
The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., offers the DMin through a blended model combining online instruction and a three-week residency program. Students complete the program by designing and implementing a ministerial project in their area of concentration. Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Missouri, offers a DMin internet-enhanced program that also includes an intensive five-day on-campus session. The program concentration focuses on preaching, with courses in the theology of preaching, history and preaching, and liturgy and preaching.
Mainline Protestant Schools
The DMin degree at Trinity School for Ministry in St. Ambridge, Pennsylvania, is designed for students in full-time ministry. Students spend one week per course on-campus and complete the remaining portions at home. The United Methodist Theological School at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey, offers a global online DMin program open to ministerial leaders world-wide who meet admission criteria and have access to the Internet. It focuses on futurist-oriented courses such as Apocalyptic Theology and New Millennialism.
The nondenominational Northeastern Seminary in Rochester, New York, offers a DMin program that combines online delivery with intensive one-week courses focusing on Scripture, spirituality and Christian learning. Fuller Theological Seminary, a multidenominational seminary in Pasadena, California, offers a DMin program that is designed for those in active ministry. The program is flexible, offering an increasing number of online courses with cohort, personalized, or military and hospital chaplain’s tracks.
TRACS Accredited Schools
The nondenominational Temple Baptist Seminary at Tennessee Temple University in Chattanooga, Tennessee, offers a mostly online DMin program that also includes a one-week residency course. The program has six concentrations, including expository preaching, military chaplaincy and missions. The Southern Baptist-affiliated Luther Rice University and Seminary in Lithonia, Georgia, offers a DMin program that is primarily online with four weeklong, on-campus courses. The program seeks to enhance the ministry of senior pastors, Christian authors, teachers and mission leaders.
- The Association of Theological Schools: Commission on Accrediting, Standards and Notations, Educational and Degree Program Standards, Author.
- The Association of Theological Schools: Commission on Accrediting, Board of Commissioners Approves Fully Online Professional Degree Programs at Six Schools.
- The Association of Theological Schools: About ATS.
- St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary: Academics, Programs, Doctor of Ministry.
- The Catholic University of America: School of Theology and Religious Studies, Doctor of Ministry.
John Huddle is an Army veteran with enlisted service as general hospital staff and hospital chaplain's assistant. His career also included stints as a teacher, adjunct faculty, administrator and school psychologist. Twice, Dr. Huddle was a major party nominee for state office. He also served as a director on several nonprofit boards. Today he enjoys consulting and lobbying for underdog causes.