Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
The DMin at Puritan Reformed is a four-year program (maximum 6 years) designed for those who desire to advance their ministry skills, particularly in preaching and homiletics.
The Doctor of Ministry degree program is developed for those who have a passion for preaching, are gifted communicators, have a minimum of three years of pastoral ministry, and show promise in their local and regional ministry of teaching, homiletics, and preaching.
The specific focus of the Doctor of Ministry program at Puritan Reformed is on biblical, Reformed, experiential, and practical preaching. PRTS seeks to adhere to the Reformed and Puritan tradition of homiletics, exemplified by John Calvin, William Perkins (Art of Prophesying), Petrus van Mastricht (Best Method of Preaching), Jonathan Edwards, and many others. We aim to do so by offering a Doctor of Ministry program that is distinctive in its academics and biblical piety; this will be evident in the admissions requirements, as well as in the program’s academic rigor, and spiritual and practical formation components. The Doctor of Ministry program will be academically rigorous and practical—resonating with the Reformed and Puritan tradition of preaching—as we seek to offer a comprehensive program with high, measurable, and peer-reviewed academic standards. Spiritual components of the DMin program may consist of assigned readings and preaching (in theory and practice). The program will be further enhanced by homileticians and preachers serving as subject experts and co-advisors for the DMin student.
The requirements for admission and study are subject to the educational and degree program standards set forth by ATS; admission requirements may vary, but will generally include the following:
- Restrictions: Because of the biblical convictions of the sponsoring denominations of the seminary regarding the qualifications of those serving as ordained pastors, the concentration in Homiletics is restricted to men.
- The deadline: The Admissions Committee meets on a rolling basis—approximately every two months. Applications are considered at the next available meeting only when all application components have been received.
- Admission of applicant: A prospective student must apply for the Doctor of Ministry program via the seminary website; the application must include personal and academic essays, a sermon sample, and academic and ecclesiastical references. The Doctor of Ministry applicant will most likely be approached by the Program Director for an interview. The interview with the applicant concerns academics, spiritual life, study requirements (on-campus courses/residency requirements, questions of tuition, etc.), passion for preaching, as well as employment and family circumstances. The Program Director will submit a report to the Admissions Committee, either recommending or not recommending the applicant for admission. The report will include an evaluation of the academic and homiletic contribution of the proposed study, and an evaluation of the applicant’s contributive ability for preaching.
The delivery of educational material via technology allows students to complete the required coursework (both residential and non-residential) within a period of four years. The resident or on-campus requirements of four (4) modular courses (week-long courses) must be completed within a period of four years. To foster involvement all students are encouraged to be on campus in August while taking the core courses.
Required Coursework and Credits
A total of twenty-four (24) credits + a DMin project are required for the Doctor of Ministry degree. The four (4) required modular (week-long) residential courses are offered on a rotating basis in August, with each August two of the required courses being offered, and then the next August the other two required courses offered.
Four Core Courses — 12 credits
- Introduction to Homiletical Studies
- Reformed Experiential Preaching I
- Reformed Experiential Preaching II
- Speak the Word: a Study in Oral Communication
- Introduction to Homiletical Studies. This course is comprised of (1) research methodology, which is designed to prepare the student to do (archival) research, including the critical and informed evaluation of “primary” and “secondary” sources, to review the development of a thesis statement, delimitation of topics, and to engage in effective study, writing, and preaching in ministry. Attention is given to Turabian format, bibliographies, and matters of form and style in academic writing, and (2) an overview of transitional moments in homiletics, which will be primarily based on primary source readings. The classical Roman and Greek rhetoric and oratory will be studied, including foundational works of Cicero and Quintilian, the canons of rhetoric (inventio, dispositio, elocutio, memoria, and pronuntiato), as well as transitional moments from Augustine to the mid-1800s. Furthermore, recent developments in the twentieth century, such as New Homiletics, Narrative Preaching, and other forms of homiletics will be studied.
- Reformed Experiential Preaching I. This course contains an historical overview, including Reformation Preachers: Zwingli, Bullinger, and Oecolampadius; Reformation Preachers: Calvin; Reformation Preachers: Beza; Introduction to Puritan Preaching; Puritan Preachers: Perkins; Puritan Preachers: Rogers, Sibbes, and Preston; The Westminster Directory and Preaching; Puritan Preachers: Goodwin and Shepard; Puritan Preachers: Bunyan; Introduction to the Dutch Further Reformation; Dutch Preachers: Teellinck, van Lodenstein, and à Brakel; Dutch Reformed Preaching in America: Frelinghuysen; Eighteenth-Century Preachers: Halyburton, Edwards, and Davies; Nineteenth-Century Preachers: Alexander, M`Cheyne, and Ryle, and Twentieth-Century Preachers: Wisse and Lloyd-Jones.
- Reformed Experiential Preaching II. This course focuses on (1) Reformed Experiential Preaching Defined and Described, addressing What Is Reformed Experiential Preaching? Preaching from Head to Heart; Major Elements of Reformed Experiential Preaching; The Experiential Preacher, and (2) Preaching Experientially Today, Addressing, Preaching with Balance; Application Starts with the Preacher; Effective Preaching about God and Man; Preaching the Gospel to the Heart, and Preaching for Holiness, and (3) Reformed Experiential Preaching: the Practice.
- Speak the Word: a Study in Oral Communication. This course addresses how to be an effective communicator of the Word; learn how to articulate ideas clearly, argue logically, listen carefully, and unify groups of people under a common goal. Authentic and effective communication skills are a must for effective speakers and communicators of the Word.
Three Elective Courses — 9 credits
Three elective courses are required. These elective courses can be PhD/ThM courses offered by PRTS (any combination from the Systematic Theology, Historical Theology, or Biblical Studies emphases) and by partner institutes, including but not limited to The Master’s Academy, The Institute of Expository Preaching, among others. However, tuition and administration expenses of external course are not covered by PRTS nor included in the tuition as outlined below. A maximum of one of the three elective courses can be an independent study. For information on an independent study, please contact the seminary registrar.
Directed Study — 3 credits
One directed study arranged between the student and advisor. A directed study is an opportunity for a student to study in depth a subject area that is not covered by one of the offered courses. This is different than an independent study, which uses the recordings and syllabus of a previously taught course. For enrollment in a directed study, please contact the registrar.
The Doctor of Ministry dissertation project is a written doctoral-level study that addresses both the nature and practice of preaching ministry. The study is completed with an oral defense, evaluation, and preached sermon. The study shows evidence of being informed by research method, course work, and project research, enhancing the knowledge and practice of one’s preaching capacity.
- Dissertation Proposal: A proposal of the DMin project must be approved by the Doctoral Program Director, advisor, co-advisor (and if necessary, one subject-expert scholar outside PRTS). The proposal is to be written following a proposal template and is normally to be submitted to the registrar two years before completion of the DMin project.
- Advisors: Upon entrance of the student into the DMin project phase, the student will be assigned an advisor and at least one co-advisor. The advisor or co-advisor should be a member of faculty or an adjunct faculty member
- DMin project: The DMin project should demonstrate the student’s mastery of relevant sources and methods and should make an original contribution to the field of homiletics. It should include a concluding summary written in English that demonstrates the relevance of the research for the ministry of preaching. The DMin project will be submitted to the office of the registrar for examination by at least two external subject experts and at least two members of faculty. The acceptance of the DMin project must be affirmed by a two-thirds majority of the examiners. Upon acceptance, a formal defense will be held on campus in the presence of a panel of scholars, including members of the board of trustees and faculty. This defense should take place before graduation.
- DMin project defense and Graduation: The dissertation should be submitted no later than January 1 in order to graduate in May of the same year.
Tuition and Fees
- Application for admission (non-refundable): $50.00
- Enrollment deposit: $100.00 (applied to tuition)
- Tuition for the DMin program: $325.00 per month for four (4) years
- Late registration fee: $50.00 per course
- Continuation fee (after 4 years): $975.00 per year (not prorated)
- Distance Education fee: $75.00 per course that is taken from a distance
- Graduation fee: $250.00
Multiple church-matching scholarships are available up to a maximum of $1950.00 per year. This Church-Matching Scholarship is awarded to a DMin student whose church agrees to financially support their studies. If awarded, this scholarship could provide up to one-half of the DMin tuition cost, with the student’s church providing the other half of the DMin tuition cost.
See link on right to apply for a scholarship.