The Doctor of Ministry is a professional doctorate offering students advanced theological and pastoral formation for competent and effective pastoral ministry.

The degree program runs once a year for 11 weeks between May 1 and July 15, for three consecutive years. It uses a blended model of 9 weeks online and two weeks in residence on campus. The residency usually take place around the first two weeks of June and is a mandatory element of the program. Students normally take three courses each year during each fifteen-week cycle.

Discussion between the inquirer and the director of the concentration area of interest is highly recommended before submitting an application to discuss the inquirer’s goals and objectives for being in a doctoral program and interests regarding the concentration area.

Deadline for applications is December 1 for courses that begin the following April. It is highly recommended that the application process begin no later than September of the year preceding the first year of anticipated studies.   


  • Possession of a Master of Divinity degree or its educational equivalent (i.e., approximately 72 graduate level credits in theology and its related fields) with a minimum cumulative G.P.A. of 3.0.
  • A minimum of three years of full-time service in pastoral ministry or its equivalent (e.g., 6 years of half-time ministry, etc.).
  • Completion of a 1,000 to 2,000 word statement of purpose briefly presenting a history of the applicant’s academic, pastoral, and vocational background; his/her purpose for undertaking doctoral studies in pastoral ministry; and his/her ministerial goals as they relate to seminary formation.
  • Three letters of recommendation, one of which testifies to the applicant’s personal aptitude for, as well as interest in and motivation for, the field of seminary formation. The other two letters must specifically attest to the applicant’s ability to complete doctoral studies.
  • Completion of the two Seminary Formation Council certification program courses offered through St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary.


  • Students register for and complete the two 3-credits option (6 credits total) in the Seminary Formation Council Certificate in Seminary Formation for Missionary Discipleship program granted through St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary.
  • Eight remaining courses are taken over a three year period.
  • Two or three courses are taken each year during the Spring/Summer semester.
  • A two-week residency takes place each summer.
  • One course is taken during the fall semester after the second year of Catholic University courses (completely online).
  • Two semesters of Treatise Guidance is required after the proposal is formally approved.
  • Students are expected to maintain a 3.0 or higher grade point average.
  • Generally graduate course credits are not applied to the D.Min degree due to the nature of the program. Students are expected to follow the 30 credit hour course plan endorsed by the respective Area faculty.

Core Course options include the following but are not limited to:

  • Reproposing the Good News: The New Evangelization
  • Caring Conversations for Effective Pastoral Ministry
  • Theology of Pastoral Leadership
  • Context for Evangelization and Catechesis: The Domestic Church
  • Ministry in a Multicultural Church
  • Word and Sacrament: Liturgical Spirituality
  • Doctor of Ministry Seminar
  • Concentration Courses in Seminary Formation are:
    Seminary Formation: The Art of Accompaniment (course offered through St. Vincent de Paul Seminary)
    Seminary Formation: The Culture of Encounter (course offered through St. Vincent de Paul Seminary)
    Mission of Evangelization in the Parish (course offered through The Catholic University of America)


  • A student may apply for candidacy after completing 21 credit hours of coursework.
  • Candidacy must be attained before a project proposal may be submitted for approval.
  • The D.Min. project, with its treatise and oral presentation, concludes the program. The project and treatise are to demonstrate the student's ability to identify a problem in ministry and to research appropriate interdisciplinary resources and theologically and pastorally relevant methods for its resolution. 
  • The D.Min. Handbook contains details on program procedures and policies.

D.Min. Project

Project and Treatise

  • The D.Min. project is to be an original contribution to pastoral ministry focused on a topic in evangelization.
  • The project must be designed, implemented, and evaluated
  • The treatise is to be comprised of a chapter on the theological foundation for the project, the project design, implementation, and evaluation. The appendix must contain all components of the project (PowerPoint presentations, presentation outline, handouts, announcements, etc.)

Presentation of the Project

  • Before a presentation of the project may be scheduled, the following must take place:
    - Project Director and Reader must sign the approval form
    - Project Director must notify the TRS office two months in advance that a presentation is to be scheduled
    - Travel plans should not be finalized until the school sets the date for the presentation
    - A Dean's Delegate must be appointed by the TRS Dean
    - The TRS office must negotiate with the student, Project Director, Reader, and Dean's Delegate to set the day and time of the presentation
  • Presentation
    Student must make a 20 minute presentation on the project using Power Point
    The Project Director, Reader, and Dean's delegate are given 40 minutes to ask questions or discuss the project with the student