Doctor of Ministry Degree (D.Min.)

Doctor of Ministry D.Min. program image with Bible Lexington Theological Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) program, a graduate professional degree, is designed to enhance pastors’ capacity to critically interpret and engage contemporary cultures as a means to give fresh expression to the gospel and to transform congregations for effective ministry in the twenty-first century.  Designed on a cohort-based model, the degree provides significant learning in an on-going community of peers.

The four learning goals of the D.Min. degree will serve this overall purpose.  As a result of his or her  studies, a graduate of the LTS D.Min. program will:

  1. Have a basic acquaintance with a range of approaches to interpreting contemporary cultural contexts, and facility in at least one approach;
  2. Have facility in integrating advanced work in the classical theological disciplines with the critical interpretation of culture in service to the church’s articulation of the gospel.
  3. Have a basic acquaintance with a range of approaches for re-imagining organizations and institutional practices that are informed by the critical interpretation of cultures, and facility in at least one approach.
  4. Have a basic acquaintance with approaches to leading organizations through adaptive change, especially those relevant to empowering congregations.


Admission to the D.Min. program at Lexington Theological Seminary will express a judgment about the applicant’s capacity for developing advanced competence in and reflection on the practice of ministry, as well as the applicant’s aptitude for the particular program at LTS.  To be considered all applicants must meet the following minimal standards:

  1. The applicant will hold a Master of Divinity degree from an ATS-accredited institution or its equivalent, defined as an ATS-approved professional Masters degree and a minimum of 72 graduate semester hours reflecting study of a range of subjects comparable to the requirements of a Master of Divinity degree.
  2. The applicant will have earned a GPA of at least 3.0 in her/his M.Div. program or equivalent.
  3. The applicant will have at least three years of experience in ministry following the awarding of their first theological masters degree.  Applicants with a significant number of years of experience in ministerial leadership prior to beginning their M.Div. degree may submit for consideration a request to waive the requirement for three years of experience between the completion of their M.Div. degree and the beginning of D.Min. studies.


Initial Required Courses (Total: 10 hours)

Students take these initial courses as a continuing cohort of peers.  Schedules for these courses will stretch over 15-18 months in a pattern adapted to the rhythms of pastoral life.   The second and third courses are taught together in a single on-campus intensives session.  The other three courses are taught one at a time online.  Each online course will run for two months.

  • DM811 –  Introduction to Doctoral Studies: Research, Writing, and Critical Theological Reflection  (2 credits, online)
  • DM812 –  Interpreting Contemporary Cultural Contexts (2 credits, on-campus intensive)
  • DM813 –  Interpreting Contemporary Congregational Contexts (2 credits, on-campus intensive)
  • DM814 –  Interpreting  the Resources of the Faith for Contemporary Contexts (2 credits, online)
  • DM815 –  Leading Congregations through Adaptive Change (2 credits, online)

Electives (Total: 12 hours)

Students will take electives individually based on their own interests.  These courses will be 600-level M.Div. courses with added requirements for D.Min. students, and numbered as 800-level courses. These added requirements must include individual research in which course content is related to the interpretive approaches learned in the required courses.  These 2-credit courses are available both online and in on-campus intensive sessions.  Two of the six courses (i.e., 4 credits) must be completed on campus.

  • Minimum of 4 credits in practical disciplines (Leading subject area courses).
  • Minimum of 4 credits in classical disciplines (Interpreting subject area courses).
  • Remaining 4 credits completely open.

Concluding Required Course (2 hours)

As D.Min. students finish the elective phase of their programs, this course will gather them into a new cohort to be co-journeyers through the final phase of the program and help them prepare and present for critique a proposal for their final project. The course is considered completed and passed when the proposal is approved.

  • DM890 – Writing the D.Min. Project (2 credits, online)

Final Project: DM891 (6 hours)

The final D.Min. project represents six credits of doctoral level work on a problem, issue or question in the ministry and mission of the church in the contemporary world that defines and evaluates an appropriate response to that problem, issue or question. The project will contribute new knowledge about the nature and practice of ministry in contemporary church and society at a level of significance that the student’s peers would want to see shared in professional contexts. The audience of the project is the student’s peers in ministry. The project will employ a reflection-action-reflection methodology, and use the approaches to cultural analysis, congregational analysis, theological reflection, and leadership through adaptive change developed in the program.

For further details see Student Handbook Section 7.4.4.

Download the Curriculum Worksheet
Excel Worksheet»          PDF Worksheet»


For Further Information

Please contact Rev. Erin Cash, Director of Admissions, at (859) 280-1249 or


♦ Updated 05/10/18