Jul 22, 2024  
2024-2025 Southeastern University- Graduate Catalog 
2024-2025 Southeastern University- Graduate Catalog

Main Campus

Doctor of Ministry

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Doctor of Ministry  

The Doctor of Ministry is the highest degree for those in vocational ministry and is the ultimate step for those called to ministry to develop their divine design to serve Christ and the world through Spirit-empowered life, learning, and leadership, which is very much in line with the mission of Southeastern University.

The program is intended to enhance the competency and understanding in ministry for those with an MDiv. degree and significant ministry experience. It is designed to provide advanced and innovative training in the practice of biblically sound, theologically based, and spiritually motivated ministry to leaders actively involved in ministry. The primary target audience includes those in church and parachurch ministry who seek to advance their knowledge, research ability, and leadership skills.

Students engaged in this program will:

  • Grow in spiritual and relational health and maintain the practice of spiritual disciplines.
  • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the nature and purposes of ministry and the minister.
  • Develop the ability to integrate the biblical and theological foundations for ministry into the practice of ministry.
  • Develop the knowledge and skills needed for pastoral research and self-directed learning.
  • Fulfill the responsibilities of ministry with a greater level of professional competence in the skills and practice of ministry.

Total Credits

  • The DMin program requires a total of 36 semester hours consisting of
  • Doctoral Core (12 credit hours)
  • Leadership Track (12 credit hours)
  • Individualized Instruction (12 credit hours)

Program Length

  • 3-6 years
  • Full-time students (6 credit hours per term)
  • Part-time student (3 credit hours per term)

Program Delivery

The Southeastern University Doctor of Ministry program is not a residential program. All courses are 15-weeks in length with a one-week campus engagement facilitated within the 15-week term. The precise days are placed in the academic calendar one year in advance. Students are invited to arrive on campus the morning of the first day of the week intensive for a morning orientation to the week. These courses are preceded by personal study and followed by a project that applies course material to the student’s ministry. The student will engage in these pre-session and post-session assignments. The structure of the assignments may reflect the following format:


  • Review assigned texts related to the course topic.
  • Develop theological perspectives related to the course topic.
  • Identify key questions to be addressed in the campus engagement.
  • Submit evidence of required reading for the course.

Campus Engagement

  • Attend the course.
  • Engage in course discussions as directed by the professor.
  • Integrate course reading with lectures & discussion.
  • Anticipate integration of the course with  current ministry realities.


  • Provide a theoretical evaluation  and integration of course to current ministry realities.
  • Interact online with cohort in reflection of course integration.
  • Complete post-session assignments as prescribed by the professor.

Cohort Based

The DMin program at Southeastern utilizes one of the emerging trends that has proven most useful, the “cohort system”, whereby professionals from diverse geographic, ethnic and ministry backgrounds come together in personal, academic and spiritual engagement as a learning community. Students within the cohort commit themselves to the interactive process of support and challenge necessary for them to achieve their academic goals. The members of the cohort are expected to become resources to one another. This expectation respects the past experiences of ministers, uses the cohort to enrich the learning process, and models a healthy community dynamic which is valuable for the life of the local church. Graduates of the cohort system often cite the learning that occurs among cohort peers to be a most valuable part of the experience. 

Doctoral Mentorship

A highlight of the program is the opportunity to work closely with a doctoral mentor to assess a goal or challenge in the student’s own ministry. Faculty and successful ministry professionals who are recognized experts in their field will be assigned to each student. This mentorship will progress throughout the student’s journey in the program.

The identified mentor will facilitate two courses, Contextual Engagement I and II.  The Contextual Engagement courses are individualized instruction with the mentor on an issue related to the student’s ministry context. The professor and student will work together to devise a research plan to develop a solution for a ministry challenge or dilemma. The mentor will partner with the student to develop a doctoral-level research and implementation.  The research efforts may be applied to the doctoral research project, which is the culmination of the program. The doctoral mentor will likely be a member of the student’s Doctoral Project Committee.

Entrance Requirements

Southeastern University has established qualitative and quantitative requirements for the admission of graduate students whose educational preparation evidences the potential for a high level of performance. To be considered for admission, applicants must submit an Application for Graduate Admission and a $50.00 non-refundable application fee. Applicants for the DMin program should review the following requirements and process for admission:

  1. Possession of an earned Master of Divinity degree, or its equivalent, from a regionally accredited institution/program that maintains academic standards similar to those of SOUTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY. Master of Divinity equivalency is defined as an earned Master’s degree, including at least 72 credit hours of graduate study in areas closely parallel to the Master of Divinity curriculum of the College of Ministry and Theology at Southeastern University; specifically:

    • 18 Credits Practical Theology
    • 18 Credits Biblical Studies
    • 12 Credits Theology
    • 6 Credits Pastoral Counseling
    • 6 Credits Philosophy and Ethics
    • 6 Credits Church History
    • 6 Credits Electives
  2. Achievement of a GPA of 3.0 or greater on a 4.0 scale for all graduate course work.
  3. Evidence of at least three years of consistent vocational ministry experience after receiving the MDiv degree or its equivalent prior to the commencement of the doctoral studies.
  4. Submission of two letters of recommendation:
    • One professional recommendation: colleague or supervisor in current ministry. This cannot be someone the applicant supervises.
    • One personal recommendation: assessing the applicant’s Christian character.
  5. Submission of a 5-page statement of purpose reflecting the ministerial and academic goals of applicants. This essay should include applicant’s spiritual, personal and ministerial leadership journey.  The essay will assist in identifying applicant’s style of writing and determining applicant’s ability to clarify his/her calling in ministry and academics.
  6. Submission of all official transcripts from post-secondary schools attended.
  7. Submission of a curriculum vita. The vita should include the following:
    • Personal Information; full name, address, phone number, and email
    • Professional Work, Research & Ministerial Experiences (describe courses & ministries)
    • Education (degrees, institutions and degree dates)
    • Publications/Presentations/Accomplishments/Grants
    • Professional & Academic Awards/Recognitions
    • Professional Memberships/Associations/Licensures/Certifications
    • Professional References
  8. A personal interview with the Director of the DMin program or designated representative may be required.

Pre-Doctoral “Bridgework” Courses

For students in need of completing the necessary MDiv equivalency credits, these credits can be taken any semester, as long as the specific courses are being offered. The DMin office will identify for each student the total credits and specific courses necessary to fulfill the bridge requirements.  A student may be admitted to the Doctor of Ministry Program with a limited number of deficiencies in MDiv. equivalency. Such deficiencies can total no more than nine credit hours and must be fulfilled before enrolling in the fifth course in the DMin program.

Students who are in the process of taking pre-doctoral Bridge courses and desire to confirm their progression toward the program may call the office at 863.667.5989 or email dmin@seu.edu.

Transfer Credits

Transfer of a maximum of 25% of doctoral-level credit may be applied toward the DMin degree if those hours constitute equivalent work. Only courses taken after receiving an MA, MATS, MDiv., or equivalent degree can be credited toward the DMin degree.  Doctoral-level credits may be accepted from an accredited institution if the credits are not part of any other earned degree. Transfer courses must correspond with courses within the student’s DMin degree at SEU. Transfer credits must have earned a grade of B or higher in order to qualify for transfer.

Only those credits earned in the seven years prior to admission will be eligible to be applied in transfer to the DMin program. The courses accepted in transfer are recorded as credit. Applicants with transfer credits must complete the total number of hours required in his/her program to meet graduation requirements. The Registrar, in conjunction with the Director of the DMin program, will prepare a tentative evaluation of credit for each transfer applicant. An official evaluation will be issued after the applicant selects and registers in a degree program.

Southeastern University requires all university-level work to be represented on an officially approved transcript from the originating institution with the transcript sent directly from the originating institution to the Office of the Registrar.

Ministry Engagement

It is incumbent upon all Doctor of Ministry students to remain engaged in consistent vocational ministry throughout the duration of the program.  Any interruption (temporary or permanent) of vocational ministry must be communicated to the Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program. Such notice must include a request and rationale for continuance within the program.

Program Sequence

The course schedule lists all the courses offered/required within the SEU DMin program:

The minimum GPA requirement is 3.0. Grades of less than C- will not be counted toward degree completion.

Semester Course Location
Fall (Year One)

DMIN 7013 - Theory and Practice of Ministry

DMIN 7023 - Spirit- Empowered Leadership

Main Campus

Main Campus

Spring (Year One)

DMIN 8113 - Spiritual Formation and Health of the Leader

DMIN 8013 - Contextual Engagement I

Retreat Center


Summer (Year One) DMIN 7033 - Scripture, Theology and Practice Main Campus



















Semester Course Location
Fall (Year Two)

DMIN 8123 - Communication of the Leader

DMIN 8133 - Leader and Organizational Health

Off Campus


Off Campus

Spring (Year Two)

DMIN 8143 - Culture, Context and Mission

DMIN 8023 - Contextual Engagement II

Main Campus


Summer (Year Two) DMIN 7043 - Research & Ministry Development/Writing Retreat Main Campus

















Semester Course Location
Fall (Year Three)

DMIN 9013 - Doctoral Project I

Optional Writing Retreat


Main Campus

Spring (Year Three) DMIN 9023 - Doctoral Project II Independent






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