The Catholic University of America
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Pastoral Theology @ CUA - Doctor of Ministry

The Doctor of Ministry is a professional doctorate offering students advanced theological and pastoral formation for competent and effective pastoral ministry. Candidates choose one of three concentrations: EvangelizationLiturgical Catechesis, and Spirituality.  Please click these hyperlinks for further details about the concentrations.

The D.Min. degree program runs once a year for fifteen weeks, between April 1 and July 15, for three consecutive years. It uses a blended learning model, thirteen 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.  Information for contacting the director of each concentration is found via the hyperlinks above.

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.).

  • Women and men religious, priests, deacons and seminarians must submit a letter of endorsement from their bishop or ecclesiastical superior.

  • A completed and signed application form.

  • Completion of a 1000-2000 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 related to the intended concentration area.

  • Official transcripts from every post-secondary school in approved, sealed envelopes.

  • 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 theology and pastoral studies. The other two letters must specifically attest to the applicant’s ability to complete doctoral studies.

  • Nonrefundable application fee. (See: )

  • Submission of a graduate level writing sample (e.g., term paper, thesis, etc.).

  • GRE’s are not required.
  • There are no foreign language requirements although international students from non-English-speaking countries must have a minimum score of 92 (internet based) on the TOEFL or an overall band score of 6.5 or higher on the IELTS for the English language.
  • International Students: Because this is a summers-only program, the Office of Graduate Admissions will issue the I-20 with the caveat that this is a summer-only program and that the student will be in the U.S. only during those periods when courses requiring residency are occurring (i.e., maximum length of time: mid-March through the end of July; minimum length of time: two-week residency, typically the first two weeks of June). (See:


  • Ten courses are taken over a three year period.
  • 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 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 Courses:
    • Reproposing the Good News: The New Evangelization
    • Caring Conversations
    • 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 Evangelization:
    • Evangelization and Spirituality
    • Evangelization in a Digital Age
    • Mission of Evangelization: The Parish
  • Concentration Courses in Liturgical Catechesis:
    • Liturgical Catechesis (RCIA and Sacraments)
    • Liturgical Catechesis (Liturgical Year)
    • Liturgical and Catechetical Documents
  • Concentration Courses in Spirituality:
    • Methods in the Study and Teaching of Spirituality
    • Spiritual Practices
    • Spirituality and the Workplace


  • 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 the student's concentration.
  • The project must be designed, implemented, and evaluated.
  • The treatise is to be comprised of a chapter on the theological foundation for the project, followed by chapters on the design, implementation, and evaluation of the project. 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 arrange with the student, Project Director, Reader, and Dean's Delegate a day and time for the presentation.


  • Student must make a 20 minute presentation on the project using PowerPoint.
  • The Project Director, Reader, and Dean's delegate are given 40 minutes to ask questions or discuss the project with the student.