The Catholic University of America

Doctor of Ministry (D. Min.)

Preparing Pastoral Ministers for the New Evangelization

!!Applications for the Summer 2015 cohort should be submitted beginning Nov. 1, 2014!!

For information on the D. Min. program, please contact one of the following according to the nature of your inquiry: 

  • Application Process: Ms. Abimbola Akintolayo ( )
  • Concentration in Adult Spiritual Formation: Rev. Regis Armstrong, O.F.M. Cap. (
  • Concentration in Liturgical Catechesis:  Sr. Margaret Schreiber, O. P. (
  • Concentration in Pastoral Care:  Msgr. Michael Clay (

General Questions about the Program:  Msgr. Michael Clay, Committee Chair (

Students may apply online at:  GREs are not required.

Nature and Goals

The Doctor of Ministry degree with concentrations in liturgical catechesis, adult spiritual formation, and pastoral care is a professional doctorate offering students advanced theological and pastoral formation for competent and effective ministry. The program combines theory and pastoral experience and focuses on the integration of biblical, theological, and pastoral knowledge for excellence in ministry. It draws upon the resources of the School of Theology and Religious Studies and other departments and schools at The Catholic University of America, as well as the schools of the Washington Theological Consortium and the Consortium of Universities.

Components of the Program

The Doctor of Ministry degree may be obtained through one of the following models:

  1. Blended Learning Model:  A total of nine courses are taught over three consecutive summers.  Students begin each semester online approximately six weeks before the residency.  It is followed by a three-week residency and concludes with six more weeks of online work. 

  2. Blended Learning and Residential Model:  Some students may elect to take regular graduate courses during the academic year at CUA in their area of concentration.  These students also enroll in the six required core courses offered only during the three-summer program. 

All students are required to take the D. Min. Seminar, an online course offered in the fall semester.

Students complete the program by designing and implementing a project in ministry within their area of concentration.    

Requirements for Admission

  1. Possession of the M. Div. degree or its educational equivalent of approximately 72 credits with a cumulative average of 3.00 or better.  GREs are not required.
  2. A minimum of three years of full-time service in pastoral ministry.
  3. Completion of the Personal History Form, which includes a brief history of the academic, pastoral, and vocational background of the applicant and an essay of 1,000 to 2,000 words presenting the applicant's personal history and goals in ministry.
  4. Three letters of recommendation, with at least one testifying to the applicant’s ability to do doctoral work. The others should testify to the applicant’s exemplary ministry.

For International Students Applying to the D. Min. Program

Graduate Admissions will be able to issue I-20s to international students who are going to enroll in the D. Min. program.  The I-20 will be issued for the program’s 3 year length with remarks stating that this is a summer only program and that the student will be in the U.S. only in the summer time (April through July). They will need to terminate the I-20 each July and reactivate a new I-20 for the following April. 

IMPORTANT:  Students will not be able to remain in the U.S. with this version of the CUA I-20 other than between April and July, unless they are fully enrolled in the fall and spring semesters for additional courses to apply to the D. Min. degree with the permission of the School of Theology and Religious Studies.

Degree Requirements

Course Work:

A total of 30 credit hours (i.e., 10 courses) beyond the M. Div. or its equivalent and at least 2 additional semesters of doctoral project guidance are required.  A maximum of six credit hours may be transferred for work completed elsewhere.  Continuous enrollment is required until graduation once the project has been approved in writing by the university. 

Grade Point Average:

Students are expected to maintain a grade point average of at least 3.00 in their course work to be eligible for the D. Min. degree.


A student may apply for candidacy after completing 24 credit hours of doctoral level course work. The student may not receive candidacy and deliver the oral presentation on the D. Min. Project during the same semester.  The student must be in at least two semesters of D. Min. Project Guidance (1 credit per semester).

D. Min. Project:

The D. Min. Project, with its treatise and oral presentation, concludes the program and is ordinarily related to the concentration in which the student is enrolled. It is intended to demonstrate the student's ability to identify a problem in ministry and to discover appropriate interdisciplinary resources and theologically and pastorally relevant methods for its resolution.

Phases of the Project:

The project has four components:

  1. A proposal is developed and then approved by the D. Min. Proposal Committee.  Students work with their director in preparing it.

  2. A project is implemented after the student receives official approval in writing of the proposal from the university.

  3. A treatise is written which integrates the theological and pastoral knowledge students have incorporated into the project and how the project furthers an understanding of ministry in the area of concentration.

  4. An oral presentation is delivered on the project and what has been learned from the project to advance ministry in the area of concentration.