For those students who have human subjects in their projects, please read:
Nature and Goals
The Doctor of Ministry degree 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.
Courses have a combination of both residency and online components. Classes meet on the CUA campus normally for three weeks in May and early June. In addition, each class offered in the summer has an online component before and after the three week residency. Students complete the program by designing and implementing a project in ministry within their ministerial context.
Students who wish may also take courses for the D.Min. degree during the normal Fall and Spring academic semesters.
Areas of Specialization
The D.Min., preparing pastoral ministers for the New Evangelization, may be obtained in one of the three following concentrations:
- Spiritual Formation
- Liturgical formation
- Evangelization and catechesis
- Pastoral Care
Requirements for Admission
Possession of an M.Div. degree or its educational equivalent with a cumulative average of 3.00 or better.
A minimum of three years of full-time service in pastoral ministry.
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.
For International Students Applying to the DMin Program
Graduate Admissions will be able to issue I-20s to international students who are going to enroll in the DMin program. The I-20 will be issued for the 3 year length (with remarks stating that this is a summer only program) with the understanding 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 re-issue a new I-20 for the following April. Students will not be able to remain in the U.S. (with the CUA I-20) other than between April and July, unless they are fully enrolled in the Fall and Spring Semesters, with permission of STRS, for additional courses to apply to the DMin degree.
A total of 30 hours beyond the M.Div. or its equivalent is required plus the D.Min. project. A maximum of six credit hours may be allowed for work completed elsewhere.
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 hold the Consultation on the D.Min. Project during the same semester.
The D.Min. Project 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. Ordinarily, the project has three components:
- Research, including familiarity with current literature on the problem and its theological background.
- Experience, including a significant amount of time spent working with the problem in a specific pastoral situation.
- Evaluation, offering an interdisciplinary analysis of data along with an appraisal of the methods employed and the theological principles involved.
The residency requirement is fulfilled by a student's presence during three intense three-week summer sessions normally during the month of May and early June.
The D.Min. Project Proposal and Treatise Approval Process
Approval of the D.Min. Project Proposal
1. The student finds a project director who is normally a CUA faculty member, is knowledgeable on the subject of the student’s project, and is willing to serve as the project director.
2. The proposal is refined until approved by the director. The proposal is a maximum of two pages plus two pages for the bibliography. The proposal is divided into the following or similar categories: Identification and Background of the Problem, Purpose of the Project in Ministry, Project Research, Project Design and Implementation, Project Evaluation, and Contribution to Ministry. Attached to the proposal is the DMin Topic Approval Form.
3. The proposal is then reviewed and approved by the DMin program director.
4. It is then submitted to the DMin Proposal Committee.
5. After approval, it is then submitted to the Associate Dean for Seminary and Ministerial Programs and finally to the Dean of STRS.
6. Attached to the proposal submitted to the Associate Dean is the human subjects review forms regarding human subjects review and a copy of the Certificate of Completion of the NIH Web-based training course “Protecting Human Research Participants.” The Dean will forward the proposal to the CUA Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects.
Approval of the D.Min. Treatise
1. After approval by the Dean and a successful review by CUA Committee for the Protection of Human Research Participants, the student will implement the project in ministry under direction of the Project Director.
2. After completion of the project, the student will write up the entire project and the treatise will be no more than 100 pages, not including the bibliography and appendices.
3. The specific chapters of the treatise are flexible based upon the project with approval of the Project Director. However, the treatise should begin with the research. It should then delineate the details of the ministerial project. Then, it will discuss what happened, i.e., what occurred during the implementation of the project. The treatise will then evaluate the project in detail and evaluate the student’s performance. Finally the treatise will discuss what was learned and recommendations for future ministry.
4. Once the Project Director approves the treatise, it is then forwarded to the Director of the DMin program. After the Director of the DMin program approves the Treatise, the Acceptance of the DMin Treatise for Oral Presentation is filled out. This form is submitted to the Dean who assigns a delegate to attend the oral presentation, in addition to the DMin Director and the Project Director. The delegate is present in case of a tie vote at the oral presentation.
5. The student then coordinates with the STRS administrative offices and the Project Director, DMin Director and the Dean’s Delegate to establish a date for the oral presentation. The student must give the STRS administrative offices at least a three week lead time before the date of the oral presentation. STRS administration will publicize the oral presentation and the public is welcome to attend.
6. The student is encouraged to use multimedia (e.g. powerpoint) in the presentation. The student will speak for 45 minutes and then there will be 15 minutes for questions from the committee as well as any members of the public who are attending.
7. Once the oral presentation is finished, the team of three will vote on the passage of the presentation.