Online Doctor of Ministry Degree (DMin)



Avg. Completion Time tooltip-icon

3 years

Delivery Method tooltip-icon


Why Earn a Doctor of Ministry Degree Online through Capital?

Our Doctor of Ministry in Strategic Leadership will do much more than simply adding two letters to the beginning of your name – it will transform the way you do and lead ministry.

If you’re looking for a life-changing education that promotes empirical research, creative reflection and entrepreneurial application to the practice of ministry, then this online doctorate program is for you. Our online DMin program is ideal for the student who has already earned an MDiv degree, as our Doctor of Ministry builds on the knowledge core of biblical, historical and theological interdisciplinary studies taught during an MDiv program. With a focus on strategic leadership development, the degree exposes students to these components:

  • Leadership: content and skills training
  • Theological reflection: spiritual discernment
  • Social/cultural context: content and skills
  • Applied research: measuring program effectiveness

The degree’s purpose is to enhance the critical thinking, research and leadership skills of the student engaged in the leadership of congregations or church-related institutions. Through the process of empirical research, this DMin degree will enhance your reflective decision making enabling you to lead in a whole new way.

Course Length

16 weeks

Enrollment Point

DMin is a cohort model with the fall as the only enrollment point. The enrollment cutoff will be August 1 to provide enough time to onboard new students.

Residency Requirement

This online doctoral program has 18 days of synchronous learning via Zoom from the student’s physical location as the residency requirement. This means the student will need to have computer technology, time off work, etc. to participate fully in the synchronous residencies.

Capstone Requirement tooltip-icon

Applied and Empirical Dissertation
See a comparison in Capital’s research approaches.

Doctor of Ministry Program Cost & Financial Aid

Transfer Agreement tooltip-icon

Transfer in up to 50% of the degree total

Our Philosophy of Doctoral Education

Read about our Educational Philosophy.

Would You Like More Information?

Reach out to request more information today, and one of our admissions counselors will connect with you soon to provide further details and answers to your questions about this online doctoral degree.

Ministry Program Scope

Doctor of Ministry (DMin) (34 Credits)

Adv. Ministry Concentration Seminars 16 Credits

Applied Seminars 8 Credits

Research Design and Reporting 10 Credits

View the Academic Catalog for the complete curriculum plan, course descriptions and complete program details.

Schedule a Time to Chat

Want to learn more about this doctoral degree or LBC | Capital’s seminary or graduate school? Consider scheduling an appointment to talk virtually or in person with an Admissions Counselor who will be glad to answer all your questions about earning a doctoral degree online.

What makes this LBC Doctor of Ministry program unique?

This degree is designed for life-engaged learning. The program is fully online which allows you to remain in your ministry context while completing your education. Also, because it is fully online, we have students from all over the world. This creates a rich, globally diverse environment for your learning experience.

Another distinction is intentional Christian community. We place our doctoral students into groups called “cohorts.” Each unique cohort starts and ends the program together. Your cohort members are your partners in the challenging journey of doctoral studies. Also, you and your cohort will attend weekly Zoom sessions with your professors to learn, pray, discuss ideas, and grow together. This time of face-to-face connection in the online environment increases community for everyone involved.

What are career paths with a DMin degree?

The Doctor of Ministry is an enriching experience that prepares you to be an effective researcher/scholar within your own ministry context for the benefit of the church worldwide and the glory of God. Obtaining this degree has allowed our graduates to expand into higher and broader areas of ministry leadership in multiple areas of service. Some examples of positions our graduates hold are:

  • Pastoral ministries of many types
  • Denominational leadership
  • Missional leadership
  • President & CEO of a Bible institute
  • President of a spiritual formation ministry
  • Director of a Christian counseling center
  • Director of an international women’s ministry
Doctor of Ministry Program Goals – In this program, students will…
  • Gain the ability to think and execute skillfully in a selected field of ministry study.
  • Gain skills in contextualized ministry leadership.
  • Gain skills in doing applied research for the purpose of increased ministry effectiveness.

Doctor of Ministry Course Plan

The following is the proposed schedule for this degree program.

Course Title Year Semester Credits
MIN 844 Formational Leadership in the Digital Age One Fall 4
MIN 850 Contextual Ministry Praxis Seminar One Fall 4
MIN 811 Marriage and Family Issues One Spring 4
MIN 842 Innovation and Change One Spring 4
MIN 843 Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships Two Fall 4
MIN 851 Applied Research Seminar Two Fall 4
MIN 890 Mentored Research Design Two Spring 4
MIN 891 Applied Research Dissertation Three Fall 6

No courses are scheduled for summers to provide time for pre-dissertation research and literature review.

Meet the Faculty of the Doctor of Ministry Program

Kevin Gushiken, PhD
Dean, School of Bible & Ministry and Director, PhD in Leadership and DMin programs
Debra Johnson-Cortesi, PhD
Assistant Director of Ministry Doctoral Programs, Professor
Steve Yates, PhD
Adjunct Faculty

View More

FAQs about the Online DMin Degree

Is a Master of Divinity degree (MDiv) required to apply for the DMin program?

While a MDiv is preferred, it is not required to apply for the DMin program. We consider your entire ministry background recognizing that the path God led you down to get to this point might be unique. You will need to have a Master’s degree, prior ministry experience, and be serving in a current ministry setting.

What are the benefits of earning a Doctor of Ministry degree?

Practically speaking, a Doctor of Ministry degree opens doors for our graduates to higher levels of leadership both within and beyond their current ministry context. The largest benefit to earning a DMin degree is becoming a Christian ministry researcher/scholar. The church needs leaders who think deeply, engage problems fully, explore creative solutions, and share what they are learning. Christian ministry researcher/scholars are equipped to be experts in leadership for the benefit of the church worldwide and God’s glory. As ministry leaders, our graduates are creating curriculum, training others, writing books, teaching in higher education, running non-profit organizations, developing programs, and much more.

How does the cohort-model work in the DMin Program?

As students entering the DMin program, they become part of a new cohort of students who journey through the coursework and dissertation process at the same time. As a cohort, you will take 2 classes per semester in the fall and spring. Being part of a cohort makes your experiences within the program richer in several ways:

  • Online education can be challenging. Being part of a cohort provides you with brothers and sisters in Christ who are experiencing the same challenges. You can reach out to one another to provide resources, encouragement, and advice.
  • Community-based learning is valuable. Throughout your lifetime, God has been equipping you in many ways. There are things that you know and have experienced that you can bring into the DMin classes to share with others. Each of the other members of your cohort also have things to share. When you engage one another and share together, deeper and broader learning can occur.
  • Diversity helps us grow. Our DMin students come from all over the world. There are diverse backgrounds, opinions, interests, and experiences within each cohort. You will have the opportunity to experience how God has made us each unique while also one in Christ Jesus.

God calls us to be in community. He knows that we need others for support and to challenge us. Your cohort is an intentional Christian group gathered to honor God through pursuing education. Walking this journey together is a gift.

Can you provide an example of an Applied and Empirical Dissertation that fulfilled the Capstone Requirement for the DMin Program?

Each applied research project is unique. This is because applied research is based within a specific context and focused on problems and participants within that context. Within the program, you will learn many ways that you can conduct applied research and consider which options will be most useful to your own ministry context. A few examples of applied research dissertation topics within this program are:

  • Assessing training in character development on young men in church leadership.
  • Examining the effectiveness of leadership training for women in Uganda, Africa.

Analyzing the effects of scripture in helping to reframe personal trauma for spiritual growth.

What kind of support and resources are available for students during the dissertation phase?

The dissertation phase of doctoral studies is quite challenging. Before entering that phase, you will take 2 classes to prepare for the dissertation process. Also, each of the other courses you take will have elements that are designed to help you develop doctoral research and writing skills. When you begin your dissertation, you will get access to our many online-based resources. These include templates, examples, and guides for each portion of the dissertation. Often cohorts continue to reach out to one another during the dissertation phase to provide encouragement. Additionally, you will be assigned a committee who will come alongside you to provide guidance. It is our hope that all of our DMin students will conduct meaningful research, complete their dissertation process, and graduate.

Can I access course materials and lectures at any time, or are there set schedules for online classes?

The online courses are available within the semester each is offered. As a student in the program, you will gain access to upcoming courses 10 days prior to the start of the semester. Each week within the course has specific activities, assignments, and deadlines. You will engage in the course while it is active. After a course ends, it is archived within Canvas, our school’s learning management system. Until you graduate, you will be able to access your archived courses to review prior materials.

What technology requirements are needed for online courses?

It will be important to have a computer that is in good working condition. You will need a reliable internet connection that can support weekly Zoom sessions as well as uploading/downloading documents regularly. Because of the Zoom sessions, you will need speakers and a microphone. These may be built into a laptop but will need to be added to most desktop units. Also, if you are not familiar with Microsoft Office products such as Word and PowerPoint, you should begin familiarizing yourself with these tools as they will be used regularly within the program.

What are some of the credentials and notable accomplishments of the faculty in the DMin Program?

Since the Doctor of Ministry degree is focused on developing ministry leaders to be effective researcher/scholars, every professor within the program has a strong background in ministry leadership, higher education, and research. Prior ministry experiences include running a small group ministry, leading worship, being a senior pastor, developing women’s ministries, teaching within the church and Christian higher education, and many other areas. Every professor has at least one doctoral degree and passionately continues to learn within their areas of expertise through personal study. Most have also published in journals, web-based publications, and books. To learn more about the credentials and accomplishments of individual faculty members, review the bios provided on the Doctor of Ministry webpage.

Looking for Ways to Finance Your Doctoral Degree?

LBC’s Financial Aid Office can help you navigate the process.