Doctor of Ministry

Dr. John Nissley, Director

The purpose of the course of study leading to the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree is to enhance the practice of ministry for persons holding the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree or its equivalent, and who are currently engaged in positions of Christian ministerial leadership. The program is practical in nature and is designed to increase professional competency. Students will be equipped at a more advanced level of theological reflection, critical thinking, communication skills, and leadership formation than that achieved in the foundational work of the M.Div. A program assumption is that the ministry of a local congregation or Christian ministry setting will provide the context for the course of study.

As a four-year, in-service degree, the Winebrenner Doctor of Ministry degree program affords students the opportunity to complete the program while remaining in full-time ministry. The program consists of 32 credit hours composed of seminar content, personal and professional development, and research and writing for the research project report. A distinctive feature of this D.Min. program begins with the initial one-week seminar as the student designs a prospectus to guide his or her research project, instead of waiting until midway through the program to begin the research process. These intensive one-week seminars are held twice annually, in January and July, on the seminary’s campus located in Findlay, Ohio.

The focus of a Winebrenner doctoral candidate’s research project is not constrained by a specific program track or other institutional parameters. The design and intent of this degree program is to provide an opportunity for students to be engaged in prolonged research for the duration of the four-year degree program. The research process is a unique feature of the Winebrenner doctoral program that affords a venue for in-depth research, reflection, and review with feedback from peers, mentors, and professors in the student’s specific area of research emphasis. The parameter for research emphasis is to be within the broad scope of kingdom ministry.

Doctor of Ministry Projects

The first two Winebrenner D.Min. projects were completed in 2002. In the years following many additional projects have been completed. Each one addresses a unique ministry issue with quality research and writing. All but one of these has been published by ProQuest UMI, a professional publisher of academic dissertations. Each project is protected by U. S. copyright law and is available here as a reference for D.Min. students. 

Click here to access projects written by our D.Min. graduates.

Program Components

  • Intensive Week Seminars
  • Community Peer Learning
  • Individual Self-directed Learning
  • Ministry Context Resource Group
  • Doctoral Project

For a D.Min. overview, click here.

A unique feature of the D.Min. is that students begin to research and write the major doctoral project from the very beginning of the program, instead of waiting until the end as in other programs.  The goal of the D.Min. project is to challenge the student to think and act theologically and integratively by identifying a specific problem in ministry, organizing an effective research model, gathering appropriate resources, and evaluating the results.  The research should be conducted within the setting of the student's own context of ministry. D.Min. projects have emerged out of such areas as:

  • Administration and Leadership
  • Church Growth and Renewal
  • Christian Education
  • Counseling
  • Discipleship
  • Evangelism
  • Missions
  • Church Music
  • Pastoral Care
  • Preaching
  • Spiritual Formation
  • Stewardship
  • Teaching
  • Worship
  • Youth Work

Project work should demonstrate doctoral level work and display how the student's competence in ministry has been strengthened or transformed.

For the latest D.Min. newsletter, click here.

For more information on the D.Min. curriculum, access the D.Min. manual here.

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