The D.Min. degree is a professional doctorate that has been a mainstay of theological education for decades, providing the opportunity for post-M.Div. education to pastors and other Christian leaders. The D.Min. at Duke Divinity School does not require full-time residence and provides the opportunity for church leaders and other Christian professionals to pursue intensive advanced study while remaining employed on a full-time basis in their vocational settings.  Generally, the degree serves people who have earned the M.Div. degree, are ordained, and are currently serving as associate or senior pastors, or as executives of church-related or other Christian institutions.

The D.Min. promotes rigorous and imaginative reflection on the practice of ministry through interdisciplinary conversations with Scripture, theology and Christian traditions. The degree aims to enhance the critical skills of persons engaged in the leadership of congregations or church-related institutions by integrating practical ministerial experience with structured theological reflection.

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Academic Requirements
  • 5 terms of coursework and at least one term of research to be completed within 2 years, for a total of 6 terms
  • 1 year of writing and research
  • Thesis
  • Student portfolio
Academic Terms


The D.Min. curriculum organizes learning around one-week intensive residential seminars that are followed by eight weeks of structured distance learning facilitated by online tools. During the online portion, students engage one another and faculty on a regular basis. There are five terms of coursework that span approximately two academic years. The five intensives take place on the campus of Duke Divinity School in Durham, N.C. The D.Min. degree concludes with a period of independent research and writing, normally one to two years in length, culminating in the production of a substantial written thesis.

The current D.Min. curriculum focuses upon Leadership in the Christian Tradition. It is designed for persons who wish to pursue rigorous and imaginative reflection on the topic of Christian leadership through the study of Scripture, church history, and contemporary theology, as well as engagement with the fields of leadership and management studies. Students will be required to integrate course material with the ecclesial practices that are part of their daily work while remaining in conversation with the community of peers formed during the residential intensives.

Academic Terms

The intensive residency components typically occur at the following times:

  • August: end of the 1st week of August to the beginning of the 3rd week of August
  • January: 1st week in January
  • May: end of the 3rd week of May to the beginning of the 4th week of May