The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) program at Duke Divinity School was named the top online program by TheBestSchools.org, an independent organization focused on higher education information and assessment.
Duke’s D.Min. degree offers pastors and leaders of other Christian institutions rigorous and imaginative theological reflection while they continue to serve in their current ministerial roles. Study of the church’s Scriptures and traditions is paired with study of contemporary leadership theory and practice, encouraging deeper understanding of the sources, nature, and character of authentic Christian leadership.
TheBestSchools.org uses five categories to determine their rankings: academic excellence of the curriculum, strength of faculty scholarship, financial aid, reputation of faculty and alumni, and methodology used for online instruction. The strength of the Duke Divinity faculty who teach in the D.Min. program received particular mention.
Faculty are notable not only for their academic scholarship and ecclesial experience but also for their enthusiasm for teaching D.Min. students. “The Duke D.Min. has been fortunate to attract some of the best and brightest Christian leaders,” said Will Willimon, retired bishop in the United Methodist Church and professor of the practice of Christian ministry. “I enjoy working with experienced practitioners who are committed to theological reflection in service of their vocation. In classes, it feels like I’m talking with distinguished peers about a subject I love—Christian ministry.”
The D.Min. combines distance learning, including live online sessions with both faculty and fellow students, with several intensive weeks of study on Duke’s campus. Students flourish with small cohort sizes, a hybrid learning environment, and spiritual formation mentors. “Even three years out of the program, I still have a group text a number of us engage on a weekly basis for support, fun, resources and care,” said Victoria White, D.Min.’16. “These ministers are at the top of their game, and they know they didn’t get there alone. We all know we are stronger together, and so we rely on one another for truth, honesty, reflection, and ideas.”
Engagement with distinguished faculty, an emphasis on generating innovative research-based theses, and a commitment to leadership in service to the church make the Duke Divinity School D.Min. a top-ranked program. Current student Christopher Aho attests that this matches his own experience: “I chose Duke for the world-class faculty, the amazing facilities, the collaborative learning environments, the excellent D.Min. student body, and the diversity of traditions promised in each cohort. I have loved learning from these professors alongside students who challenge and support me every step of the way. This was my hope, and it is what the D.Min. has delivered.”