Doctor of Ministry

The University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary offers the terminal degree of Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.). This degree allows you to bring your ministry into dialogue with the best insights from Scripture, Tradition, and the human sciences. The goal of the degree program is to develop pastoral leadership skills that meet the missionary needs of the church in today’s challenging cultural environment. Through case studies and projects, drawn from ministerial experiences, scholars engage in integration and processing with the goal of acquiring advanced competency in ministerial leadership. To achieve this goal, the program provides scholars with a community of practice where ministerial integration is combined with formal course work and research supervision. The D.Min. program is approved by the Association of Theological Schools.

Course Structure

The Doctor of Ministry program is a part-time, residential program that meets three weeks of the year, for two years;  a total of six weeks.

Each week is a 3-credit course framed by pre-reading assignments and a major academic paper following the class.

A two-week session takes place in the last two weeks of June, and a one-week session takes place during the second week of January.

In addition to the residential intensive courses (Monday morning through Friday afternoon), students fulfill the remaining requirement of 9 credits through three on-line courses from the University of St. Mary of the Lake.  The total number of credits required for the D.Min. is 30 credit hours of which, 3 credits are achieved through the Doctor of Ministry thesis project.

Eligibility & Admission Requirements

Have completed at least three years of full-time ministry or its equivalent

Presently employed in full-time ministry

The regular expectation is the completion of an MDiv degree or its theological equivalent, however, students with an accredited masters in an area connected to their ministry setting or vocational calling, may also be considered based on meeting the following criteria:

  • the ability to thoughtfully interpret scripture and the theological tradition of one’s ministry context,
  • the capacity to understand and adapt one’s ministry to the cultural context,
  • a basic self-understanding of one’s ministerial identity and vocational calling,
  • a readiness to engage in ongoing personal and spiritual formation for one’s ministry,
  • significant ministerial experience that enables the applicant to engage as a ministry peer with other students in this advanced professional doctorate.

Additional information will be asked of students without an MDiv or equivalent to assess readiness. Exceptions can be made to these requirements at the discretion of the Director.

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Financial Information

Doctor of Ministry Costs:

Tuition and Fees link.

Payment plans can be arranged through the USML business office.

  • All Students DMin
    • Full payment due before start of Summer courses
    • DMin students may request payment plan by April 2nd of program year or within 10 days of billing date.
  • Payment plan consists of 5 payments, June through December:
    • 20 % of bill/invoice is due by June 15
    • 40 % of bill/invoice is due by August 15
    • 60 % of bill/invoice is due by September 15
    • 80 % of bill/invoice is due by November 15
    • 100% (final) due no later than December 15 of program year

Payment Forms Accepted:

  • Credit Card online (subject to convenience fee)
  • E-check online
  • Outside Scholarship Funds (third party check)
  • Cash
  • Check

Charges upon withdrawal from program:

  • DMin students who withdraw from the year-long DMin program will be assessed charges on the following scale:
    • One month before the first residency 15%
    • Prior to July 31st after the residencies 30%
    • Prior to August 31st, but after July 31st 50%
    • Prior to December 31st but after August 31st 75%
    • After December 31st  100%