Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

The Doctor of Ministry program is designed for ministry professionals who desire to enhance their leadership skills and theological imagination. While remaining fully immersed in their own ministry context, students are invited into a process of scholarly community engagement with a cohort of peers in order to cultivate effective ministries in a changing world.

Intended for those with a Master of Divinity or equivalent masters degree, the DMin program welcomes qualified applicants, lay and ordained, from the ministries of parish and congregational leadership, religious education, preaching, worship, pastoral care, hospital chaplaincy, and other forms of ministerial leadership.

The DMin is a conjoint degree conferred by the University of Toronto and the student's college of registration. Six of TST's seven member colleges offer the conjoint DMin program (St. Augustine's Seminary offers basic degree programs only). See Choosing a College.

General Purpose

  • The DMin program provides advanced study for those who are already engaged in the practice of ministry in its varied forms.
  • The emphasis of the program is on advancing personal, professional, and theological integration in order to help participants achieve a high level of competency in the practice of ministry and its theoretical underpinnings.

Program Features

  • A flexible, ecumenical, cross-cultural program that draws on students’ own expertise in ministry; students remain in their existing ministry base throughout the program.
  • Students gain advanced expertise in the general practice of ministry as well as advanced skill in a specialized area of research particular to the students' ministry.
  • The program enables critical reflection on students' practice of ministry in collaboration with other students in the program.


  • The DMin is a normally completed in four (4) years and is structured for students to continue to work full-time in their ministries while progressing through the program. Two to three weeks each spring are spent at TST on the University of Toronto, St. George campus.

The DMin program involves learning that is self-directed, communal, interdisciplinary and integrative. The key aspects of the program structure are:

  • A Collaborative Learning Group (CLG) that meets together on campus for two weeks each June, and continues to provide mutual support and inspiration online throughout the year. The CLG group will work through three core courses together: Contextual Theology; Theology of Ministry; and Qualitative Research Methods.
  • A Ministry Base Group (MBG) that involves individuals from your own ministry context who are co-learners on your journey offering wisdom, support and insights into your unique ministry practice.
  • Four elective courses give you an opportunity to engage with a variety of gifted faculty members whose teaching and research abilities will deepen your understanding of both the theology and practice of ministry.
  • You will work with an advisor from your TST member college of registration, as well as a thesis supervisor with expertise in your specific area of interest. With the support of these faculty members, you will develop an Individualized Learning Plan (ILP), engage in a process of interdisciplinary learning which will result in a comprehensive examination, create a thesis proposal that addresses a specific question relevant to your ministry context, and create and defend a thesis that integrates theology, practice and context.

Also refer to the Graduate Conjoint Degree Handbook for detailed program and admissions information. 

Phase I: Orientation
  • One-week orientation at the end of April.
  • Orientation will include an introduction to the learning philosophy of the program and the group process.
  • Meeting administrators and staff from TST's Graduate Centre for Theological Studies, meeting faculty advisors and registrars from the TST member colleges, meeting DMin alumni.
  • A library workshop, an introduction to online learning tools, and more.
Phase II: Coursework

Year 1 

  • Two-week residential in June, at TST on the University of Toronto, St. George campus.
  • Courses: Contextual Theology (TSM5020H) or Theology of Ministry (TSM5021H) - courses are offered alternate years.
  • Throughout the year: Completion of core course and assigned coursework, development of Individual Learning Plan (ILP), start of elective coursework, continuation of Collaborative Learning Group (CLG), and meeting with Ministry Base Group (MBG). 

Year 2

  • Courses: Contextual Theology (TSM5020H) or Theology of Ministry (TSM5021H) - courses are offered alternate years.
  • Throughout the year: Completion of core course and assigned coursework, completion of elective coursework, continuation of Collaborative Learning Group (CLG), and meeting wtih Ministry Base Group (MBG).

Year 3

  • Courses: Qualitative Research Methods (TSM5022H) and DMin Comprehensive Paper (TSM5023H).
  • Throughout the year: Completion of core course and assigned coursework, writing and defence of comprehensive paper, defence of thesis proposal, and Research Ethics Board (REB) protocol approval. 
Phase III: Thesis Requirements

Year 4 (and, if required, Year 5)

  • Continued consultation with DMin Thesis Supervisor. 
  • Action-in-Ministry research project, thesis writing, and submission.
  • Oral defence of thesis.

The following provides an overview of the admission requirements for the DMin program. For more detailed admission requirements, see Applying to the DMin Program, Step 1 - Meet Admission Requirements and the Graduate Conjoint Degree Handbook for admission and program information. 

The Admissions Committee will take into consideration:
  • grades in all previous post-secondary education with particular weight accorded to performance in the prerequisite degree(s) and in other recent programs;
  • the potential of the applicant for graduate study, as attested in the letters of reference;
  • the quality of the applicant's statement of intent;
  • the availability of qualified faculty resources in the applicant's proposed area of research;
  • evidence that the applicant is likely to complete the program.
Prerequisite Education and Experience
  • Master of Divinity (MDiv), or its equivalent, from a recognized college or university*, with a B+ average or better.
  • Baccalaureate degree (or its equivalent) from a recognized college or university.
  • Minimum of three years’ experience in the practice of ministry is required following the MDiv degree, or equivalent degree.
  • Engagement in a recognized ministry (normally full-time), which will serve as the "ministry base" during this period of advanced professional study.

*All theological schools fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada are deemed to be recognized institutions.

Fluency in English

An applicant whose first language is other than English must provide evidence of the ability to comprehend, speak, and write English at the graduate level.