Professional Doctoral Degree Program: Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

Doctor of Ministry Program


The DMin program, within the Toronto School of Theology (TST), is designed to assist students in gaining advanced expertise in the practice of ministry as well as advanced skill in a specialized area of research particular to their ministry. The normal length of the program is four years.

Centre for the Study of Ministry      Study Sequence
Admission Requirements Dates for Orientation & Summer Residentials
How to Apply Bursary Information



A Letter from the Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program

Dear Colleague in Ministry,

Thank you for considering the Doctor of Ministry program at Toronto School of Theology.

The DMin program, in its 39th year of operation, is the oldest in Canada having been established in 1977. The degree is conferred by the college of registration and the University of Toronto.  Since its inception the DMin program has faithfully served the church through its graduates whose ministry and leadership have been recognized and appreciated in Canada and internationally. 

In 2012 the program was redesigned for persons living across Canada, as well as those beyond our borders. This model is based on a flexible delivery system which includes some online learning, reading and research courses, and intensive in-class learning experiences. The strength of its cohort learning approach, characteristic of the TST DMin program, is established through face to face study during intensive weeks on campus and continued communication with one's cohort throughout the academic year. Ongoing interaction is maintained between the student in their ministry environment, teaching faculty, and their home college. This model truly captures what it means to learn in the context of ministry.

The TST, with its seven member colleges, creates a learning environment unparalleled in Canada. This is a place where ministry is not only taught but one where it is lived out in a diversity that closely resembles the pluralism and ecumenical nature of our society. We are about church and ministry in our contemporary world.

Imagine what this rich learning experience could offer you and those you serve. Please contact me if you have questions or want to explore the possibilities further.

With very best wishes,

Joseph Schner, SJ 
Director, Doctor of Ministry Program

Overview of the Program

To achieve its goals of facilitating growth toward higher excellence and competence of those in ministry, the DMin program has eight essential components, which are at work developmentally through three phases as outlined in section 3 of the DMin Handbook. At key points in these phases, there is supervision and evaluation by faculty, the DMin Director and the Academic Committee of the Centre for the Study of Ministry. In addition, there is ongoing self, peer and ministry-based evaluation.

The DMin Program provides various kinds of learning and evaluation that are self-directed, communal, interdisciplinary and integrative in nature. These experiences aim at helping students achieve a high level of competence in their practice of ministry and prepares them to propose and carry out the DMin Thesis. The components of the DMin program integral to achieving these goals include:

  • the Collaborative Learning Group (CLG) which is engaged both on campus during summer residentials and online throughout the academic year;
  • the development of an Individual Learning Plan (ILP);
  • a Ministry Base Group (MBG);
  • a College Faculty Advisor;
  • a Comprehensive Examining Committee;
  • a DMin Thesis Director;
  • the DMin Thesis Proposal Committee; and 
  • the DMin Thesis Examining Committee.

These components are operative in different phases of the program.

The Learning Format

The learning format has been designed and is being implemented in accordance with the guidelines provided by the University of Toronto School of Graduate Studies (SGS) and the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies (OCGS). In so doing, this degree is conjointly awarded by the TST and the University of Toronto.

This degree fulfils its residency requirement through on-campus intensive learning experiences. These occur within the first three years of the degree program in a manner which is compatible with the activities of practitioners engaged in active ministry. These collegial learning experiences are important. Each person brings a wealth of learning and experience to the group. These face-to-face experiences allow group dynamics to develop and encourages the contribution of each participant to enrich the learning environment.

Prior to each core course, students will find online outlines and study materials to enhance the learning experience. The course readings are assigned and assignments will be completed after coming to campus. This will be supported by conversations between the Collaborative Learning Group, the course instructor, and the DMin Director. In this way, the learning cohort continues even at a distance.

Each core course within the program will be tailored to allow the student to examine more closely their area of study. In most cases, this will be done by focusing the assignments for the course in the student's area of research interest. Elective courses may be taken in one of three ways. Graduate degree courses may be taken on campus at one of TST's member colleges, or through reading and research courses that are designed in cooperation with TST faculty who have Graduate-level teaching status. Additionally, courses may be taken at other recognized universities or seminaries with the approval of the Academic Committee of the Centre for the Study of Ministry. All elective courses must be approved by the Director of the DMin program and the student's Individual Learning Plan Committee.

You will find a study sequence for the program here.

Library Resources and Policies

DMin students who study at a distance from Toronto can take advantage of the interlibrary loan system. Information about interlibrary loan is available here.

To inquire further about the information above, contact the DMin Program Administrator.