Professional Doctoral Degree Program

Conjoint Doctor of Ministry (DMin) Program

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

At the Toronto School of Theology (TST), you will experience a flexible, ecumenical, cross-cultural program that draws on your own expertise in ministry, and enables you to pursue your most fascinating and urgent questions about ministry. Intended for those with a Master of Divinity or equivalent Master’s degree, the DMin is a doctoral degree offered conjointly with the University of Toronto. Your studies will be supported by the vast resources of the University of Toronto and the member colleges of TST, including world renowned faculty and one of the best library systems in North America.

This four-year program allows you to work full-time in your ministry context, spending 2-3 weeks on campus at the University of Toronto each spring. Other program requirements are fulfilled right where you live and serve.

Overview of the Program

The Doctor of Ministry program is designed to provide advanced study for persons who are already engaged in the practice of ministry in its varied forms. The 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 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.

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

  • A Collaborative learning group (CLG) that meets together on campus for two weeks each June, and continues to provide support and inspiration online throughout the year. This group will work through three core courses together: Contextual Theology; Theology of Ministry; and Qualitative Research Methods.
  • A Ministry Base Group (MBG) involves individuals from your own ministry context who are co-learners on your journey – offering wisdom, support and insights into your unique ministry practices.
  • 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 college of registration (one of the TST member colleges), 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 finally, create and defend a thesis that integrates theology, practice and context.

The Doctor of Ministry program is designed to provide advanced study for persons who are already engaged in the practice of ministry in its varied forms. The 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 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.

Admission Requirements

1.  The applicant must have a baccalaureate degree (or its equivalent) from a recognized college or university and a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree (or its equivalent) accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, with a B+ average or better.

2.  A minimum of three years’ experience in the practice of ministry is required following the MDiv degree or its equivalency.

3.  Be engaged in a recognized ministry (normally full-time), which will serve as the ministry base during this period of advanced professional study.

4.  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. One of the following will constitute prima facie evidence of such ability:

  • Evidence of an earned degree from a recognized post-secondary institution where the language of instruction and examination is English.
  • A satisfactory result on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants requesting the transmittal of results should use the TST institution code 0655 and the department code 99. On the paper-based TOEFL, the minimum satisfactory score is 580 with a 5.0 in the Test of Written English (TWE). On the computer-based TOEFL, the minimum satisfactory score is 250. On the internet-based TOEFL, the minimum satisfactory total score is 93, with at least 22 on the Writing section and 22 on the Speaking section.
  • A grade of B in the advanced (level 60) Academic Preparation course in the English Language Program of the School of Continuing Studies of the University of Toronto, or equivalent standing at a comparable institution.

5.  Computer literacy: This program requires the ability to communicate with peers and professors online as well as the skill to utilize standard computer software (e.g., Word, Adobe Acrobat, etc.) and online research tools.

How to Apply

See application requirements and the online application form here.

Phase I: Orientation

Year 1 - One-Week Orientation at the end of April (Date TBD)

  • Group process, introduction to the learning philosophy of the program, meeting  GCTS Academic Administrators and Staff, College Faculty Advisors, College Registrars, DMin Alumni, library workshop, introduction to online learning tools and more.

Phase II: Coursework - For Summer 2022 Cohort Courses will be delivered remotely

Year 1 - Two-Week Residential in June

  • TSM5020H - Contextual Theology or TSM5021H - Theology of Ministry (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

  • TSM5020H - Contextual Theology or TSM5021H - Theology of Ministry (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

  • TSM5022H - Qualitative Research Methods
  • TSM5023H - DMin Comprehensive Paper
  • 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 DMin Thesis

The various components of the DMin program are described in detail in the official Graduate Conjoint Degree Handbook. However, they can be summarized and mapped in the following sequence:

1.  Inquiry through Registration (view PDF chart, download PPSX narrated slide)

2.  Coursework (view PDF chart, download PPSX narrated slide)

3.  Comprehensive Examination

3a.  Preparing for the Comprehensive Examination (view PDF chart, download PPSX narrated slide)

3b.  Process for the Comprehensive Examination (view PDF chart, download PPSX narrated slide)

4.  Thesis Proposal (view PDF chart, download PPSX narrated slide)

5.  Thesis Writing (view PDF chart, download PPSX narrated slide)

6.  Thesis Submission (view PDF chart, download PPSX narrated slide)

7.  Final Oral Examination (view PDF chart, download PPSX narrated slide)

8.  Appendix: Leaves of Absence, Extensions, Delays, Halts, Failure

8a.  Leaves of Absence, Extensions, Delays (view PDF chart, download PPSX narrated slide)

8b.  Halts and Failures (view PDF chart, download PPSX narrated slide)

COVID-19:  Due to Public Health Restrictions DMin Orientation for incoming students and cohort courses for all years (summer residential) will be delivered remotely.

2022 DMin Orientation: Dates to be determined. Attendance at DMin Orientation is required for all incoming DMin students - watch your inbox for email notification.

Cohort Classes: Please see Summer 2022 Course Calendar for information on cohort courses. Registration is completed through ACORN. For information on registering for courses through ACORN please contact your college registrar.