The Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree was first established at Austin Seminary in the 1973-1974 academic year. Through the years, the DMin program has grown and evolved into one that offers help those actively engaged in ministry explore and deepen their knowledge in an area of their professional interest. Students come together on the Austin Seminary campus for two sessions of coursework each January and June.

The DMin program underwent extensive review by the Austin Seminary faculty during the 2009-2010 academic year, culminating in a new curriculum in January 2011. With this new curriculum, DMin students now have the opportunity to explore four areas of concentration through which to develop a particular area of ministry that most interests them. The four focus areas are the Bible and the Practice of Ministry, the Church’s Life and the Practice of Ministry, Theology and the Practice of Ministry, and Proclamation and Worship.

What does the DMin program look like?

DMin students are typically actively engaged in the work of ministry and seeking to renew their pastoral creativity, expand on theological knowledge, improve pastoral leadership, or strengthen their pastoral gifts. The program offers flexibility to meet each student’s vocational goals and ministry setting.

The program is composed of three phases: foundational courses, areas of concentration, and the doctoral project.

The DMin program begins for all students with a foundational course Ministry and Context which introduces students to tools and methods for assessing one's ecclesial context with appeal to various ethnographic, systemic, cultural, and congregational studies approaches. The second foundational course, The Doctoral Seminar, introduces students to various methods for reflecting theologically on the practice of ministry in one's particular context.

After completing the two foundational courses, students take four electives in their area of concentration. The program then culminates with a final doctoral project.

Areas of Concentration

The Bible and the Practice of Ministry

This program emphasizes the theological, literary, social, and historical world of the biblical origins. It seeks to develop a critical understanding of various ways in which the biblical text is and has been interpreted in a range of ministry contexts. Courses are designed to further professional growth and promote excellence in the student’s preaching and teaching ministry.

The Church’s Life and the Practice of Ministry

This area focuses on the church’s shared life, including the various ways the Christian community is called to embody its faith in practice.  Students reflect on the church’s normative practices of education and formation, care and counseling, missions and evangelism.

Proclamation and Worship

Students in this concentration study the history, theology, and ritual actions of worship. They examine the historical, biblical, performative, rhetorical, theological, and contextual aspects of proclamation.

Theology and the Practice of Ministry

This concentration deepens the student’s understanding of theology, ethics, history, and comparative religion as these practices relate to the practice of ministry. Students focus on theological or ethical questions that arise in communities of faith and human society, examine the interplay between contemporary questions and classical doctrines, explore challenges and opportunities in Christian ministry, and probe the history of Christian traditions with an eye to the church’s future.

Thank you for your service

After faithfully serving as the Director of Doctor of Ministry program since 2003, David Lee Jones has resigned his position in order to pursue other vocational interests. His last day at Austin Seminary will be February 28, 2012. He has provided leadership and vision that has strengthened the DMin program, and he has made many additional contributions to the life and mission of Austin Seminary. He will be missed.

A search for a new Director of Doctor of Ministry will begin in the coming weeks. The DMin program continues to be a priority of Austin Seminary and students' degree programs will continue without interruption. In this period of transition, please direct all questions or concerns related to the DMin program to Allan Cole, Academic Dean at 512-404-4821 or


for June 2012 DMin Term is

Feburary 1

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