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School of Theology and Ministry

Doctor of Ministry


*While working full time in a ministry setting 

Seattle University's Doctor of Ministry degree is designed with action in mind. Student-practitioners are challenged to see their world differently--their church or organization, their work, their context. And to not stop there! Participants seek to serve and impact our evolving local and global community in real ways. Doctor of Ministry graduates are equipped to be mindful agents of change, as influential leaders for good and social justice.

The program begins with a summer residency related to Pastoral Leadership. Students then identify an area of growth or specialization while they work to develop expertise around that area, creating specific responses to the people groups of focus. The program is built with a deep recognition of the nuanced context of our evolving world--the realities of globalization, cultural and religious diversity, hunger for spirituality, and socio-economic marginalization. The program melds areas of advanced study with an advanced leadership focus, culminating with the completion of a major research project.


See here for upcoming Doctor of Ministry Information Sessions.

Unique Components

Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry faculty are known both nationally and internationally for their entrepreneurial, interdisciplinary, and integrative approaches to the challenges facing church communities today. The school is one of eight colleges at Seattle University, an exemplary institution of higher learning that U.S. News and World Report ranks sixth among universities located west of the Mississippi River. The School of Theology and Ministry has an international reputation for its ecumenical efforts at promoting Christian unity and cooperation. It is also known for pastoral leadership, interreligious encounter, dialogue and collaboration. Immersed in these charisms, student-practitioners in the Doctor of Ministry program deepen their own religious identity, celebrate the gifts of other traditions, and engage religious and spiritual values in public debate about the common good. Developing colleagues of collaboration, graduates expand their capacity for leading congregations and religiously affiliated organizations.

What Alumni are Doing

  • Denominational Executives or Senior Leadership Pastors
  • Executive, Social Service or Faith-Based Organizations
  • Religious Publishing / Religious Education Development
  • Professor / Instructor, Seminary Faculty
  • Senior Leadership in Ecumenical and Interreligious Organizations
  • Senior Leadership Positions in Ecclesial Communities

Residency Considerations

Summer residencies in the month of July over a two-year period is required of all DMin students. In the first year, an additional one week of residency is required in the Fall Quarter and one week in the Winter Quarter. Courses are available in a variety of learning modules, including transfer options, weekend and summer intensives, and hybrid distance learning availability throughout the program of study.

Admission Requirements

Applicants are required to have earned a Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution with no less than a 3.0 cumulative grade point average, on a scale of 4.0. Equivalency may be obtained, at the discretion of the Admissions Committee, by such factors as possession of two master’s degrees in fields related to ministry. Students not meeting these requirements are encouraged to take graduate theological courses, which may be accepted, along with other graduate degrees already obtained, towards equivalency. Ministerial experience may not be considered as equivalent of, or a substitute for, the MDiv degree. International students must present an acceptable score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).
The Doctor of Minsitry requires a demonstrated exercise of pastoral leadership. References from communities or organizations served by the applicant will attest to the applicants leadership of the community. Those wishing to pursue the Doctor of Ministry degree must have completed a minimum of three years of full-time professional ministerial experience subsequent to the MDiv degree or its equivalent.
All applicants must be currently involved in Church ministry or a related leadership position. One recommender must attest to the applicant’s religious, moral and intellectual qualifications for ministry. The recommender must: A) be someone who is qualified to attest to the applicant’s academic ability; B) be from a person who knows the quality of the applicant’s pastoral ministry/ leadership.

Application Checklist

Infographic: Timeline

This infographic illustrates how the Doctor of Ministry degree trajectory provides options for students that seek to graduate with a Pastoral Leadership certificate after the discernment process. Please direct any follow-up questions to Jean Adler Stean, M.Div--our Admissions Coordinator:  |  206.296.5333.

Click SUSTM_DMIN_PMC-PL_Candidacy(1) for a downloadable PDF of the infographic.