Skip to main content

Admission to the Doctor of Ministry Program

To be considered for admission to the D.Min. Program, a candidate must have received the Master of Divinity degree or its equivalent from an accredited school with a minimum grade-point average of B (3.00).

Leveling courses that provide a pathway to the D.Min. for applicants not holding an M.Div. degree are offered for those who have completed an accredited Master’s degree other than the M.Div. degree (see Pathway to the D.Min. Program).

Application Procedures

Applicants must submit the following materials:

  • A completed Doctor of Ministry application (online).
  • Official transcripts from all colleges, universities and seminaries attended. These must be mailed directly to the HJI Office of Admissions from the issuing institution. If the original transcript is in a language other than English, the applicant must also submit the English translation.
  • Two recommendation letters of which one must attest to the applicant’s ministry. Recommendation letters by persons related by blood or marriage to the applicant are not acceptable.
  • An autobiographical statement in the form of an extended essay. The essay should be 5-7 pages long and include:
    1. A review of past and current ministerial experience
    2. Reasons why the applicant wishes to pursue the D.Min. degree
    3. A theological reflection on the applicant’s ministerial goals
  • An interview with the chair of the D.Min. Program
  • One digital photograph
  • English Language Proficiency score of 80 on the TOEFL iBT, or 6.5 on IELTS, or 56 on Pearson Test of English (for non- native English speakers and whose M.Div. degree is from a non-English speaking institution).
  • Proof of immunization for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR). Students born before 1/1/1957 are exempted from this requirement.
  • A completed “Meningococcal Meningitis Response Form”.
  • Application fee of $30.00.

Application requests and questions should be sent to Mr. Steven Boyd, the Dean of Enrollment Management, at

Admission Status

Students who are accepted into the Doctor of Ministry Program will be given either Full Standing – all required docu­ments have been received, or Provisional Standing – not all required documents have been received.

Conditional Status may be given to doctoral applicants with missing pathway courses.

There is no Special Status in the D. Min. Program.

Pathway to the D.Min. Program

Candidates who have completed a Master’s degree other than the M.Div. degree must complete an M.Div. Leveling series of courses before admission to the D.Min. Program. Completing these leveling courses does not result in the conferral of the M.Div. degree. Its purpose is to qualify the applicant for pursuing admission to the D.Min. Program.

The courses required for leveling will be determined by the Chair of the D.Min. Program, based on a review of the student’s transcripts, admissions essay and the admissions interview with the Chair. The evaluation is based on the following criteriaas prescribed by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) Standard 5:

  1. The ability to thoughtfully interpret scripture and the theological tradition of one’s ministry context,
  2. The capacity to understand and adapt one’s ministry to the cultural context,
  3. A basic self-understanding of one’s ministerial identity and vocational calling,
  4. A readiness to engage in ongoing personal and spiritual formation for one’s ministry,
  5. An accredited master’s degree (or its educational equivalent) in an area related to one’s ministry setting or vocational calling, and
  6. Significant ministerial experience that enables the applicant to engage as a ministry peer with other students in this advanced professional doctorate.

In line with these criteria, a student who has completed a Master’s degree other than the M.Div. degree must complete leveling courses.

  • Students with a non-theological Master’s degree will complete 24 credits of leveling courses.
  • Students with a theological Master’s degree other than the M.Div. will complete up to 18 credits of leveling courses. (See list below)
  • One Unit of CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) is highly recommended for applicants with no prior ministry or theological background, in addition to the 24 credits of leveling courses.

Leveling courses to be completed for entrance to the D.Min. Program


  • SCR 5131 Hebrew Bible
  • SCR 5141 New Testament Foundations
  • 1 course in the history of Christianity: LTR 5131/5132 History of Christianity 1 or 2
  • THE 5131 Systematic Theology
  • MIN 5107 Leadership and Congregational Development
  • PAS 5101 Pastoral Care and Counseling

Recommended (depending on the student’s background and ministerial focus)

  • A second course in scriptural studies
  • THE 5141 Ethics and Social Justice
  • LTR 5513 World Religions and the Encounter with Christianity
  • MIN 5106 Ecumenism and Interfaith
  • MIN 5102 Worship and Liturgy
  • MIN 5104 Homiletics
  • EDU 5311 Spiritual Formation
  • PAS 5312 Theories and Techniques of Counseling
  • PAS 5501 Marriage and Family Counseling