Doctor of Ministry Program | The Interdenominational Theological Center

Doctor of Ministry Program


The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) Program at ITC



  Welcome to ITC’s Doctor of Ministry Program!


The Doctor of Ministry degree program is offered to qualified men and women currently engaged in ministry, through the Atlanta Theological Association (A.T.A.), which is composed of Interdenominational Theological Center, Candler School of Theology, Columbia Theological Seminary, Erskine Theological Seminary, and the Georgia Association of Pastoral Care (GAPC).

The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min) degree is the highest professional degree for women and men already successfully engaged in ministry. This program enables leaders in Christian ministry to increase their vocational effectiveness.  Generally, the degree serves people who have earned the M.Div. degree, are ordained, and are currently serving as associate or senior pastors, military chaplains, pastoral care counselors, Christian educators, and administrators and executives of non-traditional church-related or other para-church Christian institutions.

In the United States, as well as the global community, well-educated religious leaders have, for generations, been important to the life of the Church. American colleges and universities were organized to train such persons. Then graduate theological schools followed as the need for increased educational enrichment of leaders became necessary. Now it is clear that formal college and theological seminary studies, in and of themselves, cannot furnish enough preparation for a pastor in the contemporary world. As soon as a pastor is ordained she/he must begin a life-long program of continuing learning to keep abreast of a changing world and find new ways to relate God’s eternal truth to ever changing human needs.

Our Goals

Reflecting the institutional goals of ITC, the Doctor of Ministry Program exist to educate men and women for leadership in Christ’s Church and the world, to encourage scholarly research and publications related to Africa and the Diaspora African religious experience, the African-American Church, and the church universal, and to develop and sustain partnerships that enhances the education of students, provide opportunities for community service, and foster interreligious dialogue. We enhance the academic life of ITC by building upon existing faculty strengths and increasing institutional resources in each degree program, joint degree program, continuing/distance education program, and the library to advance and improve academic excellence and productivity. We also foster a collaborative and intellectually stimulating community that promotes an ethos of academic freedom, mutual respect, and integrity, high expectations of academic, spiritual, and professional achievement and work productivity for its students, faculty, administrators and staff and provides community rituals and programs in order to engender loyalty, commitment and a sense of community

Our Curriculum Design

The Doctor of Ministry program is designed to continue the education of persons for their ministry in the church and in related institutional settings.  It is intended to provide an advanced, yet flexible, education for those whose vocation as servants of people and servants of Jesus Christ implies their future disciplined reflection upon and possibly their future specialization within their own ministry.  The program rests on a base of general theological preparation and moves toward an area of concentration that permits the student to explore the conjunction of theory, experience and professional intentions in ministry. . A distinctive feature for the Doctor of Ministry degree is the doctoral project, which focuses that exploration upon an aspect of the future professional work of the student. The following is offered as an overview of the academic courses required in the Doctor of Ministry Program:

 Seminar on Ministry (ATA – 900) 6 hours credit

 Research Methods and Advanced Writing Seminar (ATA – 905) 3 hours credit

 Theological Reflection Seminar (ATA – 910) 3 hours credit

 Leadership and the Practice of Ministry Seminar/Part One (ATA – 915) 3 hours credit

 Leadership and the Practice of Ministry Seminar/Part Two (ATA – 920) 3 hours credit

 Biblical Reflection Seminar (ATA – 928) 3 hours credit

 Theoretical/Practical Reflection Seminar (ATA – 930) 3 hours credit

 Proposal/Project Seminar (ATA – 935) (Part 1) 3 hours credit

 Proposal/Project Seminar (ATA – 940) (Part 2) 3 hours credit

 Dissertation Seminar /Part one (ATA – 945) 3 hours credit

 Dissertation Seminar/Part two (ATA – 950) 3 hours credit


36 hours

Participation in a total of at least thirty-six semester hours of work is required. It should be noted that in some instances a student may be required to take additional work in a designated area in order to complete satisfactorily the qualifying examination, at which point the student is admitted to candidacy, and given permission to begin the Doctoral Project/Dissertation.

The Integration of Ministry

Two major aims of the program are: (a) the achievement of an integrated understanding of ministry from biblical, historical, theological, social and personal perspectives, and (b) to focus academic and experiential learning around those tasks of ministry significant to the ongoing ministry of the student.  The Doctor of Ministry objectives are complex because they touch several levels of an educational process concerned not only with disciplines but also with persons and institutions. Governing all goals, however, is the aim that the program directly strengthens a student’s own ministry of service. All other purposes lose their significance unless that intention is understood and honored. The program features undergird the basic D.Min. aim: to strengthen the ministry of its students.

Our Uniqueness

Because the program is a continuing education program, its students already have extensive experience in ministry. They expect to deepen that experience, and they are selected with this potential in mind.  As an ecumenical program the D.Min. course ranges throughout the household of God. Essential to living in that household is the model of transformative and prophetic leadership that Christ gave his followers. Our program is also a missional program, witnessing to Christ in word, deed, action and lifestyle, forming the most exacting proof that theological education has taken place. . The program is called a Doctor of Ministry course because it intends that its graduates will be, literally, “teachers of ministry.” It presumes that the bearer will so understand his/her personal stake in ministry that its essence will be learned by those whom the minister serves.

Faculty-Advisor Led

The faculty is recognized experts in their fields who want to share their lives, as well as their expertise.  Here is a list of our current Doctor of Ministry faculty, faculty mentors, and faculty readers.

Dr. Maisha Handy Christian Education
Dr. Charles Thomas Leadership Development
Dr. Harold Bennett Hebrew Scripture
Dr. Melva Costen Christian Music and Worship
Dr. Willie Goodman Pastoral Leadership
Dr. Vanessa Lovelace Old Testament Studies
Dr. Riggins Earl Christian Ethics
Dr. Randy Bailey Hebrew Scriptures
Dr. Dorothy Akoto New Testament Studies
Dr. Beverly Wallace Pastoral Care
Dr. Love Henry Whelchel
Dr. Keith Slaughter
Dr. Daniel Shin
Dr. Mark Ellingsen
Dr. Jeffery Tribble
Dr. Lynne Darden
Church History
Pastoral Care
Theology and Evangelism
Church History
Congregational Studies
Hebrew Scriptures

Cohort Based

Because ITC believes the best learning occurs within relationships, so we limit the size of our cohorts so you can develop personal relationships with each other. Your academic pilgrimage will be with classmates who share your passion. You may come from different geographic, cultural, ethnic and ministry backgrounds, but you will gather here to learn together and form friendships that will last a lifetime.

Admissions Requirements

Are you an international student? Please contact the ITC Registrar concerning the international admissions requirements.

Qualified applicants will have a Master of Divinity degree (or its academic equivalent) with a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited school as well as three years of full–time vocational experience. This program is designed for ministers.

Tuition & Fees

Please contact the ITC Business Office to obtain the total tuition cost for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

Financial Aid

ITC does have some financial assistance available for the Doctor of Ministry degree.  In addition, students are encouraged to seek financial support from denominations, denominational affiliated bodies, the military, and other supportive professional educational networks.


Application Information

Please contact the Doctor of Ministry office to obtain an application or application information.  April 15th is the deadline for receiving applications.

Please Contact US:


Interdenominational Theological Center

700 Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, SW

Atlanta, Georgia  30314

Phone:  404-527-7763

FAX:  404-527-0901

Dr. Marsha Snulligan Haney, Director:

Ms. Melody Berry, Office Administrator: MBerry




The D.Min. degree is a “professional” degree, what do you mean by that?
The Doctor of Ministry degree is designed to help participants to further develop the highest levels of expertise in church, parish, parachurch, and missionary service. The D.Min. degree is similar to other professional degrees like a J.D. or M.D. in that it provides students with a practical education focused on perfecting practical skills. The D.Min. degree is designed for those working in a full time ministry capacity.

Why should I get a D.Min. from ITC?
The Doctor of Ministry degree at ITC offers the following:

  • Reflective integration of Scripture, ministry, research, and a practical theological approach
  • Effective and holistic models of leadership development with a focus on what God is doing in the world
  • Partnership with qualified faculty and experienced colleagues in order to develop leadership and ministry within your unique context.
  • A flexible educational enrichment opportunity for leaders.

What if I don’t have a M.Div degree?

We recognize the value of persons interested in obtaining the Doctor of Ministry degree, but who do not possess a M.Div. degree, and are currently making plans to develop a pre-D. Min. program for such persons. To see if you qualify, stay in contact with our Doctor of Ministry office and request a preliminary evaluation.

What if I don’t have three years of ministry experience post-graduation?
The Doctor of Ministry program is designed for vocational ministers. The ministry experience requirement validates that a student is actually ministering. If you wonder if your experience qualifies, please contact the D.Min. office.

How long will it take to get my D.Min. degree?

Successful completion of the Doctor of Ministry program includes three years of residency work and the completion of a thesis-project, which may take an additional year or two. Most students complete their degree in three years. However, students are permitted sever years from the start date of their first residency to complete the program.

I’m in ministry and have a family, can I still find time to complete the D.Min. program?
The ITC Doctor of Ministry program does not require full-time residence and provides the opportunity for church leaders and other Christian professionals to pursue intensive advanced study while remaining employed on a full-time basis in their vocational settings.

We promise not to bog you down with academic busy work. What you do in the classroom will be directly and immediately relevant to your ministry, however you will need to utilize your time management skills to balance ministry, family, and this advanced study.

How much time do I need to spend on campus?

The first semester D.Min. students are required to be on campus Monday through Wednesday, during the first week of each month.  The second semester students are required to be on campus only two consecutive days in a month.  The second and third years offers more flexibility. In addition, students may need to set aside time to come to campus to meet with their faculty mentors as they work on their thesis-project. Students are required to be present for the formal presentation of their thesis-projects and Graduation Ceremony.

What is a faculty advisor?

Each student is assigned faculty advisor who will function in an advisory capacity throughout the execution of the doctoral project. The doctoral project/dissertation committee normally consists of three persons but may include more. Normally two members must be from the ITC faculty and will include the student’s advisor, who usually serves as the committee chairperson. A third member of the committee may be selected from the setting of the student’s actual ministry.


Do I have to write a dissertation project?

The writing of the doctoral project/dissertation is the culmination of your work in the program and is a requirement to obtaining your D.Min. degree. This project/dissertation project is similar in scope and effort to a PhD dissertation, but your thesis-project will address a practical ministry issue relevant to you or your local church.


Is there a dissertation-project oral defense?

The project dissertation is formally presented and evaluated by your dissertation committee which is comprised on your faculty advisor, faculty reader and a third reader who is usually a colleague from your context of ministry. When student and committee work together as prescribed the handbook, the defense is an affirming and collaborative process.


The 2013 Commencement Ceremony

Congratulations and blessings to all our 2013 Doctor of Ministry Graduates!


First Row: Bobby F. Currie, Monica Redmond, Diana D. Mitchell, Alicia C. Tulloss, Lavonia E. McIntyre, Meta V. Broadnax

Second Row: Terrance J. Gattis, Sargent R. Nelson, Daniel L. Russell Jr., Willie Clyde, Steven D. Jones


(Meta Verna Broadnax)

Theological, Biblical, Excerpts from Hebrew and Greek Text:  Perspective for Tithing in the Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God of the Americas – Committee Chair: Dr. Marsha Snulligan-Haney

(Eunice Clement)

Redeveloping and outreach Program through excellent worship at Altar of Grace Church as a Pentecostal denomination – Committee Chair: Dr. Willie Goodman


(Willie Clyde)

Transitional leadership as a Paradigm for the Growth and Development of the African American church – Committee Chair:  Dr. Steve C. Rasor


(Bobby A. Currie)

Addressing Unresolved Issues of Child Molestation:  A Process of Healing for Adult Survivors – Committee Chair:  Dr. Christian Chapman


(Terrence Gattis)

Beyond the Walls of the Church:  A Strategy for Implementing a Community Outreach Ministry – Committee Chair: Dr. Marsha Snulligan-Haney


(Stephen Dennis Jones)

The church and Alcoholism:  A Model for Empowering Rivertown United Methodist church to Defeat Alcoholism – Committee Chair: Dr. Steve C. Rasor


(Lavonia McIntyre)

Scratching the Stained Glass Ceiling:  Inspiring Women Through the Voices of Other Women – Committee Chair: Dr. Beverly Wallace


(Diana Moye-Mitchell)

Helping Black Pentecostal church Leaders construct a Dialogue on Black Women Sexuality that Dispels negative Stereotypes & Behaviors, thus Creating Positive Images of God’s Creation – Committee Chair:  Dr. Margaret Aymer


(Sargent Ramone Nelson Sr.)

The Chronicity of Incarceration-An African American Chaplain Helping Men Incarcerated for Reentry to theCommunity – Committee Chair: Dr. Beverly Wallace


(Monica Redmond)

Finding a Missional Church Identity – Committee Chair: Dr. Christian Chapman


(Daniel L. Russell)

The Development of New Life Christian Academy:  A Resourceful K-5 to 12th Grade Christian School Established in a Rural Setting, on St. Helena Island, South Carolina – Committee Chair: Dr. Steve C. Rasor


(Alicia Tulloss)

The Pastoral Care Professional as Pastor Alarmist and Holistic Caregiver:  Addressing the Church Going Experiences of Black Youth through Pastoral Care and Psychodrama – Committee Chair: Dr. Willie Goodman

The First Annual Doctor of Ministry Education Conference

Dr. Marsha Snullingan Haney, Director of the Doctor of Ministry Program

Dr. Betty R. Jones, Co-Moderators

Dr. Terrance J. Gattis – 2013, Master of Ceremony

Dr. Keith M. Wilks – 2012, Presenter, Bridging Hospice and Church: Preparing Members to be Volunteers

Dr. Diana Moye-Mitchell – 2013, Presenter, Helping Black Pentecostal church Leaders construct a Dialogue on Black Women Sexuality that Dispels negative Stereotypes & Behaviors, thus Creating Positive Images of God’s Creation


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The Farewell Luncheon for Retiring Doctor of Ministry Director, Dr. Steven Rasor