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Program Outcomes

The Doctor of Ministry in spiritual formation and ministry leadership offers a comprehensive curriculum track that focuses on the real-world skills ministry leaders need today. The ultimate goal is to renew and transform ministry leaders, churches, and communities toward those of Jesus Christ.

In general, the goals of the Doctor of Ministry Program focus on growth in specific skills for spiritual formation and ministry leadership. In this context, doctoral scholarship and research are emphasized to bring theory and praxis into practical ministry application. The program seeks to accomplish these goals by focusing on the following outcomes:

  1. Personal Spiritual Formation: Students will learn the theory and practice of personal spiritual formation, develop habits for continued spiritual growth, develop a theology of spiritual formation, and apply this knowledge personally.
  2. Ministry Leadership: Students will gain knowledge of leadership development, personal leadership styles, the art of spiritual leadership, and learn how to apply this knowledge in ministry practice.
  3. Community Impact: Students will study historical and contemporary church movements and reflect on contemporary concerns in the practice of ministry. Students will learn how to apply their knowledge in local ministry practice and will make a contribution to the greater Christian community.

Spiritual Life

The faculty of Azusa Pacific Seminary believe that the growth of the student’s spiritual life is foundational to effective ministry. Accordingly, the development of spiritual life is integral to every course. In addition, there are opportunities for the graduate school community to pray together and share experiences in Jesus Christ. Students and faculty are encouraged to attend the university chapels as well as special services and lectures.

Experiential Learning

Azusa Pacific Seminary utilizes an experiential learning model. The Master of Divinity (M.Div.), Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies (MAPS), Master of Arts in Youth Ministry (MAYM), and the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) programs intentionally integrate biblical, theological, and ministerial studies with ministerial practice. Field education, the central component in the M.Div., MAPS, and MAYM degree programs, facilitates the integration of academic learning and experience in ministry. Students are required to devote at least eight hours per week to some form of supervised ministry for the duration of their master’s degree program.

For more information about field education, visit

Class Schedule and Size

Azusa Pacific Seminary at Azusa Pacific University conducts a year-round schedule. The majority of the programs adhere to 15-week semesters. The D.Min., however, runs on a 26-week semester.

Classroom experience is in concentrated sessions during two-week residency periods held each January and July.

Students benefit from personal attention and opportunities to build meaningful relationships with professors and peers with diversified ministerial experience.

Instructional Format

Each course is structured to include three components which incorporate the theoretical, practical, and collegial aspects of the learning experience:

  1. Preliminary Reading
    Assigned reading that must be completed prior to the classroom experience, fulfilling a requirement of 1,800–2,000 pages of reading for a three-unit course and 2,400–2,500 pages for a four-unit course. The reading provides the theoretical basis for the analysis of practical situations in ministry.
  2. Classroom Experience (English program)
    Classroom experience for the D.Min. is in concentrated sessions during two-week residency periods held each January and July. The residency periods involve significant interaction with a faculty instructor in a peerlearning, seminar format. The faculty instructor serves as a facilitator of discussion in a collegial atmosphere, using his or her academic and practical experience to bring in-depth analysis, critical thinking, integration, and application to the topic.
  3. Classroom Experience (Korean program)
    The Doctor of Ministry Korean program follows APU’s academic calendar. Each class meets multiple times during the semester in one-day intensive sessions utilizing lecture and discussion formats. In this way, courses provide opportunity for critical reflection and application of content over a period of several months.
  4. Grading
    Students must achieve a minimum grade of B- in order to receive credit for work in a course. If a student receives a grade of C+ or lower in a course, the course may be repeated, and the new grade, if higher, will replace the former grade in the computation of the grade-point average.
  5. Course Project
    An extensive post-classroom project provides an opportunity to synthesize the reading and the classroom discussions and apply them to a ministerial situation. The results of this reflection are then submitted in the form of a paper with a minimum length of 5,000 words (20 pages).

Emphasis in Transformational Servant Leadership

This emphasis, featuring professors such as internationally recognized servant leadership expert Tony Baron, helps students form a transformational vision of leadership that enables them to become true servants who make a difference in the lives of others. This emphasis features retreat settings in San Diego and Azusa, small cohorts, and coursework that enables students to cultivate expertise in a specialized area of ministry.

Request more information or apply now, and when your enrollment counselor contacts you, be sure to mention your interest in the transformational servant leadership emphasis.

Missional Church Leadership Cohort

This cohort highlights ministry leadership in specific socio-cultural contexts and includes assessment processes that use frameworks designed to evaluate students’ readiness for engaging systems in missional transformation. Courses cover issues related to missional leadership development, leadership assessment processes, organizational systems and change, and theological frameworks for transformational leadership. The curriculum centers on the theological themes of social Trinity, creation, kingdom of God, discipleship, and society to assist students in framing a missional ecclesiology that is contextualized to their tradition and ministry location. Key topics include forming missional systems, assessing church readiness for missional change, research methods in studying missional congregations, and missional ecclesiology in the North American context.

Request more information or apply now, and when your enrollment counselor contacts you, be sure to mention your interest in the missional church leadership cohort.

Note: This information is current for the 2013-14 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.