Doctor of Ministry
3Years Full Time
Payments Centrelink Approved
Course code: DMIN20
6Max Years Part Time
The Doctor of Ministry is an AQF level 10 research doctoral award whose graduates make a significant and original contribution to knowledge as applied in the context of professional Christian ministry practice.
The degree is designed to enable men and women to produce significant and original research outcomes and as beginning researchers demonstrate the capacity to design, implement, gather and interpret data, and communicate the results of the research for theses undertaken in specific fields of knowledge applied to various areas of professional ministry.
The degree would be for theological and non-theological graduates already in significant leadership positions in churches, denominational offices, para-church agencies and non-church agencies and institutions where people wanted to enhance their research by also applying insights from Christian traditions.
Graduates with a Doctor of Ministry have already been employed in significant denominational positions for strategic planning as well as teaching pastoral and missions courses at theological colleges, bible colleges and seminaries in Australian and overseas and would continue to do so.
288 credit points over 3 years (F/T)
Overall cps: 288
Length: 3 year F/T (6 semesters) or P/T equivalent up to 6 years (12 semesters)
- 12cps Research Methods at level 9*
- 36cps Personal Formation Portfolio (level 9) - Spread over course duration as 12 x 3cp enrolments
- 36cps Elective coursework units at level 9
All coursework units will be based on level 9 units. They will provide opportunity for advanced level development in relevant fields of study to a candidate’s proposed project.
The electives in the foundational phase are to form a coherent program of study developing content knowledge and skills in a recognised area of ministry practice. They may come from one or a mixture of fields of study, Developmental Ministries, Evangelism & Mission, or Pastoral and Church Focused Ministry. Examples of recognised areas of ministry practice supported by ACT level 9 units are Leadership, Mentoring, Cross-cultural mission.
- 40,000 to 50,000 word project** (192cps)
- Conference participation unit at level 9 (12cps)
*If candidates are granted exemption for RM, they are permitted to replace Research Methods with an alternative 12 cp level 9 unit.
** It is proposed that the project may be completed in a number of ways: 40-50,000 words of text; an artefact that is clearly integrated in the project so that it is included in the word 40-50,000 word count; an artefact included as an appendix but not included in the 40-50,000 word count. When the research proposal is presented as part of the Confirmation of Candidature portfolio, the supervisor and candidate should provide a rationale for the inclusion or exclusion in the 40-50,000 word count of any artefact proposed to be produced.
In the research phase of a candidate's course, the candidate will be automatically enrolled into either a part-time recurring research phase enrolment of 24cps per semester, or a full-time recurring research phase enrolment of 48cps per semester.
- MTh, OR
- BTh/BMin Hons, with at least Upper Second Class Honours and at least a Credit in the thesis, OR
- BTh or BMin plus a Graduate Diploma with embedded RTP, with satisfactory completion of Research Methods, an overall GPA≥2.0 and ≥Credit in a major project of at least 12,000 words, OR
- BTh or BMin plus a Coursework Masters (such as MA(Th/Min) or MTS) with embedded RTP, with satisfactory completion of Research Methods, an overall GPA≥2.0 and ≥Credit in a major project of at least 12,000 words in FOR, OR
- MDiv or MMin with embedded RTP, with satisfactory completion of Research Methods, an overall GPA≥3.0 and ≥Credit in a major project of at least 12,000 words in FoR, OR
- MDiv or MMin plus a Coursework Masters (such as MA(Th/Min) or MTS) with embedded RTP, with satisfactory completion of Research Methods, an overall GPA≥2.0 and ≥Credit in a major project of at least 12,000 words in FoR, OR
- MTS, MA(ChrStuds) or MML with embedded RTP, with satisfactory completion of Research Methods, an overall GPA≥3.0 and ≥Credit in a major project of at least 12,000 words, OR
- Theological and non-theological qualifications deemed by the Research and Research Studies Committee to provide a suitable grounding for Doctor of Ministry study.
FoR = Field of Research
Recognised Prior Learning:
The R&RSC will consider applications from those who do not meet the above academic prerequisites where extensive experience and expertise have been developed by the candidate. The normal rules for establishing RPL will apply.
Ministry Experience Prerequisites:
Applicants must be able to demonstrate a minimum of 5 years of significant contribution in their ministry context since completion of their first degree. All applications would include a curriculum vitae, outlining various roles they have undertaken, positions held, major goals and most significant achievements.
Applicants would normally currently be ministry practitioners in positions of significant ministry responsibility, aspiring to positions such as senior pastors, mission/denominational board representatives, tertiary educators, denominational leaders, church planters, mission directors, church consultants, department leaders, or senior positions or researcher positions in work contexts where a specific Christian reflection on their work would be beneficial to their employing organisation.
All applicants must submit with their application a letter of commendation from their current employing organisation that comments on the character of the applicant and their capacity to contribute to their denomination, church or institutional employer. This letter must also provide evidence from their employing organisation that the organisation understands the extent of the commitment required over the six years part-time or three years full-time of the degree and agrees to support the candidate to enable them to complete the course.
Language Qualifications for NESB: IELTS 7.5 overall with a minimum of 7.5 in reading and writing, with 7.0 in listening, and 6.5 in speaking.
This course is registered on CRICOS and is available to overseas students.
The Course Learning Outcomes of the Doctor of Ministry aligns with AQF level 10 professional doctoral award whose graduates make a significant and original contribution to knowledge as applied in the context of professional Christian ministry practice and with the ACT’s seven learning outcome domain descriptors (ACT CLO).
- Discipline knowledge and understanding
- Inquiry and analysis
- Problem solving and integration
- Teamwork and professional practice
- Engagement with the world
- Continuous learning and professional development
Knowledge and Understanding Aspects
- Systematic and critical understanding of a substantial and complex body of knowledge of theological, biblical-hermeneutical and, sociological methods as related to specialised aspects of Christian ministry (ACT CLO 1).
- Independently and systematically engage in critical reflection, synthesis and evaluation of the body of knowledge related to specialised aspects of Christian ministry (ACT CLO 2).
- Develop, adapt, integrate and implement research methodologies to extend and redefine existing professional practice (ACT CLO 3, 5).
- Disseminate and promote new insights to peers and the community (ACT CLO 4, 6).
- Generate original knowledge and understanding to contribute to the professional practice of specialised aspects of Christian ministry (ACT CLO 5).
Applied knowledge and skills
- Demonstrate their autonomy, authoritative judgement, adaptability and ethical responsibility as an expert and leading practitioner in specialised aspects of Christian ministry (ACT CLO 1, 2, 3).
- Demonstrate their capacity to collaboratively plan, execute, and evaluate research (ACT CLO 5).
- Demonstrate their skills as communicators by disseminating their findings to their peers and the wider community (ACT CLO 4, 5).
Personal Developmental Aspects
- Doctor of Ministry graduates should demonstrate the capacity of lifelong learners committed to their on-going development with particular emphasis on their own personhood as Christians within a professional ministry context (ACT CLO 7).
$8,960 per semester for full-time (48cp) domestic students (2020 course fees and credit points).
For more information about tuition fees, FEE-HELP, and student payments, view tuition fees.
- All candidates must initially apply through a supervising college approved to prepare candidates for doctoral courses using the required ACT form.
- All applicants with non-ACT qualifications must submit original or certified copies of transcripts or certificates of all tertiary study completed in theology or ministry to the Research and Research Studies Committee, which will determine granting candidature.
- All candidates initially have provisional status. Candidates must satisfactorily complete all Confirmation of Candidature requirements by the end of their first full time year (or part time equivalent) of candidature to progress to full candidate status.
- Candidates will be supervised at an affiliated college of the ACT approved to prepare candidates for doctoral courses.
- Supervisors must be registered as either principal supervisor and /or co-supervisor on the ACT Register of Supervisors.
- Candidates and their supervisors must complete and submit the Higher Degree by Research Annual Progress Report to the Research Student Administrator of the ACT via the postgraduate coordinator in the candidate’s supervising college by the due date. Where unsatisfactory progress is reported the Research and Research Studies Committee may require the candidate to ‘show cause’ why candidature should not be terminated.
- It is the candidate’s responsibility to be aware of and fully comply with all rules and regulations related to their course. The online version of the ACT HDR Candidate’s Handbook provides the most up to date version of the rules and regulations.
- The candidates must be aware of the prescribed word limit for theses. See Guidelines for Theses in the ACT Higher Degree by Research Handbook.
- Candidates should expect to submit to the supervisor coherent accounts of the research to date according to the agreed Research Plan.
- Candidates should accept responsibility for maintaining negotiated regular communication with the supervisor and the progress of research agreed upon. If impediments arise, these should be immediately discussed with the supervisor.
- Higher Degree Research candidates may not be granted more than two (2) semesters of suspension of candidature during the term of their candidature, and may be granted no more than two semesters of extension of candidature prior to the examination phase of their candidature. The R&RSC will accept applications for suspension beyond the two semester limit on a case by case basis only for extraordinary circumstances, supported with written evidence.
- Under exceptional circumstances, the Research and Research Studies Committee may vary the period of candidature.
Doctor of Ministry graduates will exemplify the Australian College of Theology graduate attributes at the highest level, being Christian people, scholars, professionals and leaders of integrity.
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