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Doctor of Ministry




Graduate Programs

The Doctor of Ministry degree is the highest professional degree for those involved in local church and parachurch ministries, world missions, and related ministries. The goal of our program is to enable students to manifest a maturing and Spirit-filled character. It is about allowing the Holy Spirit the opportunity to transform every student by means of cutting-edge scholarship and careful reflection on the practical implications of ministry. Each student is empowered to learn and grow in the context of ministry, encouraging implementation of course content in one's unique ministry situation.

Click here for Admission Requirements.


Course Work

Coursework Required for Doctor of Ministry Program

The program of study consists of four components:

Theological and Spiritual Foundation for Ministry (12 units)

Jesus Christ, Scripture, and the Practice of Ministry

This course examines the historical, philosophical, and theological foundations of church ministry as it relates to the superiority of Jesus Christ and the sufficiency of Scripture.

Foundation and Growth of Pentecostalism

This course studies and appraises dynamics of the early Pentecostal movement, the nature of the significant changes that have occurred, and what it may look like in the twenty-first century.

Fourth Dimension Spirituality

This class will study the accumulation of knowledge and wisdom concerning the spiritual world as documented in the book, “The Fourth Dimension: Vol. 1” by Rev. David Yonggi Cho. This book stresses the importance of having hopes and dreams, the power of confessing creative words of faith, and the necessity of planting seeds of faith. Other topics will be examined, such as, “Incubation: A Law of Faith,” “The Creative Power of the Spoken Word,” “The Fourth Dimension,” and “The School of Andrew.”

Engaging Culture in Mission and Ministry

This course considers the potential of Pentecostal mission and ministry in a rapidly evolving, global culture. The spotlight is on learning to distinguish culture as opportunity for cooperating with the mission of Jesus, and for discerning ministry as opportunity for Spirit-empowered expressions of that mission.

Practical Application for Ministry (12 units)

Dynamic Preaching for Today’s People

Students will explore the relevance of the spiritual dimensions of Scripture to Christian ministry. Students learn how to preach the Scriptures with greater precision and application. Student will learn how to evaluate an audience and adjust communication for the greatest effect.

Small Groups and Discipleship

Students address the need for developing a philosophy of ministry that focuses on building Jesus- followers within the context of small groups. Consideration is given to strategies for designing a disciple-building environment that can be used in church and parachurch ministries. Balanced discipleship building will be a dominant principle and both personal and corporate discipleship will be taken into account.

Spiritual Gifts and Church Growth

This course relates biblical, missiological, theological, and pastoral insights to the gifts of the Spirit as it relates to church growth. It presents the biblical theological foundation for ministry in Spiritual gifts and an understanding of the church and her major functions from a theological and organizational point of view. Special attention is given to Spiritual gifts in the process of planting, growing, and developing community life within the local church.

Spiritual Warfare and Inner Healing

A study of the biblical teachings concerning the purposes and tactics of the spirits of darkness and the strategies and resources to combat them, along with an examination of the theory and practice of inner healing as basic and indispensable for other healing ministries. The course considers definition, theological foundation, necessities, biblical models, and related ministry skills. The principles of emotional healing and spiritual healing are explained in detail.

Biblical Leadership and Missional Strategy (9 units)

Leading Christian Organizations and Cultivating Leadership

This class explores biblical leadership and missional strategy as it pertains to the modern-day church with special thought given to the integration of biblical values, contemporary leadership theory, contemporary organizational theory, and the participant's context of ministry.

Developing Missional Church for the World

This course explores the distinguishing contours of the missional church revolution as well as the leadership required by it. This course comprehensively explores foundations, paradigms, strategies and means for impacting believers and contemporary cultures. In addition, global challenges of the urban context and assimilation will be considered.

Mentoring and Coaching

Attention is given to everyday life as the locality for effective spiritual formation, the application of discernment in the common life of the Christian community, and the role of the equipping pastor in empowering Christians for service.

Research Methodology and Project (9 units)

Research Design and Methodology (3 units)

This course readies the student for presentation of an acceptable dissertation to the Doctor of Ministry Project Supervisor. Components of a prospectus, research methodologies and writing strategies are examined and utilized.

Doctor of Ministry Project (6 units)

Composition and presentation of an acceptable written project which integrates theory and praxis and makes a meaningful contribution to the practice of ministry.

Total: 42 units/hours


Program Format

Year One

Year Two

Year Three

Session I
(Spring Semester)
3 weeks

Session I
(Spring Semester)
3 weeks

BCDM 860
Doctor of Ministry

Session II
(Summer Semester)
3 weeks

Session II
(Summer Semester)
3 weeks

BCDM 860
Doctor of Ministry

The Doctor of Ministry program format is as follows. During the first two years of the program, students spend a total of six (6) weeks per year (three-week Spring Session and three-week Summer Session) at the Bethesda Christian University Anaheim campus. Each session will be held for three (3) weeks comprised of three, three-hour credit courses. Courses may be taken for 3or 6 units.

D.Min. participants are expected to interact with each other in peer learning activities (via of the internet). Communication with each other on a cooperative learning basis may include discussion of research assignments, lectures, and specific points in required textbooks.


The Doctor of Ministry Program Format is as follows:

Year One

Session I (Spring Semester) 3 weeks

  • BCDM 802 Jesus Christ, Scripture, and the Practice of Ministry (3)
  • BCDM 822 Spiritual Gifts and Church Growth (3)
  • BCDM 808 Spiritual Warfare and Inner Healing (3)

Session II (Summer Semester) 3 weeks

  • BCDM 803 Foundation and Growth of Pentecostalism (3)
  • BCDM 801 Fourth Dimension Spirituality (3)
  • BCDM 841 Research Design and Methodology (3)

At the end of the first year, students must submit their research topic and first draft of the literature review.

Year Two

Session I (Spring Semester) 3 weeks

  • BCDM 812 Dynamic Preaching for Today’s People (3)
  • BCDM 805 Small Groups and Discipleship (3)
  • BCDM 806 Engaging Culture in Mission and Ministry (3)

Session II (Summer Semester) 3 weeks

  • BCDM 807 Developing Missional Church for the World (3)
  • BCDM 821 Leading Christian Organizations and Cultivating Leadership (3)
  • BCDM 804 Mentoring and Coaching (3)

At the end of the second year, students must submit their dissertation proposal. Students whose dissertation proposal has been approved will be qualified as candidate in the Doctor of Ministry.

Year Three

BCDM 860 Doctor of Ministry Project (6)

All candidates will work on an approved proposal with their dissertation advisor. The dissertation faculty member will supervise the student’s dissertation throughout year three. Student must defend their dissertation no later than March in order to participate in the July graduation ceremony.

Minimum Grade Point

For each individual component of the program, a student must receive at least a minimum grade of “B-” (2.7 on a 4.0 scale). If a student receives a grade that is lower than a “B-” on any individual component, that component must be repeated. Furthermore, that student is placed on probation. If a student receives two successive grades that are lower than a “B-”, the student will be terminated from the program.


BUC uses a 4-point grading scale.

Grade points per credit and definition for D.Min. Student:

A or A+



























No Credit









Withdrawn Passing



Withdrawn Failing

 *Affects grade point average

Pre-Residency Preparation

About three months before each residency, extensive reading and preparation are assigned by the faculty advisor. Participants should plan to devote 12 hours per week in preparation for the residency.



Research Project

The Doctor of Ministry project (BCDM 860), is the culmination of the program of study. Through a written report of 125-175 pages, the student has opportunity to apply professional knowledge and documented research into the context of ministry. The entire dissertation is supervised by a committee comprised of the faculty advisor and the professor who taught course BCDM 841. Prior to beginning the Doctor of Ministry research project, the student must secure approval of a proposal. To secure approval, the student must submit a dissertation proposal to the committee. Once this committee approves the proposal, the Director of Doctor of Ministry Program will recommend the proposal to the Chair of the Theology Department for final approval. Once the proposal is approved, the student engages in simultaneous research and practice to conduct the dissertation. The results of the dissertation are compiled in written form per specific guidelines. After the research project has been written, the student must successfully defend the dissertation in an oral exam before a committee of two persons. This committee includes the faculty advisor and a project reader.

Faculty Supervision

Upon acceptance into the program, a student is assigned to a faculty advisor. The advisor is responsible for supervising the student’s progress through the entire program of study.

Please note! The Doctor of Ministry Director highly recommends that you start your final project path at least two years before the semester you wish to graduate. Students are allowed to formally begin their final project process once the following items have been completed:

All admission requirements have been satisfactorily met and changes from probation or special status to regular status in the program.

At least 18 units of coursework have been completed and grades for this coursework have been posted to the student's transcript.

Doctor of Ministry Research Project Overview

You can design your Doctor of Ministry Research Project according to your writing purpose and the nature of your specific ministry. You can choose from two project types: Ministry Focus Paper or Dissertation. Examine each type of project to decide which option is most suitable, given your topic, purpose, and unique ministry issues.

Ministry Focus Paper

The Ministry Focus Paper is a biblically based, theologically sound paper that explores and develops a strategy to address a specific aspect of ministry in a particular context.


The Ministry Focus Paper has three components:

Need, Problem or Challenge:

The first component is a description of the context in which a need, challenge or problem is being addressed. The context can include the national, regional, local and institutional factors that give shape to or impinge upon the issue in question. The history of one's ministry and the demographics of the local environment are usually the most pertinent.

Biblical/Theological Foundations:

The next section is the biblical and theological foundation for your particular area of ministry advance. Using the critical questions established in the first section, a dialogue is established with: 1)Scripture; 2) historical and theological insights; and, 3) the distinctives of the student's denominational or theological heritage. It is vital to clarify the issues using God's Word, so that strategic direction is rooted in biblical imperatives.


The final component is a specific, measurable and achievable projection of ministry strategy. This section includes goals and objectives that are consistent with the biblical and theological guidelines or principles previously identified. There must be clear evidence that the strategy grows out of the biblical and theological foundations presented.

Rationale for Selection: Students should look for an area of ministry advance that will have strategic impact on their ministry and will also give expression to the passions of their heart or the call of God upon their life.

Length of Project: 125-175 pages


The Dissertation is a biblically based, theologically sound analytical paper, complete with sustained argument in an area that has a broader scope and application beyond a specific ministry.

Components: A Dissertation differs from a Ministry Focus Paper in the following ways:


A Dissertation is meant to influence the broader church or Christian world rather than a specific ministry, as in the Ministry Focus Paper.


A Dissertation is meant to influence peers, while the Ministry Focus Paper is written for the leadership of a local ministry.


A Dissertation is a well-researched, high quality manuscript in the area of theology and/or ministry that makes a unique or creative contribution to the literature in the field. In contrast, a Ministry Focus Paper presents an individual ministry advance informed by critical thinking and theological reflection from reading and coursework.


A Dissertation is a sustained argument of a theme that requires a higher level of research and scholarly justification than a Ministry Focus Paper, which centers on addressing a specific localized problem.

Academic Requirements: Given the rigor of writing a Dissertation, a student must demonstrate to the faculty the ability to engage in such scholarly work by meeting the following qualifications:

A student must already have a wider ministry context or be in a highly creative ministry in which they have the potential to provide models for the benefit of other ministry professionals.

The student must have an A- average in their coursework.

The student's best class paper from their Doctor of Ministry coursework must be reviewed and approved by one of the D.Min. Theological Advisors.

At the time of proposal review, the Final Project Committee may place a Dissertation

proposal into the Ministry Focus Paper option, if they believe that it does not fit the requirements of the Dissertation option.

Length of Project: 125-175 pages



Reading Requirements

Students will do all their coursework in a prescribed sequence. This curriculum consists of three, one-week seminars offered twice a year. The student can choose from one, two, or three courses on the basis of personal need and vocational interest. Each course has three components:

Reading assignments which must be completed prior to attending the course (normally 1,500 pages for 3 units; adjustments to reading are made if other pre-seminar work is required, or, if course is taken for 6 units);

A one week intensive seminar of classroom interaction, including faculty presentation and peer discussion;

A post-course project which applies the reading and class work to the ministry setting. Generally  the project is 20-30 pages for a 3-unit course (40-50 pages for a 6-unit class).

Each Doctor of Ministry course normally requires six months of advanced preparation and another three months following the seminar to complete the course project.

Disclaimer: Our institution has the right to make changes to the catalog and the D. Min. Program.