Welcome to Talbot's Doctor of Ministry Program!
We know ministry is challenging. The need for wise and skillful ministry is great. Talbot can help. Our Doctor of Ministry program is designed to help experienced ministers to minister even more effectively. Our program is designed to allow you to continue in your full time ministry while you learn, reflect, and polish the gifts God has given you. We ask you to come to campus only two weeks a year for training by some of the world’s best faculty in small classes filled with people who are passionate about the same things you are passionate about. Our location, just outside the great city of Los Angeles, makes it easy for people from all over the world to come and learn with us. The cost of the program is modest, and the value of what you learn is priceless. We invite you to join us and “fan into flame the gift of God that is in you” (2Timothy 1:6).
We offer the first-class, ministry-oriented education that you have always wanted. Talbot’s Doctor of Ministry program is:
We believe 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 and ministry backgrounds, but you will gather here to learn together and form friendships that will last a lifetime.
The faculty are recognized experts in their fields who want to share their lives, as well as their expertise. Because we limit the size of the cohorts, that can happen. From start to finish, and beyond, our faculty-mentors care about you as a person.
Our program gives you the opportunity to focus ministry in general or on a specific aspect of ministry. Talbot offers numerous specialty tracks, not a generic “one size fits all” program, to help you develop deep expertise in the area of ministry that you are most passionate about. We do not waste your time with academic busy work. Your assignments will be integrated into and designed to assist your ministry. This program is intensely practical.
Spiritual Formation Focused
The faculty-mentors and Talbot's Institute for Spiritual Formation work together to help you to develop the mind and spiritual character necessary for effective ministry.
Are you an international student? Please view the international admissions requirements
Qualified applicants will have a Master of Divinity (MDiv) degree (or its educational equivalent) with a minimum 3.0 GPA from an accredited school. Qualified applicants must also have three years of full-time vocational ministry experience. This program is designed for ministers.
The educational equivalent of an MDiv is determined by the Doctor of Ministry office through a review of all transcripts using the following criteria:
A Master’s Degree from an accredited school, and at least 72 semester credits of graduate theological education, including at least 21 credit hours in each of the following categories:
1. Biblical Studies—OT survey, NT survey, Bible study methods, Greek, Hebrew, specific books or sections of the Bible.
2. Christian Thought—Theology, church history, missions, apologetics, personal and social ethics.
3. Ministry Praxis—Preaching, Christian education, pastoral care, counseling, evangelism, or youth ministries.
Sometimes partial credit for applicable undergraduate units (two undergraduate credits = one graduate credit) may be counted, up to a maximum of ten graduate semester credits.
Admission of Non-Native English-Speaking Students
It is essential that non-native English speaking students be able to understand directions and lectures in English and be able to express their thoughts clearly in spoken and written English. The DMin department will determine English proficiency on a case-by-case basis, but will consistently look for at least one of the following criteria to be met:
- A TOEFL score of at least 100 IBT.
- An appropriate master’s degree, from an accredited school, in an English-speaking program, with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
Even if those criteria are met, the DMin program reserves the right to accept a student on a probationary basis if English language proficiency is in doubt.
Tuition & Fees
The total tuition cost for the Doctor of Ministry degree is approximately $2,538 per semester. Tuition can be paid by semester or by installments (a small finance charge is incurred on installment plans). Taking into consideration miscellaneous fees, the overall cost is a little over $18,000 (project proofing, printing and copyrighting expenses vary from student to student). A typical breakdown of fixed and approximate expenses is below. Please note this cost breakdown does not include the cost of books, housing, transportation, and meals.
Breakdown of Expenses
- Application Fee: $65 (fixed cost, non-refundable, paid once at submission of application)
- DMin Program Fee: $500 (fixed cost, non-refundable, paid once at start of program)
- Tuition: $2,538 (approximate cost, per semester)
Doctoral Project Phase
- Doctoral Project Continuation Fee: $500 per semester (fixed cost, paid at start of each semester of doctoral project phase)
- Doctoral Project Submission Fee: $1,000 (fixed cost, paid once at submission of an approved project proposal)
- Format editing: $700 (approximate cost, paid as needed)
Note: There is a $100 enrollment deposit required by Biola University in order to register for classes. This deposit is returned to the student upon completion of the degree and/or departure from the university assuming there is no outstanding balance on the student's account.
Instead of making financial assistance available for some, we have chosen to make the program affordable for all. Unfortunately, that means no financial assistance (Federal, State, and Institutional) is available at this time. However, many of our students receive funding for the DMin program from their church or ministry as an investment in their effectiveness.
Questions & Details
The DMin degree is a "professional" degree. What does that mean?
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 DMin 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 DMin degree is designed for those working in a full time ministry capacity.
Why should I get a DMin from Talbot?
Talbot's Doctor of Ministry program has four distinctives: it is cohort-based, faculty-mentor led, specialty focused, and practitioner sensitive. You will be part of a small learning group (cohort) led by one of our expert faculty (faculty mentor) in a ministry area that you are passionate about (speciality focused) that will help you develop the highest levels of expertise (practitioner sensitive) in ministry.
What if I don't have an MDiv?
MDiv equivalency can sometimes be granted to those students who have completed 72 graduate-level semester units from an ATS accredited school. To see if you qualify, you may contact 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 DMin office.
How long will it take to get my DMin degree?
Successful completion of the Doctor of Ministry program includes three years of residency work and the completion of a doctoral project, which may take an additional year or two. Most students complete their degree in five years. However, students are permitted up to six years to complete the program.
I'm in ministry and have a family, can I still find time to complete the DMin program?
The Doctor of Ministry program is designed for adult learners, serving in full time ministry. Most students spend about one day a week on program assignments. We will not 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?
DMin students are required to be on campus for an annual two week residency during the first three years of the program. In addition, students may need to set aside time to come to campus to meet with their faculty mentors as they work on their doctoral project. Students are required to be present for the formal presentation of their doctoral projects and the Graduation Ceremony.
What is a "residency"? How many are there?
"Residency" refers to the two week time period in which students receive classroom instruction that usually meets on campus. Students will meet eight hours a day, Monday through Friday of each week. This time will be used to interact with the pre-residency readings and course assignments as well as learn new material and embark on new projects.
What is a faculty-mentor?
Your faculty-mentor will be a Talbot professor who teaches your specialty track and oversees and approves the required work.
Do I have to write a thesis or dissertation?
The writing of the doctoral project is the culmination of your work in the program and is a requirement to obtaining your DMin degree. This doctoral project is similar in scope and effort to a PhD dissertation, but your doctoral project will address a practical ministry issue relevant to you or your local church.
Is there a doctoral project oral defense?
The doctoral project is not "defended" like a PhD dissertation, however there is a formal presentation to and evaluation by your faculty member and the rest of your thesis committee when your doctoral project is complete.