Doctor of Divinity (D.Min.)

St. Athanasius Seminary is currently accepting applications for the Doctor of Divinity Program. The Doctor of Divinity degree at St. Athanasius Seminary enhances the practice of ministry for ordained and lay ministers in the Orthodox Church. The program integrates enhanced competencies in pastoral analysis with skills necessary to lead students to an advanced understanding of the nature and purposes of ministry. Working in communities of teachers and learners, the students gain deeper knowledge about the practice of serving others in Christian love as they grow in spiritual maturity as ministers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.


Students will be able to:

  • demonstrate an advanced competency in the practice of ministry in the Orthodox tradition.
  • perform analytical and ministerial research in Scripture, Patristic texts and contemporary sources.
  • integrate advanced theological knowledge into one’s ministry in the local context.
  • communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ more effectively through oral, written and other media.

The Doctor of Divinity Program is a three year program consisting of eight core courses and a final project.

  • Advanced Preaching and Communications
  • Bioethics for Ministry
  • Counseling in the Parish
  • Liturgical Life and Pastoral Ministry
  • Ministry in a Secular Age
  • Ministry to the Sick and Dying
  • Missiology
  • Youth Ministry

Students in the program complete about half of their work at home via distance learning which includes:

  • online video presentations
  • threaded discussions
  • conference calls and webinars

The use of distance learning technology allows priests, chaplains and other pastoral professionals to do doctoral study at St. Athanasius while maintaining their current ministries. In fact, students are required to be engaged in full time practice of ministry during the program in order to best integrate theory and practice. Students are also required to attend six one-week on-campus intensives during the course of the program. These meetings are held on the Byzantine Seminary campus in March every year.


In order to best accommodate the Paschal cycle, students take courses during a fall and summer terms. The fall term begins in late August/early September, and ends in November. The summer term begins in mid May and ends in early August. Each academic term includes a mandatory one-week on- campus intensive. Please consult the Academic Calendar for specific dates.


Each student will complete a final project that focuses on a particular aspect of Christian ministry. The project will combine doctoral level research with critical reflection on the practice of ministry. The objective of the final project will be to provide concrete resource material for others in ministry. As part of the application process, prospective students are expected to propose three possible topics for their final project.


Our Lord sent his Apostles out two by two (Mark 6:7) to preach and minister, and before ascending into Heaven instructed them that He would be present whenever two or three are gathered together in His name (Matt 18:20). Christian ministry, therefore, is defined by Christ Himself as a cooperative work. The D.Min. program fosters and strengthens this sense of cooperation with the cohort system in which a group of students progresses through the program as members of a team.

Members of the cohort develop grow as Christian ministers while supporting one another in the academic and pastoral elements of the program. In addition to the program objectives, it is hoped that members of the cohort will form lasting bonds that will strengthen and enhance their ministries well beyond graduation.


Because the DMin is a program that “enhances the practice of ministry” it is essential for the student to receive regular feedback from persons who interact with the student in his or her practice of ministry.  External Review Committee (ERC) members will periodically provide feedback to the student in areas of ministry that are related to the students’ work in the program.  Feedback will be provided through various means such as brief surveys, interviews and conference calls.  At the time of application, each student will specify members for the ERC consisting of: one supervisor (e.g. Diocesan Bishop, chancellor, dean); two peers (e.g. priests, chaplains); and four constituents (e.g. parishioners, people to whom one ministers), all of whom are in regular contact with the student in the context of ministry. The expected time commitment for ERC members is approximately two hours each academic term.


Qualified applicants demonstrate that that they:

  • hold a Master of Divinity degree (or 72 graduate semester hours that include a Master’s degree representing broad-based work in theology, biblical studies, and the arts of ministry, which includes the supervised practice of ministry).
  • have at least three years experience in ministry subsequent to the first graduate theological degree; and are currently serving in a position of ministry.
  • are capable of doing doctoral level academic work.

In order to participate in the distance learning portions of the program, students will provide and maintain the following:

  • PC or Mac computer running:
    • a recent version of Windows, OSX or Linux
    • the most recent version of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari or Chrome
    • a word processor, preferably MS Word
    • access to a broadband internet connection

A $250 non-refundable tuition deposit must be submitted at the time the student accepts the offer of admission. Acceptance of offers of admission will not be processed until the full deposit is received by the seminary.