Changes to the Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Educational Ministry degrees at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary will result in a “wider opening" for professional doctoral work, leaders say.

Among the changes is the introduction of the “flex option,” permitting some D.Min. students to participate in the annual on-campus seminar work remotely. Additionally, the D.Ed.Min. degree is now open to graduates of the Master of Theological Studies or its equivalent.

“These changes make Southwestern Seminary’s professional doctoral programs even more accessible to more ministers seeking to advance their training,” said Provost Randy L. Stinson. “For especially those affected by COVID, this wider opening for other students to engage in doctoral work couldn’t come at a better time.”

The addition of the flex option “will allow certain students to remain connected to their doctoral studies without having to travel to Fort Worth. We feel this is the right time to add this alternative given the uncertainty of living in a pandemic,” he added.

“We remain committed to excellent pedagogy and Christian formation, and making our program more available to students in this way extends those goals in exciting new ways,” Stinson said.

Coleman Ford, director of professional doctoral studies, said Southwestern’s D.Min. is already the “most comprehensive and engaging of its kind. With these added options, more students can participate in the rich doctoral community we are developing here at Southwestern.”

He added, “Southwestern continues to be the place for students to turn looking for a high level of training focused on the Great Commission. Whether students are leading in the local church, on the mission field, or in other Christian organizations, I am confident our professional doctoral program provides the highest quality of ministry training necessary to meet the task of today’s ministry leaders.”

Greater access to the D.Ed.Min. degree program comes after approval by the Association of Theological Schools, the seminary’s accrediting agency, allowing those holding the 36-hour Master of Theological Studies degree as a pre-requisite. Previously, the 48-hour Master of Arts in Christian Education degree was required.

The D.Ed.Min. provides further training in the areas of educational and ministry leadership, while students engage in the same concentration seminars and program structure as D.Min. students. Almost all professional doctoral concentrations are available in the D.Ed.Min. format. 

“Southwestern’s D.Min. and D.Ed.Min. programs possess a rich academic tradition, paired with an unwavering commitment to ministry application,” said Shane Parker, associate professor of leadership and educational ministries and director of the D.Ed.Min. program. “These foundations are now joined by the most flexible and accessible approach available. Now is the time for doctoral study, and Southwestern is the place to provide this experience, in the format that you determine will best serve you and your ministry.” 

More information about both degrees is available on the seminary’s Professional Doctoral Studies website.