Doctor of Ministerial Leadership

Earn Your Doctor of Ministerial Leadership degree online in 3 years.

The Doctor of Ministerial Leadership degree offers professional ministers the opportunity to reflect on their practice of leadership from diverse strategic perspectives. It challenges practitioners from a variety of ministry contexts to grow in their own spiritual maturity, strengthen their personal and professional ethic, and develop a biblical approach to their practice of leadership.

What You'll Learn 

Upon completion of the Doctor of Ministerial Leadership degree, students will demonstrate an ability to

  • Formulate a plan for continuing personal spiritual growth in leadership
  • Develop a personal and professional ethic for leadership in ministry
  • Implement an approach to leadership that embraces multicultural and global perspectives
  • Assess the effectiveness of leadership practice using a case study research method

Program Length 

This 32-credit-hour degree will take three years.

Career and Ministry Opportunities with This Degree

Graduates with a Doctor of Ministerial Leadership degree can go on to become more effective in their ministries as:

  • Leading pastors
  • Chaplains
  • Women’s ministry leaders
  • Discipleship pastors
  • Pastoral counselors
  • Missionary care specialists
  • Small group pastors
  • Church education leaders
  • Parachurch ministry leaders

Why Study Ministerial Leadership at CIU Online?

  • Program design allows you to focus on research and writing from the beginning of your studies.
  • Non-residential modality allows you to pursue your degree without relocating.
  • Experienced faculty mentors provide individualized guidance in areas of their particular expertise.
  • Accredited regionally by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and accredited nationally by the Association of Biblical Higher Education and the Association of Theological Schools.



  • Completed application
  • $25 application fee
  • Application Essay (800 words total, typed)
  • A masters-level theological degree from an accredited institution (not limited to MDiv or equivalent) with a cumulative graduate GPA of 3.0. Students whose GPA falls between 2.5 and 3.0 may be considered for admission on a conditional basis if they submit their requests in writing accompanied by appropriate rationale. Their applications will be reviewed and evaluated by the SSM Admissions Review Committee on a case-by-case basis.
  • One church leader reference
  • Three years of ministry experience on a church staff, with a mission agency, or as part of a parachurch ministry (exceptions permitted up to 15%)
  • Minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA

Program Details

Course of Study   32
Foundation 12
MIN 9440 Profile of the Godly Leader 4
MIN 9441 Transformational Leadership 4
MIN 9442 Multicultural Leadership with Global Focus 4
Capstone Project 20
MIN 9901 Reviewing Precedent Research 4
MIN 9902 Research Foundations and Parameters 4
MIN 9903 Conducting a Case Study 4
MIN 9904 Analyzing the Data 4
MIN 9905 Ministerial Leadership Capstone Project 4

Seminar Schedule

Year 1

Semester 1 MIN 9901 - Reviewing Precedent Research Chapter 1
Semester 2 MIN 9440 - Profile of the Godly Leader Foundations
Semester 3 MIN 9902 - Reserach Foundations and Parameters Chapter 2

Year 2

Semester 1 MIN 9441 - Transformational Leadership Foundations
Semester 2 MIN 9903 - Conducting a Case Study Chapter 3
Semester 3 MIN 9442 - Multicultural Leadership with Global Focus Foundations

Year 3

Semester 1 MIN 9904 - Analyzing the Data  Chapter 4
Semester 2 MIN 9905 - Ministerial Leadership Capstone Chapter 5