Doctor of Ministry (DMin) in Preaching

Next Cohort Begins in Summer 2016

Aquinas Institute’s D.Min. program was launched in 1993, in response to the call of the U.S. Catholic bishops in their document Fulfilled in Your Hearing for the creation of doctoral programs in preaching grounded in the Catholic tradition. To date, it remains the only such doctoral program in a Catholic institution.

Since its inception, the Aquinas D.Min. in Preaching has emerged as one of the premier terminal degrees for teachers of preaching with more than 25 of our graduates and current students presently teaching preaching in seminaries, schools of theology, and ministerial formation programs. Eighteen books by graduates are now in publication, as well as numerous articles. 41 of our students and 94 graduates have come to constitute a prominent national voice in the Academy of Homiletics and the Catholic Coalition on Preaching while also possessing great influence in their local dioceses, congregations, and religious communities.

The program’s success has been due largely to its unique structure designed to serve persons in full-time ministry. Every other year, we accept up to 25 top-notch preachers from around the United States – and even internationally – to form a cohort of learners who proceed through their studies together. Students complete six core classes one at a time in a well-tested model of education that blends on-line and face-to-face learning before launching into two interdisciplinary elective courses of their own choosing, and two more course to suppor the completion of a thesis project. The D.Min. program, like all of Aquinas degree programs, is fully accredited by the Association of Theological Schools and the Higher Learning Commission. Degree Program Outcomes for the D.Min. in Preaching.

Can I work and go to school at the same time?
Yes. The Aquinas D.Min. program engages an internet-enhanced format especially designed to serve students at a distance who are actively engaged in ministry.

At the same time, it is important to note that the time demands of this academically rigorous doctoral study are significant. Participants are to set aside approximately one day (or about 8-10 hrs.) per week to study during the full course of the program. Additionally, participation in all St. Louis intensive seminars is required for the program.

How does the program work?

The Aquinas Doctor of Ministry in Preaching is a thirty-six credit hour program designed to be completed by full-time ministers in a period of four to six years.  During the first three years, cohort members complete six core classes (a total of eighteen credit hours) together:

  • Theology of Preaching
  • Biblical Hermeneutics and Preaching
  • Core Homiletics Seminar I
  • History and Preaching
  • Liturgy and Preaching
  • Core Homiletics Seminar II

Each core course is comprised of three main periods of study:

  • Online Pre-Study Period
    As each course begins, students are introduced to the content of the course through an on-line syllabus with assigned readings, downloadable pod casts, and asynchronous discussions on the course web page. Students complete each week’s assignment on their own, but are expected to share their learning and respond to others’ learning online within an established time frame.
  • Intensive Session
    The intensive experience brings students and professor together face-to-face for five days of lecture, discussions, and casework at Aquinas Institute in St. Louis. The intensive also includes time for communal prayer and recreation. Lodging and meals are provided at a local retreat center in the St. Louis area.
  • Online Post-Study Period
    Students continue their online study and research for several weeks after the intensive session. Students continue to complete reading and writing assignments and engage in discussion sessions on-line. Generally courses end with a final project or paper.

Either subsequently or concurrently, each student also completes two elective courses (a total of six credit hours) in their own locale.  Elective study is to be interdisciplinary in nature and directed toward the student’s final thesis project.

After completing the six core courses and two electives, the student works with an assigned thesis advisor to prepare a formal thesis proposal of approximately fifteen to twenty pages in length.  Once approved by the DMin Committee, the student may begin work on the final six-credit thesis project.

Throughout the duration of the program, the student is asked to maintain an on-line portfolio where key preaching case studies and written assignments are posted.  By viewing the portfolio, students and faculty alike will be able to trace a student’s progress toward meeting the program outcomes.

Important dates and curriculum can be found here.  Please contact the Admissions office for additional information.

What kinds of ministry does the program provide formation for?

  • Full-time preachers in parish, retreat or spiritual renewal settings
  • Promoters of preaching in pastoral settings (e.g., directors of continuing formation of clergy for a diocese, synod or those working with permanent deacons)
  • Skilled practitioners of preaching prepared to teach graduate homiletics courses

What are our current students saying?

How much does the program cost?

More information regarding program costs and financial policies associated with Aquinas Institute's Doctor of Ministry program can be found here.

How do I apply?
Both lay and ordained preachers are invited to apply for the program. Applicants are required to hold a Master of Divinity degree that includes at least six hours of course work in preaching. They are also expected to possess at least three years of full-time ministry experience. Occasionally, students who do not possess a Master of Divinity degree can be admitted if they are able to demonstrate M.Div. equivalency through other graduate work, publication or on-going study, and extensive ministerial experience. Applicants who need to request M.Div. equivalency are encouraged to contact the Admissions Office early to allow extra time for application consideration.

Since the program is internet-based, all participants must have sufficient equipment and computer skills to complete the online portion of the courses. This means, at a minimum, that you have a multimedia PC or Macintosh computer, internet access, and solid familiarity with the use of an internet browser and Microsoft Word.

Please see our Apply page for information regarding the application process for the Doctor of Ministry in Preaching program. You may also contact the admissions office by calling 800.977.3869 or 314.256.8806, or e-mailing to admissions@ai.edu.

 

"In the fine tradition of the Dominican Apostolate, Aquinas Institute of Theology has become a catechetical powerhouse both locally and beyond when it comes to training and equipping future preachers and evangelists in the Catholic faith. Aquinas Institute’s philosophy of preparing future priests and church leaders to share the fruits of contemplation in a way that reflects the intersection of the Church's theology and everyday life, is one with great potential to influence our local Church, our world, and eternity. "

Most Rev. Robert J. Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis
 

"Given the importance of the word of God, the quality of homilies needs to be improved. Generic and abstract homilies should be avoided. I ask ministers to preach in such a way that the homily closely relates the proclamation of the word of God to the sacramental celebration and the life of the community, so that the word of God truly becomes the Church’s vital nourishment and support."

- Benedict XVI, Sacramentum caritatis

A description of the program’s content is available and may be printed for future reference.

Application Form and Recommendation Letter Form for the D.Min. cohort beginning studies in summer of 2014