Professor speaking with a class outside

The earnest desire of Ralph Waldo Beeson, founding benefactor of Beeson Divinity School, was to establish a school that would prepare “pastors who can preach.” At Beeson, the Doctor of Ministry in Christian Preaching serves to strengthen and encourage Christian ministers in the preaching of God’s Word. Students learn from Beeson faculty in a cohort of fellow preachers. The program is open to persons who have earned the Master of Divinity degree (or its educational equivalent), who have a minimum of three years’ experience in Christian ministry (post-M.Div.), who are currently serving in a ministry role with regular preaching and teaching responsibilities, and who demonstrate the capacity for doctoral-level studies and the potential for excellence in the practice of ministry.

Our aim is to sharpen preachers and to improve their preaching, to the glory of God and for the advancement of the gospel.  Our students improve in their abilities both to interpret the Scriptures and to communicate its message with clarity and conviction; they grow in their knowledge and understanding of homiletical principles and practices; and they learn to integrate more fully personal, pastoral, and theological concerns in their preaching.

As you consider the options for pursuing a Doctor of Ministry education, we encourage you to look closely at Beeson Divinity School. Our students enjoy the benefits of:

  • A world-class faculty, such as Timothy George, Robert Smith, Jr., Frank Thielman, and Douglas Webster. While many schools draw largely from the ranks of adjunct professors to teach D.Min. courses, Beeson faculty members are the primary teachers of our curriculum.
  • Outstanding resources for teaching and learning. From the holdings of Davis Library to the classrooms of Divinity Hall and the beautiful campus of Samford University, we are committed to providing the necessary resources and support for student success.
  • Personal attention, because we believe that the very best theological training for ministry takes place face to face, life on life. For that reason, Beeson limits enrollment to each of its degree programs to cultivate an intensely personal learning environment with substantial student-faculty interaction.
  • Affordable cost. The pursuit of a professional doctoral degree represents a significant investment of personal resources. We make every effort to provide quality education at a reasonable cost. Tuition and fees for the Beeson D.Min. program compare very favorably with our peer institutions.

Program Design

The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree requires the completion of 36 credits in varied phases of learning. Degree requirements include five weeks on campus for seminars, four semesters of ministry context studies, and the development and completion of a summative ministry research project. The degree can be completed in just over three years.

Seminars are conducted on campus in January and June or July; most seminars meet for 6 days (Tuesday-Friday + Monday-Tuesday) each. Students complete substantial assignments in the months prior to attending a seminar, as well as a post-seminar assignment. Each seminar is led by a team of world-class scholars and highly qualified ministry practitioners, devoted to the proclamation of God’s word. Topics addressed in the seminars include:

  • Preaching and the pastoral identity
  • Preaching the whole counsel of God
  • Preaching and culture
  • Moving from text to sermon

In the semester following each of the four on-campus seminars, students engage in ministry context studies. This involves the application of learning from the seminars to the practice of ministry in one’s home context. Research conducted in these four semesters lays the groundwork for the ministry research project in the final phase of the program. Students also submit sermons to Beeson’s preaching faculty and receive valuable feedback for the enhancement of their preaching ministry.

Pursuit of the D.Min. degree culminates with a ministry research project, in which a student identifies a ministry problem or topic, conducts research related to that focus, develops resources and means to address the need, and evaluates the results. The student submits a written report and makes an oral presentation to the faculty for their evaluation.

Typical Sequence of Study
Period First Year Second Year Third Year Fourth Year
Spring Semester Prepare for summer seminar Ministry context studies
Prepare for summer seminar
Ministry context studies
Prepare for summer seminar
Implement ministry research project
June or July One-week seminar One-week seminar One-week seminar Write and submit project report
Fall Semester Ministry context studies
Prepare for January seminar
Ministry context studies
Prepare for January seminar
Gain approval of ministry project proposal Defend project report
January One-week seminar One-week seminar Prepare to implement ministry research project


D.Min. Tuition & Fees

Tuition & Fee Table
Charge Amount
Application fee (non-refundable) $50
Enrollment confirmation deposit* $200
Per credit rate for 2019-2020 $470
Campus Life Fee** $25 per term
Technology Fee** $175 per term
Proofreading fee (one time) $400
Continuation fee for each semester beyond seven semesters $1000

*Upon a student's notification of admission, a $200 enrollment confirmation deposit must be paid before the student can be registered for the first seminar. This deposit amount is deducted from the amount of the first term's tuition charge.

**Doctor of Ministry students are responsible for paying the Campus Life fee and the Technology fee for fall and spring semesters only.

Students are responsible for all expenses incurred for travel, lodging and meals, as well as for textbooks and other course materials.

Student loans are available through the Samford University's Office of Financial Aid, but no scholarships are available.

D.Min. Admission Process

Beeson Divinity School admits new students to the D.Min. program once a year. The application deadline is February 1; new students attend their first seminar in the summer term of the same year.

Candidates for admission must meet the following minimum criteria:

  • Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree or its educational equivalent from an institution(s) accredited by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS)
  • Grade point average of 3.0 or higher (on a 4.0 scale) in previous graduate-level studies (Probationary admission is possible with a GPA of 2.75 or higher.)
  • Currently engaged in vocational Christian ministry, with a minimum of 3 years of full-time ministry experience following completion of the M.Div. degree
  • Regular responsibilities and opportunities for preaching and teaching the Scriptures

Application requirements

  • Completed online application form and payment of non-refundable $50 application fee by check or money order (Please include your social security number on the memo line)
  • Official transcripts from all educational institutions attended since high school [Please note: Since individual institutions may not fulfill transcript requests immediately, transcript requests should be made several weeks before the application deadline.]
  • Current résumé
  • Philosophy of ministry essay (see guidelines for essay below)
  • Personal interview with the Director of D.Min. Studies. The interview may be conducted by videoconference for persons who live a great distance from the school. To schedule an interview, please call 205-726-2374. Please schedule interviews several weeks prior to the application deadline.
  • Recommendation forms completed by the following:
    • A minister who knows you well
    • A professor who knows you well
    • A layperson who is familiar with your ministry
    • A professional person who has observed your ministry

NOTE: Recommendation forms are automatically generated through the online application once required information is input.

  • Applicants for whom English is not their first language and/or who completed their master’s degree in a language other than English must take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language).  A minimum score of 550 is required for admission.

Guidelines for Philosophy of Ministry Essay

An applicant for admission to the Doctor of Ministry degree program will write a philosophy of ministry essay in which he or she identifies and discusses four (4) foundational principles for preaching and teaching the Scriptures. For each principle, the applicant must provide biblical-theological support, explain its importance or relevance to faithful proclamation, and give an example of how the principle finds expression in his or her ministry. The applicant must cite a minimum of 5 sources in footnoted references; the essay must also include a bibliography of all works cited. The essay must be paginated, and it should be written in conformity with Turabian style (Kate L. Turabian, A Manual for Writers, 8th ed.).The essay should be 8-10 pages in length, double-spaced, in Times New Roman 12-font. 

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Support Services

As a university-based divinity school, Beeson offers students the opportunity to be involved in the larger community of a vibrant university. Divinity school students may fully participate in all Samford University activities including recreational facilities, concerts, theatrical productions, art exhibitions, lectures, recitals and sporting events.

Computer Labs

While students are on campus for seminars they have access to computer labs. The computer lab in the divinity school is open Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Students in the D.Min. program may request that the lab stay open at other times also. The word processing program used in the divinity school computer lab is Microsoft Word on Windows XP. Other programs are available in other computer labs on campus.


D.Min. students also have full access to the Samford University Library, which has more than 1,000,000 research aides, including bound journals, books, maps, CD-ROMs, videos, and audiotapes, with substantial holdings in religion. Students may check out materials from the University Library at any time, whether they are on or away from campus.

A copy of every D.Min. dissertation published by Beeson students is held in the University Library.


The D.Min. degree program requires that students attend seminars on the campus of Samford University for a total of 5 weeks during the program. Students are responsible for making arrangements for their housing while attending seminars and for the cost associated with that housing. On-campus housing is not available to D.Min. students. Students in need of assistance in making housing arrangements may contact the D.Min. Studies office at 205-726-2374. Samford University also provides a list of area hotels.

Writing Style Guide

Beeson Divinity School requires that all written assignments conform to the standards set forth in A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (8th edition) by Kate L. Turabian.