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Postgraduate course

Professional Doctorate in Ministry (DMin)

Aimed primarily at those within Christian Ministry, this course is for those wanting to investigate their discipline in depth.

Student in chapel

This doctoral level course is taught part-time over four to six years. You will research specific aspects of church ministry or mission related to your own professional role, your particular tradition or to Christian ministry more generally. You will draw on a range of theological and social-scientific disciplines to explore topics in a practical and relevant way which will impact your ministry.

York campus

  • Duration – Part time for 4 to 6 years
  • Start date – January 2021
  • School – School of Humanities

Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:1 undergraduate degree in a related subject

    2 years of relevant professional experience

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £3,750 per year

    International 2020-21 £9,563 per year

Course overview

On this programme, the learning style is informal and collegiate. There is a strong emphasis in the first two years of developing your writing. You will critically engage with key ideas and develop a research project. The collegiality continues into stage two as you write your doctoral thesis. At this point there will be extended opportunities to share ideas and issues with fellow students and supervisors.

An unusual feature of this DMin is that the taught modules are shared with professionals studying for the Professional Doctorate in Education and the Professional Doctorate in Religion. This allows for cross-collaboration and cross-discipline support.

You will see how broad theoretical ideas can be applied to specific contexts, and how to apply concepts and ideas to the questions you'd like to explore. In addition, you will use the tools of practical and empirical theology to foster reflection and ensure that your research brings together both empirical and theological insights.

We recognise the pressures you face as a professional and how these can vary over the course of a year. Because of this, delivery in stage one is designed to concentrate the writing of assignments outside the busiest times of the academic and church calendar.

The four compulsory taught modules are delivered two per year, in the first two years, over a four-day teaching block – one in February and one in May. Outside of these times there are half-day sessions and online contact which enables you to keep in touch and gain regular feedback.

Course structure

Stage 1 

This doctorate course is split into 2 stages.

During stage 1 you will complete 4 taught modules. 

This stage is completed over 2 years. 


Credits: 45

Compulsory module

The Professional Doctorate programmes are designed to support you in conducting and reporting on an original and substantive piece of research that relates in some way to your professional practice. This module will help you to begin this journey through a series of critical reflections on the links between your biographies and your practice.

Credits: 45

Compulsory module

This module will enable you to continue your journey by helping you to identify the links between a researchable professional issue and the contexts within which it can be located. This could include historical/temporal, geographic/spatial and policy/institutional contexts.

Credits: 45

Compulsory module

In this module you will engage with epistemological, theoretical, practical and ethical decisions and dilemmas that must be considered in order to move from a researchable professional issue to a feasible and defensible research design.

Credits: 45

Compulsory module

Recent guidance highlights that the research output from Professional Doctorates should have a significant impact on professional practice, or the way it is understood, as well as making a contribution to knowledge. This module is designed to support you in ensuring that your research impacts in some way on the conduct or understanding of professional practice. By planning, designing and implementing a small-scale pilot or intervention project you will be able to assess and reflect upon the challenges of bringing about change.

Stage 2

The remaining time is dedicated to stage 2. Typically this will take a further 2 years, but you have up to 4 to submit your thesis and attend a viva. 

This stage is dedicated to completing a research thesis of up to 50,000 words. 


Credits: 360

Compulsory module

Your doctoral thesis is an individual programme of original research. This will be conducted under the supervision of an academic member of staff. Through this, you will demonstrate your ability to undertake a coherent line of research which would merit publication. You will complete a written thesis of up to 50,000 words and attend a viva. 

Teaching and assessment

You will complete a research thesis, attend a four-day residential element once a year and receive individual supervision from a team of experts. Your 50,000 word thesis is based on an original piece of research.

Essays are marked on a pass-fail basis. However, we do indicate the overall standard so that you can gauge the level of writing required for good doctoral work.

The thesis is treated as per a PhD thesis, and will be assessed by the same processes by both internal and external examiners.

Entry requirements


Minimum Entry Requirements

    2:1 undergraduate degree in a related subject

    2 years of relevant professional experience

Entry onto this postgraduate course requires a minimum of a 2:1 undergraduate degree in a related subject.

If your undergraduate degree is not in a related field but you have extensive experience in a related field, your application may still be considered.


We require you to have a minimum of 2 years professional work experience in a position relevant to this award. 

You must currently be in a professional role that is relevant to this award.

The relevance of past and current experience to a particular award will be judged at interview.

International Students

If you're an international student, you'll need to demonstrate experience, or qualifications equivalent to those above.

If your first language is not English you must show evidence of English Language competence at IELTS level 6.0 (with no skill below 5.5) or equivalent.


Entry onto this postgraduate course is decided by an interview panel. You will not be admitted solely on the basis of previous awards or professional experience.

We are happy to arrange interviews via Skype for overseas students.

Credit transfer

If you have gained Level 8 credits on other PD programmes, you may be allowed to transfer credit into the PD programme under university credit-transfer rules. To do this you must be able to demonstrate equivalence of learning to the taught modules in the first year of Stage 1 on the course.

All modules on the DAppLing are at doctoral level and master’s level credits will not be allowed as accredited prior learning on this programme. No more than 90 credits may be transferred in this way, and students must complete the final two Stage 1 modules at York St John University.

Fees and Funding

UK & EU 2020-2021

The tuition fee for January 2021 starters on this postgraduate course is £4,875 per year for part time UK/EU, Jersey, Guernsey and Isle of Man students.

This annual tuition fee will be paid for the first 4 years of the course only.

Postgraduate loans are available to help you pay for your master’s course. Find out more about postgraduate funding opportunities.

International (non-EU) 2020-21

The tuition fee for January 2021 entry to this postgraduate course is £9,563 per year for international students.

This annual tuition fee will be paid for the first 4 years of the course only.

Due to immigration laws, international students on a Student Visa must be studying full-time. For more information about visa requirements and short-term study visas, please visit the International Visa and Immigration pages.

More information about funding your studies is available on our International Fees and Funding page.

Tuition Fees

    UK and EU 2020-21 £3,750 per year

    International 2020-21 £9,563 per year

Additional costs and financial support


Whilst studying for your degree, there may be additional costs related to your course. This may include purchasing personal equipment and stationery, books and optional field trips.


View our accommodation pages for detailed information on accommodation and living costs.

Apply for this course

Before applying, please ensure that you have identified a potential supervisor, and that you have familiarised yourself with our application guidelines.

Apply now

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