The Doctor of Ministry (D.Min) Degree with a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Focus is a 3-year program that enables pastoral caregivers an opportunity to utilize the action-reflection-action model of CPE to enhance their personal development and pastoral competence. Men and women ministry leaders may complete three (or more) units of CPE in church, community, or medical facilities associated with an accredited ACPE center to complete their focus. This track will be especially appealing to ministers interested in serving in chaplaincy ministry in hospitals, the military, prisons, etc.


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Program Learning Outcomes


Through the infusion of the 7 Core Competencies, each student is expected to:


  • PLO 1: Integrate advanced and contextually relevant biblical and theological knowledge into one's ministry and/or vocation.

  • PLO 2: Present biblically-faithful and historically-informed perspectives on contemporary faith, science, ethics, social-cultural issues, and church-state relations.

  • PLO 3: Formulate and lead ministry plans to address the world mental health crisis through an integration of theology, spirituality, and psychology.

  • PLO 4: Analyze seminal texts and formulate and discuss ideas and conclusions logically, critically, and at an advanced level in oral, written, and media formats.

  • PLO 5: Demonstrate ministry practice and program development/implementation skills conducive to the integration of spiritual renewal and redemptive human flourishing for all persons.

  • PLO 6: Demonstrate Christian leadership skills which integrate faith and integrity and
    creatively respond to local and global challenges and opportunities in church, community, and marketplace.

  • PLO 7: Implement a spiritual development and formation plan that integrates self-knowledge, ministry gifts, and contextual support resources for ministry and vocational excellence.

  • PLO 8: Design and implement a well-researched ministry program and intervention and communicate its results and insights for the benefit of others.

  • PLO 9: Achieve sufficient mastery of CPE Level 1 Outcomes to be awarded one unit of ACPE accredited CPE credit.

  • PLO 10: Complete all CPE Level 1 Outcomes and be awarded the second unit of ACPE accredited CPE credit.

  • PLO11: Achieve sufficient mastery of CPE Level 2 Outcomes to be awarded a third unit of ACPE accredited CPE credit.


Degree Requirements


  • Complete a minimum of 36 semester credit hours.

  • A 3.0 cumulative grade point average with an A or B grade in all required courses.

  • At least 21 semester credit hours must be earned at VBC.

  • Complete the general graduation requirements listed below.

  • Meet course requirements in the following areas:

    •  36 Total Required Credit Hours

      • Biblical Studies (3)

        • BIB 712 Foundations: Scripture, Authority, and Hermeneutics                     

      • History/Theology (3)

        • HT 721  Modern Christianity: Renewal, Reformation, and Resurgence

      • Apologetic Studies (3)

        • APOL 840 “Glocal” Christianity: Science, Faith, and Culture in Mission

      • Care & Counseling Studies (3)

        • CC 755 Mental Health and Crisis Intervention                        

      • Leadership Studies (3)

        • LD 763 Leading in Context: Ethics in Personal, Social, Political, and Media

      • CPE Unit 1 & Unit 2, plus either Unit 3 or Chap 881 Theology and Practice of Chaplaincy Ministry (9)

      • Spiritual Development & Research (12)

        • SFR 771  Orientation: Assessment & Research (4)

        • SFR 772-779 Spiritual Formation & Research (8)                                 


Admission Requirements


  • A graduate degree in a theological or another field of study (Master's Degree Equivalency Plan available for non-theological graduate degrees) and demonstration of mastery of the core competencies of Virginia Bible College’s Master of Ministry degree

  • Completed application

  • Essay addressing (1) reasons for applying for the DMIN program; (2) description of ministry or leadership experience; and (3) future vocational and/or ministerial goals

  • Two (2) letters of recommendation: (1) Pastoral reference; and (1) Professional colleague or acquaintance


Transfer Credits


Life experience is valuable as it informs one’s hermeneutic, however, life experience cannot contribute toward the completion of the Doctor of Ministry degree program.  Additionally, because of the unique nature of this degree and the rigorous matriculation required to earn it, no transfer credits will be accepted, except for in the case of students who have already earned theological (or its equivalent) doctoral credits. Students who currently possess such doctoral credits, a maximum of 15 doctoral-level hours may be transferred to VBC; unaccredited doctoral credits from reputable institutions may be accepted, but is at the discretion of the college. Students must have earned a grade of B or better (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) in order to be eligible to transfer a course from another institution to VBC. Transferability of credits earned at this institution is at the discretion of the receiving institution. Consult the Office of Academic Affairs for further information.




Doctor of Ministry courses are each organized into three phases spanning across 15 weeks:

 Phase I: 1-day online orientation session, followed by an 8-week pre-course reading and writing period.
 Phase II: 3-day on-campus modular style seminar (Typically, Thursday- Saturday).
 Phase III: 6-week post-course reading and writing, followed by a 1-day, on-campus seminar to conclude the course.


What is unique to this program is that the dissertation work has been engrafted into each course, which means that students will begin the dissertation work when they start and will finish by the end of the program.


Graduation Requirements


Candidates for the degree are required to complete a minimum of 36 hours at a B grade level or higher. Students must also satisfactorily participate in doctoral on-campus seminars, which provide the venue for cohort interaction and reflection. Continued involvement in ministry and/or leadership practice during the D. Min. program is required. Students will critically reflect on current ministry and/or leadership experience in doctoral seminars. Students must complete a research project following the steps outlined in the program handbook (made available upon admission). Students must complete and orally defend a dissertation that supports the program outcomes, reflects theological understanding, integrates theory and practice at an advanced level of excellence, and is approved by the Doctoral committee. 



Doctor of Ministry with a Concentration in Clinical Pastoral Education

© 2013 by Virginia Bible College             Virginia Bible College is a religious institution exempt from state regulation and oversight in the Commonwealth of Virginia


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