Wilfrid Laurier University Graduate Calendar - 2011/2012
Canadian Excellence

Doctor of Ministry

Students in the DMin program will focus their study in one of two fields: pastoral leadership or spiritual care and psychotherapy.

The Doctor of Ministry (DMin) degree in Pastoral Leadership is a professional degree for people who serve the spiritual and social needs of religious congregations, and faith based and community organizations.  DMin students undertake disciplined reflection and extensive research in their area of ministry.  They will work with student colleagues in the program, the WLS faculty and colleagues from their ministry setting.  The program elements and courses are designed to help move DMin students toward the final completion of their DMin thesis.  The studentís thesis will assist and challenge their denomination or community to better understand and undertake its mission.

The Doctor of Ministry (DMin) in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy is intended for persons who already have competence in pastoral care and counselling and related disciplines. Students undertake advanced studies and training in the theological foundations of spiritual care and counselling in conjunction with post-practicum clinical education in the practice of individual, couple and family therapy.

Admission Requirements

The DMin program commences in September annually. Applicants are assessed on the basis of the application materials submitted (including official transcripts, references, and a personal statement). These materials will not be returned to the applicant. The applicant may be invited for a personal interview.

Applicants for admission must hold the MDiv degree or the equivalent of such a degree, with at least an average of B+. A minimum of three years experience in service or ministry is required. The program is open to students from all faith traditions.

For applicants to the spiritual care and psychotherapy field, the prior academic training must be acceptable as a qualifying graduate degree for a post-degree program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Marriage and Family Therapy of the AAMFT. Further admission requirements for candidates in this field include adequate ministry experience (normally three years), and completion of basic training in Pastoral Counselling Education (PCE) or equivalent level of clinical training.

Advanced Standing in the DMin Program (Spiritual Care and Counselling)

Students who have successfully completed TH663D - Intermediate Pastoral Counselling Studies: The Aging Process and Pastoral Care, TH663G - Intermediate Pastoral Counselling Studies: Foundations of Systemic Psychotherapy and Pastoral Counselling, TH663I - Intermediate Pastoral Counselling Studies: Family of Origin Seminar, TH663K - Intermediate Pastoral Counselling Studies: Group Process and Leadership as part of their MTh (pastoral counselling) degree may receive advanced standing in the DMin program for these courses.

Program Requirements

The program is normally completed in no more than 4 years of study including required coursework and doctoral thesis.Continuous registration (3 terms each year) is required. To earn the DMin degree, students must meet all requirements of the program including attaining at least a B grade in each course of their program and a cumulative GPA of B+ in all required coursework. Students in the spiritual care and psychotherapy field must be judged to be capable of assuming the professional responsibilities of spiritual care and psychotherapy in addition to completing successfully the academic courses. Any student not meeting these requirements may be required by the Principal-Dean of the Seminary to withdraw from the program.

When the required coursework is completed the student will register in TH780A - DMin Research Project. When the DMin Thesis proposal has been approved and defended (and if applicable, the research proposal is accepted by the Ethics Committee), the student is granted candidacy and will register in TH780B - DMin Thesis.

Students will be required to take 9 courses in their area of study, in addition to TH780A - DMin Research Project and TH780B - DMin Thesis:

Pastoral Leadership

  • TH666C - Advanced Studies in Parish Practice: Adult Education-Nature, Principles, Methods
  • TH664I - Advanced Pastoral Counselling Studies: Qualitative and Quantitative Research in Family Therapy and Ministry
  • TH765A - Pastoral Leadership Seminar I
  • TH761E - Doctoral Pastoral Counselling Studies: Theological Reflection in Pastoral Care and Counselling
  • TH761F - Doctoral Pastoral Counselling Studies: Advanced Qualitative and Case Study Research
  • TH765B - Pastoral Leadership Seminar II
  • TH740A - Integration of Theory and Praxis
  • Two electives

Spiritual Care & Psychotherapy

  • 5 courses selected from among the Theoretical foundations offerings
  • TH664H - Advanced Pastoral Counselling Studies: Professional Studies and Ethics
  • 1 advanced research course
  • 2 elective courses selected from among the Theological offerings

Clinical Work (Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy)

Four pastoral counselling education unit courses are required for students in the spiritual care and psychotherapy field. This requirement is fulfilled by each student completing a minimum of 500 hours of supervised pastoral counselling, normally over two years and no more than three years. Practicum equivalency may be granted if the student qualifies.

Examination Requirements

During the last year of course and clinical work, normally in the second year, the student forms the DMin Research Project/Dissertation committee in accordance with the university's regulations and procedures. At least one of these two shall be a certified clinical supervisor in pastoral counselling. The Research Project/Dissertation committee will provide critical reflection and evaluation of the DMin Research Project research and the preparation of the dissertation.

The university's regulations and procedures on the Doctoral Dissertation, including the defence process, will apply.

Dissertation Style and Procedures for Submitting the Dissertation

For style requirements the student should consult the thesis guidelines established by Wilfrid Laurier University and Waterloo Lutheran Seminary. The thesis should follow the standards set out in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Fifth Edition (Washington: American Psychological Association, 2001).