DMin is a professional doctoral degree designated to enrich religious leaders in traditional and non-traditional settings and deepen their understanding and commitment to Christian Mission/Ministry and refine its practice. The programme’s mission is “to develop leaders for communities of faith and to equip women and men for ministries and vocations that provide personal religious and social transformation.” It offers women and men the opportunity to pursue advanced studies in Christian life and Ministry by research in professional practice with supporting specialised coursework.
1. Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
- A BD or MDiv or its equivalent recognised by the Academic Committee of Theology and Religious Studies/Academic Council of Martin Luther Christian University.
- The candidate should have a minimum of three years of experience in Pastoral Ministry.
- Minimum duration of three years.
- The maximum duration shall be six years, extendable up to one year only in exceptional circumstances by the Doctoral Committee.
- After the candidate has completed six years and any permitted extension period, the candidate who wishes to continue to meet the doctoral studies will have to be re-admitted, including the entrance test and the course work and payment of the fees current at the time of the new application. Such candidates should petition the Doctoral Committee for approval to re-apply.
- The DMin duration shall be counted from the admission date, i.e., the entrance test results’ announcement.
- Women candidates may be provided with an extension of the PhD for an additional 240 days. Such scholars who wish to avail this provision will write to the Dean Research stating the reason.
2. DMin to PhD
A candidate with a DMin obtained from a recognised board or University may pursue a PhD that will take a minimum of one year, provided the research study is based on, or a continuation of the DMin research project to meet PhD level of research.
- A DMin Degree from a recognised University/Board approved by the Academic Committee of Theology and Religious Studies.
- The candidate should have a minimum of three years of experience in Pastoral/teaching Ministry.
- Minimum duration of One year.
- The PhD duration shall be counted from the admission date, i.e., the entrance test results’ announcement.
- The maximum duration shall be three years, extendable up to another year only in exceptional circumstances by the Doctoral Committee.
- After the candidate has completed three years and any permitted extension period, the candidate who wishes to continue the PhD programme will have to be re-admitted, including the entrance test and payment of the fees current at the time of the new application. Such candidates must petition the Doctoral Committee for approval to re-apply.
3. ADMISSION TO DMIN AND DMIN TO PHD
- The candidates shall apply to the University in the prescribed form, attaching the required documents and fees. Besides, the candidate shall submit an essay of about 500 words on why the applicant wishes to do a doctoral study for the degree applied and a tentative research proposal of approximately 1500 words with 5 to 10 academic references.
- The entrance exam will test the candidates in the following areas.
- English competency
- Research Methods / Methodological Approaches related to Field of Research.
- Analytical skills
- Community Orientation
- A candidate shall ordinarily be admitted based on satisfactory performance in the entrance test and the interview. The qualifying marks for the entrance test shall be 50%. Upon being declared successful in the entrance test and interview, the candidate will be admitted to the doctoral study provisionally.
- After completing the coursework as prescribed, the candidate will have to submit a research proposal to the Doctoral Committee in the prescribed format provided in the Manual for DMin/PhD in Theology and Christian Studies.
- If a candidate does not satisfactorily complete the prescribed coursework within two years, he/she will have to re-appear and pass the entrance test to continue the DMin study.
- The DMin to PhD candidates is exempted from the written entrance test.
- The DMin to PhD candidate is expected to pursue the research study based on their previous research work completed for their DMin degree. Hence, they are exempted from coursework depending on their performance in the interview on their research capabilities.
- Such candidates must obtain approval for their research proposal within three months of admission into the programme, in order to be placed in the regular PhD programme. The tentative research proposal presented for the interview during admission cannot be taken for granted as an approved research proposal. A research proposal in the given format should be submitted within three months of the date of admission.
- The candidate shall not have simultaneous PhD registration with other Universities/Institutions.
- All applicants will submit the application fee along with the filled-in application form and required documents. On being declared eligible to appear for the entrance test, the candidate will have to pay the entrance test fee.
- Applicants who pass the entrance test and interview shall pay the registration fee and the first-year tuition fees together. After that, the annual course fees shall be payable till the candidate submits his/her thesis to the University.
- On submission of the research proposal, the candidate shall have to pay the Research Proposal fees.
- Candidates will be required to pay the examination fees along with the submission of the thesis.
5. DMIN COURSEWORK
In the DMin program, students embark on a journey under the guidance of a Research Supervisor. They travel through a sequence of milestones to create a project or research that addresses a significant real-world ministry within their ministry context.
- The candidates are required to do coursework for 16 credits.
- Social Sciences Research Design and Theological Research Design (4)
- Methodological Issues and Current Trends in Pastoral Theology (4)
- Literature Search and writing an annotated bibliography in the field chosen for research (4)
- Area Specific paper for research as suggested by the Supervisor (4)
- As part of the coursework, the candidate shall write a review article in the format suitable for publication.
- Each candidate is expected to demonstrate his/her competencies before the submission of the thesis. The Supervisor will certify the attainment of these competencies in the manner prescribed by the Doctoral Committee.
- All the candidates admitted to the Doctoral studies are required to complete the coursework within a year.
- A doctoral candidate must obtain a minimum GPA of 2.20 in the coursework to be eligible to continue the programme and submit the thesis.
- Each candidate will be provided with a transcript for the completion of the coursework.
- Each candidate shall work under the supervision of a supervisor.
- For specific candidates, especially for multi-disciplinary/interdisciplinary topics, a co-supervisor (s) may be appointed.
- A professor with at least five research publications in refereed journals or any regular Associate/Assistant professor at the University with a PhD/DTh degree and at least two research publications in refereed journals may be recognised as a Supervisor.
- In the areas/disciplines where there is no or only a limited number of refereed journals, the University may relax the above condition to recognise a person as a Supervisor with reasons recorded in writing.
- A Mentor with special knowledge in the field may be appointed, apart from the Supervisor, for a candidate pursuing his/her research in a greenfield or an indigenous discipline.
7. PRESENTATION AND FORMAT OF THE THESIS
- Preferred Writing style guide is Turabian (Chicago Style of Writing) and the Society for Biblical Literature (SBL) Writing Style Guide.
- Missiology and Practical Theology candidates may follow the APA style guide (either 6th or 7th Version).
- For DMin candidates, the expected word count is 50,000 to 60,000.
8. PROGRESS OF THE CANDIDATES
- The research proposal should generally be submitted to the Doctoral Committee within one year of admission and complete the prescribed coursework.
- Suppose a candidate has not completed the coursework and has not received approval for his/her research proposal from the Doctoral Committee within two years of admission. In that case, his/her candidature will be terminated.
- Upon approval by the Doctoral Committee, the thesis’s topic and the research study design shall be finalised. Any significant change of the topic or major modification recommended by the Supervisor shall have to be approved by the Doctoral Committee.
- After obtaining the Doctoral Committee’s approval, the candidate shall obtain the University Research Ethics Committee’s (UREC) approval. The Research work may commence only after the approval of the UREC.
- On the Supervisor’s recommendation, the Doctoral Committee can approve the proposal that does not involve human, community and/or animal participation in research.
- The doctoral candidates shall submit a yearly progress report approved by the Supervisor and co-supervisor to the Doctoral Committee through the Doctoral Centres.
- Each candidate is expected to present his/her work, or part thereof, at an appropriate academic conference, preferably national or international, and/or submit or publish the research work in a peer-reviewed journal with the prior approval of the Supervisor and co-supervisor. The Supervisor and co-supervisor’s names shall be included in all presentations and publications that are part of the thesis.
- A pre-submission presentation, approved by the Supervisor and co-supervisor, shall be made upon completing the main part of the research work.
- The candidates should report the findings of his/her research to the community in a suitable manner from which the data has been collected before the final submission. The scholar submits a report to the secretary, Doctoral Committee, before the public defence.
9. SUBMISSION OF THESIS AND PUBLIC DEFENCE
- The candidate shall submit the thesis, in the prescribed style and format, in five copies (along with a soft copy, duly attested and approved by the Supervisor and co-supervisor (if any), to the University, not earlier than six months before the prescribed minimum period.
- Before sending the thesis to the examiner, a screening of the thesis on content, format, grammar, plagiarism, and the general standards expected of a PhD thesis shall be conducted by the Department of Doctoral Studies and Research.
- The Chairperson of the Doctoral Committee, in consultation with the Supervisor and co-supervisor, shall recommend at least two suitable examiners.
- Within the stipulated period, each examiner shall submit a critical evaluation of the thesis to the University.
- Based on the examiners’ evaluation, the candidate shall revise the thesis if necessary, on the Supervisor and co-supervisor’s advice, and resubmit the thesis in three copies, along with a soft copy of the thesis.
- After approval of the thesis by at least two examiners (out of which at least one shall ordinarily be from outside the State), a public defence will be conducted.
- The date and venue of the Public defence shall be announced in advance to enable scholars and interested members of the public. Any audience member may post questions to the candidate about the research project or its general field.
- The candidate’s performance at the Public defence shall be evaluated by the Doctoral Committee members present. The Chairperson of the Doctoral Committee may announce the recommendation to be made to the Doctoral Committee at the end of the Public defence.
- Ordinarily, the process of evaluation and public defence should be completed within six months of submitting the thesis.
- In case any form of plagiarism is found, the University Policy on plagiarism will be applicable for all doctoral candidates.
10. RESULTS AND AWARD OF DEGREE
- The Doctoral Committee Chairperson shall declare the candidate’s eligibility to be awarded the PhD/DMin degree or otherwise, immediately upon the conclusion of the Public defence, and convey the recommendation to the University.
- The Doctoral Committee shall ratify the candidates’ eligibility for the Doctoral Degree award and forward the names to the Academic Council.
- The candidates should have fulfilled all obligations to the University before the award of the degree.
- Successful candidates will be awarded the Doctor of Divinity/Doctor of Philosophy degree under the University’s seal and the Vice-Chancellor’s signature. Along with the degree certificate, a provisional certificate may be issued certifying that the degree has been awarded in accordance with the provision to these regulations of the UGC.
- A copy of the successful thesis shall be kept in the University library and disseminated appropriately to the academic community.
- The unpublished thesis’s copyright rests with the researcher, the University, and the community from which the data has been collected. A declaration of copyright claim will be included as part of the thesis.
- Announcement of the DMin/PhD degrees awarded, and synopsis shall be sent to the University News, Association of Indian Universities, and the University Grants Commission.
- Candidates who have submitted the PhD thesis but have not attained the required minimum standards may be recommended for the award of an MPhil degree by the Doctoral Committee.
11. PHD DISCONTINUATION POLICY
Registration in the PhD degree may be cancelled by the scholar concerned by applying to the Secretary, Doctoral Committee. At the time of application, he/she should have paid all the tuition and other fees. He/she should enclose No Dues certificates from the Library, Accounts Department, Department of Research and Doctoral Studies. The application shall be signed by his/her research supervisor/Doctoral Centre. The Dean, Research Studies shall consideration the application for discontinuation as per the policy of the University. Cancellation of the registration shall be effective from the date the student completes all the required formalities.
The Supervisor may recommend discontinuation of registration based on unsatisfactory progress. The Dean, Research shall consider the recommendation and decide the due process.
The Dean, Research may cancel the registration at any time in case of misconduct on the candidate’s part after the due process.
The Doctoral Committee shall be informed of the discontinuation or termination of the registration of any scholar.
Dean, Faculty of Religious and Theological Studies
Martin Luther Christian University