Admission Standards

Hazelip School of Theology’s Doctor of Ministry program follows ATS admission standards, where entrance to the DMin program requires the possession of a board-approved MDiv degree or its educational equivalent. Ministerial experience is not considered the equivalent of or a substitute for the MDiv degree. 

When one applies to Lipscomb's DMin program with a master’s degree other than the MDiv degree, the program director or member of the DMin program’s administrative staff performs an MDiv Equivalency Evaluation to assess the degree to which the applicant’s educational background meets the educational equivalent of the MDiv degree. If it is determined that the applicant’s educational background does not meet MDiv equivalency and falls short by no more than 30 semester hours, a list of suggested leveling courses is provided, which, when completed, would satisfy ATS standards. Meeting MDiv equivalency does not result in the conferral of the MDiv degree. Its sole purpose is to qualify the applicant for admission to the DMin program.

The admission process also requires documentation of 3 or more years in ministry.  ATS allows up to 20% of each year's students to bypass this  requirement.  If an applicant does not have the appropriate ministry experience, he/she should consult with the program director or administrative staff for guidance.   

Admission Deadline

The Doctor of Ministry program accepts applications throughout the year.  Cohorts form each spring and are limited to 14 students.  

Application Process

To be considered for admission to the Doctor of Ministry program at the Hazelip School of Theology, an applicant must submit the pieces listed below. 

1. Online Admission Application

2. Three reference forms Request one from each of the following through the online application site. 

  • University professor or administrator
  • Church minister or leader
  • Employer or professional

If your recommender has technical difficulties with the application e-mail request, you can also send this form to them directly.

3. Documentation of full-time participation in ministry A minimum of three years experience is required after completion of the MDiv degree.  This documentation includes a written endorsement of the applicant’s admission to the DMin program from his or her church or para-church organization.

4. Personal essay Applicants must submit a 750-1000 word personal essay describing their interest in the DMin offered by Hazelip School of Theology.  They should also identify potential barriers that would prevent them from participating in the program (before initial entry or while enrolled).

5. Possession of appropriate writing skills  You must submit a writing sample (e.g., an academic paper or a recently published article) to be evaluated by the DMin program director or member of the program’s faculty. Writing samples are evaluated on the basis of form (demonstrating a basic grasp of the mechanics of good writing) and content (demonstrating the ability to engage in critical thinking).

6. English as a second language  For international applicants, if English is a second language, he or she must demonstrate proficiency in the English language through a score of at least 550 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL).

7. Official transcript(s) They must be from each undergraduate institution where you earned credit (one must show degree conferral) as well as prior graduate institutions.  If you need a transcript from Lipscomb University, go to the Office of the Registrar's site in order to request one. They can send your transcript through campus mail, but we cannot request it for you.

Please send all transcripts to:

Lipscomb University
Attn: Hazelip School of Theology
One University Park Drive
Nashville, TN 37204-3951

8. Committee interview Once all application materials have been reviewed, applicants will be contacted for an interview.

9. Deposit after acceptance To secure their place in the program, accepted applicants are required to provide a $1,500.00 non-refundable deposit by March 1st. This deposit will be applied to the tuition costs for the first residency. 

For International Students Only

Applicants outside the United States will need to secure appropriate visas if they intend to attend classes on campus.  For more information on visa requirements, please contact Sylvia Braden, coordinator of international student services, at or 615.966.6151.

Additionally, applicants whose academic records are from colleges, universities and institutes located outside the United States must order a course-by-course report from an approved evaluation service. Application for admission will not be considered without having this detailed review on file.  All applicants are required to order a course-by-course report.

The services that Lipscomb University uses are:

Lisano International
Foreign International Credential Evaluation
P.O. Box 407
Auburn, AL 36831-0407 U.S.A.
Fax: 334.745.0425


World Education Services (WES)
P.O. Box 01-5060
Miami, FL 3310104
Tel: 305.358.6688