Admissions Information for Doctor of Ministry

Admissions Requirements

The MDiv, or its equivalent, from an institution accredited by the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) and/or the regional accrediting body. The following guidelines are used to evaluate MDiv equivalency.

    • At least 72 transcripted hours from ATS accredited institutions and/or the Regional Accrediting Body consisting of
    • At least 20 hours in Biblical Foundations, to include OT Intro and NT Intro
    • 32 hours in Leadership Skills Formation, to include Public Speaking for Christian Educators/Preaching/Communication, Missions/Evangelism and Theological Field Education.
    • The remaining hours will be free electives.

Applicants with deficiencies in the above areas may be allowed to take up to 10 hours of leveling work concurrent with and after admission to the program. All requirements must be met before beginning the ministry project.

Seminary Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Applicants with a seminary GPA lower than 3.0 are required to take the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) as an additional measurement of their academic capabilities for succeeding in the program. The MAT can be taken at a university testing center and is normally given either on demand or at specifically scheduled times. To apply to take the MAT, go to It frequently takes four to six weeks to obtain a MAT score. Applicants should take this into consideration for meeting the D.Min. application deadline.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants who do not have English as their native language and who do not take the MAT will be required to take the TOEFL exam, including the Test of Spoken English portion. They must score at least 575 on the standard paper-based TOEFL or 230 on the computer-generated TOEFL, and 50 on the Test Of Spoken English portion. Applicants using the new Internet-based TOEFL exam must score at least 90. TOEFL scores are only valid one year from the date of the exam.
    • For Korean Track applicants only, the expected TOEFL score is 550. The Test of Spoken English portion is not required. For persons who have graduated with an undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited English-language-based institution or take our in-house test, the TOEFL requirement is waived.
    • Persons who otherwise meet all the entrance criteria with the exception of the required TOEFL scores will be encouraged to address their English deficiencies. Once they have addressed those deficiencies to the point that they can obtain the required TOEFL scores, they will be considered for acceptance into the program.
    • The in-house test will evaluate three components: reading comprehension, writing proficiency, and skills in conversational English.
    • In the presence of a proctor, the applicant will read a PDF document in English (8-10 pages from one of our seminar textbooks) that will be emailed to the proctor from the DMin office.
    • The applicant will have two hours to read through the text and provide a two to three page long response in Korean with one paragraph (5-6 sentences) written in English.
    • The applicant’s response paper will be reviewed by another Korean speaking faculty member and a Korean DMin graduate who will then submit a recommendation to the track coordinator on the applicant’s ability to function in the Korean bilingual track. If the two readers disagree, the track coordinator or a third reader will review the response paper as well.
    • During the admissions interview, the track coordinator will conduct part of the interview in English in order to test conversational English skills. Taking into account the reader’s recommendations, the Track Coordinator will offer a recommendation for the applicant’s ability to function in the bi-lingual DMin Program and submit it along with the standard recommendation form.
    • After the applicant passes the test, have one of the professors sign a document clearly stating that the applicant passed the test and that the decision was unanimous and put in the .PDF of the document in the application folder.
    • Students admitted to the Korean track without the TOEFL score, should they choose to transfer to our English only tracks in the future, will still be required to show their English competency and be subject to the regular admissions requirement for foreign language students.
    • For persons who have graduated with an undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited English-language-based institution, this language testing requirement is waived.
Three years of substantial post-seminary ministry experience. Positions held while at college or seminary student will not normally meet this requirement. A staff position or its equivalent that provided opportunity for demonstrating qualifications for ministry will constitute substantial ministry experience.

Applicants must have specific and adequate current positions of ministry. A bivocational applicant will need to provide evidence that the ministry setting and ministry involvement are sufficient to meet the educational goals of the D.Min. program.

Statement of Conversion and Call. Applicants submit a maximum two-page essay (typed and double spaced) that overviews their experience of becoming a Christian and decision to pursue ministry as a calling.

Ministry Essay. Applicants submit a ministry essay of eight to ten pages (typed and double-spaced), setting forth their understanding of ministry and their ability to communicate that understanding. The essay needs to address the following areas:
    • Philosophy of ministry.
    • Past ministry experience.
    • Current ministry situation, including position, nature of responsibilities and accomplishments, organizations, and programs.
    • Goals for personal and professional development in ministry practice.
    • Specific ways the D.Min. Program will help in achieving these goals.
Institutional Approval Form. The church, institution, or agency in which the applicant ministers will provide the seminary a statement of its approval of the applicant and its willingness to participate in the applicant’s program of study and practice. This form is used to determine an applicant’s denominational status, in terms of tuition.

References. Applicants will submit names of references to testify to their commitment to and effectiveness in ministry.

Interview. The director or associate director will conduct or supervise an interview with each applicant.

The completed application is available upon request.

Applicants may be granted provisional acceptance if their entrance data are not sufficient to indicate candidacy, or if grade point average and MAT score are marginally lower, but ministry (as determined by references, years in ministry, essay, and interview) is significantly above average. The cohort coordinator will review work of provisional applicants after their first six months in the program and recommend to the D.Min. Committee if they should be granted candidate status. If the committee determines the provisional applicant should not continue in the program, he/she will be terminated from the program.

Previous Golden Gate Seminary master’s degree applicants/students: Your permanent application/student file already contains transcripts from colleges and universities. You must   only arrange for transcripts for any additional studies you have done at colleges, universities, and seminaries since your last application to Golden Gate Seminary.

Details for International Students

Admissions Process

    • Application deadline is five months prior to the start of the first seminar (date will vary depending upon which track you select). On this date, we will need – at a minimum – your application and the application fee. Remaining required materials may be submitted after this date.
    • All required items (transcripts, essays, etc.) must be received before final processing of your application.
    • When the application file is complete, the director or associate director will review the material, conduct a phone-call interview with you, and make a recommendation to the D.Min. Committee.
    • We will inform you after the final determination. In some cases, the D.Min. Committee may ask you to defer your application to a later cohort (which does not guarantee acceptance).