Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
1. Students must have a Masters degree or its equivalency. An equivalency consists of documented training beyond a bachelor’s degree that is equivalent in hours and requirements to a Masters Degree.
2. A completed Ubiquity University Admissions Application must be filed with the Office of Admissions.
3. Students are encouraged to belong to an academic research library in the area in which they live.
The DMin Program includes 40 semester credits plus a dissertation that should be completed within a period of five years from initiation of study. Extensions for a variety of personal, family and professional reasons are allowed. We are mindful that all our students are professionals with numerous obligations and responsibilities, and we are prepared to work with each student to ensure that there is enough time to complete the course of study and the dissertation. Applications for Continuation must be submitted to the Dean of Doctoral Studies when a student requires additional time over the five years.
Each completed five-day Intensive or Pilgrimage counts as 4 credits, and each weekend intensive counts as 2 credits toward any Ubiquity University degree. Online courses and Virtual Retreats may count as 2 credits or 4 credits. Forty credits of class attendance are required for a DMin degree. An additional 14 credits are awarded for the preparation of the dissertation itself, for a total of 54 credits required for the DMin degree.
Half of the course credits must be in-person learning experiences (Intensives or Pilgrimages) and the other 50% may be taken as Virtual Retreats. Exceptions may be made for certain international students.
The following four seminars are required for the DMin program:
1. Wisdom and Civilization, taught annually
2. Doctoral Writing and Research Methods, taught annually
3. Any course designated as pertaining to Earth Wisdom and the Primordial Mind
4. Any course designated as pertaining to one of the Mystics or Specific Wisdom Traditions
The remaining elective seminars may be selected from any of the university's course offerings. Students should select Intensives Pilgrimages, Virtual Retreats that in some way contribute to their dissertation topic or specific area of interest.
Dr. Judith Yost serves as Dean of Students. In this capacity, she will generally advise enrolled DMin students about the selection of a major advisor, and she can serve as Major Advisor, as well. Dr. Carolyn Atkinson, Dean of Doctoral Studies, will also consult with the student as soon as the student has chosen to begin their dissertation.
Once a student has completed at least three (3) Wisdom University courses, has decided upon a focus of inquiry, and has completed an Advising Agreement with a Major Advisor, the Dean of Doctoral Studies will convene a Candidate Review. This meeting will include the student, the Dean, the Major Advisor, and a selected faculty member appropriate to the topic of the dissertation and may be either in person or by phone, depending on geographic proximity between the people involved.
The purpose of the Candidate Review is for the Dean and the student to assess together the student’s readiness to embark on a research study. In addition, questions from the student and the Advisor will be addressed. The student should demonstrate a basic understanding of the research process and be able to identify the major authors that will provide the foundation of the literature review. If a student needs additional advice or support in preparation for the Candidate Review, he/she should contact the Dean of Doctoral Studies.
Areas of DMin Concentration
There are a range of areas of concentration in which students can earn a DMin degree as long as it is in the general domain of “Wisdom Spirituality.” In the end, the choice is intensely personal and may be a topic that one has wondered about for some time or is an area of burning interest for further exploration. Successful dissertations can range from pure research to creative artistic projects and/or social activism. For example, one can research a particular mystic, historical event or area of spiritual concern. One can develop an artistic project such as a piece of music or art and write it up. One can engage in a particular act of social activism such as going to India to work with disadvantaged children and write it up. This is a decision you must make because, in the end, the dissertation is your work and needs to reflect who you are and what you deem important for your academic and spiritual growth.
As you think about areas of focus, please know that there are a number of Ubiquity University faculty with significant expertise in a wide range of focus areas who could serve as Major Advisors.
It may be that your area of research lies outside the domain of any Ubiquity University faculty. Contact the Director of Student Advising, Judith Yost, as soon as you enroll so that you can obtain guidance as to what you might want to explore for your dissertation topic and whom you might want as a Major Advisor.
Selecting a Topic and Criteria for Writing of DMin Dissertation
There are three principle criteria for successful DMin dissertations:
1. Each dissertation must demonstrate both knowledge of the field in question and be an substantive contribution to that field. The dissertation must show both a comprehensive knowledge of the philosophy and history of the domain being considered, as well as demonstrate that the student has added something substantive to that field. Substantive contributions can cover a wide range of topics and media. Dissertation studies may be focused on research, a creative project, teaching project, or other projects that clearly demonstrate the student's creative capacities.
2. All dissertations without exception must follow the APA (American Psychological Association) style of writing. This format allows for uniformity in university dissertations and provides a common standard to which all students must adhere in preparing their dissertations. If the APA style is not followed, the dissertation will not be admitted.
3. Demonstration of Subject/Object Synthesis. At most universities, the requirement for papers is exclusively for objective, dispassionate analysis and research. At the Wisdom School, we turn this on its head and require both a rigorous demonstration that the student understands the content of the course or thesis project, and can use footnotes, bibliographies, proper formatting, etc. as well as demonstrate an equally rigorous insight into his or her interior journey as a result of learning the content at hand. In our view, it is the capacity to combine an objective grasp of the material under consideration and also engage in the introspective work of discerning how the material is actually affecting one's inner life and soul growth that is a mark of wisdom.
Getting Started with your Dissertation
The procedure for writing a DMin dissertation is very straightforward. Early on in their doctoral studies, students are encouraged to contact the Dean of Students, Judith Yost, who will guide them in thinking through some of the courses they might consider. When they are ready to begin the actual dissertation writing process, the Dean of Doctoral Studies, Dr. Carolyn Atkinson, will be in touch to conduct the Candidate Review.
It is normal in the process of selecting and writing a DMin dissertation to have ideas, pursue them, then to change one's mind and have to start all over again. Students are encouraged to take their time, experiment with different leads, and allow a certain "gestation" to take place. A DMin dissertation is a major project, and it should not be rushed or contrived. The best dissertations are those that emanate out of a certain passion of the heart to explore a domain that has deep personal relevance. The dissertation should be on a subject of personal and scholarly significance, and it should be something that is also practicable and doable.
Intensive on Doctoral Writing and Research Methods
The Intensive on Doctoral Writing and Research Methods is particularly important in relation to writing the dissertation. During this five day Intensive, students will familiarize themselves with the writing and research methods specific to a wisdom school—which combines objective analysis of data with subjective response—as students grapple with the material they are studying. Ubiquity University is as much interested in the student's interior journey as it is in how well they objectively comprehend the material they are studying. There will be a thorough discussion of the distinctions between a Ph.D. and DMin degree. Also during this Intensive, students will familiarize themselves with the APA style of writing, which Wisdom University requires for its dissertations and encourages for all its pre and post papers.
During the class, students will have ample opportunity to discuss and share their ideas and plans for their dissertations, as well as generate ideas for research and study, both with the professor and with their student peers. Students are encouraged to attend this Intensive early in their doctoral studies, and then repeat it as many times as they feel the need in order to discuss their progress with faculty and peers in a group setting. Full tuition payment is required the first time the class is taken. Thereafter, a small administrative fee of $300 will be applied to repeat the course.
Selecting a Major Advisor
Each student is responsible for preparing his or her own dissertation. Because of the rigorous nature of doctoral dissertations, Advisors are essential to guide the student both in obtaining comprehensive knowledge of the chosen field of study and also in refining the ideas and research that goes into a dissertation. Each student must select a Major Advisor, drawn either from the list of Ubiquity University faculty or from outside the university, who would be appropriate. This decision should be made after consultation with the Dean of Students, Judith Yost and/or the Dean of Doctoral Studies, Carolyn Atkinson. The choice of the Major Advisor is in many ways second only to that of the dissertation topic itself because it is the Major Advisor who will guide the student over a multi-year process of exploration, preparation, and finalization of their scholarly work.
Passage of DMin Dissertation
On completion of the dissertation and final approval from the Major Advisor, the student will make formal submission of the dissertation to Ubiquity University. The Dean of Doctoral Studies will then either recommend the student for VPAA approval and signature or recommend more refinement in the dissertation.
Graduation Requirements for a DMin Degree
Students who complete requirements for Graduation after the June Commencement date can request transcripts as evidence of graduation and that they, in fact, hold the title of Doctor of Ministry. The Degree and Stole will be given at Commencement the following June, or mailed to the student if they do not plan to attend the graduation ceremony.