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Doctor of Theology and Ministry (DThM)

The DThM is Durham’s Professional Doctorate in theology. It is intended for anyone who is interested in the relationship between theology and practice. The programme, run in partnership with St John’s College, has two phases. The first phase is delivered during the intensive teaching weeks held twice a year in Durham. This is followed by the research phase, where students continue their doctoral level research in their chosen field of study supervised by a team drawn from the Department of Theology and Religion and St John’s College.

Why do a taught doctorate?

The Professional Doctorate is an alternative to the PhD. It is examined in the same way as a PhD, and in the research phase students work with two supervisors as they would on any doctoral programme. The advantage of the professional doctorate is that it gives a structured taught research training that supports you as you develop your research proposal and throughout the research process. The intensive teaching weeks also offer the regular support of a cohort of fellow students to work alongside you as you do your doctorate.

DThM students who wish to submit a longer thesis of 100,000 words may apply to transfer to a PhD at the completion of the research phase of the DThM. The decision whether or not to approve such applications will be subject to careful academic scrutiny by the programme directors and other University officers.

Who is it for?

The degree is ideal if you want to pursue research that links an aspect of practice with the core disciplines in theology and the study of religion. It is also a good way to come back to study after a time working in the Church or in an NGO or as a Chaplain or a Youth Worker. Students do not have to be ordained or to be currently active in ministry to do the degree. Most students do the programme part time and at a distance and we always have a number of students who live outside of the UK. It is however possible to study full-time and with the link to Cranmer Hall, which is part of St John’s College, it is possible to combine full time study with ministerial training.

What can I study?

Your research can be located in any of the core areas in theology and the study of religion. This includes: Systematic Theology, Biblical Studies, Practical Theology, Spirituality, Church History, Christian Ethics, Anthropology and the Sociology of Religion. The distinctive feature of the DThM is that there is an expectation that every research project will make explicit connections to the practice of faith.

DThM Learning Intensives

There are two week-long learning intensives each year for the DThM, held in September and in the Spring. Students are required to attend both of these weeks throughout their study on the programme. Accommodation is booked through St John’s College, Durham.

The typical week will include:

  • Public lectures and seminars from an invited theologian
  • Module teaching for first year students
  • Workshops on designing and conducting a research project and other skills
  • Student presentations of work in progress
  • There are also optional times of student-led worship.

Entry Requirements

You will need to have an MA in theology or a related discipline with an average of 65 or above to be accepted onto the programme. If you have an M.Div you will be required to have a GPA of 3.7 or above. If you have an MA in an unrelated area, you may be required to take two 30 credit modules at MA level before you can be accepted onto the programme. St John’s College/Cranmer Hall have a number of modules in the MA in Theology and Ministry programme that can be completed at a distance. Details can be found here.


If you want to talk about making an application or want to arrange a visit to Durham to meet the programme team email the DThM co-directors Prof Pete Ward ( or Dr Samuel Tranter (


If you are interested in applying to study on the Professional Doctorate, contact the Postgraduate Research Co-ordinator ( for application details.