Doctoral Program Application

For Doctoral Program.

Doctoral Program Prerequisites

The following prerequisites are required:

  • First-professional theological degree (Master of Divinity or equivalent)*
  • Grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 on all first-professional work
  • Applicants who are not native English language speakers must demonstrate English proficiency as described below
  • Three years of ministry experience

* Applicants without a Master of Divinity degree should see Master of Divinity Equivalency below.


Application Steps


Download and fill out an application form.


Get two recommendations from the following using this recommendation form.

  • Ministry supervisor or overseeing pastor (if applicant has one)
  • Ministry peer or knowledgeable lay leader

Request to have your official transcripts for all graduate / seminary work to date sent directly to Shiloh University. We recommend that you contact your school at least one month before the admission deadline.

Admissions, Shiloh University
100 Shiloh Drive
Kalona, IA 52247

Students whose previous education did not take place in the United States will need to work with the WES (World Education Services) to have their educational experience evaluated. For information on the evaluation process refer to the World Education Services website at


Write a biographical statement (a minimum of 500 words) that includes the following:

  • Your name, mailing address, and email address
  • Your call to the ministry
  • How that call has been expressed to the present
  • Why you desire to pursue the Doctor of Ministry in Relational Leadership degree at Shiloh University

Make a copy of your government issued identification card (front and back). This is for proctored exam identity verification purposes.


You will be notified regarding acceptance within two weeks after the admissions deadline.


Transferring Credits into Doctoral Program

Because of the comprehensiveness and sequencing of the program, there will be no transfer of credit for individual doctoral seminars completed in other seminaries.

If, in the opinion of the Admissions Committee, academic work at a doctoral level has been completed which is equivalent to the first year of study in Shiloh University’s program, a person may be allowed transfer credit of up to two seminars. The Admissions Committee will make evaluation of transfer of credit in this specific instance.

English Language Requirement

Prospective Doctoral students who are not native English language speakers are required to demonstrate proficiency through one of the following methods:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Minimum required scores:
    • 80 on internet based (iTOEFL)
    • 550 on paper based (pTOEFL)
  • At least a 6.5 on International English Language Test Score (IELTS).
  • At least a 58 on Pearson Test of English Academic Score Report.
  • A high school diploma completed at an accredited/recognized high school where the medium of instruction is English.
  • At least a Level 3 on the ACT COMPASS’s English as a Second Language Placement Test.
  • At least a Pre-1 on the Eiken English Proficiency Exam
  • A minimum B-2 English proficiency level from the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) as assessed through various ESOL examinations.
  • Submission of a transcript indicating completion of at least 30 semester hours of credit at an English speaking accredited college or university. Doctoral student must have maintained a ‘B’ grade point average or higher. All non-U.S. transcripts may need to be reviewed by the World Education Services before they can be accepted for transfer credit.

Master of Divinity Equivalency

Three years of graduate study comparable to the M.Div. degree which included: 1) an earned master’s degree in Biblical and/or Ministerial studies or related field, 2) at least 72 semester units of study, and 3) a balance of Biblical, theological, and ministerial disciplines.

If the applicant has an earned master’s degree in Biblical and/or ministerial studies but has not completed the minimum 72 units required, he or she may be admitted to the University as a Non-degree Graduate student in order to complete the remaining graduate units required before beginning the Doctor of Ministry in Relational Leadership program.

If the applicant has completed at least 62 semester units, he or she may qualify to complete the remaining 10 graduate units concurrently with their doctoral coursework. Concurrent Enrollment requires approval from the program Dean.

Why would someone consider M.Div. equivalency instead of completing an M.Div.?

An applicant may consider applying to the Doctor of Ministry in Relational Leadership program without the required Master of Divinity degree under the following circumstances: 1) applicant completed a master’s degree that is similar in content. 2) applicant earned a large number of units but had to relocate before being able to complete an M.Div. 3) applicant exceeded the maximum time frame allowed for M.Div. completion. Note that in all cases, applicants will still need to meet all criteria named above.