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

1Fill out the online Doctoral Application form.

2Get two recommendations from the following using this recommendation form. Have each recommender email their signed recommendation form directly to Shiloh University.

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

3Request 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
416 D Avenue
P.O. Box 846
Kalona, IA 52247-0846

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.


4Write 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

5Make a copy of your government issued identification card (front and back). This is for proctored exam identity verification purposes.

6Submit the following items in the online application portal (available after starting an application) or to the admissions office email:

  • Your personal essay
  • A copy of your government issued identification card (front and back)

7You will receive the Admissions Committee decision and your next steps within two weeks after the admissions deadline.

Apply Now

If a person is admitted and decides not to attend, the file remains current for one year only. In the event the person does not enter the following year, the file is invalidated, and the application process must be completely repeated.

For visual / hearing accessibility assistance in applying, please email the admissions office or call 319-594-7446.

Processing and Notification

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all required information is submitted to the Admissions office. Applications will be reviewed by the Admissions Review Committee. Admission decisions are communicated to applicants in writing as soon as possible after the decision has been made, but typically no later than two weeks after the admission deadline. Upon notification of acceptance, applicants must return a signed enrollment agreement to the admissions office.

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 that is equivalent to the first year of study in Shiloh University’s program, a chaplain may be allowed transfer credit of up to two seminars. The Doctor of Ministry Committee will evaluate the 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 test (iTOEFL)
    • 550 on paper-based test (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.

Master of Divinity Equivalency

For the purpose of admission into the Doctor of Ministry program, Master of Divinity equivalency is considered three years of post-baccalaureate study comparable to an M.Div. degree which must include:

  1. An earned master’s degree in the area of 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 the area of biblical and/or ministerial studies and has completed at least 62 semester units, he or she may qualify for Concurrent Admission to the Doctor of Ministry program. Concurrent admits must complete the remaining graduate semester units before being granted candidacy status in the Doctor of Ministry program.

Applicants who have earned less than 62 semester units are encouraged to discuss their options with the Admissions Office to either earn a Master of Divinity with Shiloh University or take graduate coursework with the University in order to earn M.Div. Equivalency.

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., and
  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.