DMin Opportunities for US Military Chaplains

The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) DMin program offers helpful flexibility for either active or reserve chaplains. We have a track record of excellence in the DMin program for more than 30 years, and have a number of military chaplains from several branches of the Service already in the program. The degree can be completed within three years on a part time basis. The DMin is an “elective based” program that allows students to choose their own area of “focus” and a variety of ways to take course; which includes five day intensive courses, distance learning courses, and independent studies.

LTSP has a Department of Defense (DoD) Memorandum of Agreement (MOU) to participate in the DoD Tuition Assistance (TA) Program.


  • Colloquia I & II: The Colloquium will introduce you to the requirements of the DMin program. Colloquium II is intended to help you begin planning for your DMin Ministry Project. These are residential four-day programs offered every June.
  • Eight Courses (two of which must be in the are of “focus” – e.g. “pastoral care”, “preaching”, etc.).
  • Candidacy Papers: an exegetical paper, a theological essay, a case study, a communications exhibit (either a sermon or teaching exhibit), and an on-site visit report which may be completed by superior officer.
  • Project-in-ministry (focusing on some aspect of Military Chaplaincy).

Opportunities for US Military Chaplains (Reserve or Active):

  • We will give two courses of advanced standing for military chaplaincy training coursework (“Joint Military Operations” and “National Security Decision Making” for the US Navy, and “Pastor as Military Chaplain” and “Chaplain in a Pluralistic Setting” for the US Army).
  • We accept evaluations from a superior officer attesting to quality of chaplaincy ministry, in lieu of an on-site visit.
  • We allow unlimited leave from the DMin program if you are deployed (no fees during that period), with resumption of program when deployment ends; please let us know when deployment begins so we can put you on leave.
  • We offer 3-4 Distance Learning Courses each year.
  • We offer 10 five-day intensive residential courses each year.
  • We allow up to two Independent Studies to be done under faculty supervision in your current chaplaincy assignment.
  • We encourage a project-in-ministry (thesis) related to your current military chaplaincy or, if you are nearing the end of your chaplaincy, then a project related to the ministry for which you are preparing.
  • We are ready to guide students and work with projects via email. We can guide your program and your project-thesis wherever you are in the world.
  • We allow committee meetings for candidacy and for approval by telephone conference or, if necessary, by email correspondence.
  • The program gives you access to the three-libraries-under-one-roof of the Eastern Cluster of Theological Schools. (We can mail you the books, and you mail them back.)

More information on the LTSP DMin is available here.

Please contact The Rev. David D. Grafton, PhD, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, 7301 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19119-1794, call 215.248-6347, or email to learn more about DMin Opportunities for US Military Chaplains.

Apply for the DMin online here