History of ADME

“Chronology of DMin Education, Past Presidents, Distinguished Leaders.”


Chronology of Doctor of Ministry Education


1937 The American Association of Theological Schools (now ATS) appointed a committee to study program length and nomenclature.


1962 Claremont introduced a new degree, the Doctor of Religion (D.Rel.)

1964 The University of Chicago Divinity School moved to a four-year program, the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)

Vanderbilt Divinity School announced a four-year professional doctoral degree to ministers who engaged in seven to eight years of part-time study (Doctor of the Science of Theology degree or S.T.D.).

1966 Appointment of committee—chaired by Seward Hiltner—to draft standards for a professional doctorate.

1968 The Hiltner Committee supplanted by a new committee chaired by Krister Stendahl, which issued its report in 1970.


1970 Member schools of the American Association of Theological Schools (AATS) authorized to award the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree.

1984 ATS D.Min. Standards revised.

1990 Association of Doctor of Ministry Education (ADME) established.

1996 New ATS Standards adopted for the D.Min. degree.

2009 By-laws revised and new Policy and Procedures Manual developed and approved.


2018 Preparation for revision and renewal of ATS Standards for D.Min. degree.


2019  ADME facilitates professional development through online dialogue (ATS Engage), webinars, roundtables, and peer-mentoring groups.



First online video conferencing-based ADME annual conference in response to COVID-19


Presentation, approval, and adoption of the new ATS Standards for the Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degree.

Past Presidents

1988-1990 J. Randall Nichols, Princeton Theological Seminary; William J. Close, St. Stephen’s College

1989-1991 William Johnson Everett, Candler School of Theology

1991-1993 Christine (Tina) E. Blair, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

1993-1994 Stephen C. Rasor, Interdenominational Theological Center

1994-1996 William J. Close, St. Stephen’s College

1996-1997 Philip Douglass, Covenant Seminary

1997-1998 J. Dorcas Gordan, Toronto School of Theology

1998-1999 John Mehl, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

2000-2001 Christine (Tina) E. Blair, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

2001-2002 Bruce Shields, Emmanuel School of Religion

2002-2003 David R. Osborn, Denver Seminary

2003-2004 Dorothy McDougall, Toronto School of Theology

2005-2006 John W. Reed, Dallas Theological Seminary

2006-2008 Martin Crain, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

2008-2010 David Lee Jones, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

2010-2012 Carl Savage, Drew University

2012-2014 James W. Lewis, Anderson University

2014-2017 Reggie Ogea, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

2017-2019 Barney Wells, Lincoln Christian Seminary

2019-Present Kurt Fredrickson, Fuller Theological Seminary

Distinguished Leadership Award Recipients

2006 J. Randal Nichols, PhD – Princeton Theological Seminary


2007 Stephen C. Rasor, PhD – Interdenominational Theological Center


2008 John W. Reed, PhD – Dallas Theological Seminary


2010 David Lee Jones, ThD – Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary


2012 Ron Blue, PhD – Dallas Theological Seminary


2015 David Osborn, DMin – Denver Seminary


2016 Lester Ruiz, PhD – Association of Theological Schools (ATS)


2022 Reggie Ogea, ThD – New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary


2022 Barney Wells, DMin – Lincoln Christian University


Prepared by George Brown, Jr. G. W. and Eddie Haworth

Professor of Christian Education and Association Dean

Western Theological Seminary

Holland, Michigan