The Diploma in Ministry Studies (DMS) is for persons over the age of 22 who have not completed a bachelor’s degree and are serving on a church staff or in other ministry positions.

The DMS equips students with practical ministry skills as well as general education skills essential for effective ministry. Students fulfill their general educational requirements through

partnering institutions. Ozark Technical Community College (OTC) is the preferred provider of online general education courses for Rockbridge Seminary’s diploma students. (See info below.) Students may request to transfer general educational courses earned from accredited schools other than OTC. Students should first get the approval of their advisor before taking a general education course from another school.

Students desiring to go into a Master’s program are encouraged to work with an accredited college or university to complete their bachelor’s degree. The DMS may be completed in 3 years, although many students take longer due to family, church, and job responsibilities. Is the Diploma in Ministry Studies right for you? It only takes a few minutes to apply now.

Goals: Graduates will demonstrate:

  1. a basic knowledge of the Bible and how to study and apply the biblical text.
  2. basic academic knowledge and skills essential for successful and educated citizens of a global community.
  3. a basic understanding of the major doctrines of the Bible.
  4. a basic understanding and appreciation of the Christian heritage.
  5. an understanding of how to grow spiritually and nurture others in the Christian walk.
  6. an understanding of the five purposes of the church and their application to developing a growing and healthy church.
  7. cognitive and affective skills required of a ministry leader.
  8. a commitment to a lifelong, intentional process of spiritual development and professional growth.



Touchstone Course (3)

General Education
Qualifying Ozark Technical Community College courses noted
Communication (6)
ENG 101, ENG 102
Mathematics (3)
MTH 130 or higher
Humanities and Fine Arts (3)
HUM 102, PHL 101/105/110, MUS 101, THR 101
Life and Physical Sciences (3)
BIO 100/105/160
Behavioral and Social Sciences (3)
ANT 101, ECO 101, GRY 101, PSY 110, SOC 101
Managing Information (3)
CIS 101

The Theology & Practice of Worship (3)
The Theology & Practice of Fellowship (3)
The Theology & Practice of Discipleship (3)
The Theology & Practice of Ministry (3)
The Theology & Practice of Evangelism (3)

Old Testament Survey (3)
New Testament Survey (3)
Church History (3)
Biblical Hermeneutics (3)
Preaching & Teaching for Life Change (3)
Contemporary Evangelism (3)
Capstone Course (3)

Total Hours 60

Download a pdf of the Diploma in Ministry Studies

It only takes a few minutes to apply.

Get a taste of online learning in our demo course.

Philosophy of General Education

Jesus taught that leaders are first and foremost servants. In order to be effective leaders, ministers must identify with the people they serve. A minister should be a well-rounded thinker who is conversant with the issues of life. Critical thinking involves both general education and specific ministry training. Here is our philosophy regarding specific disciplines in general education.

  • Science, and in particular biology, is an important subject for church leaders. Biology and the physical sciences give students an appreciation for the work of God’s creation and their responsibility for its care, which is taught in Scripture. Training in the scientific method helps ministers to understand the rationalistic western worldview.
  • Ministers must master written and oral communication. This requires a basic command of the English language. General education courses, particularly in English, prepare students to read and interpret literature, and to write clearly.
  • The study of mathematics helps students to think critically and solve problems.
  • We encourage students to take world humanities in order to think globally and appreciate other cultures.
  • The studies of anthropology and sociology equip students to understand the impact of society and culture upon individuals.
  • Philosophy helps students address the issues of what is real, what is truth, how to discover truth, and why they exist.
  • Technology is another essential skill for ministry. Research today requires computer literacy.

Some may ask why Rockbridge uses a secular school as the preferred provider of general education. Bible colleges may often substitute a course in church finances for college algebra or substitute reading of the classics in church history for English and history. We have chosen not to take this approach. There are two reasons for this tactical decision.

First, it is our belief that ministers should understand the worldview of their culture by studying those disciplines society deems important for success in life. Studying general education with non-ministry students helps students to identify more completely with those whom they are called to serve.

Secondly, we believe it is important for ministry students to avoid becoming isolated in a Christian bubble. Dialogue with those outside the Christian faith builds perspective that helps ministry students fulfill the purposes of God. In general education courses, RS students are exposed to the questions and concerns of those they attempt to serve. Sharing the gospel in a postmodern context requires the ability to dialogue with others who have different viewpoints. Therefore, we believe it is of vital importance that our students have a firm foundation in general education.

See the steps for enrolling in OTC or begin the application process to OTC now.

OTC provides Online Tutoringto students enrolled in OTC courses.

For more information about OTC advisors are avaiable by chat, email, or phone (417) 447-7500.

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If you are not completely satisfied with the online seminary learning experience after beginning your first course, Rockbridge Seminary will refund your tuition in full.



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