Master of Divinity

Prepare for ordained ministry or leadership as a lay professional.

26 courses. 78 credit hours. Primarily online or on campus.
Complete in as few as 3 years with a minimum of 2 weeks on campus.


United’s MDiv meets the requirements for ordination in most major Protestant denominations, though many graduates serve as lay professionals in a variety of fields, including chaplaincy, nonprofit leadership, teaching and social work.


Flexible Options

Our flexible options are designed to make high-quality education accessible for working pastors and other professionals—whenever and wherever works for your busy schedule. Courses are available in four formats. Mix and match to suit your schedule and learning style.

  • Traditional on-campus courses meet regularly throughout the semester
  • Gathering Weeks on campus in Dayton, Ohio take place in January, June, August and September.
  • Online courses can be completed at your own pace during the semester.
  • Live Interactive Virtual Education (LIVE) courses meet simultaneously on-campus and online.

The MDiv degree can be completed primarily online in three years, with as few as two weeks on campus over the course of the degree.*

Residency requirements may vary by denomination. Most United Methodist students must complete 1/3 of their degree (26 credit hours) on campus. A three-year program can be completed at a distance by attending nine Gathering Weeks (three weeks on campus per year). The primarily online option is offered as an approved exception to ATS Degree Program Standard A, section A.3.1.3. 


Flexible Curriculum

With 19 core courses (57 credit hours) and seven elective courses (21 credit hours), gain a strong foundation and add electives that equip you to follow God’s call. Want to add a concentration to your MDiv? Use four of your seven elective courses to specialize in the concentration that fits your calling.

Areas of Concentration:

  • Biblical Interpretation
  • Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care
  • Church Planting
  • Holy Spirit and Renewal
  • Ministry Leadership
  • Preaching
  • Wesleyan and Methodist Studies.

No concentration? No problem!  Use the four additional elective courses to explore other areas of interest.  Students interested in a concentration are encouraged to discuss their interests and needs with the Office of Admissions, who can help you discern the best fit for your call.

Degree Plan


MDiv Core Requirements (57 cr. hrs.)

Biblical Studies (12 cr. hrs.)

  • OT504 Introduction to the Old Testament 1 (3)
  • OT505 Introduction to the Old Testament 2 (3)
  • NT521 Introduction to the New Testament 1 (3)
  • NT522 Introduction to the New Testament 2 (3)

Church History and Theology (15 cr. hrs.)

  • CH504 History of Christianity 1 (3)
  • CH505 History of Christianity 2 (3)
  • TH502 Introduction to Theology (3)
  • TH702 Systematic Theology (3)
  • ET### Any Ethics Course (3)

Practical Theology (15 cr. hrs.)

  • PW5## Any Introductory Worship Course (3)
  • PW5## Any Introductory Preaching Course (3)
  • ER501 Foundations for Evangelism (3)
  • PC507 Introduction to Pastoral Care (3)
  • ER510 Foundations for Church Renewal (3)

Contextual Ministries (15 cr. hrs.)

  • CM510 Contextual Ministry 1 (3)
  • CM511 Contextual Ministry 2 (3)
  • CM610 Contextual Ministry 3 (3)
  • CM611 Contextual Ministry 4 (3)
  • WR601 Methods of Interreligious and Intercultural Encounter (3)
  • WR602 Immersion Trip (0)


MDiv Electives (21 cr. hrs.)

Students may use elective courses to fulfill concentration and denominational requirements. United Methodists are required to have (6) credits in UM History, Doctrine, and Polity.


MDiv Non-Credit Requirements

  • SS500 Online Master Student Orientation (0)
  • SS510 Graduation Portfolio – Masters (0)
  • SS601 MDiv Mid-Program Evaluation (0)
  • SS701 MDiv Final Advising (0)
Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

  1. Complete the entire degree plan requirements listed for the MDiv.
  2. Complete all course credits applied toward the MDiv degree within ten years.
  3. Participate in United’s Contextual Ministry Program, which includes:
    • Travel to two Contextual Ministry retreats in early September.
    • Completion of four Contextual Ministry courses over two years.
    • Participation in a professionally facilitated ministry group.
    • Ministry in a church or community site in your area.
  4. Participation in a Contextual Theology Immersion Trip.

To fulfill residency requirements for The United Methodist Church, United Methodist students must complete 1/3 of the degree (26 credits) on campus. Dayton, Intensive, and hybrid courses count toward this requirement. For ordination requirements, please check with your own judicatory.

Admission Requirements

Admissions Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum 2.5 GPA

Learn more about the application process.

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