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The Many Different Types of Seminary Degrees

Many people who are ready to answer God’s call choose to enroll in a seminary program in order to empower themselves to be of service to God and others in a myriad of ways. A seminary program provides students with a graduate-level education with learning grounded in the Christian faith. By the time they graduate, students have cultivated the skills and acquired the knowledge they’ll need to fulfill their God-given purpose.

At United Theological Seminary, students can choose from six unique degree programs, each of which is tailored to help them pursue different goals after graduation. Available programs include

  1. Master of Divinity (MDiv)
  2. Master of Arts in Christian Ministries (MACM)
  3. Master of Theological Studies (MTS)
  4. Master of Arts (MA)
  5. Master of Ministry (MMin)
  6. Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

Most of the programs offered by United Theological Seminary can be completed online or in person, and there is a fair amount of flexibility when it comes to scheduling so that people with families and other obligations can pursue a degree to follow God’s call. 


what are the different types of seminary degrees

Master of Divinity (MDiv)

Students who are in pursuit of ordination in a major Protestant church may find that the Master of Divinity program is the ideal fit. The Master of Divinity program guides students on the journey of building a strong theological, biblical, and historical foundation in religious studies in preparation for a career in ministerial leadership.

Graduates of the Master of Divinity program are fully equipped to be of service in modern-day ministries in a variety of fields in and outside the walls of the church, including pastoral ministry, chaplaincy, non-profit leadership, teaching, and social work. 

MDiv Requirements

The Master of Divinity program at United requires students to complete 72 credit hours which typically can be done in two to four years. In order to be eligible to enroll, students must have already completed their Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA. 


Master of Arts in Christian Ministries (MACM)

A Master of Arts in Christian Ministries (MACM) is a graduate-level program that provides students with advanced training in theology, biblical studies, pastoral ministry, and other related fields. This degree is designed for individuals who are seeking to deepen their knowledge and skills in Christian ministry and leadership. The curriculum typically covers topics such as biblical interpretation, church history, pastoral counseling, preaching, evangelism, and spiritual formation. Students working toward ordination as Deacons in The United Methodist Church often choose the MACM as they pursue this ministry path.

Graduates of a MACM program are equipped to serve in a variety of other ministry roles as well, including specialized lay ministries, extension church ministries, Christian education,  missionary work, and nonprofit leadership.  

MACM Requirements

United’s MACM degree requires 21 core credit hours, and 27 elective hours, and can be completed in 1.5-2.5 years. This program is also available entirely online.


Master of Theological Studies (MTS)

The Master of Theological Studies program provides students a strong academic foundation upon which further study or growth in religious understanding can be built. Students study the text of the Bible, the historic faith, and theological traditions, the result of which is an expansive knowledge of the Church’s past through the lens of a witness of the church of the present.

The Master of Theological Studies prepares students for further theological study in a Doctor of Theology (ThD) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program.

MTS Requirements

United’s MTS program requires 48 credit hours and can be completed within two to three years. In order to be eligible to enroll in this program, students must have completed a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. 


Master of Arts (MA)

One of the most flexible programs available at United Theological Seminary, the Master of Arts program was created to be adaptable and applicable to a wide range of interests. Students focus on religious studies and have the option to specialize in either biblical interpretation, ministry leadership, church planting, pastoral care ministry, or an area of their own choosing. Students graduate with the foundation necessary to lead and be of service in ministries impacting Christian community, life, and other practices.

The Master of Arts program is often best suited to those who are interested in a flexible curriculum for specialized ministry expertise or who are seeking to understand their faith more deeply. 

MA Requirements

United’s MA is also designed for United Methodist students who wish to earn a degree while completing the Advanced Course of Study in The United Methodist Church. A special curricular track is available for students who want to go this route. 

To be eligible for enrollment at United, students must have completed a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA. Students must complete 36 credit hours to graduate, which can typically be done in one to two years.


Master of Ministry (MMin)

Students who are pursuing ordination in a denomination that does not require an MDiv will likely find a good fit in the Master of Ministry program. The Master of Ministry program provides students with a strong basis in theology, and focuses on a blend of biblical studies, church history, and contextual ministry.

In addition, those who wish to pursue further study through the Doctor of Ministry program often find that the Master of Ministry program provides the necessary foundation to continue to expand their seminary education. 

MMin Requirements

The Master of Ministry program at United requires that students complete a total of 36 credit hours, which can typically be done in one to two years. To be eligible to enroll in the Master of Ministry program, students must have previously completed their Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA. 

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

United Theological Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry degree program was created with active religious leaders in mind. The program helps religious leaders strengthen their prophetic, pastoral, and executive capabilities in order to expand their ministries, resulting in change for God’s glory.

The Doctor of Ministry program places an emphasis on the practical skills that come along with religious leadership, and throughout their studies, students work with peers and mentors to develop an original research-based thesis project. The goal of the project is to determine and address a precise need that is unique to their own ministry. 

DMin Requirements

In order to be eligible for the DMin program at United, students must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 2.5 as well as an MDiv Degree or equivalent with a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA. Furthermore, students must have at least three years of ministry experience. Students in pursuit of a Doctor of Ministry degree must complete 6 semesters of study, which takes three years.


Choosing Your Seminary Degree

No matter how God has called you to be of service, United Theological Seminary has a degree program designed to help you pursue your goals. While some programs support a career of faith-based leadership in a traditional church setting, others are better suited to those in the field of theological academia or who wish to be of service within the community. 

Just as each student will have a different journey in faith leadership, each student has a different course of study that is best suited to their goals. Choosing the right degree program will ensure you are on the right path to fulfilling your God-given purpose as you pursue your career in religious leadership.

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