How Long is Seminary?Many people who choose to answer God’s call embark on their journey to do so by attending a seminary program. A popular misconception about seminary school is that every program is the same, and all graduates become pastors or priests. In reality, each course of study is quite different, and seminary education looks different for each student. At United Theological Seminary, six different degree programs are available to students with a wide array of experience, educational backgrounds, goals, and interests. Some programs take only a year or two to complete, while others may take longer. While some students may choose to seek ordination after graduation, others may pursue God’s calling in various other ways. In the same way God created no two people exactly alike, the path of seminary education is different for every student.
How long does seminary take?If you are considering enrolling in a seminary program, you may be wondering how long it takes to complete your seminary education. The answer varies depending on what program you attend, what degree you pursue, and whether you are a part-time or full-time student. Studying part-time will naturally extend the overall time it takes to complete your degree than if you were to study full-time. Of course, a doctoral program is more challenging than a master’s or bachelor’s degree, which will also impact the time it takes to complete your program. Another factor contributing to how long it takes to complete your seminary education is the coursework required to complete your degree before applying for graduation. Some seminary schools may require you to attend a mission trip or complete an internship in a church before you graduate. Depending on your program of study, you may be required to prepare a thesis project or dissertation for up to one year before graduation. United’s FlexChoice scheduling plan allows students to study at the pace that best fits their lifestyle. Master’s students may choose from three FlexChoice plans:
- FlexChoice Accelerated enables students to move quickly through their seminary program by taking advantage of United’s year-round schedule.
- FlexChoice Traditional is for students taking 6-9 credit hours per term. Students who prefer to earn a degree at a more conventional pace may prefer this pathway.
- FlexChoice Balanced allows students to take a reduced course load for optimal work/life balance. This option is ideal for working pastors or professionals.