Master of Divinity

Prepare for ordained ministry or leadership as a lay professional.

72 credit hours. Primarily online or on campus.
Complete in 2-4 years.


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.

Learning That Fits Your Lifestyle

Our flexible options are designed to make high-quality education accessible for working pastors and other professionals, making it possible to earn a degree from wherever you live. 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 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.*

Residency requirements may vary by denomination. Most United Methodist students must complete 1/3 of their degree (24 credit hours) on campus.

Flexible Curriculum

With nineteen 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 (51 cr. hrs.)

Biblical Studies (12 cr. hrs.)

  • OT500 Introduction to the Old Testament (3)
  • NT500 Introduction to the New Testament (3)
  • Any 600 level OT course (3)
  • Any 600 level BI/NT course (3)

Church History and Theology (12 cr. hrs.)

  • CH500 Intro to Church History (3)
  • TH502 Introduction to Theology (3)
  • Any 600 level CH Course (3)
  • Any 600 Level TH Course (3)

Practical Theology (12 cr. hrs.)

  • ER503 Church Renewal for Mission (3)
  • Any 500 Level Preaching Course (3)
  • PC507 Pastoral Care Giving (3)
  • Any 600 Level Practical Theology Course (ER, LD, PC, PW) (3)

Contextual Ministries (12 cr. hrs.)

  • CM501 Field Education Unit 1 (0)
  • CM510 Contextual Ministry 1 (3)
  • CM511 Contextual Ministry 2 (3)
  • CM601 Field Education Unit 2 (0)
  • CM610 Contextual Ministry 3 (3)
  • CM611 Contextual Ministry 4 (3)

Cross-Cultural Immersion (3 cr. hrs.)

  • CM620 Methods of Interreligious and Intercultural Encounter (3)
  • CM621 Immersion Trip (0)

MDiv Electives (21 elective 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)
  • SS601 MDiv Mid-Program Review (0)
  • SS701 MDiv Final Review (0)

MDiv Concentrations

The Master of Divinity degree program graduates persons in the general practice of ministry. The MDiv curriculum provides options for academic concentrations. These include Biblical Interpretation, Holy Spirit and Renewal, Church Planting, Ministry Leadership, Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care, Preaching, and Wesleyan and Methodist Studies. Students interested in a concentration are encouraged to discuss their interests and needs with their advisors and area faculty. For more information refer to the Academic Catalog.

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 (24 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.

MDIV/MBA Partnership

One program. Two degrees.

Dakota Wesleyan University and United Theological Seminary have joined forces to offer a new program in which future church leaders can earn two master’s degrees. Through this program, earn a Master of Divinity (MDiv) from United and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) program at DWU to develop theological and applied knowledge for effective church management.

Learn more

Request Information



Degree Checklist


Course List


Start typing and press Enter to search