Pre-Doctoral Program


United’s Pre-Doctoral program is designed for students who wish to pursue a Doctor of Ministry degree, but do not have the required Master of Divinity degree.*

The Pre-Doctoral program prepares students for Doctor of Ministry work by augmenting previous master’s degree coursework with the religious courses required to be considered for admission. This program is perfect for students who have completed a master’s degree in another discipline and seek to expand their ministry by entering the Doctor of Ministry program.

The Pre-Doctoral program offers the courses you need to qualify for what would be comparable to a Master of Divinity degree. Master of Divinity equivalency is defined as 72 graduate semester hours that represent broad-based work in theology, biblical studies and the arts of ministry. A master’s degree and significant ministerial leadership are also required.



The Pre-Doctoral program consists of 18 graduate semester credit hours:

  • Introduction to the Old Testament (1 or 2) = 3 Credit Hours
  • Introduction to the New Testament (1 or 2) = 3 Credit Hours
  • History of Christianity (1 or 2) = 3 Credit Hours
  • Introduction to Theology = 3 Credit Hours
  • Theological Research and Methodology = 3 Credit Hours
  • Foundations for Evangelism OR Church Renewal for Ministry = 3 Credit Hours
  • Total Credit Hours = 18 Credit Hours

Pre-Doctoral courses are available on-site at our Dayton campus and online via our distance learning program for your convenience. If additional credit hours are required to meet the 72-hour MDiv equivalency requirement, elective courses may be added to the courses listed above. All courses in the Pre-Doctoral Program must be successfully completed with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 before a student may be admitted into the Doctor of Ministry program.



Scholarship funds are available for the Pre-Doctoral program and may be applied toward tuition for the core 18 graduate semester hours in the Pre-Doctoral coursework referred to in the course catalog. Scholarship applications must be received by the published deadline and applicants must meet eligibility requirements for scholarships to be considered.

For more information regarding scholarship deadlines and eligibility requirements, visit the scholarship webpage.

* In addition to a Master of Divinity degree, United’s doctoral program presupposes three years of ministry experience after the completion of your first master’s degree.




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