University of Dubuque

Degree Program Requirements

Course Requirements
The Master of Divinity curriculum integrates theological studies with the practice of ministry to nurture faithful and effective pastors. Students in the Master of Divinity program are required to complete 84 credit hours. A cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 is required for graduation. In addition, M.Div. students are required to successfully complete core courses in the three divisions of the seminary curriculum - Biblical, History/Theology and Ministry - and interdisciplinary courses.

These include:

Old Testament Introduction                                                              
New Testament Introduction
New Testament Greek I                                                                     
New Testament Greek Exegesis                                            
Old Testament Exegesis (Hebrew Exegesis                                     
    or Old Testament English Exegesis)
Biblical Capstone                                                                   

Early and Medieval Church History                                      
Reformation and Modern Church History                            
Christian Doctrine I                                                               
Christian Doctrine II                                                              

Discipleship and Teaching
Foundations of Preaching
Foundations of Christian Worship                                                     
Foundations of Pastoral Care                                                       

Supervised Practice of Ministry
Field Education (4 credits) 

Spiritual Formation Group (3 credits)
Theology of Mission and Evangelism                                    
Evangelism and Mission in Context                                      
Missional Church                                                                   

Maximum semester credit load
for residential students: 14
Maximum J-term credit load: 4
Full time for Financial Aid: 9          A student may propose alternative methods of demonstrating completion of the objectives of core courses, such as passing examinations in a given subject, writing papers, or successfully completing courses with similar content offered by other seminaries. All such alternative proposals must be approved in advance by the Academic and Student Affairs Committee of the faculty. Once matriculated, a student must take all core courses at UDTS. Core courses may not be fulfilled through tutorials.


Residency Requirements
In addition to the semester-hour and course requirements listed above, M.Div. students are required to:

  • complete at least 28 hours in residency at U.D.T.S.
  • complete a minimum of 18 hours of classroom courses taught by U.D.T.S. faculty members, with at least six of those hours in each of the three divisions of the curriculum. Core courses may be counted toward this part of the residency requirement.

Denominational Requirements
In addition to the above degree program requirements, M.Div. students may be required by their denomination to meet further criteria in order to qualify for ordination.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) requires that candidates for Minister of the Word and Sacrament pass examinations on Bible content, theological competence, worship and sacraments, church polity, and Bible exegesis. Presbyterian students are subject to the requirements of the current Presbyterian Book of Order, Part II, Ordination, Certification, and Commissioning, G-14.0400. While the entire M.Div. curriculum prepares students for these exams, the following courses in particular are recommended for Presbyterian students: HT615D Presbyterian History and Confessions; MN555D The Polity and Program of the Presbyterian Church (USA); MN709 Worship in the Reformed Tradition; and HT775D The Theology of John Calvin.

Courses in Biblical Greek and Hebrew are required by the denomination, as well as exegetical courses in each of those languages. These language and exegesis requirements will ordinarily be met through the following courses:

  • BI 400/500D Hebrew I
  • BI 403/503D Hebrew II (Exegesis)
  • BI 402/502D New Testament Greek I
  • BI 657 NT Greek Exegesis

The Greek language requirement may also be met through the Summer Language Program of the Schools of Theology in Dubuque .

Some presbyteries may require additional courses of their candidates, such as Clinical Pastoral Education (C.P.E.) Presbyterian students are urged to remain in close contact with their presbytery's Committee on Preparation for Ministry (C.P.M.) in order to be aware of such additional requirements. To facilitate the student's relationship with his or her Committee the student's transcripts and evaluations may be released to the Committee at the Committee's request. The Associate Dean's office administers ordination examinations required by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and advises students in their relationship with their CPMs.

For more information about opportunities for Presbyterians, please see the description of Westminster Tables in the Special Programs and Services section.

United Methodists are required to study the history, doctrine and polity of the United Methodist Church. These requirements are met through the following courses:

  • HT 521D United Methodist Studies : History
  • HT 553D United Methodist Studies : Doctrine
  • HT 553D United Methodist Studies : Polity

United Methodist students also need to fulfill any additional requirements specified by their annual conferences. For more information about opportunities for United Methodist, please see the description of the Wesley Table in the Special Programs and Services section.

Students of other denominations are required to consult with the dean to determine how the requirements of their denomination may be met at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. Polity courses for denominations other than the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the United Methodist Church , or the United Church of Christ may be scheduled by special arrangement. For more information about other opportunities please see the Gathering Of Other Denominations (GOOD) Table in the Special Programs and Services section.