University of Dubuque

Master of Divinity (M.Div.) Degree Program

The Master of Divinity is the first professional degree for those seeking ordination to Ministry of Word and Sacrament. When pursued on a full-time basis, the residential program is normally completed in three academic years. Many students spread their program over four or more academic years. U.D.T.S. also offers a four year program for those who choose to take up to two- thirds of their courses via distance education (online courses).

Residential students are encouraged to begin in the fall semester. Distance M.Div. students must always begin in August.

(If you are looking for information about our online M.Div. program, please click here.)

Curriculum | Course Requirements | Degree Program Requirements

Three Year Paradigm   |   Four Year Paradigm


In order to serve the one God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - and prepare women and men for faithful, compassionate, and effective pastoral ministry, the M.Div. curriculum will enable students to:

1. nurture habits and disciplines of study, prayer and reflection that increase their love of God and neighbor and shape their personal and professional lives

2. be formed by, live in, and minister out of scripture and the historical and theological tradition of the church

3. interpret the Christian Scriptures through faithful exegesis and in light of the Christian tradition

4. preach the Word of God with faithfulness and clarity

5. lead worship and administer the sacraments with theological integrity and to the glory of God

6. engage contemporary theological and ethical issues with insight and humility

7. evangelize the world with faithfulness and contextual sensitivity

8. educate and equip individuals and congregations to live and minister joyfully and faithfully as part of their own denomination and the ecumenical church

9. provide pastoral care for individuals and congregations in daily life and moments of transition and crisis

10. lead and nurture congregations to promote peace and justice in the public arena and encourage the witness and service of the church in mission to the world

11. integrate theology and practice in all areas of life and ministry

In this, the seminary seeks to advance the great ends of the church: "the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind; the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God; the maintenance of divine worship; the preservation of the truth; the promotion of social righteousness, and the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world." (P.C.(U.S.A.) Book of Order) 

Master of Divinity 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, Bible, History/Theology and Ministry, as well as S.P.M. 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
Essential Function of the Pastor
Understanding Context and Change in the Church
Clergy Ethics
Discovering the Power of the Spoken Word

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 a proficency examination in a given subject, 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 U.D.T.S. Core courses may not be fulfilled through tutorials.