University of Dubuque

Overview of the Master of Divinity Distance Education Program

Distance Education Links

Overview Applying | FAQs | Elective Classes

Curriculum | 4 Year Paradigm | Academic Schedule | Projected Costs

The University of Dubuque is the first seminary of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to offer a Master of Divinity distance education program. This accredited distance degree program allows you to take the majority of classes from home. Two-thirds of the courses are taught online over a four-year period, with one-third of the courses taken in consecutive two week residencies.

The curriculum and faculty for the online M.Div. are the same as those in our residential program. Interaction with instructors and other students occurs through email, discussion boards, and by telephone. Small classes encourage an intimate and productive learning environment.

Semesters begin with a two-week residential intensive in Dubuque followed by online courses. This gives new students an opportunity to meet and interact with classmates and the professors who are responsible for your education. The friendships you’ll develop while taking your courses will last for years and your instruction will prepare you for a lifetime of service.

Online learning may not be for everyone. Learning styles are as unique as each individual. If you are self-motivated and disciplined, however, this may be the program that will allow you to pursue your vocation.

Class size is limited. If you’re interested in this program you should contact Ms. Kimberly Burnett-Hackbarth, Director of Admissions, at 1.800.369.UDTS to explore your call.

M.Div. Curriculum

The Master of Divinity curriculum integrates theological studies with the practice of ministry to prepare faithful and effective pastors. Students are required to successfully complete core courses in the three divisions of the seminary curriculum: Biblical, History/Theology, and Ministry, as well as interdisciplinary and SPM courses. A cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 is required for graduation.

The Distance M.Div. curriculum fulfills the same set of curricular goals as our residential program:

  • Nurture habits and disciplines of study, prayer and reflection that increase their love of God and neighbor and shape their personal and professional lives.
  • Be formed by, live in, and minister out of Scripture and the historical and theological tradition of the Church.
  • Interpret the Christian Scriptures through faithful exegesis and in light of the Christian tradition.
  • Preach the Word of God with faithfulness and clarity.
  • Lead worship and administer the sacraments with theological integrity and to the glory of God.
  • Engage contemporary theological and ethical issues with insight and humility.
  • Evangelize the world with faithfulness and contextual sensitivity.
  • Educate and equip individuals and congregations to live and minister joyfully and faithfully as part of their own denomination and the ecumenical church.
  • Provide pastoral care for individuals and congregations in daily life and moments of transition and crisis.
  • 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.
  • Integrate theology and practice in all areas of life and ministry.

Distance MDiv Program 4 Year Paradigm

The distance program, which operates on a cohort model, takes four years to complete. Fifty-one credits are earned online and thirty-three in residence. The following schedule of courses for the online M.Div. is subject to change.

PDF of 84 Credit Paradigm

*Paradigm is subject to change.

Our Distance M.Div. program at The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary combines the convenience of online courses with the community of residential intensives. The following schedule provides the dates and duration for the online and residential portions. Note that the schedule includes pre and post load work for all students during the both intensives.

*Academic Schedule

*Schedule is subject to change.

Application Deadline is April 15th.


Projected Costs for Distance M.Div. Program
(Subject to change)

Application Fee: $30 non-refundable
submitted with application

Enrollment Confirmation Fee: $500 nonrefundable fee, applied to account upon matriculation
payable within two weeks of acceptance into the program

Student Activity and Parking Fee: $155 per semester
due July 27 and Dec. 17

Tuition: $640 per credit hour

  • August Intensive and Fall semester
    due July 27
  • January Intensive and Spring semester
    due December 17

* based upon full time student status

Intensive Sessions Room: approximately $800 per intensive
due July 27 and Dec. 17

Food: Select meal plan

Books and Supplies: estimated at $1000 per year

Health Insurance:
Students are required to supply proof of health insurance coverage.

Payment Options

We do take credit cards!
Call Student Accounts at 563.589.3208 directly to make a payment by phone.

Checks payable to:
University of Dubuque
Attn: Student Accounts
2000 University Avenue
Dubuque, IA 52001

Financial Aid:
Distance students are eligible for federal student loans. Stafford Loans are need-based loans insured by the federal government and allow repayment to begin after graduation. Students who are seeking federal loans must complete a FAFSA, available online at Our FAFSA code is 001891. FAFSA applications are due July 1.

Students are encouraged to speak with their church and judicatory to determine if other financial support is available.