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February 19, 2007
University of Dubuque Theological Seminary Announces Distance Master of Divinity Degree


The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary (UDTS) has been approved by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) to provide a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree with courses offered primarily via the Internet. Applications are now being accepted for this new program, with classes beginning in August 2007.

"We are excited to be the first Presbyterian (PCUSA) seminary to offer this option," stated President Jeffrey Bullock. "The overall goal our seminary is to strengthen the church by providing quality theological education that helps to prepare faithful pastors. As part of our Mission and Vision, UDTS has led the way in the development and implementation of distance learning opportunities for the church."

UDTS has a strong track record for successful distance learning programs. In the past seven years, more than 1000 students from across the nation have participated in the innovative Commissioned Lay Pastor (CLP) program, which offers eight non-credit online courses required by the Presbyterian Church (USA) for non-ordained pastors. More than 80 presbyteries have had at least one student in this program. In addition, UDTS has been providing a sampling of online M.Div. courses since the summer of 2004.

Seminary Dean Bradley Longfield commented, "The approval of this degree program by the Association of Theological Schools is an affirmation of the passionate desire of this seminary faculty and staff to use new technologies to nurture leaders for the church. Our success in distance learning to date led us to pursue the development of an accredited Master of Divinity program in which most of the courses are offered online. We are excited about the practical opportunities this offers to individuals as they seek to follow God's call to ministry."

Since its founding in 1852, UDTS has offered residential education for pastoral ministry. Beginning this fall, the traditional M.Div. program will be mirrored by a distance education program. The fully accredited distance program will enable students to earn a theological education without moving away from their home community. Twice a year, students will come to campus for two week intensive courses; earning one third of the required M.Div. credits in residency. Through this combination of distance and residential learning, participants will earn the Master of Divinity degree in a five year time frame.

Interim Director for Distance Education Dr. Melinda Thompson remarked, "We are thrilled to receive ATS accreditation as confirmation of the work we have been doing in distance theological education. This new program will allow us to meet the needs of the church in an ever-changing world, as we extend our mission to Prepare Faithful Pastors: on campus and online."

For information about enrolling in the UDTS Distance M.Div. program, please contact Peggy Sell, director of seminary admissions, at 1.800.369.UDTS (8387), by email at psell@dbq.edu, or visit the UDTS website at
http://udts.dbq.edu/distance.