Distance Education Program

Curriculum| Course Requirements | 3 and 4 Year Paradigms | Academic Schedule | FAQs

The University of Dubuque has offered a fully accredited distance Master of Divinity degree since 2007. This degree program allows you to take the majority of classes from home.

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

The first fall semester begins in July with online new student orientation, followed by the two-week August Residency Dubuque. This gives new students an opportunity to meet and interact with classmates and the professors who are responsible for your education. The friendships you will develop while taking your courses will last for years and your instruction will prepare you for a lifetime of service.

MDiv Curriculum

The Master of Divinity curriculum integrates theological studies with the practice of ministry to prepare faithful and effective pastors:

  • 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.

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." (PC(U.S.A.) Book of Order)

Course Requirements

The Master of Divinity curriculum roots Christian leaders in the Scriptures, tradition, and practices of the church with an overarching focus on building missional communities that form fervent disciples. Students in the Master of Divinity program are required to complete 75 credit hours. A cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 is required for graduation. In addition, MDiv students are required to successfully complete core courses in the three divisions of the seminary curriculum, Bible, History/Theology and Ministry, as well as SPM and Integrative courses. These include: 

Bible (12) plus 3:
God's Word: The Old Testament (3)
God's Word: The New Testament (3)
Interpreting the Old Testament: OT Exegesis (3)
Interpreting the New Testament: NT Exegesis (3)
Bible elective (3)

History/Theology (12):
The Growth of the Church: Early and Medieval Church History (3)
Renewal, Expansion, Fragmentation: Reformation and Modern Church History (3)
What Christians Believe: Christian Doctrine I (3)
What Christians Believe: Christian Doctrine II (3)

Ministry (12):
Nurturing Wholeness in Christ: Caregiving (3)
Proclaiming the Word (3)
Making Disciples (3)
Leading Worship (3)

Field Education (6):
Pastoral Leadership (1)
Leadership Ethics (1)
Christian Leadership in Context (1) 
SPM Congregational Internship (1)
SPM Entrepreneurial Internship (1)
SPM Internship (1)

Integrative (12):
God's Redemptive Mission (4)
Gospel in Context (3)
Starting Missional Communities (2)
Disciple Formation (2)
Theological and Biblical Research Methods (1) (req. for distance)

21 or more credits (3 of which must be Bible)

Maximum semester credit load: 16 credits
Full time for Financial Aid: 6 credits per semester

Distance MDiv Program 3 and 4 Year Paradigms

The MDiv degree can be earned in either three or four years, by coming to the Dubuque campus for only two weeks a year. 

Distance MDiv 3 year Paradigm
Distance MDiv 4 year Paradigm

Our Distance MDiv Programs combine the convenience of online courses with the community of residential intensives. The following schedule shows the dates and duration for the online and residential sections. Note that the schedule includes pre- and post-load work for all students during the intensives.

*Academic Schedule

*Schedule is subject to change.