The Master of Divinity (M.Div.) is the foundational degree for ministry and is required for ordination in many Christian traditions. An M.Div. degree prepares students for ordination or for other professional ministries for which advanced leadership skills are essential. These ministries may include congregational pastor, chaplaincy, campus ministry, spiritual direction, counseling, not-for-profit work, and other community-based ministries.
Critical thinking, pluralism, and spirituality are central to our M.Div. program, preparing you to bridge theological, cultural, and political divides. We combine a framework of academic disciplines—Biblical studies, theology, history, homiletics, liturgics, counseling, and Christian spirituality—with practical ministry experience through required field education. Elements of spiritual, pastoral, and professional development are woven throughout the academic program.
The Graduate Theological Union (GTU)—the largest interfaith and interreligious consortium in North America—is an essential part of the SFTS student experience. As part of your master’s program at SFTS, you can study world religions and faith traditions with over 200 faculty in mainline Protestantism and Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Jainism, as well as interdisciplinary topics such as art and religion or theology and science.
Candidates for ordination who already hold a master’s degree in religious education or theological studies and who also have a minimum of three years’ experience in church work may earn the MDiv degree in a special 24-credit program, usually completed in one year.
Students should have completed the equivalent of the first two years of the MDiv program in their MA course work: at least 48 semester credits, of which 15 should be in biblical studies, 15 in historical and systematic disciplines, and 18 in social and behavioral disciplines and ministry.
Eligibility for the special MDiv program is determined on the basis of evaluation of the MA transcripts. Applicants are encouraged to submit their transcripts for evaluation before undertaking the application process, which is the same process for the regular MDiv.
What does ministry look like today? Progressive ministry takes many forms across many professions, from social services to business entrepreneurship. Bundle your theological degree with other School of Continuing Studies certificates—in Business, Counseling, Education, and more—to gain the skills for your ministry context.
Assistant Director of Enrollment
University of Redlands