United Theological Seminary

MDiv in Church Leadership

The MDiv in Church Leadership program will prepare you for pastoral ministry. It is designed for students who are pursuing ordination by a denomination with rigorous church leadership curricular expectations but which does not fall under any of the designated denominational concentrations (e.g., MDiv in Presbyterian Studies).

If you are seeking a ministerial position in a non-denominational congregation or ordination with flexible curricular requirements, the MDiv General Studies may be the better program for you.

This program may be a good fit for you if you plan to pursue:

  • Ordained ministry in a local congregation
  • Chaplaincy (with the addition of chaplaincy certification)
  • Other ordained positions from denominations for which we do not have a denominational concentration



In addition to achieving the core MDiv degree learning outcomes, a graduate of the MDiv in Church Leadership degree program will be able to:

  • articulate strategies for effective, professional, ethical, and compassionate pastoral and spiritual care to a diversity of persons;
  • craft, deliver, and reflect on a sermon or public address that demonstrates effective speaking form/style and content based on a selected context;
  • effectively apply specialized practices of ministry to their ministerial or vocational context according to their religious tradition; and
  • achieve their self-defined practice of ministry goals that are appropriately based on the requirements of their denomination or other vocational paths.



  • 72 credits
  • Twenty-four 3-credit courses, including one field experience
  • A final thesis or project is not required, but you can use an elective to pursue either
  • Can be completed in three years if you take a full-time course load (24 credits per year)
  • Most MDiv concentrations, including Church Leadership, can be completed entirely via distance learning

Program Course Guide Sheet for Academic Year 2023–2024

Religious Texts 4
Introduction to Religious Texts
Hebrew Bible
New Testament
Biblical Exegesis
Theological Tradition 4
Invitation to Theology: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty
History of Christian Theologies
History of Modern Theologies
Constructive Theology
Ethics/Justice 2
Choose one:
Christian Ethics
Comparative Religious Ethics
Choose one:
Queer and Trans Theologies
Black and Womanist Theologies
Formation 2
Introduction to Spiritual and Personal Formation
Congregational Leadership and Administration*
Cultural Contextualization 1
Choose one:
Global Christianities
World Religions
Arts and Theology 1
Choose one:
History of Arts and Theology
Art, Religion, and Contemporary Culture
Social Transformation 1 Leadership and Strategies for Social Change
Integration 1 MDiv Capstone Seminar
Vocational Contextualization & Skills 8
Introduction to Pastoral and Spiritual Care
Preaching and Your Public Voice
Three additional Practices of Ministry courses†
Two elective courses†
Congregational Internship‡
* Another 2000-level Leadership/Formation course or Social Enterprise may be substituted upon advisor approval
† Consult church/denomination ordination recommendations and/or requirements for optimal elective course selections.
‡ CPE Internship or Ministry Practicum may be substituted upon advisor approval.


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