United Theological Seminary

Master of Divinity in Methodist Studies

If you are a member of the United Methodist Church, this Master of Divinity program will prepare you for ordained and non-ordained positions within the denomination. Whether you are called to pastoral leadership, chaplaincy or lay leadership, this program will steep you in the Wesleyan theological tradition and give you the skills you need for faithful, effective ministry.

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

  • Ordained ministry as an Elder or Deacon in the United Methodist Church
  • Employment in a United Methodist church
  • Employment in the Conference
  • Employment in UMC-related institutions as a program director, associate pastor, Christian education director, youth ministry director, admissions director, publishing house editor, Wesley Foundation director, overseas missions director, or similar positions.



In addition to achieving the core MDiv degree learning outcomes, a graduate of the Methodist Studies program will be able to:

  • demonstrate understanding of the history of the Methodist movement;
  • demonstrate understanding of the theology of John Wesley based his writings and interpretations by Wesleyan theologians;
  • discern the significance of John Wesley’s theology within the historical context of the eighteenth-century and within the history and present of the United Methodist Church;
  • reflect theologically on John Wesley’s theology as a resource for justice and service to the world;
  • demonstrate understanding of the development of the Methodist tradition and the doctrines of The United Methodist Church;
  • demonstrate understanding of the doctrinal standards of The United Methodist Church as reflected in the Book of Discipline;
  • demonstrate understanding of the formation, function, polity and structure of The United Methodist Church;
  • effectively use the Book of Resolutions as a resource on important issues affecting both church and society;
  • apply the General Rules and Social Principles in addressing issues that confront the church and society today;
  • articulate and critique current practices of Christian evangelism, demonstrating understanding of the theological and biblical foundations of evangelism, contemporary approaches to evangelism, and the cross-cultural dimensions of evangelism;
  • develop and articulate their own theology of mission, demonstrating understanding of the theological basis of the Christian vocation, the historical purpose of the church in the world, and contemporary practices and models of mission (this outcome replaces the social transformation MDiv degree outcome);
  • demonstrate skills for effective, professional, ethical, and compassionate pastoral and spiritual care to a diversity of persons;
  • analyze, construct, and lead the basic elements of Christian worship according to their denominational traditions and theological commitments;
  • craft, deliver, and reflect on a sermon or public address that demonstrates effective speaking form/style and content based on a selected context; and
  • achieve their self-defined practice of ministry goals that are appropriately based on the requirements of their denomination or other vocational path.


United’s MDiv in Methodist Studies at a Glance

  • 72 credits
  • Twenty-four 3-credit courses, including two field experiences
  • Final thesis or project 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)

Students enrolled in the MDiv in Methodist Studies program must complete all required United courses on campus in order to be considered for UMC ordination. Asynchronous online courses and Zoom courses taken at United are not recognized by the UMC for ordination purposes.

Program Guide Sheet

Religious Texts 4
Hebrew Bible 1: Orientation
Hebrew Bible 2: Contextualized Interpretation
New Testament 1: Epistles, Acts, and Revelation
New Testament 2: Four Gospels
Theological Tradition 4
Religious and Theological Interpretation
History of Christian Theologies
The Theology of Wesley
Constructive Theology
Ethics/Justice 2
Christian Ethics
Choose one:
Queer and Trans Theologies
Black and Womanist Theologies
Formation 2
Introduction to Spiritual and Personal Formation
Organizational 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 Mission of the Church in the World
Integration 1 Capstone Seminar
Vocational Contextualization & Skills 8
Introduction to Pastoral and Spiritual Care
Worship of the Church
Preaching and Your Public Voice
Evangelism in Cultural and Contemporary Contexts
United Methodist History and Polity
United Methodist History and Doctrine
Congregational Internship
CPE Internship
Additional courses recommended by The UMC: Faith Formation, Social Enterprise


Learn More

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