United Theological Seminary

Master of Divinity in Presbyterian Studies

If you are a member of the Presbyterian Church (USA), this Master of Divinity program will prepare you, in collaboration with your Committee on Preparation for Ministry, for pastoral leadership and ordination as a Teaching Elder.

This program may be a good fit for you if you plan to pursue ordained ministry as a Teaching Elder in the PC(USA), including, but not limited to, such roles as:

  • Pastor of a local congregation
  • Chaplain in a hospital or other professional setting (with the addition of chaplaincy certification)
  • Validated minister in an educational institution
  • PC(USA) denominational work at a local, regional, national or international level



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

  • articulate strategies for effective, professional, ethical, and compassionate pastoral and spiritual care to a diversity of persons;
  • construct and deliver a faith formation curriculum that arises from, and addresses the needs of specific populations/issues within ministry contexts and is based on solid theological and religious understanding;
  • 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;
  • articulate their vocation as a presbyterian minister;
  • effectively use the Directory of Worship and the Book of Common Worship in the development of Reformed worship services;
  • incorporate each of the four parts of the Book of Order into the practice of Presbyterian ministry;
  • effectively moderate a meeting;
  • successfully complete the standard ordination exams in Church Polity and in Worship and Sacraments;
  • explain the historical development of the Reformed tradition, including the central theological ideas of John Calvin;
  • reflect theologically on what it means to be Reformed in the contemporary world;
  • explain the basic theological foci of the creeds and confessions found in the Book of Confessions;
  • apply knowledge of the meaning in the original language of selected Hebrew Bible and New Testament texts in the exegesis of those texts; 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 at a Glance

  • 72 credits
  • Twenty-four 3-credit courses, including one field experience
  • 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)
  • Most MDiv concentrations, including Presbyterian Studies, can be completed entirely via distance learning

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
Classics of Protestant Reformed Theology
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 Leadership and Strategies for Social Change
Integration 1 Capstone Seminar
Vocational Contextualization & Skills 8
Introduction to Pastoral and Spiritual Care
Preaching and Your Public Voice
Faith Formation
Worship of the Church
Biblical Hebrew
New Testament Greek
Presbyterian History, Worship and Polity
Congregational Internship
Additional course recommended by the PC(USA): CPE Internship


Learn More

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