United Theological Seminary

Master of Divinity in Social Transformation

The Master of Divinity in Social Transformation program will prepare you to combine the classic functions of ministerial leadership, such as leading worship, preaching, providing pastoral care, forming people of faith, and leading a congregation, with the skills you need to lead and sustain social transformation work within your organization. You’ll be equipped to think critically about socio-political dynamics and reflect constructively on the role of spiritual and theological traditions in movements for social justice. This is a professional, ministerial program that combines the tools and methodologies of social change and activism with practical and constructive theology to prepare innovative and effective leaders for an increasingly pluralistic and complex world.

The MDiv in Social Transformation differs from the MAL in Social Transformation in that includes training in ministerial competencies along with social transformation skills.

This degree program may be a good fit for you if you are interested in:

  • Increasing your proficiency and leadership within your current vocational context
  • Integrating ministerial competencies with social transformation skills in preparation for work in a congregational ministry, a faith-based justice ministry or a secular context to which you wish to bring the theological and practical arts of ministry
  • Launching your own social ministry


Concentration Learning Outcomes

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

  • articulate a moral-ethical praxis of social transformation situated within the justice imperatives of the student’s faith tradition or community and in conversation with broader movements for justice;
  • demonstrate cultural competence and strategic skills necessary for just and effective engagement in diverse social, cultural and political contexts;
  • understand and relate historical and contemporary knowledge of social transformation movements in a variety of cultural settings;
  • utilize a variety of tools and methodologies to critically analyze sociopolitical issues. (i.e. race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, nationality etc.);
  • identify appropriate strategic points of leverage for transformational change for a specific social issue that demonstrate a deep understanding of complex organization and social dynamics;
  • utilize appropriate core strategies for social change that reflect an understanding of those strategies including intended outcomes, strengths and weaknesses, and required competencies;
  • demonstrate transformational leadership through the intentional, real world application of hermeneutical and strategic frameworks for faithful public witness and action in the world;
  • document and reflect upon the completed project, including its impact on the community and contribution to the field of social transformation; and
  • craft, deliver, and reflect on a sermon or public address that demonstrates effective speaking form/style and content based on a selected context.



  • 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 Social Transformation, 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
History of Modern Theologies
Theology for Social Transformation
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
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
Preaching and Your Public Voice
Social Analysis and Community Engagement
Social Enterprise
Three electives
Social Transformation Practicum
Social Transformation Capstone


Learn More

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