Master of Divinity in Biblical Studies

The MDiv in Biblical Studies program provides you with an opportunity to engage in depth the historical and cultural contexts, overarching narratives, theological themes, and critical issues of the Bible, as well as attending to the ethical implications of the interpretation of Scripture. Unlike the MA in Biblical Studies, which is designed for people who wish to pursue an academic career or a non-ordained teaching position, this program is for people who wish to become more skilled at biblical interpretation while pursuing a Master of Divinity degree in preparation for ordained ministry or a doctoral program that requires an MDiv.

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

  • Ordained ministry and wish to have greater knowledge of the Bible and increased skill in interpreting it in order to enhance your ministerial effectiveness.
  • Careers in faith formation, administration of church-related organizations such as judicatories, or teaching in religious institutions
  • Doctoral studies in a range of religious disciplines, including biblical studies


Concentration Learning Outcomes

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

  • interpret a selected biblical passage from multiple historical and contemporary perspectives and using one or more critical methods, demonstrating understanding of the influence of their own situatedness on that interpretation;
  • conduct a personal theological interpretation of a selected biblical text that demonstrates understanding of the influence of their own situatedness on that interpretation and that engages the situatedness of contemporary readers from a context different from their own;
  • critically interpret, analyze and reflect on a selected Christian theological text or perspective in its historical context as well as through the lens of modern questions and challenges;
  • 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;
  • craft and deliver a sermon or public address that demonstrates effective speaking form/style and content based on a selected context;
  • apply basic knowledge of biblical Hebrew to the exegesis of a given biblical text OR apply knowledge of the meaning in the original language of selected New Testament texts to the critical interpretation of, analysis of, and reflection on 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
  • A final thesis or project is not required, but you can choose to complete a thesis as an elective course
  • Can be completed in three years if you take a full-time course load (24 credits per year)
  • Most MDiv concentrations, including Biblical Studies, can be completed entirely via distance learning; many courses can be taken completely asynchronously


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
Choose one:
Organizational Leadership and Administration
Social Enterprise
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
Faith Formation
Preaching and Your Public Voice
Choose one:
Biblical Hebrew
New Testament Greek
Two additional Religious Texts courses
Two elective courses
Congregational Internship


Learn More

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