Master of Divinity 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


Concentration Learning Outcomes

In addition to achieving the core MDiv degree learning outcomes, a graduate of the MDiv in Church Leadership degree 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;
  • articulate strategies for effective, professional, ethical, and compassionate pastoral and spiritual care to a diversity of persons;
  • craft and deliver 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 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 Church Leadership, 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 Transformation
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*
Choose one:*
Congregational Internship
CPE Internship
Ministry Practicum
* Consult with church/denomination ordination recommendations and/or requirements for optimal course selections.

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